Rev Theory guitarist Julien Jorgensen sat down with Type 3 Media to discuss how the band is gearing up for their upcoming headlining tour and album release.
Type 3 Media: Your new album Justice has been in the works for a while, how did it go putting that together?
Julien Jorgensen: We started writing it last year in January. It took about four or five months to write the record. We hired Terry Date to produce it, which was an awesome experience. We were in the studio for a few months, then at the end of the summer we had a record. We’ve been gearing up and chomping at the bit to go on the road to support it.
T3M: What kind of challenges did Terry Date bring to the studio for you?
JJ: The biggest thing with Terry is that he captures bands just being bands. We were basically forced to play everything live. He doesn’t rely on technology, so we recorded bass and drums live off the floor. We weren’t taking any shortcuts. There was a level of professionalism he brought to the table, and we challenged ourselves to be a better band.
T3M: I’ve had a chance to hear the record and think it sounds very cool. There are there some really interesting things going on. What was the most challenging thing you experienced in putting this album together?
JJ: Finishing it in time. It took forever, man. We went three weeks over budget. It was just a challenge to get everything where we wanted it to be. We’re perfectionists, and at the end of the day we wanted this to be great. I think the challenge was knowing when to stop. I think Terry brought a level of calmness to that. He was able to navigate everything, because we’re always like “it could be better, we gotta keep pushing, we got to keep trying new things.” So the biggest challenge for us was just being like “we’ll just deal with this, this is great,” and knowing when to accept that we’ve done everything we could to make it great.
T3M: How did you end up going to college in Massachusetts where a few of you guys met?
JJ: I’m actually from Vancouver, and used to play hockey growing up. I played hockey at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. Rich [Luzzi], our singer went to college there, and so did Dave [Agoglia] our drummer. I met them during freshman year. Literally, by second semester freshman year, we were playing in a band together. We’ve been together ever since and that’s the only band we’ve ever been in. We picked up Matty [McCloskey] when we started doing it full time in 2002. We picked up Rikki [Lixx] in 2007.
T3M: I know of a couple bands from that area who have done well. There must be something in the water.
JJ: We’ve had a chance to play with Godsmack and tour with those guys. We’ve had a chance to play with Staind. We looked up to those guys when we started. I remember, in like 1997, we played the Townhouse bar in Lawrence Massachusetts, and there was a poster of Godsmack on the wall. They were playing the same shitty college dive bar that we were playing in. About a year and a half later, they played at Woodstock 99. So we admired bands like that.
T3M: Now you’re preparing to headline the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour; what are you looking forward to most about hitting the road again?
JJ: We’re looking forward to playing songs from the new album. We feel like it has great energy. Some of the shows we played already have been so much fun and there’s been a great response so far. We’re also looking forward to headlining the tour. It’s one of those things where we get to play a little longer and it’s a developed set with a little more production. We get to rock out a little longer.
T3M: Have you played with any of the other bands on the tour before?
JJ: We’ve played with Pop Evil, they’re really good guys. We played with Atreyu before, and Black Cloud Collective is the singer’s side project. We have not played with Hail The Villain, they are new band from Canada, but from what we’ve heard, we really like what they’re doing. We think that the whole bill is really strong overall.
T3M: Any tour stops that you are really looking forward to playing while on tour?
JJ: Kansas City is one of our biggest markets. We played a place called the Midland Theater. It’s a beautiful older theater and has great acoustics. We have a great crowd there every time, and usually we sell it out. We’re going to be playing there on the Outbreak tour. That’s at the top of my list. It’s right in downtown Kansas City, everyone likes the party afterward and they go straight from the show to the after-party.
T3M: The Midwest is hot for rock music.
JJ: Rock radio is being a little safer on the East and West coasts. They still take chances in the Midwest and South. The newer rock gets introduced to people. People thrive off of that. That’s why the hard rock bands generally like playing there.
T3M: There are a few stations around here that were innovators twenty years ago, but are still playing the same songs they did back then.
JJ: It’s actually kind of sad. There’s a whole generation of music that’s getting lost. Everyone is afraid to lose their job and no one wants to take chances. Everyone’s being safe. The insurance policy is playing stuff that’s familiar. We know that. Part of writing the song “Justice” and the meaning behind the song, is that we felt as though we worked our asses for a long time and it’s been really tough to make it. Ten or fifteen years ago, if we had come out, we would’ve been in a better place because the entire industry was in a better place. Due to that, and due to some of the lumps we had to take, we feel that it’s our time to go out and get what we’ve worked hard to get. We hope that it relates to other people’s feelings of injustice in their lives, to empower them to do what they have to do. The state of the music industry itself is part of what inspired the anger and aggression of this album.
T3M: I’m looking forward to checking out the tour. Any closing thoughts?
JJ: This record comes out on February 15th. It’ll be all over the place. We’ll be on WWE Smackdown on the 15th, and doing a bunch of things to launch the record. Thank you for the support.