WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2013
Interview with Bryan Holland, guitarist REVERENCE
(Translated from Spanish)
The Power Metal band from REVERENCE has released its first album “When Darkness Calls” on May 31, 2012 by Razar Ice Records. A few months ago we did a review of it, and we recently had the opportunity to interview Bryan Holland, founder of the band guitarist and former member of TOKYO BLADE.
Digging into the history of the band, your first album, projects and other areas, this is what we have obtained.
– Hi Bryan, first we want to thank you from “Metal Spirit” by the time you have given us to do this interview. It really will be invaluable to all fans and members of the page to know more about the great album “When Darkness Calls” which was launched last year.
Thank you very much for giving us a space in Metal Spirit to show the world and our new album Reverence, I appreciate it. We worked very hard on this album and I hope that everyone listen and support our band, if you like our music.
– We want to know more about you, what you found time in your life you wanted to be a composer and play guitar?
I probably had about 9 or 10 years, I saw Kiss on a TV show called ‘Kiss meets the phantom of the park’, and it changed my life, I loved Kiss and rock and roll, that’s what I dreamed of doing and what I wanted to be thereafter. Of course, I had no idea how I would do it, but I knew I wanted to do, in the 70s I started listening to all kinds of music, it was like a sponge. I really had to grow up a bit to start working for my dream, of course, is the first thing I started, to be a drummer or 13 years, so my dad bought me a drum set of 5 pieces but sounded very strong and that irritated to my parents, so I had to keep them in the dank basement and then move it back to the barn, which was very cold indeed, as the temperature changes were terrible there. So I asked my father to change it by a guitar, having discovered the acoustic guitar and I loved my uncle, was smaller, which was softer and I keep it in my room. I was about 14 at the time and every spare moment dedicated it to the guitar, I did all the school work, all I could think about was playing the guitar and get up on stage one day, of course I had to climb, playing covers , which led me to write my own songs from the start, you can only play covers for a while and be satisfied with that.
– Been to the NWOBHM band Tokyo Blade for a short time, what ended up happening there that separate you decide?
In fact, I was several years with Tokyo Blade and travel several times throughout Europe, Scandinavia, UK, etc.. actually, we reformed the band after we had parted in the mid 90s and with all that thought, we really got a good result, which I really liked. What actually happened was that I just could not continue alternating with the other guitarist and his narcissistic personality and other ongoing verbal, it was time to move on.
– How was the beginning of Reverence? Tell me why things happened and how you ended up with Todd Michael Hall, Steve Wacholz, Pete Rossi and Frank Kruckel? What did the kids when you commented that you wanted them to form a band?
I went on the last tour of Tokyo Blade in the fall of 2009 and decided it was over and had to figure out what I wanted to do, so I took a vacation out to think about it and finally decided to go ahead and start my own band. I met Todd on Myspace on New Year’s Eve 2010, I got in touch with him personally soon after we discovered we had a lot in common. We decided on a single musical direction and started writing, once we had a few demos, I decided to get in touch with Frank, who played bass in Tokyo Blade with me and I contacted Steve ‘Doc’ Wacholz (drums), who is a friend of mine for over 15 years, to hear the demos, immediately joined the project. Pete recommended Steve Rossi who had played with him on another project, speaking with Pete found that he and I have many things in common and we are both very influenced by Criss Oliva (Savatage) and Randy Rhoads (Ozzy), including our playing technique is very similar, a little scary actually. Frank ended up having to withdraw due to some family commitments after recording the album, so Todd called Ned Meloni (Jack Starr’s Burning Starr, Funny Money) on bass. But in reality, driving everyone in the band was very easy and smooth, which basically call friendship.
– Where does the name of the band?
It’s a great question, Todd and I really wanted a name that had a meaning, a background, not just a random name out of nothing. My wife Tracy, even suggested the name REVERENCE, for he was in Todd letters of the first song he and I had written together called “Revolution Rising.” In the song, the letter says, “Bow down in Reverence, bow down in fear, “so that not only comes from our first song but also fits the band’s musical approach, which is more metal sound old school, we wanted to engage the classic sounds of Judas Priest , Queensryche, Savatage and Dio, because that’s the style REVERENCE, which is closely linked with our initial motto.
– Every experience is important and even more for a musician, How influenced your experience in TOKYO BLADE when performing compositions REVERENCE?
Being in Tokyo Blade was definitely a learning experience, I have learned a lot about management, touring and how to avoid many pitfalls. There is a clear reason why Tokyo Blade has improved its level in the years since 1984, I think this led us to a new level with the alignment that was part of them, but since then this dramatically low quality. Mainly because the central figure who participated in the different alignments through these years is basically an unhappy person who is very self-centered and can easily become a being friendly or not only for their own benefit. When this is done on the horizon of the music industry, do not take too long for anyone break relations with people of that kind, which will make it very difficult to move forward, because people would not want to work with people and for fear how to be treated or humiliated. So I guess one of the most valuable things I learned was how important it was for this, the treatment of each, your own band mates and especially to your own followers. No band on the planet that has done all by itself, you need a team that is not seen and is usually uncredited behind the band, ready to encourage, promote and work, all that to show the band the masses and even to go on tour or whatever, the band needs his team and they have to be treated well or seriously offend you and everything will crumble. My parents taught me the golden rule: treat others as you want them to treat you, that does not mean that your trust may be blind, because this is a very dirty business, but it is very easy to know who is really on your side, so treat them well, for the day when your star starts to fall, you will see these people again, haha!
– The musical composition is a complex task and requires much time and effort, often does not go as one wants but with perseverance desired is achieved, how were the first songs performed by Todd Michael?
Actually, we had a couple of songs incomplete sketches before we could find a musical orientation and our first song had been finished, but it did not take long to discover the formula to work better together, with our strengths and weaknesses. I love writing with Todd, is an incredibly talented singer and writer, actually find fantastic chemistry in our teamwork. He exceeded my expectations every time I sent him a new song in which to work. Especially when having our first album in our hands, I am very excited to work on our second album, I really think we have a lot of music to write together and think “‘When Darkness Calls” was only the tip of the iceberg, the legacy you will leave REVERENCE.
– Tell us, how was the recording process of “When Darkness Calls”? How long did it last? Where?
Writing always takes longer, at least for us, but once this is finished, the recording was actually pretty quick. We recorded the drums and bass in the studio Metro 37 in Detroit, Michigan, the battery took a full day, the bass a day and a half, we did the rhythm guitars in two days, but we were very happy with the result, so we returned to record them again, but all my own and some of Pete’s recorded in my home studio. Todd recorded all the voices in his study, and then returned to Metro 37 for all choirs. Sid Garcia of Sight16 Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico did the mixing and mastering. I had already worked with Sid at the last Tokyo Blade album, so I was familiar with his work and we think he did a great job in “‘When Darkness Calls”, which is one of the songs nominated for song of the year in metal Music Awards in New Mexico with “Too Late” and “After The Leaves Have Fallen”.
– Why did you decide to call his first work “When Darkness Calls”? What is the meaning or main idea of your first album?
I actually had the idea of the album artwork before the songs were written completely, when we finally finished, the song “‘When Darkness Calls” was a great introduction, which was a cry that was used to start the opening track the album and fits well with the art of the cover art we already had, so it was a no-brainer really. The song itself, although it seems to have dark images related to the album art, but it’s actually the opposite. When I sent Todd the music of the song that had the working title and I knew that Todd learned that her friend had committed suicide when he got the song and the title, he was affected by the situation of his friend and she expressed in the lyrics of the song, which says: “Cling tight to the Light, When Darkness Calls” which actually is a very positive message, even if it appears otherwise.
– What can you tell me about the cover? What did they represent it?
I can not say I took a deep meaning to the cover. I had a black and white concept very specific that I gave to our artist Jobert Mello for Sledgehammer Graphix, I asked if I could try to bring this black and white image to life and he returned with the near-final version of what it looks now, we have made some small changes but his first sketch was amazing. Just wanted a devastating cover art metal, to give the feel and atmosphere of an album of old-school metal and I think he captured and exceeded everything we wanted, did a superb job. I have really wanted to work with on the next album Jobert.
– Are you satisfied with the end result? How do you feel has been the host of the people of your first album?
We were very honored by the comments from fans and the media, they have been very positive, we have made a lot of publicity for the album, and it seems that almost everyone loved it, of course, there are always a few who you can not please but they are very few and different in their opinions with each other. Honestly, there are some things I’d like to go back and fix or return them to record, in general, although I’m probably 95% satisfied with the final recording. I think most of the musicians shared that feeling, we are never fully satisfied, which means we just have to work harder on the next album.
– Friendship is necessary within a cluster, but just as the seriousness and commitment can not be affected by this camaraderie, tell us How are the relationships between all members of the band? Have you had any problems for difference of opinion?
We had some disagreements, but nothing stronger, to the point of speaking out, which is exactly the opposite of Tokyo Blade, which mainly had a character actually trying to sabotage the routes and the inner workings of the band. I think the fact that most of us in Reverence friends helped us a lot, we are all very professional, which is very important, everyone knows their role in the band, there is nothing more here than ego control.
– He appreciates the excellent work done in each of the musical compositions, from a more personal perspective What is your favorite song on the disc or you most enjoy to play live? Why?
Generally my favorite compositions change very frequently, ‘Revolution Rising’ has a special place for me because it was the first song we did between Todd and me. I love my final single “Phantom Road”. Was one of those days in the studio where everything worked as it was and I only spend just a couple of shots. Much energy I love the song “When Darkness Calls” , but I think my current favorite is “Too Late”, this was a real turning point in our writing, and for me, has the true essence of the old school with ‘Revolution’ I think are two major issues that sound great live.
– In the review I mentioned somewhere that Todd’s voice seemed to become the voice of Rob Halford for his great versatility in extremely high notes. Do you consider appropriate comparison? Is there some influence of the legendary band Judas Priest in REVERENCE sound? What bands are the main influences on your sound?
To me, it sounds like Todd Todd, but I can see why some may hear some similarities to other vocalists, I understand it’s really hard for people not to compare with other popular bands, is something that can not be avoided. But I agree that sometimes, Todd can be a bit of a chameleon and manages tones to Rob Halford, Geoff Tate and Ronnie James Dio, depending on the song.
– Listening to the songs of TOKYO BLADE and compare them to REVERENCE, I feel a big difference in the performance of the guitars, tell us how you feel when you play a very different style of your band predecessor? Do you feel more comfortable with what you did before or what you are actually doing?
I agree, there is little difference between the two bands, Tokyo Blade was more a style and sound to Iron Maiden while Reverence has a Judas Priest sound, plus they are a little heavier than Tokyo Blade. Honestly, our material is more of a challenge when playing that Tokyo Blade, at least from one point of view as a guitarist, which I like. Although I liked a few songs from TB, I’m much more comfortable with the material of Reverence, is who I am!
– We know you have planned a tour of the United States and Europe this year How are developing these plans? Was there a downside? What are the main surprises are prepared for each of the concerts?
Yes, we have confirmed dates in Europe in September, which will take us to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy, so far. Other dates are still being scheduled, we also have certain dates on the U.S. East Coast in November in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York, more dates will follow. No problems so far, the economy always comes into play, but we are confident that all will go well with both tours. As for my own preparation, I’m usually more worried about my team, for some reason I’m always paranoid that my team is going to fail me even though I have not had many problems on previous trips, so I feel the need to make a checklist, almost like a ritual before every show.
– Reviewing your official channel on Youtube and found that already have the video of two of his songs “After the Leaves Have Fallen” and “Too Late” How did you choose the stage for each of the videos? Do you plan to make a new video for another of their songs? What would be next?
We also have a video of “Bleed For Me” song is one of my favorites, it was fun shooting that. Actually, Todd took over the concepts behind each video, in the video for ‘Bleed …’ is, of course, a live setting, so that speaks for itself. The concept of “Too Late” is based on the regrets and how you can get something more from them than just the fault, it is too late to change the past, but we must move forward, so that the actor in the video shows there trying to fight his inner demons and finally walks into the light, which means letting go of the past and on.’s video “Leaves …” makes a statement ecological and political, of how we are damaging the world we around and how we are leaving this mess to our children.
– How do you see the current state of the music scene metalera? Tools such as the Internet are? Something positive for her or rather the opposite?
Yes, Internet, Facebook, Reverbnation, Twitter, all these free tools are a necessity today, is the easiest and cheapest way to show your work on the network and reach new fans. It takes a tremendous amount of work to drive and remain in force, so it’s a great company, but hopefully not have your own time, is completely free and other essential if you want to be in the music business. I think the current economic situation has been pretty tough, but I think it is improving slowly, a somewhat underground as happened in the 80s, all that is needed is a spark to ignite the masses once again, is that come?, no one can know. But I think it will return because people are fed up with the nonsense of modern music, the old days were lost, you can not say anything about a band that was very easy to do in the 80s, most the band had a very unique sound, but it all began with that change in the 90s with all the saturation, but I think we are on the cusp of a resurgence.
– What are the short and long plans within the band?
Well off the upcoming tours in Europe and U.S. this fall are just starting to write some songs for our second album, which is still untitled. We also want to release a limited edition vinyl of “When the Darkness Calls” with a bonus unreleased track and we are hoping to have a new video just before the tours. We hope to go back into the studio early next year and have a new album next spring, also with more touring. Pete and I have written a meeting scheduled for next weekend, in fact, have a lot of very dark and heavy riffs that are beginning to take shape.
– Each of the band members must have their own perceptions of what they are doing, tell us what REVERENCE means to you?
I really do not even think about it, Reverence is my main goal right now, is my baby, and so we think the other guys too, our previous bands were all in the past, and although we know we have to live more, I think together we can focus our paths in the world of metal. Reverence allows me to be who I want to be, without having to be labeled with certain style as with Tokyo Blade. If we had released an album like Tokyo Blade, fans would probably have been disappointed, simply because they would be expecting a NWOBHM album, which we do. “When Darkness Calls’ to me is more power metal or heavy metal, so I think I had no choice but to be who I am, I had to take a different path from Tokyo Blade and be who I really am, which is what is Reverence can be heard.
– Well finally Would you like to add something or send a message to all the fans and people who have not heard yet?
Well, I’d really like to thank all the fans who have given us the opportunity and have supported the band and the album. Without the support of the fans, we would not be able to keep doing what we like and less wear shows music to the masses, so we really need each other and we thank you all for that. Of course, I have to thank everyone in the Metal Spirit, the media and the press who are behind us and we are very supportive, we could not do it without you, we have helped to position and therefore we also very grateful! Those who have no idea who we are and still have not heard our music, but would like to visit, please contact www.ReverenceMetal.com and greet pass also on Facebook at www.facebook.com / ReverenceMetal, I spend a lot of time there and I hope to meet a lot of new metal fans.
– All who make “Metal Spirit” Bryan want to thank you for making this interview, looking forward to hearing about you and the band in general, and personally very anxious hope your next job. A big hug and lots of luck for the long road ahead.
Regards, Daniel Trelles. –
Thank you very much Daniel, I really appreciate your hard work and time you put into this interview and review, we are in contact!
~ Bryan Holland – Reverence