It’s been awhile since we’ve heard two vocalists bounce off each other so naturally in song (hello We Are The In Crowd, you there?), and we’re stoked to bring to you today upcoming pop punk duo We The Revelry. Old schoolmates reconnected with a passion for writing music, Sam Stobbart and Brendan Horn are the creative brains behind this young act and self-describe themselves as a bridge between Taking Back Sunday, Blink-182, Stand Atlantic and Paramore.
Their debut single combines energetic, punk riffs with charming, eclectic vocals intertwined with some pessimistic songwriting, and the result is a self-reflective, melancholy anthem titled ‘(I Wanna Be) Myself in Someone Else’s Life’. We met with We The Revelry to find out more on what they’re all about, and what we can expect from them down the road…
Welcome guys! First up, tell us who is We The Revelry and how you came together?
Brendan: Sam & I go WAY back. We met in primary school, and then were in the same music and visual art class in Year 11 & 12 although it wasn’t until 10 years later that we started doing music together.
Sam had never written an original song before but I sent her some off cuts for songs I had been working on for a few of my other projects, and she sent me back a voice memo of her first ever song. It was clear that Sam had a natural knack for lyrics and I was excited by the idea of being more of a Fred Mascherino (of Taking Back Sunday’s “Louder Now” & “Where You Want To Be” era) in a band, because in all my other bands I’ve had to be the lead vocalist.
We were initially going to push this track out as a single, and work on a follow up, but in a conversation I was having with Andrew Kitchen (Antiskeptic) on Facebook, he told me that my favourite Antiskeptic album (Aurora) came out of a period where the guys did nothing but write and work on new songs, only picking the cream of the crop. I’d never worked like that before, so I wanted to try not living “song to mouth” as it were and really honing in on what songs we all wanted to work on.
Sam: We are Sam and Brendan and we met way back in primary school, hung out and formed a bond through art and music in senior high school. We attended our 10 year reunion and caught up, initially we decided to pursue doing covers together but then a friend of mine suggested giving originals a go, and I knew Brendan would be down as he is the lead singer for another band, and actively writes music almost everyday. And the minute we put our brains together, we’ve come up with stuff we’ve really enjoyed producing, and strongly believe in the messages we are trying to convey.
Your debut single is an exciting, fresh perspective on pop punk in 2020 about living for now, living in the moment. Is that what you were inspired by in getting this song together?
Brendan: I’m a real negative Nancy, so my take on this song is a bit of more of a downer. I’ve played music for a while, and I always feel like certain people (sometimes even within your own band) tell you to sound a certain way, do a certain gimmick or follow a current trend. That kind of follower behaviour never sat well with me. It’s one thing to be influenced or inspired by another band or a style, but to flat out copy something for the sake of popularity is something that really puts me off.
My input into this track was about pushing back against the status quo making the music I wanted to hear, rather than for outside pressures or for passing trends. I also had this idea of what it would be like to see yourself as if you were someone else and seeing them succeed even though you were doing the exact same thing and not succeeding. Kind of like an alternate reality you.
Sam: Absolutely! We originally wrote this piece in a studio after tracking vocals for what was our initial track that we had written our parts to separately, and I had jotted down a few lyrics and pitched them to Brendan, and before we knew it, we were bouncing lyrics and ideas off one another and we wrote this piece about being accepted for who you really are, being strong in one’s self, chasing goals and living in the moment, definitely. We want to convey a strong positive message, with a little edge to it.
And who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Brendan: Forky from Toy Story 4…or Jack Black since he’s also goofy, musical and a bit intense.
Sam: Ah that’s a good one, I mean, I’d like to think I’m funny, a little awkward and I’m definitely a dork, so I’d say the likes of Zooey Deschanel.
Your overall sound kinda breathes new life into pop punk, similar to bands like Forever the Sickest Kids and We Are The In Crowd did. But who are your 3 biggest musical influences?
Brendan: I am a sucker for multi vocalist bands. I think that probably comes from my dad, who saturated my childhood with bands like Queen & The Beatles. Most of my favourite bands have 2 (or more) vocalists. When it came to We The Revelry, Taking Back Sunday was a huge part of what I personally was going for.
I also LOVE Paramore’s first 3 albums and Hayley Williams’ voice, so quite unfairly when I started writing with Sam, I kept pushing guitar ideas that were very Paramore-esque.
As for a third band, there are so many that could take this slot, but I think Tom Delonge was instrumental (pun intended) to the way I look at guitar arrangement, songwriting, and not overthinking it when it comes to parts. I’m also a big fan of his guitars (both his Strats & later ES333) so I’d say Blink 182 definitely had a big part in the We The Revelry direction.
Sam: For me, straight up Stand Atlantic, State Champs and Paramore. Stand Atlantic is my major influence being a female lead band, unafraid to break the mould a little on the female voice, grit and power but also extremely ethereal, I love that dynamic. I love the Aussie twang she has in her voice and that’s extremely important to me with my sound so I relate to her strongly.
I love State Champs’ catchy tunes and their optimistic/pessimistic lyrics. And Paramore are just an all time classic for obvious reasons, Hayley’s powerhouse vocals are hard to turn off, and she’s an extremely influential female role model for me.
Think of this scenario: it’s post-Covid-19, live music is back on, and you need to sell tickets to your first live show. How do you describe your live set to potential fans?
Brendan: Well, here’s the thing. Sam & I have never actually performed together. We’ve written together, we’ve recorded together but we’ve never actually had a proper band practice! From performing in other bands, you can expect me to put all my available energy into singing and smacking around my guitar. There may be injuries. Elevator pitch would be: She sings, he sings. Harmonies & screaming. Melody could come from anywhere.
Sam: Energetic, lively pop punk sounds, fun and refreshing.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Brendan: So many things! 😉
Fun fact: all the writing and drawings in the background of the “(I Wanna Be) Myself In Someone Else’s Life” lyric video are from my personal music diaries. I write notes on songs I am working on, ideas and little notes to myself in these pocket sized Moleskine journals, so I don’t forget things during the day. If you look carefully in the video, you can see notes on Madison Minor (my other band) songs and other “behind the curtain” notes to myself about songs that may not even have been released yet!
That’s pretty artsy. Can’t wait to see what else you two have in store these next few months!
Interview by Tamara May (@citylightstam)