This week on The What Podcast, the crew celebrate Mardi Gras with Zack Feinberg of The Revivalists, the first band ever interviewed on the podcast.
Feinberg talks about the music scene in New Orleans, bringing "big dad energy," and The Revivalists' latest singe, "Kid." Of course, The What Podcast hosts also try and mine details about the band's upcoming appearance at Bonnaroo.
Listen to Zack Feinberg of The Revivalists talk about "Kid" and more above, or watch the conversation via YouTube.
Make sure to keep up with the podcast as it covers the entire festival season by liking, reviewing, and following wherever you get your podcasts.
Also, you can follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our shows, and check out the new Consequence Live portal for the latest music festival news and tour announcements. Plus, you can subscribe to our newsletter to get live music news delivered straight to your inbox.
Topics: The Revivalists, Bonnaroo, Mardi Gras
Guest: Zack Feinberg
Returning to our roots today on the What Podcast.
We revisit the revivalists.
The very first ever band we interviewed on the What Podcast comes back to talk about their new single, their new album, Fatherhood, and of course, Crawfish.
It's Mardi Gras on the What Podcast.
Barry Courter, Lord Taco.
Zach from the Revivalist, I'm Brad.
The What Podcast starts...
Welcome back into the What Podcast.
Barry Courter, Lord Taco.
Welcome in to the home stretch.
This feels like the run up to the greatest weekend of our lives.
You have an official week count left, Lord Taco.
How many weeks are we away from Bonnaroo?
Let me check.
I have no idea.
Well, I can't believe you don't know this already.
You should be like, oh, that screen behind you at all times.
So today, Barry, I've got a very big surprise for you because not only because our guest is from New Orleans, but also because this is Mardi Gras week.
Guys, please hold.
I've got something to show you.
Here we go.
I bet he's going down there.
What do you think?
Happy Mardi Gras.
How many days?
There you go.
The magical Mardi Gras jacket has been put on.
It is officially Mardi Gras season.
That's very nice.
That's really nice.
So are you going?
I'm there right now.
You missed it the entire time when you lived there.
That's why I'm asking.
No, we did get one solid Mardi Gras in before we came to New York.
So in honor of Mardi Gras week, we thought that we would check in with the very first ever artist that we talked to on this podcast from New Orleans, our very own revivalists.
So Zach from the revivalists is going to join us.
They've got a brand new album, brand new single.
This is my favorite week of the year, Barry.
I know it was Bonnaroo for a very long time, but this I have a goal.
A hundred pounds of crawfish.
I'm going to try and eat a hundred pounds of crawfish.
I'm fascinated by your addiction to this.
I've been obsessed with New Orleans since I was 19.
What I used to do when I was doing nights at a radio station, I found this hit disc.
It was called hit disc where it had 35 tracks on it.
It was the closest thing to our format that you could find.
And I would pop it in the CD player hoping that nobody would notice that I would leave the radio station early, you know, every month or so.
And I'd leave at 11.
I'd get there by 5 a.m.
And by the time that I would wake up, I would see a sign walking around the French Quarter.
By the way, I was sleeping in my car because I was it wasn't making any money.
The sign the guy was holding said five beers for one.
And I was obsessed from that moment.
And that's when I kept coming.
That's when I found crawfish for the first time.
And I got addicted to crawfish.
And I would come back every month on the dot every month until I realized crawfish, you know, they only have a season.
So you get to keep coming back over and over.
And so then by the time that I got back to Chattanooga, I found crawfish in town on very rare occasions.
I would teach all my friends how to eat crawfish.
And still to this day, the reason why New Orleans is so important or the reason why we moved there in the first place was because of crawfish.
And then so long along the way when we got to New Orleans, even though it was a pandemic, we we know this guy, we know that guy.
And that's how we met Zach from the revivalists who join us now on the What Podcast.
Hey, Zach, how are you, buddy?
Hey, Brad, good to see you. I'm great. How are you doing?
Yeah, I'm wearing this jacket just for you, Zach.
Happy Mardi Gras. I think the last time.
Happy Mardi Gras.
The last time that I saw you and by the way, Anne, I hope Anne and the kids are well.
The last time I saw you guys, you had just become a father of twins, right?
So congratulations, man.
Oh, she's great. The kids are good.
We're actually we're going to pick them up from daycare in a few hours.
They do a little they're a year and a half.
I have a year and a half boy, girl twins, and they'll be doing a little a little parade to this afternoon in the in the little daycare school.
So that should be fun.
I guess it's like I'm just learning about this.
But apparently the Friday before like the Mardi Gras break, it's like it's a school.
New Orleans schools tradition that all the schools have like an internal parade where they'll like parade around the schools and like all the parents and stuff come.
So I'm just learning about this. This will be our first one.
And so a one year old class doing it. So that should be pretty ridiculous and cute.
So yeah, I I got to imagine life is kind of crazy right now.
Yeah, it's it's I mean, look, it's it's yeah, I'm not going to sugarcoat it.
It is so much work with with twins. It is crazy.
But it's just it's there's so much joy and it's incredible.
I think it was a coincidence like we were sitting at the window and you and your wife were sitting at the table outside and like our babies are just like waving hello to these these random people.
And like we were like, we're like, wait a minute. I know you guys.
The reason I ask about fatherhood is because the new single, which, by the way, oh my God, you know, it's I hate saying it like this, but this is I mean, the best work you guys have ever put out.
I mean, this is the best revivalist single I have at least I've heard.
This is I'm we're extremely excited about it.
Everybody in our band and team is like really, really, really, really amped up about it.
I'm super proud of it.
And I just I can't wait to put it out in the world.
I wonder if it has any tie into being a father.
It's always it's like, why was it magical? You know, what, what's the magic dust with this one versus other one?
That's the secret question to everything.
It might have something to do with with what Brad is hinting at is is the that I'm a I'm a new dad.
I have I have some big dad energy going on.
My my partner was was one month pregnant with twins while we wrote this song, Dave and I.
I definitely had a fire lit under my ass to to come up with something good for the band.
And besides my just general desire to want to contribute creatively to the band and in a big way,
having that pressure contributed, I think.
Getting together with with Dave, he was, I think, very sensitive and in sync to what was happening in the background in my mind as well.
And we we we got together and felt like we had something special and we we hammered it out.
And I think we came up with something really meaningful to us and hopeful and hopefully meaningful for a lot of people.
What I love about it the most is that I feel like and you correct me if I'm wrong, that the revivalist as a whole and maybe you even as a songwriter yourself took this massive leap forward that I mean, I knew I knew you guys were great before.
But this is on another level of great.
Well, thank you.
That that that's I mean, that was a goal. We felt like we we could take another step as in our in our recorded work.
We've been bringing the heat live for a long time.
And I think we've grown as musicians and as just people and we brought that to our writing and recording process.
I think well, you bring you bring up the live show because, you know, that is the thing that you guys are really known for, especially in New Orleans.
You put something out on if it's a revivalist show, it's sold out in two minutes.
Right. How does the live show influence the way that you guys go about putting out your first album in five years?
Yeah, the playing live is is what we do best. It's probably it's probably the the the the most important attribute of this band is, you know, and it's like sort of built into our band name, even the revivalists.
Like, you know, when we started in 2007, it was I guess it was saying something that we play our music on instruments with with a group of people in the room in a room together at the same time.
Like this is this is a this is a older way of doing it or something.
And that's that's always been our strength. Our Dave as a lead singer, just absolutely like performing almost athletic feats of vocal prowess and and and like physically like running or jumping across speakers and climbing trusses and stuff.
And these are all components of our live show. But then the live musicianship is something that we value as musicians from New Orleans and just musicians in general.
So playing live is is is is a primary ingredient of what we do. And we build that into a recording process in that much of the album is us playing live. It recorded extremely well. Mike's extremely well.
We took a lot of time making engineering decisions, making tone decisions, stuff like that. But what it comes down to is it's it's us playing it together and us performing all the parts. So is that the same way you've done it every time, though?
Or do you record the same way every time? Every song is going to be a little bit different because we're not we're not going to be like we're not we're not stuck in any sort of process or way.
It's not like we we have to record everything live like no on kid. For example, there's a lot of ear candy. There's a lot of interesting layers and sounds that that we cooked up just Dave and I when we were writing it with a weird effect and Dave playing it on a guitar in a quirky idiosyncratic way.
That's super interesting that you're not going to be able to achieve just playing in a room live. So there were certain pieces of tracks that we had set up and arrangement work that we had done that we that we played over on this particular tune.
We love I mean, it's I'm always going back to like Sergeant Pepper and the White Album or Sergeant Pepper and and it's like Sergeant Pepper is the is the studio masterpiece. And then and then the White Album is more of a like a play live brilliant approach.
And it just depends on the song and what and we're making those decisions throughout the process and having the conversation throughout the process for every song.
How much of that five year layoff or not layoff but but period between sort of influence during that time are you like I'd like to you know you making mental notes I'd like to try this next time we're in the studio or I like that you know you hear a bit from somebody else and and just also the I want to think maybe calmness you know now that you've done it you know it's yeah you know it's the athlete thing you know the game slowed down the more I
I've done it type of thing that's exactly right.
Calmness maturity, whatever you want to call it but it's.
I'm less anxious I could speak to my own experience I'm less anxious in a recording studio now than I was as a younger man like I remember my heart racing and you know some some of the tempos were probably too fast on some of those earlier tracks, and I was just like, even just being aware of
tempo is something that I wasn't necessarily thinking about when I was 20 years old in the studio.
So we've grown as musicians we've grown as people navigating performance anxiety is is is a very real thing.
And we're supportive of one each of our bandmates in the studio, we're lifting each other up, trying out different ideas.
I don't remember who it was I interviewed but I remember it was a band that had been together 1015 years and they said something very interesting said we've been together so long.
The conversation is a lot shorter.
We don't have to, you know, we don't have to put in the, you know, hey Brad, I appreciate you trying that but you know you can cut right through that sucks.
You know, you don't have to do the niceties. Yeah, you know, we've done it we've been there we're all friends, say what's on your mind.
Yeah, yeah that's true. And also it's giving. It's giving. It's knowing each other intimately well and knowing when to give them the space to do their thing and, and also knowing how to get what you want.
Sometimes, I'll get it.
So, you know, talk about maturity, and the way that you guys have grown together not only have you had kids and since the last album Dave got married.
How much of that is on the album how much of these other personal things throughout the band or on the album.
I'm sure that the, the personal life stuff gets into Dave's writing. He's, he's never shied away from including his personal life, he wrote wish I knew you about his wife, when you know when they were dating.
We performed it at his wedding it was awesome.
I gave a hilarious best man speech, I wish you guys could could air some video of that but probably.
I don't know what you're talking about. Do you want to recreate. You want to recreate anything I will say I started, I started by saying that David Shaw is a great friend he's a great business partner he's a great leader, and he's a canvas for some terrible tattoos.
You got to cut in a little bit you got to dig in.
I had baseball stuff when I, when I got to New Orleans, I had to run a few stations in Orleans and some stations in Baton Rouge and one of the stations was a rock station obviously and what I found as soon as I got there was that the soul of the radio station needed to
be the revivalists, you know there is something that is the heartbeat of that city that the revivalist taps into so every song that we played every thing that we did with the brand everything that we did.
The revivalists as the center, because of their brand values and the way that I felt the radio stations brand value should be. And it goes to show you like the love and affection that this band has in that city.
Because you guys are massively successful elsewhere too, right so you guys do, you know, Red Rocks you can sell out in New York, what I've always wondered, and you could talk about this maybe more specifically than than others.
Why is it so hard for other New Orleans musicians to break out of New Orleans in New Orleans, you can be a really big hit, you can do really really well I'll use mutual friends of ours tanks and tank in the bangers.
You get them outside of New Orleans, and things get a little bit more difficult no matter how many Grammy nominations they get there, they are doing well though they are doing well nationally so yeah, they're getting there but but why is it so hard for New Orleans
musicians who succeed so much in that city to break through the national level.
Because New Orleans is not a music industry center, most likely, and that most of the success that people from New Orleans have had and musicians from New Orleans have had has been because they've hit the road and worked outside of the city, somebody like
John Batiste, for example.
I just think I think New Orleans has such a massive amount of talent and live music culture.
It's, it's probably because that's it's not an industry town.
It's not like in the way that in New York or Nashville or LA is. And also New Orleans is, it's a small city it's like 380,000 people, it's relatively small and that said, this city punches way above its weight class, we have so many good bands, so many incredible
musicians, we invented jazz out of this city.
It's kind of a big deal. It's kind of a big deal.
I'll never forget one of the great musical moments of my life. You were walking down just on a random Saturday night we're walking down Frenchmen and we stumble into the Royal Frenchmen Hotel and Barry taco it's Frenchmen Street is really like the live music heartbeat
of the city outside of the quarter, and the Royal Frenchman is right at the end, and it's a hotel, it's a hotel but in the lobby. There's all these incredible New Orleans musicians who just set up camp and and start playing and one night.
I stumbled upon Nicholas Payton, and I, my, my, literally my jaw hit the ground with how stunning of a show that's funny you mentioned him literally literally I did a 20 minute Peloton yoga session this morning just because that, and and and and Nicholas
Payton song came on, and the thing I was like this is lovely this is so elegant. And I looked at the music I was like Nicholas Payton, that's awesome. He's just one of the most amazing musicians I've ever seen so we're at the Royal Frenchmen, and I look at a buddy of mine
who's in tanking the bangers and I say that who is this he said it's Nicholas Payton, and he stops me he goes oh you don't know Nicholas Payton, look around this room. The amount of Grammys in this room would shock you. I mean, the amount of musicianship that is around every corner is stunning.
It's a nice, it's a nice culture here it's it's it's supportive people are generally friendly and encouraging. It's it's it's it's it's really nice community of people are musicians.
I mean, I think if not to answer for either of you but if if you were to ask me I would think it's opportunity exposure, and just what you, you know you just said the, the culture there.
I had a conversation earlier on a radio show about a lineup that a festival just announced here in town and the host of the show didn't know anybody. And, you know, he's like what radio station plays these and I'm like, well, that's kind of the point you know that that's
the point that we don't have bands anymore. And that's a big part of the festival culture, in my opinion is the whole discovery, discovery of it. Yeah, that's what I've love, love about it.
No, I'm in Chattanooga. Oh cool. Okay. I'm in Chattanooga Russ is just outside of Chattanooga and Ringgold. That was the conversation is, you know, this guy is a particularly more of an old school top 40s country radio, and, you know, I said, he said, What do you think of this lineup and I said I don't, I don't know maybe 30% of them and he said Is that a good thing or a bad thing and I said well, you know, in old years it would have been a bad thing but now to me it's great because it means I have a good thing.
To me it's great because it means I get to discover.
Yeah, that's cool. That's a good attitude.
Well, and that's the festival attitude. And I think that's the New Orleans attitude. You know, yeah.
And I think, honestly, I think that's the shift in all of music. To be honest, I mean, I think, you know, nobody's iPad or iPhone play this Spotify play, Spotify playlist is all one genre.
I've had this conversation.
A couple times recently and it was like when when you would have to buy a CD or buy a record
in years past it was it was like you were making a decision about your identity in a way, how you spend your money on music.
Now with everything being available I think people are probably less snobbish about the range of music that they listen to like, I'm not ashamed to listen to a great songwriter like Taylor Swift or something.
Whereas, when I was in, when I was in high school I wouldn't be caught dead spending money on on a Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears album identified as like, you know, my guitarist and I'm you know I like, I like rock music I like funk I like jazz, whatever, but
I think the I think the availability of it, of the of the internet has has shifted the consumption so as we don't.
We don't like identify with with the, you know, what we're listening as as quite as much. That makes sense.
No 100% I mean I was that guy in high school that if it was really really popular I hated it, you know, no matter what it was I mean I'm I missed out on ACDC and hair bands and all that because and of course you come back to it later and you're like you know what, that's great actually it's a lot it's just fun.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's just fun. Yeah, yeah.
I did want to point out that, Zach, you guys are coming back to Bonnaroo for the first time in a few years. I know that the live show is really important to you but when you put together like I know Jazz Fest is really important, but just after Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo's got to be up there because this is
Bonnaroo is a big one. Yeah, that's, that's a, that's a big boy fest. That's, that's going to feel special. This will be our third time playing it. The first time we played it was in 2013. It was a little tent.
We drove ourselves we didn't have any crew, it was like seven of us in a van. We pulled up like 20 minutes before showtime. And there was just a house sound engineer that showed up like five minutes later it was like oh wow you got a lot of you got a lot of inputs you got a lot of channels here.
All right, let's do a quick sound check, and we just rocked it. And it was super special. And then we came back in 2018 and we're on like a main stage with with production and and we rocked it then and it was, it's a different experience.
And I'm very very much excited to play the farm again with this new material which is like you said I think the strongest of our career and it'll be right after the full album gets released that will be playing Bonnaroo.
Well how does that change things.
When you when you're going to do a show and you've got material that you've been doing for a couple years and you know you know the audience is digging it but now you've got all brand new stuff. What's, what's it like.
It's exciting. I'm not I'm not worried that like our audience is going to be like, oh no new songs play. We want to hear the same ones that you guys have been playing your whole careers, I don't think our audiences like that I think we're going to have a work,
hopefully going to be gaining a bunch of new fans as well that come in with this new material, and I think our old fans will welcome the new ones with open arms because it's all about love for the music.
And, and, as a podcast listener and friend of mine here in New York, Evan reminds me who is the biggest revivalist fan that's ever existed he follows your set lists.
Every time you play a show you've been playing a lot of these new songs for a while now.
Yeah we started on this on our fault fault or we started premiering a lot of the new songs, because we couldn't help ourselves are too excited and weird.
And weirdly enough kid finds its way towards the end of the set.
I'm telling you it's going to be a monster I I'm so happy for you I'm so happy for the band.
I can't wait to see you. I mean I'll be there on Tuesday. So if you want to join by your beer garden. I mean I'm getting off the plane at one o'clock and I'm going straight for crawfish, I'm going deep into crawfish my goal in nine days, I'm hoping to eat 100 pounds of crawfish
and then I'll see you beer garden on Tuesday.
Okay, amazing. I wanted to bring it back to that that's what we were talking about when you jumped on Zach Brad was trying to explain to me that Mr vegetarian Mr prima Donna, Mr, you know, don't touch anything eats the nastiest things on the planet are you
the same way though. I'm the same way I'm a pescatarian so I will I don't eat pork and stuff but are I don't eat mammals but I will I will definitely have a mud bug.
But it's it does seem a little cruel though if we want to if we want to get into the ethics of crawfish burning burning them alive and in a in a in with spicy boils as you know, probably not not a good feeling for them but it's you know you got it is what I
don't know. Whatever they're the they're the cockroaches of the sea. Yeah, that time we were at Pesce I told you we had dinner is like I'll eat dumb fish, but I won't eat smart fish if you're smart.
No, I can't eat. I can't eat it. I don't eat octopus. I won't. I won't eat an octopus. Yeah, so you'll be there this Tuesday. I live I live not not far from there at all so I might see you. Yeah, I just can't say it enough I think the the song is fantastic
it's going to be a massive massive deal for you guys the album is great. I just couldn't be happier for you. The whole band Dave not only personally with the kids and Dave with with the marriage.
You guys are just a fantastic fantastic beacon of New Orleans tradition and culture and I'm so glad that the city has you I'm so glad that you guys are back for the first time in five years and hopefully we'll see it Bonner very soon.
Yeah, sounds good Brad it's great to see you man.
Zach from the Rivaless on the what podcast Barry taco.
Are you hungry for crawfish. You guys want some crawfish.
I still know. I'm so fascinated by this whole willingness to whatever disassociate you know, have you and I have I ever taught you how to eat crawfish because you know, taco knows I've taught everybody.
I'm not obsessed with them they're just mud bugs. I mean I know you just haven't had good you haven't had a good boil. You haven't had the cockroaches of the sea. I know but you, Barry I can tell somebody who hasn't had a great boil by say those exact words they're fine they're not fine.
A great boil will change your life.
Okay, then I haven't had a great boil. Do you want to come down to Mardi Gras with me.
Do I need to get a coat just like that. Do I get a coat just like that. You can break you I think you have a coat just like this and that'd be a lot of fabric.
I mean, Liberace did it. I'm really excited I mean this totally honestly I really do think this album is fantastic for a radio guy. This song is going to be like as big as wish I knew you. And to hear it on the farm is going to be really really exciting Barry.
Yep, I love it. I love it too.
Yep, don't miss the show.
It's a big progression for them I love the, I love the sound. It's huge. It's great. Yeah, I, then I said that to Zach I think there's this.
We this incredible. You can. I don't know, I'll put it that you use the word progression I think it's very good. These guys are just getting better and better and I'm not going to say this to him but I'm so glad that this album just doesn't sound like another revivalist album
you know it really feels like a step a major, you know step forward for these guys. The other thing too that I didn't bring up there was a day that I walked in on them at their practice space. So they had this really historic practice space that is kind of nutty and you would never even know
it was a practice space but a whole bunch of New Orleans musicians uses this practice space and I walked in on practice one day, and it was like them just ripping AC DC covers, you know it was like an hour of them just screwing around and it was in that moment
I was like God these guys can literally play anything to see them make this next step is so exciting it's so exciting so funny you say that because you and I talked at length, way back when the get back thing came out and that was one of my favorite
Beatle moments and get back was when they were just playing other people's songs right it's one of those head cleaning. You know I don't know I'm not, I'm not a musician but it was it that's what it seemed like to me it's like a head cleaning exercise and a, you know they just needed a moment
to do that so I get it. I mean I've seen it and that's pretty cool. Yeah I'm really excited. Alright, anything else to get to before we wrap up anything other Mardi Gras festivities you want to talk about. No other than I think you, you said it at the beginning of the show it feels like here we go.
Here we go. I mean we got the lineup. That was, that was the start of season six but this feels like, here we go. Do you guys want to come to any of the balls with me this weekend. Go ahead, Taco. Oh I love balls. He teed it up.
Save one for me. The thing about Mardi Gras is you know this parades every day multiple parades every day.
You know we'll go to you know wife's dancing in the Thursday parade on Mardi Gras day I'm going to be on one of the parades on Mardi Gras day but through the rest of the week there are, you know late night balls and one ball in particular I will be at for, for Saturday night and Barry, I'm dressing like Ziggy Stardust.
You're doing the full, full on, full makeup. I'm doing everything. I'm even, I'm spray painting the hair red.
You're going to do. Yeah, I'm doing it. Yeah, I got the zigzag thing in the face I got the, the David Bowie onesie I've got the female blouse that he wears I got the whole, the whole thing oh my god you should see these platform shoes that I'm wearing these giant white platform shoes I am going all in.
This sounds right up tacos alley. Yeah.
Yeah. Well you know he does that role playing thing with the tick tock maybe that is that that would.
Is that next for you, Ross you're going to start. You do you do cosplay on tick tock. Cosplay whatever I know this is this.
He does with the things where they change your face and all that now.
But I'm not spray painting my hair red.
You have a new face.
I'm putting on my David Bowie filter this weekend. I'm already going to.