Rich Luzzi - vocals Julien Jorgensen - rhythm guitar Matty McCloskey - bass, backing vox Dave Agoglia - drums Paul Phillips - lead guitar
Creation often requires destruction. Everything must be razed in order to be rebuilt stronger again. That certainly proved to be Rev Theory's experience while making their fourth full-length album and first for Another Century, Born To Destroy. In 2012, the Los Angeles quintet - Rich Luzzi [vocals], Julien Jorgensen [rhythm guitar], Matty McCloskey [bass], Dave Agoglia [drums], and Paul Phillips [lead guitar] - found itself at something of a crossroads. After two successful albums 2008's breakout Light It Up and Justice in 2011, the group split from the major label system and anxiously pondered its next move.
"We were completely lost at the end of that experience," admits Julien. "We started questioning why we wanted to make music. We had been chasing this rock 'n' roll dream and were really suffocated under the influence of all these people around us. So, we started writing songs. There was a lot of anger and resentment that fueled the subject matter. Reinvention started. That was the main theme. Sex and violence were the primal elements serving as catalysts for the new material. Through the adversity and ups and downs of the major label experience, we said, 'Fuck it. We're going to make music for ourselves'. That's the genesis of this."
"We took some time off first and reflected on what's important to us," adds Rich. "I got married, and there were a lot of personal changes. We were more mature and we decided to do things our way."
In late 2012, the boys began feverishly composing and producing tunes with the help of engineer Clayton Ryan. Hunkered down in a Hollywood "party house" with numerous temptations, the sessions captured a raw, real, and raucous energy as the band members plunged themselves into pure decadence in the process.
"Subsequently, I'm sober now," chuckles Julien. "I can look back on it and say that. The experience was the closest we had come to touching the flame. It was the craziest eighties Sunset Strip debauchery we could ever imagine. It was an awakening for us."
That awakening first yielded the swinging and soaring homage to Amsterdam's seedy side with "Red Light Queen" and the incendiary anthem "Blow It Up", where a robust wall of distortion encases Rich's anthemic delivery before a melodic lead intoxicates. At the same time, the first single and title track "Born 2 Destroy" charges forward on a muscular guitar stomp as the singer carries a fiery and focused refrain.
"That typifies exactly where we were at while writing the music," Julien goes on. "It feels like watching a gorgeous woman riding a bomb. It's beauty and destruction mixed together. It's so full of piss-and-vinegar. It's a tuned-down, gnarly, straight-ahead rocker. We wanted to get primal. We needed to start over."
Rich agrees, "It represents our rebirth. We're coming out to kick ass and take names. It blends that old school hard, in-your-face energy and a melodic sensibility. There's an angst. You've got to take things into control yourself. That was what we did. It declares, 'This is who we are and who we'll always be'."
Meanwhile, "My Killers" shows another side of Rev Theory. Coasting along on a chugging riff, it exudes a powerful energy with tinges of punk. "It was left-of-center," explains Rich. "It came from within and really fit with what we wanted to do."
Completing the album, Rev Theory joined forces with new management in late 2013 and then inked a deal with Another Century shortly after, bringing their rebirth full circle from music and songwriting to business and label. They also rounded out their lineup with the addition of Puddle of Mudd guitarist Paul Phillips, who they instantly made feel at home.
"He's a hundred percent badass," smiles Julien. "He elevates our live show immensely. It feels really good."
Since first emerging in 2005 with their independent debut Truth Is Currency, Rev Theory continue to cement their status amongst hard rock's elite. Light It Up when on to sell over 150,000 copies and spawned the smash single "Hell Yeah", which saw multiple placements by WWE, Spike TV, ESPN, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, and EA's Madden Football series. "Voices" would also become the theme song for WWE superstar Randy Orton. The group went on to tour with everybody from Papa Roach and Buckcherry to Avenged Sevenfold and Lynyrd Skynyrd as they continued building their diehard fan base. However, Born To Destroy shows that they aren't stopping anytime soon.
"The last eight years have been an education for us," concludes Julien. "This is the band we've always wanted to be. There's an element of danger and a feeling of excitement. The band has a will to rise above. There's a resilience we all uphold, and we're channeling that more honestly than ever."
"We recharged the batteries, and we're coming out swinging," Rich leaves off. "We've fought for everything tooth and nail. This is a true brotherhood, and you can hear it on Born To Destroy. I hope everyone can share in that."