Revive the Rose co-founder and drummer/vocalist Andy Colonico. BILL POTRECZ

Local band continues to evolve

The members of Revive the Rose put the downtime they had during the Covid-19 lockdowns to good use.

The local band, which bill themselves being from Fonthill/Welland, used the time to take a hard look at their music, how they wanted to market it, and to map out their future.

“It’s rare to find a stop button for once in life and really evaluate your life almost,” said co-founder, lead singer and drummer Andy Colonico. “It was nice that we got to do that and reflect and grow.

“We weeded a lot of things out and put a lot of thought into how to grow even better.”

The band figured with touring out of the question during the lockdown, the time was right to work on new music.

“Between a lot of song writing and a lot of demoing — there’s not much else to do — the music industry is usually a busy industry, especially for the big names, but for the first time ever all of the big game people were waiting to play live,” Colonico said. “Most of the time their on-line presence plateaued so it gave my band a chance to take advantage of the tools we have online and engage with our fan base and grow and network.”

The fruition of that work is an EP of six new songs expected to be released sometime this fall called Heartless Place.

“It’s about about mentality and viewing society,” Colonico said. “Three of the songs were written before Covid and recorded while we were working with John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews and then we did three more.”

The single, “Live My Best Life,” featuring Amy Gabba and The Almost Famous, is out now accompanied by a music video filmed at Isaac Riehl Skate Park in Fonthill.

“We had such a blast with this one,” Colonico said. “We were talking about doing a song cover digitally and when things opened up the opportunity came to do a song together. We both have very unique fan bases so we wanted to come together and do something fun.”

Colonico has high hopes for the new material.

“Our last album, I call it a Costco sample platter, a little variety of what we can do. Lyrically, we have evolved and have a lot more things to say and that’s what I’m really excited about, to connect with people deeper and grow the fan base. The song structures are a lot stronger and we’ve had some amazing help from The Trews. It’s just a nice, evolved, Revive the Rose that the current fans will love and will definitely absorb a lot of new ones.”

The band previously caught a couple of huge breaks when their song “Bar Down,” originally written for the Niagara IceDogs, was picked up by the Toronto Maple Leafs for their warm-up playlist and then added to the EA Sports NHL Soundtrack video.

“It’s not a one-time deal where you can make a living off of it but it was a nice chunk of change,” Colonico said of the video deal. “You definitely need more of them, especially for a band my size. We’re at the very bottom of the totem pole still. A lot more of those would be nice.”

The band plans to hit the road and do some serious touring to promote their new music.

Colonico said the exposure from the video game has already paid dividends.

“We’re noticing with our new tour dates coming up there’s a lot more people buying tickets, which is awesome,” he said. “The video game is making us heard in ways we couldn’t have been heard before.”

We ended up making a beer after the song because we couldn’t tour

The video game also spawned Bar Down Lager, which is brewed at Taps Brewhouse in Niagara Falls, and it has sold more than 10,000 litres.

“We ended up making a beer after the song because we couldn’t tour,” he said. “We knew alcohol was essential during Covid.”

Revive the Rose was founded in 2014 by Colonico, fellow Welland native Peter Antonio, and Port Dalhousie’s Matt Cookson. Colonico and Antonio knew each other from their high school days at Notre Dame while Cookson was brought in after meeting Colonico at Mohawk College, where they were studying music.

The band went through its share of personnel changes but has been stable for two years since adding Welland native and bassist Steve “Big Red” Stercho.

Colonico grew up in a musical environment — his mother was a singer and father was a high school music teacher at Centennial Secondary School— and he is the lead singer and drummer during recording while Cookson and Antoinio are the guitarists. On tour, a drummer is added so Colonico can focus on vocals.

“It’s just straightforward, good-vibing rock and roll,” Colonico said.

Colonico, who cited the Beatles as an influence, said the band’s inspiration comes from the likes of April Wine, Foo Fighters, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Green Day and Sublime.

Colonico’s writing draws much of its inspiration from day-to-day events.

“Lyrically, it kind of generates from more in-the-moment thoughts that I have,” he said. “I think a lot, I don’t really vent a lot, that’s where I put it into music. I have a lot of melodies hanging around. I don’t know what they mean yet but then some days the right thoughts I’m thinking match the mood of a riff.

“I try to fit things into a structured melody. I do tend to start with the chorus because that’s usually the meat and potatoes of the core of what I’m trying to get to and then branch off from that.”

For the time being, the group continues to work day jobs to make ends meet.

“We predict within a year or so we can maybe, hopefully change that up,” Colonico said. “Prior to Covid we had a lot of touring planned and it looks like there will be a lot of opportunity to tour in 2022. Because of the growth during Covid, it’s unlocked a lot of doors.”

For more information on the band and tour dates, see www.revivetherose.ca