Interview: The Revivalists' Michael Girardot

After their formation in 2007, The Revivalists has built a reputation and the buzz that has earned them the title of next breakout band from New Orleans.

The group blends of soulful, rock and master songwriting to bring perfectly crafted live performances.

"The formation of The Revivalists was all about chance, but everything since then has been a combination of hard work, awesome music and friendship," says the bands online bio.

The Revivalists' Michael Girardot (Keys/Trumpet) answered a few questions Empty Lighthouse that will give fans, and those curious about them amazing insight into where the band has come from and where they intend to go.

New Orleans has a very storied past when it comes to music ... Do you take any influences from the local acts who came before you?

Absolutely. We're not natives, but the music is what drew us all to New Orleans.

There is a great music tradition, part of which is the process of older musicians teaching younger musicians.

Though we don't play what's traditionally thought of as New Orleans music, we're all influenced great New Orleans musicians, and some of them have even helped us along in our careers.

What first got you into making music?

"I've been around music all my life. When I was 2 weeks old, my dad started take me to church choir practice, where he was the director, because she and my mom didn't have a sitter.

There was a lot of singing and music at home, and I begged for piano lesson at a very young age, so I could learn how to play the Peanut's theme like my uncle.

I've stayed in music because of its ability to bring people together, its ability to help you express yourself, and for the way it makes you dance."

What is the craziest thing you have ever seen at one of your shows?

"Someone picked up a table and lifted it over their head when we started playing."

Speaking of shows, you recently performed for the Marines at Camp Pendleton, how was this show different from your other ones?

"The Marines we played for at Camp Pendleton had been training in desert conditions, with no luxuries for 3 or 4 months and were about to deploy all over the world. They carry their guns around at all times to get used to the weight, so it was by far the most well armed audience we've ever played to.

Most of them were younger than us, and some of them had already seen one or two deployments.

They were incredibly appreciative, and we talked to more than a few former musicians in the group. It felt good to give back to us, but it was very humbling, and gave us a lot of perspective."

Describe the circumstances that brought you together as a band.

"I'm pretty sure all of us moved to New Orleans for the music, but most of us disguised it as wanting to get a college diploma. Dave met Zack through a highly improbable storybook encounter when Zack was riding his bike down a street and heard Dave singing and playing guitar on his porch, Zack met Andrew at a Tipitina's music workshop, and everyone else met everyone else because we all went to lots of shows and played with other local college bands.

I played trumpet for some songs on Vital Signs, but didn't join the band until after City of Sound.

I remember it being towards the end of the 10 day session, and we only had 6-8 hours blocked out for me to come in a do a few Trumpet and Keyboard parts, but I ended up being on the whole album.

I had a really great time and afterwards they figured out a way to fit yet another person in the already crowded van."

7 members are more than the average band, what is life on the road like?

"Imagine if you got married to your 7 brothers, and then you all went on a 5-year road trip, doing really fun things, while driving as far between those things as possible.

It's kind of like that, but most of us have girlfriends and wives."

"For more details read Robs blog, he's much more eloquent than I am on the subject."

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

"I hope we're doing the exact same thing, but with 5 more albums, a million more fans, and an 2 extra hours of sleep."