Dave Reinhardt is the drummer and one of the songwriters for the popular northeast hardcore band, “The Revilers”. Here he talks about long, odorous van rides, playing in front of a lot of people, playing in front of not a lot of people and how much music helped him when he was growing up.
How did the “The Revilers” form?
It was really just a bunch of guys that had been playing around Cape Cod for years, in and out of the same bands. We all gravitated to punk rock, hardcore, and metal as common influences, so in 2008, we decided to bring our varied interests together in a new project.
How long have you been playing this particular brand of music?
Since middle school. Once we realized that specifically underground music could be really empowering as an outlet in a strange place like Cape Cod, we ran with it. In those days (pre social media) you would call Elks lodges to book shows, print flyers, zines, and it would connect you with a whole like-minded scene in Boston and beyond. Next thing you know, you’re wearing studs and having your parents drop you off at strange halls in the city, they were obviously thrilled. My high school band was called ADD, a poppy street punk/oi! outfit. That was a huge learning experience, setting up shows for us and all the traveling that bands encounter.
That sounds amazing, were there a lot of bands that came out of Cape Cod?
There was a thriving scene in the 80s. The Freeze comes to mind. They were/are Cape Cod’s greatest punk rock export, still touring internationally. In the late 90s/early 2000s there was a bit of a resurgence with the street punk sound kind of blowing up with bands like Rancid actually playing on TV. I was in high school, absorbing and emulating all of the lore from the older kids, who took us under their wing. Our band is somewhat multigenerational because of that. Our current guitarist recorded my high school band in my parents basement before we really knew each other well, because he was older and ran a DIY label.
As you talk about spanning across generations, have you been able to connect or play with any of your idols?
We’ve been able to play with some of our heroes through the years for sure. Many of our favorite bands from the UK ’82 era, as well as some bigger contemporary acts. We’ve known several members of the Dropkicks Murphys through other bands that their members are in for a while as well. When their opener for a tour in 2014 got stuck in customs, I got a text at work asking us to take the spot. I left work, rented a minivan, left that night, and we played their tour from Chicago to Orlando, like 9 days I think. We also were invited to play the punk rock bowling festival in Vegas that year. We got to share the main stage with bands like Black Flag, The Damned, DEVO, and countless other legends.
You’re obviously into the idea that musicians are best raised through community. Have you been able to help out with that now that you are the seasoned veteran on the scene?
Yeah, when we were still in school, we had this amazing teen center that would let us book shows, and essentially run the place. Those years were hugely formative to me. I definitely could have been absorbed by less savory activities and hard drugs, but I had an outlet to connect with other likeminded people on and off Cape. I now serve on the board that used to run the place (it’s since been shut down.) We still run a skate park and an after school program for younger kids, but I feel there’s a huge hole in the community for teenagers and not coincidentally a terrifying surge in opioid addiction on Cape Cod among younger folks.
Are you able to do this full time?
No way. Kids, stay in school. Punk rock is great, but if you want a music career, go learn to make sounds on computers. In Boston, some of our buddies call us the Village People because we consist of a house painter, a carpenter, a shell fisherman, and a union iron worker wearing leather jackets. If there’s a cop or a Native American with a good voice, we’re taking auditions for front man.
What has been the highest high you’ve experienced? The lowest low?
I have to thank Dan Harrington at PATAC records, he’s been releasing our stuff from day 1. It’s amazing to see our stuff sell in foreign markets. Some German kids in Provincetown stopped our guitar player for a picture in Provincetown one summer, that was funny, since most people around here don’t even know we play. Lowest low was probably the time in the mini van. We smelled like shit, we were crammed, and we hit a car or two. Luckily I bought the $100 insurance and unlimited miles, because the thing was a wreck when we got home.
How do you go about the process of songwriting as a band?
Both of our guitarists are amazing. Typically Jared (guitar/vox) will come up with the song progression, and a vocal melody. Chris (guitar/back ups) will then add his leads and back up vocals. Corey (bass/back ups) will then walk around the chords a bit on the bass, and I’ll play whatever Ramones/Motörhead style beat comes to mind. The best part is the vocals, since we typically write those the night before recording them. So the majority of the time we’re learning a new song, Jared is just reading beer cans, or whatever is in clear view and yelling that into the mic in the envisioned vocal pattern.
Do you feel like you have an easier time expressing yourself through music or through general interactions?
Definitely music. Specifically, you can let loose, and really not hold anything back, put on a performance. There’s also the camaraderie that comes with a bunch of weirdos who are totally into the same thing. That extends to the people we meet at every show. It’s refreshing to be with people who don’t view the world the same way as everyone else, even if we do have to play the Village People all week. You probably weren’t expecting two Village People references in this interview were you?
(LAUGHS) No. Do you have a favorite verse from a song or a set of lyrics outside of the Village People?
The Pogues have the most beautiful lyrics in a really unvarnished human way. “If I should fall from grace with God” is a song that sticks out to me lyrically. Dark, sometimes mildly political humor about the inevitability of life and death really hits me.
And lastly, for any aspiring musicians or just regular old cross country travelers, what’s the best way to nourish yourself on a budget on the open road?
Pizza slices that you can see while being served. We got served rotten gator in Louisiana for being weird Yankees one time.