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Singer David Shaw on Rev Causes and favorite music venues

David Shaw of The Revivalists performs at the Voodoo Music Experience in City Park on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love The Revivalists! I met them many years ago and I see their shows and take photos anytime I get the opportunity. Their music has literally given me life through this time at home.

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has impacted everyone, including musicians, tours, festivals, music fans and those who work in the music industry. We caught up with singer and songwriter David Shaw of The Revivalists recently.

Shaw talked about what he is doing while in quarantine, new music, the band’s non-profit Rev Causes, and some wise words to fans about keeping hope during this uncertain time.

Check out our interview with David Shaw of The Revitalists:

What are you doing to stay sane in quarantine?

For now, I am doing runs every day. I am doing this stuff call the Wim Hof Breathing Techniques. I have been finishing off my showers with about a minute of cold. It has been something I have been doing a little while before the quarantine.

I have been into things like that lately. Just the passage of time, I have been holed up in the studio making music and hanging out by the pool.

Will any new music come out of this?

Yeah, definitely. I am always writing, so yeah, it is inevitable for sure.

The band was in the middle of touring when all this happens with the ban of large gatherings happened, will the band be rescheduling those dates?

We are doing our best. We just had a two-hour conference call about all that stuff. We don’t know what the deal is with it because everything is still up in the air, it is to be determined.

Talk about the non-profit effort Rev Causes.

It is sort of this little funnel we set up to help these various organizations we have handpicked to help. Basically a dollar from every ticket we sell goes into the Rev Causes fund and at the end of the tour, once all the money has come in, we disperse the funds.

I can’t tell you exactly how much we have done yet, because all these tickets we sold for this tour, we haven’t played those shows yet but we have sold a lot of tickets. It is a lot of money going to these charities. It is amazing.

I know you were doing something special for the tornado victims in Nashville too by selling a Limited Edition Nashville T-Shirt where proceeds will be donated to the community foundation of Middle Tennessee Emergency Response.

We are just doing our part. We are at a point now we can do that. It feels good to give back in that way.

Are you doing any kind of live performances on Instagram that people can be on the lookout for during quarantine time?

Yeah, I think you guys should keep your eyes and ears peeled. We are definitely, I am doing that a lot, posting Instagram videos, songs and covers I have been thinking about trying to be as connected as possible.

You guys have toured worldwide the last couple of years. Are there any favorite destinations?

The European tour was so fun last year. Brussels was an amazing city to hang out and roam the streets at night. That was really fun. As far as places we play, it is tough to beat Red Rocks. The Greek was pretty amazing in Berkeley, then we played the Greek in L.A. too.

Once the virus and state of quarantine is over, do you have any dream vacation spots?

I was trying to get the band to drive to Yosemite or Yellowstone while this was all happening. I told Sam that we should just drive to Yellowstone and quarantine ourselves out there. Then I thought about our food when we ran out. So we didn’t do that, so maybe Yellowstone when it is over.

What is in your kitchen right now? What is your can’t live without quarantine item?

I ate them in the first two days, they were Oreos.

Do you have any secret spots to eat in New Orleans? We try to find some hidden gems or secret spots in New Orleans.

Well, the Joint Bar barbeque. They have some killing ribs. Em Trai Sandwich Co. is a Vietnamese restaurant. I love Vietnamese food. Not everyone knows that New Orleans has a large Vietnamese community and some amazing food spots.

What music are you listening to, is there anything musically inspiring you during quarantine?

I have listened to a lot of David Bowie. I have gone deep into those records. What is the content of the song? Who is he talking to? What is the muse? I have been trying to dive in on the muse.

This week I was finally able to watch the documentary The Revivalists made from Muscle Shoals studio. It was so great. Your music always makes me happy. I think all the albums are great for people listening in quarantine. What was your favorite memory from recording in the famous Muscle Shoals studio?

It was the all-encompassing feeling I had while being there. You just realize once you are there. It is very unassuming. It is a building basically in a strip mall next to a CVS. There’s a Church’s Chicken and KFC on the other corner. It is not like some studio out in the woods nestled in.

It is a building that you would never think is one of the most famous studios in the world. You just get that feeling inside that this place made all these amazing records. That’s what it came down to in my mind. It doesn’t matter where you are. It doesn’t matter what you are doing. It matters the people in the place, the people making in the place and the vibe created is everything. I just really try to keep that in mind while we are making the different verses of these songs and let the vibe of the room kind of take us there.

You guys put out “You and I” as a single last week from those sessions in Muscle Shoals. What is the story behind that song?

I don’t mean to be pretentious but I don’t always divulge the meaning of the song. Sometimes I do but sometimes I don’t, because I don’t want to kill the meaning for someone else. They have some kind of thought they want or get out of the song. I don’t want to jump in and interrupt that. Does that make sense? It is an artistic decision to let the listener or reader, like a painter asking you what this makes you feel. What story does this tell you? How can you project your life into this? How does this speak to you?

What is the one item you can’t live without in this time of quarantine?

My guitar. [A favorite one is] a $69 Toner silver inside, classical guitar. It’s the guitar I wrote “Wish I Knew You” on. It is kind of a learner’s guitar. I write a lot of songs on it. It’s kind of a magical guitar.

How are you staying connected to family, friends, and fans during this uncertain time?

I have been talking to my Mom quite a bit. I have been doing the live Instagram things staying connected to the fans trying to bring them in a little closer to who I am as a person. I am a total goofball and not sure many people realize that. I have just been getting on there and being myself and having a good time with them answering a lot of questions. With my friends, we have been doing Zoom or this app called House Party. We have been playing games and that whole thing. It has been really fun. I have been FaceTime-ing with family. Sam’s Dad will call every day on Facetime and we will hang out with her family.

Have you watched Tiger King yet?

Oh hell yeah, you know I have watched Tiger King.

I am so thankful for that right now.

I know right. I didn’t want it to end. I don’t know what I am going to do. Also if you haven’t watched Unnatural Selection, I thought it was interesting and cool.

Your one-eyed cat is named Ricky Peach, from his perspective what would he say is happening during quarantine?

I think he is such a lover; he has to be in the same room we are in. I think he’s cool with it. Like most cats, he naps basically all day long. So I think we are waking him up from his naps a lot more. Getting a lot more side looks from him. I think he gets a little annoyed with us because we are definitely all up in his grill a little more than we should be but we love him so much.

Where did you get him?

Sam rescued him from the Crescent City Cat Club. Actually it is a funny story, I was looking at getting a Maine Coon cat. I know I totally should adopt but I wanted this type of cat so bad. They are so beautiful and I love them. I found this Maine Coon and his name was Petrick. He was this beautiful, magnificent, such a cute little thing.

Sam kept asking why I was doing this; you don’t need to do this. When I was about to pull the trigger, someone had already gotten him. I was sad, but she said it was meant to be and she was going to the Cat Club to pick out a cat. I was out on tour. We quickly went from me buying a cat to going to the shelter and bringing one home. I was just going to roll with it; it was all good. We love him so much!!

Do you have a message to fans that are held up and might be anxious during these times?

Let’s just hunker down and weather this storm. This is a time we have to come together for the greater good of humanity. I think this is a dress rehearsal for some things to come. We have to think globally for a lot of reasons. Let’s be kind to one another and have compassion. Let’s get through this. Let it be a lesson and let it be a reminder and not forget.

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