1) Would you like to tell us when did you have the idea to form the Rio and the Rockabilly Revival band?
Rio: The idea for Rio & the Rockabilly Revival was something I had in mind for a number of years before actually forming the band in 2011.
After years of working in various music, television and film projects, my creative interest would always come back to the raw sounds of early rock & roll (AKA: Rockabilly). I remember sitting in the office of a major label high above the streets of downtown Los Angeles as they discussed how they would market me. I remember thinking – I can’t sign this contract. My heart is not in the “Pop music sex kitten” sound they wanted me to do.
Rockabilly/Rock & Roll was in my blood and I could not deny it.
2) How important role played the fact that your uncle, Jack Scott a big star of rock ‘n’ roll during the late 50ies, in the music style you choose to listen to?
Rio: My uncle Jack had a huge impact on me musically. I grew up of course under his musical influence and remember singing with him in my grandmothers basement at family gatherings as a very young child. By age five I was already wailing “What in the Worlds Come Over You” and “Goodbye Baby” on one of his microphones and amps. I would also sing his music out my bedroom window in the middle of the night. I was surrounded by his music and of course grew up with him as my uncle and his passion for the music thrilled me from as far back as I can remember. The raw emotion that he brought into his work just moved me from day one. (Side note: My uncle gave me one of his amps when I turned ten years old. I still have it and cherish it today)
Rio Scafone, Jack Scott
3) Bands guitarist, Jarod Thompson, had attended an Elvis Presley concert at the age of 9. Did he ever discuss with you about his impressions?
Rio: Yes, our former guitarist, Jarod Thompson’s very first concert was Elvis Presley! When I asked him what he remembered about it, he simply smiled and said, “It was magic.”
4) Which artists have influenced you most?
Obviously my uncle, Jack Scott but there are many other artists who have profoundly influenced me as well from many different genres and eras.
Little Richard, Big Mama Thornton, Johnny Cash, of course but also more contemporary artists such as kd Lang, Brian Setzer and Imelda May also come to mind. There are many, many artists that have inspired me.
5) What you believe can make rockabilly music timeless and timely?
I think it’s timelessness and power comes from it’s honesty. It’s as raw and real as it gets. It’s back to basics and not a bunch of smoke and mirrors created in a studio. It’s the real deal. Real musicians playing real instruments and vocalists singing live with wild abandon. It’s rough, it’s sweaty, and honest. I always say “Rockabilly (AKA: Rock & Roll) comes down to three things: You, the mic and the truth.”
Rockabilly makes no apology for not being “perfect” and “pretty”.
It welcomes that rebellious spirit that was at the heart of this genre from the beginning. It’s about being real and I think that resonates with people from all walks of life and age groups. That’s what keeps it timeless and timely.
Wether you’re playing traditional old school Rockabilly or contemporary – it’s about being legit in the passion you bring to it.
It is the very spirit of what rock & roll stood for when it burst on the scene and changed the world forever.
6) Are there any of your concerts that come first to your mind?
Our concerts are crazy! We’ve had so many incredible moments shared with our fans it’s hard to think of just one that stands out. I can tell you what does come to mind is watching the audience from the stage. Our shows are called “the church of Rock & Roll by fans and media” because of the energy and “feverish, Revival energy” that is part of every performance. We look out into the audience and see people of all ages, all backgrounds dancing, singing, some are moved to tears, especially during the song Save My Soul. People have literally dropped to their knees with tears streaming down their faces moved by the music. It’s amazing and humbling and as incredible for us as it is for them.
7) What does rockabilly means to you?
Rockabilly, to me means many things. It means history; the musical history built by the early players who broke new social and musical ground for generations to follow. It means passion and balls out honesty in the music and in the performance itself. It means making it about the music above all else and respecting where it came from as well as where it’s going.
8) Can you share with us the bands plans for the near future?
We are about to release our third album, Testify, in April 2015 and are set to kick off a European tour kicking off in Dublin, Ireland in early July. Exciting spring and summer ahead!
9) Where can we find you on the internet?
We can be found on all the usual hot spots such as iTunes, Pandora, Amazon, CdBaby as well as social media sights:
Official Website: www.RioandtheRockabillyRevival.com
Thank you so very much for the interview!
Costas Tzanidakis www.rockandroll.gr