CARBONDALE — Fans spoke; Revis listened.
Years after the rock band called it quits, its members continued hearing the desperate pleas for a reunion. Unable to deny the interest, they had no choice but to comply.
“We all missed each other and missed playing with each other,” said lead singer Justin Holman, a Southern Illinois native. “But the thing was that even after eight years, we were still getting a lot of fan mail asking, ‘Why did you guys break up?’”
About a year ago, Holman reunited with fellow Southern Illinois native and Revis guitarist Robert Davis and the rest of the band to record some new songs as a tribute to the group’s fans. No one intended on creating a new album, but the project took on a life of its own and the result is the upcoming “Do We Have to Beg?” scheduled for nationwide release May 20.
The new album, a followup to 2003’s “Places for Breathing,” features a variety of sounds, Holman said. The eclectic collection of songs includes everything from classic rock and alternative to a ballad infused with Indian musical stylings and a sitar.
“It does have the Revis sound, but it’s definitely a more mature album,” Holman said.
When Revis released “Places for Breathing” eight years ago, the band seemed to be on the track to success. Released on May 20, the same day the new album will be released, “Places” topped the Billboard Heatseekers chart, selling 10,000 copies in its opening week, and peaked at No. 115 on the Billboard Top 200.
Songs “Caught in the Rain” and “Seven” received radio play across the country, and the former was featured in the Ben Affleck movie adaptation of the “Daredevil” comic book series. During that first run, Revis also toured with Pearl Jam and appeared on national television shows including “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
But will it be possible for the band to capture that lightning in a bottle twice?
“We know there are people out there who will love the music; we just have to get out there again,” Holman said. “We have our fingers crossed, but we’re not betting on anything.”
The band’s off on the right track, though, as the song “Save Our Souls” off the new album is being used as the title track for a forthcoming documentary on how Hurricane Katrina affected the burlesque industry of New Orleans. Revis will also be using that track as the album’s first single.
For the band, though, the best prospect is that of just getting back on the road. They will make a stop back in Holman and Davis’ native Southern Illinois on Thursday, May 19. In 2003, the city of Carbondale issued a proclamation declaring that same date “Revis Day” in the city.
This time around, the band will be playing a show at Copper Dragon, 700 E. Grand Ave. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $10 for general admission. A limited number of VIP tickets, which include a copy of the new album, a meet-and-greet and balcony seating, are available for $30. Tickets can be purchased at Copper Dragon.
“We’re just really excited,” Holman said of returning to Southern Illinois, thanking and crediting the region for much of the band’s early successes.