Anyone who’s in tune with Kaua‘i’s live music scene are familiar with the homegrown reggae band Revival. The band, who performs today at Taste of Hawai‘i, is on regular rotation on island radio stations.
In 2010, Revival released its sophomore album titled: “Garden Isle,” paying tribute to Kaua‘i. It was the No. 1 selling local CD at Borders Books and Music for four straight weeks.
After the release of “Garden Isle,” Revival took its CD, printed out T-shirts and embarked on a journey to expose its music and style to the West Coast of the United States, touring Las Vegas and California.
“The tour made us realize that there is a world out there, and fortunately we have a beautiful island to call our home,” said Kana “Kanamon” Pikini, one of the founding members of popular Kaua‘i band.
Pikini took the time to happily answer questions put forth by Kaua’i Times.
Q: How long has Revival been jamming?
Kanamon: We’ve been together for the past 12 years. It took off when my friend Ola Akau and I, who played music together since high school, stepped out and said “let’s make a reggae band.” We didn’t want to be confused with Jawaiian/island contemporary, although that was the kind of music that inspired us to become musicians.
At first we only had Ola, who is a heavy guitar player with strong lead vocals, and me, a professional musician since the age of 14. I started playing at hotel lounges and various lu‘au’s around the island with my dad, the late uncle Nathan Pikini, and his band Nakana. I stayed true to the bass guitar. Ola and I needed one more addition to be complete: A drummer. We asked Evan Gibson, a Tahitian drummer for the Polynesian group Rohotu, if he wanted to slam drums for the band. He jumped at the idea and we formed our crew: Revival.
A year later, solo artist Alika Simpson needed a unit to back him up on various shows around the island, so he asked us. The combination was locked ever since. Alika adds diversity to our group. He delivers what Jamaicans call a “Ragga” style to the band.
Q: Does Revival have any new music coming out soon?
Kanamon: We are always on the go when it comes to new music. But more importantly, we hope to produce and release a live album, showcasing tunes that are loved by everyone. We love focusing on live shows and would like a chance to produce an experience for everyone to enjoy.
Q: What do you guys like doing in your spare time?
Kanamon: Our spare time is usually spent with our families. We all have our own families, aside from everyone’s regular jobs.
Q: Where are some of your favorite places to perform?
Kanamon: Favorite places to perform would have to be anywhere with a killer sound system accompanied by a killer sound technician. When we have those two aspects, it doesn’t matter where we perform.
Current members of Revival include: Kana “Kanamon” Pikini, bass and vocals; Ola Akau, guitar and vocals; Evan Gibson, drummer; Alika Simpson, percussion and vocals; Tyriss Manintin, vocals; DJ Yaris, keyboard and vocals; Roger Dela Cruz, rhythm guitar; and Keone “Biggie” Kaneholani, vocals.
Visit http://www.myspace.com/revival808 for more information, and check out iTunes to download all of the band’s tight jams.