Reverse Order is a dynamic alternative rock band from New Jersey with an undeniable edge that you will never forget. Through an impressive live show, and songs that are steeped in infectious catchy melodies, Reverse Order has made a powerful impact not only in the US, but internationally performing in multiple countries including Russia and Mexico. We connected with Reverse Order to learn more about their travels to Russia and Mexico for touring, their selection as the United States Cultural Ambassadors to Russia, their latest project "Nothing to Hide" and more.
How did you guys come together to form a band and what does 'Reverse Order' mean?
Myself (John) and Cruise Russo-Zirkel are brothers. When we were younger we took lessons and performed with the School of Rock. As we grew older we knew we wanted to write and perform our own music; so in 2008 we formed Reverse Order and in 2010 Andrew Katsock joined the band. When we were searching for a name, we wanted something simple that people could remember. At the time I was doing math homework and it said to do a part of the problem in Reverse Order and that's where the name came from.
Tell us about touring in different countries. Would you say that a crowd in Russia is different than one in Mexico or the United States, beyond the language barrier?
Getting the crowd is different, but once you get them they are very much the same. When we toured in Russia and Mexico, we found people enjoy going out to see new artists and listening to new music they've never heard before, even if it's in a different language. Getting a crowd in Russia and Mexico was a lot easier, even though we didn't know anyone. People see the posters the venues put up and they're excited to come see you. Touring the United States we find a lot of people just go out to see bands they know from social media or radio. They'll show up late just to see the headliner, or leave once the band they came for is done. You have to work a lot harder to build an audience in an area you've never played before or be on the radio. But once you have the audience in front of you, they all engage the same way whether it's dancing, singing along or just sitting back and watching your performance. They're all just there to have a good time.
How did you get selected as the United States Cultural Ambassadors to Russia? And what responsibilities go along with this title?
There was a contest, UlikeUS, that our manager submitted us for, and we won. The US Embassy in Russia took us to their morning show, universities and music venues. Besides sharing American music, we were there to build a relationship with the Russian youth. We spoke to the students and eliminated any stereotypes or perceptions that were bad about Americans. We wanted to show them that no matter what political issues our governments were dealing with, that we were just people like them. It was a great experience. The people were so nice to us and so happy that we would come and visit their country. They introduced us to their different customs, food and music. We would definitely like to go back to Russia in the future.
For someone who has never heard your music or seen you perform live, what can they expect from the opportunity to do so?
We have a variety of upbeat songs, with catchy lyrics and real life emotions that are easy to relate to. We like to get the audience involved and sometimes even get right down there with them. We're a high energy band and we want the audience to leave feeling like they just went to the best party and made some new friends.
Tell us about your latest project "Nothing to Hide". How many songs are included on the EP and do you a favorite song to perform from it?
Our latest EP, Nothing to Hide, has three songs: Erase You, Call My Name and Let You Go. Last year we spent a few weeks working on them with multi-platinum producer, Matt Squire who has worked with great artists like Panic At The Disco, Katy Perry, All Time Low...It was a really great experience to work with someone as talented as Matt. When we first met with Matt, I had him listen to about a dozen songs I had written. Matt really liked Call My Name and Let You Go, so we chose to record those. After picking those our original thought was to write one from scratch. I played Matt a piano melody I had written a few years ago, but I could never turn it into a song. Matt asked me to write lyrics for it. With the pressure on, that night I went back to our hotel and finished the song. The next morning, Matt loved it and we all thought it was a great song for the band. That song is, Erase You. My favorite song to perform would be, Call My Name because it has the most meaning to me personally.
*Questions answered by John Russo-Zirkel (lead singer/songwriter for Reverse Order)