“NO”: Revolushn by Eileen Shapiro
I’m not sure if he’s on the brink of insanity, or the smartest person on the planet…..however I do know that “NO”, the mastermind behind Revolushn is one of the best musicians in this realm of the universe, and probably one of the nicest free spirits one can ever hope to meet.
Starting his musical endeavors at age 5, when stealing his brother’s guitar, “NO”, had his first band at age eleven. He became one of the most sort after studio guitarists , hanging output with artists such as Rod Stewart, Devo, Berlin, No Doubt and other top headlining bands. Finally deciding to craft his own sound, he formed Revolushn , a protest, Psych factions….and the rest is destine to become history …..
Louder Than War: Explain “Weird Little Minds”, the inspiration behind it, the message behind it and the video….
The song is about the times we are living in now. We might be at a kind of crossroads now and in this important time, well, look who is calling the shots. And I don’t just mean Trump. Take your pick, Putin, that crazy fucker Duterte in the Philippines, Than Shaw in Myanmar. And the thing about all of them is that while they might have street smarts, none of them are really smart, like 21st century smart, none of them are big thinkers or creative, loving humans. They are just Weird Little Minds that invade our consciousness. With small hands!
But the song is positive, as we believe there is sufficient protest happening all around the world to eventually put an end to those kinds of leaders. The young people are not like that and will change the world for the better. We hope that will be the distinction of the new generation.
What’s next for Revolushn?
Well, first I have to get over my fucking existential crisis! As the singer for Revolushn it is now up to me to figure out which songs to sing and how to sing them. And that will give a direction and a style to the next album. I mean everyone helps but I am the one who has to put a facenoise the songs. So my problem is that we have so many styles and types of music that we can do well that it makes it hard to choose. It is like I am a kid in a candy store. Everything tastes good but where do you start?
So anyway, at the moment Revolushn is in the song writing and recording mode. Dekay and I are writing up a storm and I am in the studio pretty much every day. Revolushn is made up of very talented, working musicians so we all have other projects we are into as well. Q is the lead singer for The Wyatt Act and plays bass for several other bands, Decay is in like 10 other bands and projects, Young Son is in Wyatt and Doctor Striker with Q, Ileen has a very popular podcast in Russia and does our videos on top of being a master artist as well. She gets art commissions all the time.
But even with all that going on I expect we will be releasing a single in mid-May and have an album by end of July. We now have over 60 new songs to choose from so the issue is picking the ones that stand out and fit together. Oh, and that I can sing well.
NO, give the world some history of whom you really are musically… who you’ve played with, what influences your music, and when you started playing music.
Well, I like to think that I just started yesterday. I mean I am constantly learning how much I don’t know. I have been lucky to play with a lot of really great musicians and artists, too many to name really. I was a studio cat in Los Angles back in the day. That is where Dekay and I met. The two of us, along with a really great bass player were kind of like the Wrecking Crew because we played on hundreds of tracks. A lot of unknowns but several big names too. We worked like every day. I was also in a band called The Rub that had a local hit in LA and we played live a lot. We were coming up about the time Berlin had their first album and we did shows with those guys. As for influences, Hendrix was a big influence on me as was Carlos Montoya. I was also into Claude Debussy and Mozart when I was very young. Never was knocked out by Schubert though.
I started playing music when I was four or five. My brother had a guitar he never played and I would sneak into his room and play all day while he was at work.
Why is it that you have this very special sense of freedom or free spirit that seems to be the essence of your persona?
Wait, I am married. What freedom? Ha ha. Just kidding Ileen. I don’t know, I remember when I was very young I fell out of a tree and for a couple minutes thought I would die. But I wasn’t scared and from that point on I thought that if dying is the worst thing that can happen and it isn’t that bad, well, why worry. As a teenager I decided to eliminate fear from my life. Still working on that one.
About 10 years ago I was in a plane crash that reminded me of the time I fell out of the tree. Well, except a lot worse. And while I got banged up I lived through that one too. Another thing might be that I have not had a real job for at least 20 years. I mean every once and a while I take labor jobs just to stay humble but there is no pressure to even get paid. No real bosses except myself so I am more or less free to do whatever. I still have responsibilities but now it is only the ones that I choose to have. Like showing up on time for a gig. I never miss a gig.
Can you recall your proudest moment in the music business?
Well, I wouldn’t call it proud but I know what you mean. I have had those moments often but recent ones were when Dinosaurs (song from the album Further!!) hit 100,000 views. Wow. And when we hit the next big thing playlist on Spotify. And when we did a show in New York City and Randy Jones from the Village People sat in with us. He is such a sweet guy. I was never a big Village People fan and never thought I would play be playing YMCA, much less have such a blast doing it.
How has your life changed since meeting Ilene?
So I don’t spend half my time looking for girls anymore. But seriously, she has made me a much better person. She is such a wonderful. beautiful woman and she likes me for who I am. She says I am an alien. She finds that interesting. Having her in the band was hard a couple of times but we now have a system for dealing with the BS. Sometimes I look over at her while we are doing a song and it is the coolest fucking thing on earth.
Any more words on Revolushn ?
I think Revolushn will be one of those bands that stays together for 40 years. We get along great, there is no real outside pressures that get through our bubble and we like each other’s songs. What could go wrong?
Revolushn will begin putting together a new set soon and start doing shows in July or August. Maybe September. Due to our backwards nature we seem to like touring in the winter. The shitty weather makes us play better.
Any new projects for No?
Oh yea. So I am doing a punkie, bluesy-rock album with the band I was in when I was in high school. Couple years back they (Ed O’Meara and Eddie Spaghetti) sat in with Revolushn at a concert we did in Wisconsin. It was awesome seeing them and to find out they could still play well. So two months ago we got together in California and wrote and tracked several songs. I am now in the process of mixing and mastering that album. It is real good. I am also playing bass with a band called Ryvo and the Revolving Door that has a jazzy, folky type of sound. Real good.
And for fun I am putting together a sort of rap, rock, EDM set that I can do live. I use a ton of effects on my guitar and a high-end drum machine that I can program on the fly. That is scary and fun.
During my last ayahuasca ceremony the spirits told me to get out and play live more often for humans so I am going to start busking in San Francisco. I have a friend who does that at the Bart Station and he says it is a hoot!
For more info if you dare:
All words by Eileen Shapiro. More of Eileen’s writing can be found in her author’s archive.