Rev of Sin7,
Breaking the Freakin'
Chains & Living Honestly
August 25, 2020 by Abbe Davis
If you haven't listened to Sin7, with Curtain Call Records, you need to. This ballsy, gritty, hold-back-nothing Hard Rock band is spun from raw emotion. The band's lead vocalist is Reverend (aka "Rev") who keeps unapologetically throwing it down. Yes, he is a reverend, and it's not like you think. The new single, "Erased" begins with Nelly's cool riff, and then the omen-like vocal is gutsy Rev. That Chorus screams out. I'm in love with this tune and I've probably played it a billion times. I can't tell if I like it for how Rev's voice is his own powerful sound, or just all of it; lyrics, guitar, depth. I also love their other tunes, and their videos and production. Much like the raw music of Sin7, this interview wound up being a fast ride through Rev's thinking. If you meet a tell-it-like-it-is person, be sure you connect cause, let's face it, there's a lot of nonsense out there these days. This is not that. Hope you enjoy it and here we go...
AD: We're here with Rev from Sin7 and I wanna know how you guys all met in 2012.
REV: I moved down from Minneapolis in 2012 when I was looking for a band. I looked on Craigslist and found our guitarist, Nelly, and then he had another ad out for a drummer. It took about six months to find our drummer. Then Hammer came into play. We went through six bass players til we found Dave, our permanent guy. Thank God.
AD: Does he know he is permanent?
REV: Yes. It's relaxed and chill with him.
REV: Every time we found a bass player, something came up and it didn't work out so that they could stay.
AD: What's going on with the band? Are you guys into some cult classic stuff, cause your BIO is a riot on your website. "Henceforth, and went forth..." I like it cause it is different. Mysterious.
REV: We sat down and we were like, "The regular BIOs are boring." So we spoofed up our own. "I come from the sperm of the beast."
AD: I wanna hear about your darkness. I mean, Kreig and I come from some darkness.To me, you're a fellow survivor on the road, I dunno. Do you find that you have patience for bull crap? Are you more grounded having gone through stuff? Reverend in front of your name, so I assume you're a reverend.
REV: I'm actually a reverend, yes. I got ordained to do weddings mostly, and then funerals - cause I was starting to get asked to do that.
AD: What do ya have to do to become a reverend?
REV: I went to this universal church online and did the class, and then I could have become Reverend or anything, of any denomination, but I'm like, "Well, everyone knows what a reverend is, so I guess I'll be that."
AD: OK, but I mean, what if you are some other religion, so what are you defined as? Reverend for what?
REV: I study at a church that is Universal, non-denomination. I can do ceremonies if I study them from other religions. I just have to go study them.
AD: So someone Jewish, you marry them, you just go learn about it?
REV: Yes, I have books for every type of religion where people get married.
AD: Oh, man, you don't know how much I LOVE this stuff. We'll get into music, but wow. This is great.
How many hours did you have to study, did you watch videos, did it take months?
REV: The online for the certificate is you just type in your name for the certificate. If you wanna learn about the religions, you just go do that by yourself. I've done almost 40 wedding ceremonies, and 2 funerals, and 6 baptisms. In that, I've done a Halloween wedding. I've done one where I dress up in one of my costumes.
AD: Wait, how many costumes do you have? Tell me.
REV: I have about 30 masks.
AD: What kind, who are they?
REV: I have a killer clown.
AD: Scare the hell out of me.
REV: I have skin face. I have a mask where eyes are bleeding.
AD: When did you start with the masks, before or after you decided to become a Reverend?
REV: Before. I've always been into Halloween, so (laughing)
AD: Tell me about the Halloween wedding you performed.
REV: They approached me. I put it out there. I said, "If anyone wants me to do a Halloween Wedding, I will do that shit for free."
AD: LMAO! (This guy sings well and is a freakin' riot! I'm lovin' this!) Did you add in, "...as long as you feed me?" Ya gotta get something for doing it.
REV: Yeah. I wanted to dress up and marry people. So everyone did it, and I go to the receptions and I party with them.
AD: Yeah, I'm like your agent now. I'm making sure that you don't get ripped off here.
REV: (laughing) We went to the cemetery and I married them in a cemetery.
AD: Wow, has the marriage lasted? I mean, that's a little morbid, in a cemetery.
REV: Out of all 40! Well, I interview the people beforehand, and if I feel that they are not going to last, I will not do the ceremony.
AD: Whoa! Really?!!
REV: Yes, cause it's not about money for me, cause I'm married. I have been married almost for 10 years, and I wanna marry couples that are going to last, so it's not about money.
AD: What does your wife do?
REV: She's a nurse.
AD: That's great. Good for everybody all around. Is she in the COVID unit or deep in it now?
REV: Yeah, she floats into the COVID unit, but there aren't a lot of people there right now.
AD: Where are you guys located?
AD: Oh, right. I hear the accent.
AD: I probably sound kinda Southern to you, right? While you sound all MinneSOHHDA to me, YOH NOH.
REV: (laughing) Y'NOH?
AD: Tell me the worst thing you've ever heard when you decided a couple wouldn't last. Now, how can you know if they will last or not? What if they are just nervous around you, or I dunno?
REV: From age 12 til age 21 I studied Psychology and human characteristics. I can observe how they act. They can snip at each other, yet how they snip at each other, those things are telltale signs about if they can get through it or not.
AD: Really? Then you'd think me and my husband have to get divorced, the way we are (laughing). Don't you think people need to just get it out sometimes? OK, wait, let's get into it here. So, you and your wife, alright, what's the worst fight you ever had? Do you fight and argue?
REV: Yeah, all the time. If you don't talk about things all the time, it doesn't matter if you agree or not, as long as you're voicing your feelings and you are accepting the others' viewpoint. You don't have to come to common ground. You can be like, "You know what, we don't see eye to eye about it, but we've talked about it, and we're good."
AD: I think sometimes the other person may wanna talk about it or revisit it, to make sure it's finalized.
REV: I have patience when it comes to kids, but when it comes to adults, I have none.
AD: Yeah, but you're marrying people. You're getting the FUN part of it. I guess with Psychology, you can figure it out. So tell me, how do you switch into Music, a hard time growing up, "living under Satan's hand," as your BIO kind of says. Then, you go from the name, Psychotic Bliss, to Reverend Bliss. How did that happen?
REV: I started to learn Psychology to figure out who the hell I am, and I why I was being so goddamn stupid. (laughing)
AD: What stupid things did you do?
REV: Because of me being physically abused and sexually abused, and constantly put down, the only positive feeling I got was that. I was being beat up all the time, and it wasn't like I was being threatened, I was manipulated.
AD: I have my own tough stories from childhood. It messes with your head growing up, big time. Ya gotta work through that big time. Did you ever confront the person who abused you?
REV: I confronted them when I was sixteen yet by that point, when I was ten, I began stealing. Then, I stole cars and I became aggressive with everyone. At that point I knew how I was abused and how it was wrong. I didn't know what to do with those emotions, so I started to hurt people. Then I got locked up, and that's when I began to study myself to understand.
AD: How long were you locked up? For stealing cars, right?
REV: For stealing cars and for assault. I was locked up from age 13-18.
AD: That's a long time. Did anyone abuse you while you were in there?
REV: No, it was group homes and stuff. Then, they did a Scared Straight thing with me and stuck me in prison. That was my wakeup call and it was like, "Yeah, I don't wanna be that asshole anymore." So it took me two years to go through a Rehabilitation Program, where I got to talk about my feelings and figure out what was going on with how I was shoving it all down. I was able to break through after shoving it down for sixteen years.
AD: No doubt. That shoving it down is what makes ya depressed, and it can make someone wanna do themselves in. Holding onto all of it and not knowing what to do with it. So what age did you get out then?
REV: Age 18
AD: Then what did you do?
REV: I just went back to my house. Three weeks before I turned 18 they let me out- cause I graduated from the program. So I just went back home and went back to school.
AD: When you went back home, how did you deal with that?
REV: Way better. My parents were divorced at that point, so the asshole was gone.
AD: Oh, so you were living with your mom then?
REV: Yes, and once I graduated, I just bolted out of my house.
AD: Where did you go, Reverend? What do your buddies call you?
REV: They call me Rev. I just moved into an apartment.
AD: How did you meet your wife?
REV: The funny thing is, I met her when I was 25. About 18 years ago.
AD: When did you start singing? How did you know you could sing like that?
REV: When I was little, once I could make noise. I gravitated towards music.
AD: Did people know you could sing?
REV: Oh yeah.
AD: How did you do Music when you were away? Did ya form a band in there, I mean, what?
REV: No, I just wrote. I wrote everything out.
AD: The newer songs, like "Fade Away," or "Erased?"
REV: No, "Fade Away" is about when my wife and I got to the point where we almost split up. She was in a really depressed spot, and was angry at everything. So, that song is about getting through that.
AD: I love your vocals on the chorus and it's such a catchy song, I also love your videos. Who has a hand in creating your videos? How long does it take to make one like that? I think I saw your name at the end. Is it you that creates it?
REV: So, basically, when we write the music, the music brings me to where I already see it all in my head. Then, we have a video guy that I run it all by. I tell him what I want and what I see, and we just make it happen.
AD: It is done so well, do people tell you that? How did you meet the videographer?
REV: I've known him forever. We've done a bunch of shows together.
AD: Let's talk about the video for "Erased," which freaks me out, the whole scary clown thing.
AD: Is that about like, the devil at your back? Or your anger on your back? How man destroys himself? Of course I'm gonna keep going with this...
REV: "Erased" is about every single dark thought. Things outside of you trying to destroy you, but you don't let it.
AD: Got it. Has Hammer been through a lot, is it true, his BIO where he had no family?
REV: No, he has family.
AD: Oh, so he meant band family, or...?
REV: He was just going off the top of his head, cause I wrote mine, so he wanted to write his.
AD: (laughing lots) I knew it! There it is! (laughing) And you're like, "Oh, trying to one up me, are you?" LOL!
REV: (laughing) No, we were trying to get Nelly to write stuff but he wouldn't.
AD: His is PERFECT! It is PERFECT!!
REV: It's just "UGH, I play guitar."
AD: I love it! Tell him that is one of the best BIOs I've ever seen. It's perfect like, "I'm here but I'm not doing this." (laughing) Why does he have to conform? Now, when you guys get together, are you online or what?
REV: When Minnesota went on lockdown for 14 weeks, we got together twice during that time and then we stopped. Now we are jamming again, writing. Nelly was writing riffs, and we've been writing music. We're working on a new video.
AD: Cool, how many new songs?
REV: Right now, we're on about five new tunes.
AD: I hope you send them to us. I like your sound. I don't like to ask this a lot, but since you're a Reverend and it is called Sin7, how did you guys get the band name?
REV: It actually was Nelly's idea.
AD: So Nelly does have something to say, besides, "UGH" when he really wants to?
AD: (laughing) "I'll help you with the band name, but I'm NOT doing a BIO." (laughing)
REV: (laughing) Sin7 is basically every single sin you can think of, and acceptance. You are who you are, and you have strengths, and you just need to accept it all.
AD: That's cool. Are the guys into spiritual stuff or are they more basic, do they get deep or not?
REV: I'm not really spiritual. I am more fascinated with the human aspect of things. I like being married, so I figure, "Why not help other people get married?" I throw people off, cause they are like, "Can you marry us?" and then it ends up being, "I'm not marrying you."
AD: You say that to them? That's how you let them down? What do they say?
REV: No, I tell them, "I"m sorry, but this interview doesn't give off a good vibe that I'd need to marry you,
so you're going to have to find someone else."
AD: Ouch. Do you at least give them a list of people who can marry them? "There's a nun down the street and she will marry you." I dunno.
REV: (laughing) They are just so thrown off that they don't ask. Everybody else that I know who does weddings, charges stupid amounts of money. So, I don't recommend them to anyone. I'm like, "You guys, search on your own, cause people I know charge stupid amounts of money."
AD: Like how much?
REV: For a typical fifteen minute marriage ceremony to an hour, anywhere between $350 to $500.
AD: Yeah, that's a lot. How long are your ceremonies?
REV: I've done one where I literally was like, "Do you take her, do you take him?" and they were married.
AD: I like that. That's cool.
REV: I've also done the longest one which was about fifteen or twenty minutes. I write it out, what they told me in the interview, so I personalize the whole thing each time. It's not just cookie-cutter.
AD: What are ceremonies that you would not wanna do? Funerals, I mean, how do you do a funeral? You can't tell me you do that cause you like death (laughing).
REV: I only do those if they are my friends. They have to be my friends. I have to know them personally.
AD: I like how your band fans are called, Sinners. Do you have shows now?
REV: We do. September 19th, up in Beryl, Minnesota.
AD: Where is it?
REV: It's 20 minutes past Little Falls. I know you don't know where that is.
AD: I have no idea where that is.
AD: Tell me about re-doing that song, "Danger Zone," By Kenny Loggins. To be honest, I saw it and was like, "OK, how?" Then I heard it, and I was like, "Oh, well, hell yeah!" It totally works! How did you guys decide to do that song?
REV: We actually were joking about it from the beginning!
AD: Why did you joke about a song from the movie Top Gun?
REV: I don't know, it's because Nelly hated it, so we were like, "Yeah, we should DO that!"
REV: We were talking about it since like 2013, and all of us a sudden we were like, "Oh, shit, they're gonna come out with Top Gun 2, let's fuckin' do it! Let's see if we can get on that, and see what happens!" So we went to our producer.
AD: Great story!
REV: "Top Gun 2, Maverick"
AD: "I feel the need for speed." Does Nelly like the song now, the way you guys do it?
AD: Just tell me he likes some other Kenny Loggins songs, cause like, he's got some choice ballads there that you can use for a wedding, Reverend.
AD: So you wanna marry people but not do Psychology, right?
REV: It's cause I can't do it the way I'd want to. Psychologists now our basically bound, and they have to tiptoe around everything, and I don't tiptoe around anything.
AD: Me either. What about Life Coaching? Would you ever throw that in?
REV: Oh I'd be fired. I'm a dick when it comes to that stuff. I can help somebody for so long, and then, because they're an adult, it just goes away. I help kids all day long. I help troubled kids.
AD: Like a Big Brother, or what?
REV: I am approached by people to help their kids; if their kid is dealing, being abused, or is going through some stuff. One kid had had repeated sexual abuse at age 10. It was going on but he wouldn't tell anyone about who was doing it to him. So my friend approached me, and the kid told me in about ten minutes. Then he got the help he needed from the Psychologist he was seeing; who had been calling him a liar.
AD: Wow. What?! Really?!!
REV: A kid just doesn't..
AD: That person needs to be taken away from their profession. I'd report that.
REV: She didn't wanna believe it was happening.
AD: God, what's wrong with people? Yet you were the help, while she was ridiculous. It's her job to help.
REV: Yeah, now he has graduated from High School, he's gone off to College and he got his shit together.
AD: That's amazing. Wow, excellent. So how are you guys combining charity and music, anything?
REV: We do charities once in a while, cause it's about giving back and we wanna be able to help lives.
Touch others with our Music. That's why our fans are a part of our "Sinner family." 'Cause if you're coming to our shows, you're not just a fan, you're part of our family. We wanna talk to you, have conversations, actually meet you and get to know you.
AD: So calling them Sinners, it's a positive message. (laughing)
AD: It's like, "I love meeting you, fan. You're a SINNER!!"
AD: It's cool, we're all sinners, fuck it! Anyway, this has been cool. So you guys have new tunes
you'll be recording, and a show in Sept. What else would you like to promote or who would you like to thank now?
REV: We're going with the flow, taking it slow.
AD: Isn't everybody? Are you gonna vote or what? I don't need to know for whom, just that ya vote.
AD: OK, good. This was fun! Who do ya wanna thank before we head out?
REV: Yes, we wanna thank our families, our fans, Curtain Call Records, and Rock Rage, and everybody out there that is helping us, just keep it going. Thank you, we appreciate everything.
AD: Thank you for your honesty and I love your vocals, the emotions come right out and are kick ass.
Wishing you the best always. Congratulations on survival, on not being full of it, and all that you're doing.
REV: (dead silence)
AD: Wait, did you hang up?
REV: No. I'm right here.
AD: Oh, wow, I was like, "Too much, too soon?"
REV: NOOO...I like it! (laughing)
AD: Cool! Take it easy! Can't wait to hear new music from Sin7!
REV: Yes, thanks for doing the interview, this is awesome.
Abbe Davis, Tru Rock Editor
Singer/Songwriter, Sordid Fable
Abbe has been a writer/editor with various Fortune 500 companies since the 90's. She is the singer/songwriter of Hard Rock band, Sordid Fable. When she isn't working with TRR Mag (co- MC of the Tru Rock Show), she's writing music with her band, or scriptwriting; having done standup. Abbe's goal has always been to support Rock music. Her newest love is in finding and promoting bands through Bandivious. Sordid Fable is currently recording their 5 EP album.