Revals: ‘All of our lyrics are based on personal experiences’

Eesti Laul is fast approaching, and we will be treated to 24 songs spread across 2 semi finals, prior to the Grand Final being held at the Saku Suurhall on February 29th.

Appearing in semi final 1 on February 13th is the 8 member country blues folk band Revals. This is Revals first appearance in Eesti Laul, although they have been releasing music for almost 3 years now!

We were lucky enough to get to chat with Jaanus Saago, main vocalist and songwriter in the band, about their entry ”Kirjutan romaani” (I’m writing a novel) which is a delightful mid-tempo country music song.

Hi! Introduce us to your band members and tell us a bit about yourselves
Revals is an Estonian country band that experiments on the edge of rock and pop, making it an interesting mixture of genres. The band was created in 2017 and has been rocking the Estonian music scene ever since.
Members of the band:
Jaanus Saago – vocals, guitar
Rait Sohkin – vocals, guitar
Elis Loik – vocals
Liis-Marii Vendt – violin, percussions
Rauno Laikjõe – guitar
Danel Pandre – bass
Jevgeni Babkin – keyboards
Jaanus Salm – drums

Revals are known for their country sound, but there is still a lot of diversity in your back catalogue, for example there is not just one lead singer, some songs being female led and some male. How do you decide how a song is going to be presented once it’s written?
Whether the song is suitable for male or female on a scale would be dictated as to how the lyrics are written. By that I mean maybe some of us have an instant emotional connection with the song lyrics or how the demeanour of the full production plays out.

Let’s talk about ”Kirjutan romaani” which is a gorgeous slice of authentic country music, but with your wonderfully uplifting melody running through it. Was it written with Eesti Laul in mind?
Thank you! It was actually written for our new album also called “Kirjutan romaani” which is also nominated for the best rock album of Estonian Music Awards – happy times!
But we discussed which song we should send to Eesti Laul. Two songs were on the table and one of them qualified. We were really happy and still are.

The lyric “I will write you a novel” conjures up some strong emotions, can you explain more about the song for us?
The song is a love story of two people being fond of each other. They are soulmates and if there are so many different emotions between two people, you might as well even write a novel about it! This is life – there is love, there is hate, and so it goes on.
Anyhow all of our lyrics are based on personal experiences or a true story.

Country is not a genre of music that we hear very often in Eesti Laul, what is the country music scene like in Estonia?
Country music has grown a lot in Estonia. There are 3 different country music radio shows in Estonia. There are more country bands in Estonia but not as well known as Revals or some of the older country acts are.
Country does have many listeners, but growing statistics show that if you mix a little country with rock or pop the people get even more excited. As we all know it’s really big in the USA – 46% of all population of Americans are country music listeners and we can see how they mix country music with different styles.

Revals songs are always presented in Estonian, should you win Eesti Laul, would it be your intention to keep ”Kirjutan romaani” in your national language, or have you not thought that far ahead?
Well it has always been our intention to create our music in Estonian because then our lyrical messages can be reached to everyone who speaks our native language. We haven’t thought about winning Eesti Laul, its already a big deal to participate! We have discussed going outside Estonia to perform before. Maybe then we would need to translate our music to English 😛

The winner of Eesti Laul will go forward to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest. Is this why you entered Eesti Laul and is Eurovision a contest that you usually follow?
We wouldn’t say that we entered to qualify to Eurovision. Taking part of Eesti Laul is always more to introduce our new music to people and just enjoy the experience.

I almost don’t want to mention it, but there is a rule at Eurovision that there can only be six performers on stage ….
Yes.. but we have made our decision. Those who will not be on the stage are still with us in our minds.

Finally, do you have a message for all our readers ahead of the first semi final on February 13th?
Definitely go follow us on our social media @revals.official and enjoy the ride also through our eyes! 😉

Watch the video for ”Kirjutan romaani” here, or listen via this Spotify link

What do you think of the Reval’s song? Vote for your faourites from Semi Final 1 in our Poll!
And stick with us on ESCBubble as we take you through all the news and give you the best interviews in the run up to the Grand Final of Eesti Laul on February 29th, where we will be reporting live from the Saku Suurhall!

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