GTA: Revive The Rose

These Welland hard-rockers are looking to revive Niagara with their clean and mean sound.

Photo credits: Courtney Michaud



Hamilton's Catherine North Studios got a taste of Niagara when Welland based hard-rockers Revive The Rose spent a weekend recording in the old church building.


Bandmates Andy Colonico, Peter Antoniou, Matt Cookson, Big Rig, and Andrew Gagnon recorded alongside guitarist John Angus of Nova Scotia's The Trews.

Photo credits: Sarah Jessica (Above: Andy, John Angus)

Andy Colonico, Revive The Rose's vocalist, started the band just after college. "Me and Pete went to highschool together," said Colonico. "We jammed once, and didn't jam together again until a year after school, when the project started. At that time I was in Mohawk College's music program, that's where I met Matt. Matt spilled the beans- we both didn't like jamming jazz too much. We'd jam stuff like Zeppelin, hard-rock. Then he said he's from Niagara, I was like, "Woah, well I'm from Niagara." Then I invited him to come jam with Pete and our old bass player, and that's how it all started. We're the founding three- me, Pete, and Matt."


The guys have mixed backgrounds when it comes to music taste, but found common ground in classic rock.


"I would say our influences are all pretty different," said Matt Cookson, Revive's first of two guitarists. "Except for maybe Pete and I- we both like old blues, classic rock stuff."


"Andy's a bit more alternative I'd say," said Peter Antoniou, Revive's second of two guitarists. "Punk rock, stuff like that. But he still likes the classics."

Photo credits: Sarah Jessica (Above: Matt Cook)

The band formed from some after school jamming.


"It happened just naturally. We were in school, so I'd come home on weekends and Pete and I would jam at my house," said Colonico. "We had that routine. I dropped out of school the year after, so I started working on the music full-time."


"After we did a Nirvana cover, which sounded awesome, we felt like we needed another guitarist," said Colonico. "Once Matt came along, it was perfect. We ended up all writing a song together, which solidified the band. We played our first shows in 2014 at The Casbah in Hamilton, then at the Seaway Mall in Welland. A year later we made our first record in February 2015."


The title "Revive The Rose" was inspired by Welland's retired punk scene.


"We were gonna call it "The Yocks"," said Cookson. "We have a buddy named Nathan Yockell. We found this drunk photo of him, and used it as the artwork for our demo, called Dickered, so we thought, "Why not just call the band The Yocks?"

Photo credits: Sarah Jessica (Above: Peter Antoniou)

"Then our old bass player said, "Well why don't we play tribute to Welland, which is also called Rose City?" said Antoniou. "Then we used that, 'cause it was way better than The Yocks."


"I wasn't a huge fan of it at first, I think we all had to grow into it," said Cookson. "At the end of the day, I think we all realized that it's just a name."


"Welland had one of the biggest Punk scenes back in the day," said Colonico. "It was called "Rose City Hardcore", so we wanted to revive that."


When the band first started, they were eager to play- anywhere and everywhere.


"When we started, we would play anywhere," said Antoniou. "Greasy dive bars, drive all the way to Ottawa, backyard parties. Whoever would have us."


"We entered "Rock Search" in 2016, and we made it to the final round," said Colonico. "Although we didn't win, it gave us some audience, we moved on from being just a young local band. Around that time, we re-mixed one of our singles and brought it back to Hits FM, and the program director at the time, Paul Morris, put it on the radio for us on rotation. That's when things started to get crazy. Immediately, locally, we had some talk around town- and it's been building from there."


"I can assure you that you'll be headbanging to every one of our songs," said Antoniou.

Revive The Rose are working on releasing new music, including the songs they recorded at Catherine North.

Photo credits: Sarah Jessica (Above: Andrew Gagnon)

"With our upcoming releases, we decided to make every song unique, and different from one-another," said Cookson. "We're a diverse band. We don't want anyone thinking that we just play the same damn thing every time."


The men hope that their art reaches a bigger audience than Niagara.


"I hope that RTR takes over the fucking world," said Antoniou.


"Or at least enough to make a living off of it," said Cookson.


The band signed off with a thank you to everyone who was involved in the studio recordings.


"I wanna give a shout-out to Catherine North Studios for being so dope," said Antoniou. "And John Angus from The Trews for working with us on our new stuff."


"I hope everyone enjoys what we've been working on here in the studio- be on the look-out for new shit coming out soon!" said Colonico.




Upcoming gigs:


March 14th 2020 @ Historic Red Dog, 189 Hunter St. W. Peterborough, ON.

March 20th 2020 @ Moose and Goose, 54 Front St. S. Thorold, ON.







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