How are fans responding to “What Guy Wouldn’t”?
George – It’s been incredible so far. We spent the last summer on tour with Toby Keith and the direct support was David Lee Murphy on a lot of those shows. After the first couple of shows of standing side stage, David Lee Murphy approached us and told us that he has a song that he thinks is a hit for Waterloo Revival right now. We’re massive fans of everything he has written for himself, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan and everybody else in town too. As soon as we heard the song we fell in love with it and just felt like it was great energy. So we cut it, and immediately started playing it at shows, by the second chorus the crowd was singing along; it’s so easy to get stuck in your head. We love the positive energy of the song. It’s probably the best response we have ever gotten for a song and we’re really excited about seeing where this thing goes.
What did touring with Toby Keith teach you? Did he give any good advice?
Cody – Honestly, it was just so much fun to watch him on stage because that’s really where he’s in his element and he’s such a performer. He’s also pretty much an encyclopedia of music; we would hang out with them pretty frequently on his bus after shows and you could name basically any song and he would know almost every word to it. Pretty much just watching him on stage and how he has fun and it translates to the audience. That’s something we really picked up on, just to make sure we are having fun and enjoying every moment of our live sets.
Explain your songwriting process.
George – Cody and I both keep a journal in the notes section of our phones so anytime something inspires us, we have a dream about something, or hear a quote we’ll write it down in our phones. We almost exclusively write together but usually there will be one or two extra people in the room with us to collaborate with. Typically we’ll get in the room and pitch around a couple of ideas from our phone bank and we’ll decide on one everybody seems to get a visual for and get behind our idea. Then we usually put together the base instrumental on loop so nobody has to focus on playing the instrumental and can focus on writing. Then we’ll finish up the lyrics, go about the instrumental then the last thing we do is cut vocals.
Your band name is a tribute to your hometown, can you tell us how you came up with the name?
Cody – George and I both grew up in Austin and the music scene there is why we got into music to begin with. In middle school and high school it was definitely something that peaked our interest in trying to form a band, play music, and try songwriting. We wouldn’t have gotten into that if it wasn’t for growing up in Austin. A little known fact about Austin is that it was actually founded as Waterloo, Texas and we wanted to find some way to pay tribute to Austin and the music scene and the reason why we’re doing music to begin with – we didn’t think that Austin Revival sounded very cool, so we went with Waterloo Revival.
Who are some artists you would love to tour and collaborate with?
George – One of my favorite artists in country music that we’ve met so far is Cole Swindell. He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and a monster songwriter. Cody and I are huge fans of everything that he’s done. Something we aspire to be is how genuinely nice and down to earth he is to everybody. I’ve also been on a huge Billy Currington bender. I cannot get enough of his music in my life. He’s automatic. Every single he puts out is so easy to listen to and it just comes way too easy to that guy.
Your fans are a big part of your career, have you had any interesting fan encounters?
George – That’s a good question. Yeah, we’ve definitely had the interesting meet and greets, fans wandering in places they shouldn’t be wandering and trying to keep that under control. More recently, though, we got some fan mail sent over to management. I have a little boy, he’s 6-months-old now, and a fan sent a custom made onesie that said “Mommy and Daddy did the backwood bump.” That’s probably the best fan encounter we’ve had so far.
What plans do you have coming up for the rest of 2017?
Cody – We have quite a few festivals all over the place that we’re going to be playing. We have one in Ohio, Canada, Washington, and a lot more. Our single is actually going to radio on July 24 so I feel like we will be visiting a lot of radio stations and doing everything we can to promote the song. It’s been a bit since we’ve been back to radio, so we’re so excited to just have the traction and response that we’ve had on this song and to just be touring around. We have a couple more dates opening for Toby Keith this summer, some club headline and some more festivals which are probably our favorite just because it’s the die hard country fans that know every word to every song. We’ve also been writing new music like crazy too so we’re hoping to have some additional music out soon.
Ok, now for some food questions…They say Texas does food bigger and better than anywhere else, what was your favorite meal growing up?
George – Texas is really well known for its Mexican food since we’re so close to Mexico. There’s a place called Matt’s El Rancho that has a dip called the Bob Armstrong; it’s 1/3 queso, 1/3 guacamole, and 1/3 ground beef all in the same bowl and you eat it with tortilla chips and it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. My mouth is watering right now thinking about it.
Cody – The other big thing in Texas is definitely it’s barbecue. You can’t really beat a potbelly smoked Texas brisket. One of my favorite spots growing up in Texas was The Salt Lick and it’s probably some of the best brisket and barbecue hands down that you can find in the Austin area.
Texans take their food seriously, especially when it comes to chicken fried steak—the blue plate of choice—are you a fan and what’s the secret behind a great chicken fried steak?
George – Are we fans? Of course. The secret behind a great chicken fried steak is definitely the batter. They aren’t using a great cut of meat and I think the intention is to hide that with the batter. They pound it out to tenderize it and then they throw it in the batter, spice it with some black pepper and then top it with gravy. You could use cardboard and it would still taste good.
Who is the bigger foodie between you two?
George – That’s a great question. Cody’s the beer connoisseur. He definitely knows a lot more about beer than I do probably from experience. I think we’ve recently turned more into foodies just from being on the road so much. Whenever we are in a new city, we’re usually only there for about 24 hours so we usually try to ask the locals what restaurant we need to try. It’s really opened our eyes to the different kinds of foods that each region has to offer. You have to be careful though! You need to make sure you mix in a salad every now and then.
Is there anywhere you have wanted to travel or a restaurant you have always wanted to dine in that you have not yet?
George – We’ve been to 48/50 states, we haven’t been to Hawaii or Alaska, but we’ve toured everywhere else. Some of the highlights I would say would be the sushi in Seattle, it was insane. The cheese curds in Wisconsin and the burgers there, amazing. The Portland Lobster Company in Portland, Maine…oh my gosh! They had a live band playing, it was awesome. That was the first time we had ever been anywhere where they pulled the lobster out, blew it, and cracked the shell for you. It was amazing!
Must have food on the road?
George – I always try to have jerky on hand because it’s so good to snack on and has protein and all that sort of stuff. I don’t really go too far without jerky or coffee.
Cody – I was going to say we’re totally going to ruin our image but we basically live off of beef jerky and 5 hour energy.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
Cody – I would just love to sit down and have a meal with Willie Nelson. He’s been through everything and I would just love to hear some of his stories. He was here when the Nashville country scene was still picking up steam, he’s been everywhere and he’s all over the Texas country scene and he knows literally everybody and he just seems like such a fun guy to sit down and chat with and hangout with. One of the iconic songwriters George and I loved growing up.
George – I actually got to have mine come true about two weeks ago in Nashville. There’s a bar called The Spot, I don’t know if they still own it, but Big and Rich had previously owned it. It’s a member’s only bar and a buddy of mine invited me there-I had never even heard of it. When I went up there it was just us in the bar and about 10 minutes later George Strait walked in. I talked to him for about 5 minutes and told him that my name is George, also my sons name is George. He knew who Waterloo Revival was so my whole life was made.
ABOUT WATERLOO REVIVAL:
When WATERLOO REVIVAL’s Cody Cooper met his bandmate George Birge in middle school, he inspired his new friend to express himself through music — a path that drastically affected both their lives. “I’d sang in choir and stuff, but I’d never taken it any further,” George admits. “But by seventh grade I was hooked and Cody and I were writing songs together.”
The duo continued to play together through high school, but parted ways so the guys could pursue an education. Cody headed to the University of North Texas in Denton, while George stayed in their hometown of Austin to attend the University of Texas.
The pair, who’d remained close through college, would play together during Cody’s visits back home. By 2012, their musical chemistry was undeniable and George made the hard sell, convincing Cody to return home in order for them to focus all their energy into music. WATERLOO REVIVAL was soon born, taking its moniker from their beloved hometown.
“Before it was Austin, our hometown was called Waterloo,” Cody explains. “Eventually, it was renamed to honor the ‘Father of Texas’ Stephen F. Austin.”
“It seems like Austin music has been contained to Austin and is not being pushed out,” George adds. “We wanted to be Waterloo Revival in order to bring Austin music back to the rest of the world.”
People of the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” agreed. In 2013, the pair was able to raise the funds to record a five-song EP.
“We played one show in Austin and had 200 friends show up,” George explains. “Fans were really supportive. We thought, ‘Okay, it seems like this is something people are really going to get behind.’ We started a campaign and were able to fund the entire project from fan contributions.”
Continuing that momentum, WATERLOO REVIVAL channeled their entrepreneurial musicianship into more writing sessions, commuting to Nashville over the next year to hone their craft and acquaint themselves with Music City. Through a chance connection, George arranged a meeting with Toby Keith’s manager, TK Kimbrell, who promptly signed the boys to TKO Artist Management.
In June of 2016 WATERLOO REVIVAL signed to Toby Keith’s record label, Show Dog Nashville and joined him on the “Toby Keith Interstates & Tailgates Tour sponsored by Ford F-Series” where they continue to push their music out to the world developing a dedicated fan base along the way.
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