“Reverse Order” is a musical group that recently found success via the soundtrack of the family film, “How to Beat a Bully,” a comedic family film that chronicles the adventures of a boy who convinces local bullies that his family are mafia members. Reverse Order were “America’s Got Talent” finalists who provided a number of songs for the new movie, including the hit “Not Alone, Life Is Beautiful.”
Reverse Order is a dynamic alternative rock band from New Jersey with an undeniable edge. Through an impressive live show, and songs that are steeped in infectious catchy melodies, Reverse Order has made a powerful impact not only in the US, but internationally performing in multiple countries including Russia and Mexico. Reverse Order is currently on a 25 week U.S. tour in support of their government certified non-profit “Reverse The Trend” anti-bullying initiative speaking to, and performing for, thousands of students a day. The band is comprised of
John Russo (Lead Vocals/Guitar /Songwriter), Cruise Russo (Drums/Vocals) and Drew Katsock (Guitar). The band is currently touring New Jersey, and in May they are heading to Massachusetts.
Recently, the band spoke to the Examiner about their experiences working in the music industry and their hopes for the future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): What inspired you to become musicians?
Reverse Order (R.O.): There were a few things. For Cruise and I our parents always introduced us to music and took us to see the bands they grew up with like, KISS and Bruce Springsteen. Then we went to see the movie the “School of Rock” and that’s when we really wanted to learn to play music. Drew was bullied at school but when he joined the school band he fell in love with music. He had a great teacher who inspired and mentored him.
M.M.: When did you form your band and why did you choose the name “Reverse Order”?
R.O.: We were in middle school and there was a talent show coming up. On the application you needed a name for your act. After going through many names, and arguing as siblings do, our dad saw the words reverse order on a math problem John was doing and said that’s your name.
M.M.: Growing up, what musical artists, songs and/or genres had the biggest impact on you? Why?
R.O.: When we were all growing up we had a very varied group of artists that had a large impact on us as both musicians and as people. Artists from the 90’s grunge era like Nirvana and Alice in Chains from contemporary pop acts like Fall Out Boy and One Republic affected and inspired us to grow and expand our musical horizons. We like to listen to as many artists and genres as possible so that we can continue to grow as musicians.
M.M.: How did you go about getting your music heard?
R.O.: We played everywhere. The town pool, birthday parties, the local fair, we even played for a few motorcycle groups who loved us even though we were about 13 and 14 years old.
M.M.: How did you get involved with “How to Beat a Bully”?
R.O.: We were shooting a video at Gibson and one of the mangers there who heard about our anti-bullying program and put us in touch with Marilyn Anderson one of the writers. We read the script and loved it. It fit right in with what we were doing so we were excited to have three of our songs in the movie, especially our anti-bullying song: “Not Alone, Life is Beautiful.”
M.M.: What would be your “dream project”?
R.O.: I think our “dream project” would be to turn our passion for music and Reverse Order into our lifelong career. Our dream has always to be a successful band, selling out arenas, and turning our passion into our life. We want to earning a living playing music, sharing the stage with other great artists and inspiring other younger musicians.
M.M.: So far, what has been the most rewarding thing about being involved in the music industry?
R.O.: The amazing people we’ve been able to meet and the friendships we’ve developed with so many of these people. We’ve met so many talented professionals from vocal coaches to producers. Then there are all the people across the country that have welcomed us into their homes to spend the night and cook us a great meal, but most important are the amazing fans, many whom have been with us since our very first real gig.
M.M.: Career wise, where do you see yourself in ten years?
R.O.: In ten years we hope to be selling out arenas around the world! Our goal has always to turn this into our lifelong career and we have no plans of slowing down now!
M.M.: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?
R.O.: We are very excited to perform on this summer’s Warped Tour. We’ll have our own tent to play music and help kids struggling with bullying and depression.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become a musician and/or form a band?
R.O.: We think the best advice we can give is that you can’t give up after the first, second, or even the hundredth set back. If you truly want to make a career out of music, you need to give it 110% all the time. Always work hard, always put your best foot forward, and never give up!
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To learn more about Reverse Order, see here.