Vocalist, producer and all-around musical gem, McKenna Rae just debuted a brand new project called Revelry. Formed with the members of her other metal band, Solborn, Revelry brings an entirely different sound showcasing this group’s undeniable chemistry and talent. We had the chance to talk to this bewitching songstress about the new project, her solo music and more! Check it out:
MG: People may know you from the power metal band, Solborn, as well as from your solo work titled after your name, McKenna Rae. How is Revelry different from these projects and what motivated its start-up?
McKenna: The guys of Solborn/Revelry and myself have all worked together in a musical capacity for several years now and have grown so much as musicians and overall individuals. We’ve been bouncing ideas off each other for new styles, metal covers, etc. Danial started arranging covers and Mike started writing lots of originals and we just rolled with it.
MG: Your live chemistry with Solborn is so entertaining. With a lot of the same members from Solborn now in Revelry can fans expect this same level of energy from a live Revelry show?
McKenna: Absolutely! We have fun when we’re together and I think that’s huge. With some of us in different roles than we have in Solborn, it’ll be a nice way to switch things up.
MG: Speaking of shows, what is your favorite thing about performing or what are you most looking forward to when live music is back?
McKenna: STAGE. BEERS. But for real, performing live is just such a wonderful way to share your hard work with people who wanna hear it. That’s such a cool feeling.
MG: What is your go-to show day ritual?
McKenna: Usually, I crush a fuckin’ burger and fries, throw on a black dress and/or leather pants, and warm up last minute. Refined carbs make the world go round.
MG: What is something you have learned about yourself through performing?
McKenna: I’m awkward. Hah. I’ve always known this about myself, but nothing changes when I go on stage. I’ve learned to lean into it. I’m also pretty new to performing outside of a “classical music in a church” context, so even though I have post-secondary education in Audio Engineering, the performance aspect is still pretty fresh. The Revelry guys are total vets though, so that helps.
MG: You are a masterful lyricist with an ear for catchy hooks. What are some ways that you get inspired for writing and how do you harness your magic?
McKenna: Why thank you! When I’m writing for myself, lyrics are the last thing (and hardest thing) to come. I usually start with writing bass lines and adding layers and melodies on top of that. I tend to pull from themes of real things happening in my life.
MG: As a complex creature with the voice of an angel and a love for horror movies, if you had to write a beautiful ballad about any horror monster who would it be, and why?
McKenna: Hah….hah….did you plan this? I quite literally just released a song as an ode to Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise. That said, my favourite horror franchise is Nightmare on Elm Street (I have a Freddy neck tattoo…sick tats, man) and I think the concept of those films is so on point. They would make for some pretty wicked lyrical content I think…
MG: Have you always had a passion for vocals, writing and performance?
McKenna: Yes! I have memories of being a toddler and singing around the house. My parents tried everything – sports, dance, gymnastics – but nothing stuck. Once I discovered music lessons at age 9, I was competing and performing every chance I could. Singing in any situation, be it performance or just for myself, will always be the dopamine response my brain needs to keep going.
MG: The first single from Revelry is a banger called “Battle Stance”. What made you choose this one as the first single and what is the inspiration behind it?
McKenna: This one is on our vocalist, Danial. Mike had the whole instrumental written and demoed. I had a vocal melody picked out for this song. Danial took on the task of writing the lyrical content for it. We are a collective that does what we can to work to each other’s strengths. “Battle Stance” is a song about the fight with mental health and what that feels like. Let’s crush the stigma behind it and sing about it, goddammit!
MG: If each member of Revelry was one of the ninja turtles who would be who, and why?
McKenna: I’m a piece of shit who never watched TMNT growing up because I was so busy pretending to be Vegeta’s child bride. Whichever one is the loudest and most crass (are any of them borderline alcoholics who just wanna sit around?) then that one would be me.
Mike: I am Michaelangelo….I don’t know…because my name is Mike.
Danial: Yea I have no idea, never saw the show.
Dylan: I’m definitely Raphael. Can’t believe you guys aren’t familiar with the Turtles’ personalities, fuck me.
MG: What are some ways that fans can show your projects some support, and what are your musical hopes, plans, or dreams for the summer?
McKenna: Honestly, just listening to our music is enough. Edmonton especially is rife with musical talent and we’re just one of the many to join the roster of metal bands makin’ metal songs. If you wanna hear some more of it, we’ll provide. We’ll keep recording studio versions of songs we have written and as the world restores itself we’ll look forward to future shows.