Local Band, Stellar Revival, Reunites to Open for Bon Jovi in Los Angeles
By: Michael Demyan
South Florida rock band Stellar Revival, with lead singer Rino Cerbone, who owns Pizza Time in Boca Raton, will be opening for Bon Jovi March 8 at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Cerbone got a call from the band’s drummer, Andrew Koussevitzky, roughly a month and a half ago about a possible opportunity to perform.
“I kind of did something without your permission,” Koussevitzky told Cerbone. “So Bon Jovi’s doing this thing where every city he goes to he has an act open up for him in that area.”
Koussevitzky submitted a video of one of their songs with a photo. Cerbone was fine with it and the two shared a laugh, not knowing what was about to be in store for them. They spoke every day since then, but never really brought up the possibility of actually opening for Bon Jovi until several weeks later when Koussevitzky asked Cerbone if he remembered their discussion.
“It’s kind of serendipitous the way it happened because we always used to kind of hold a candle to Bon Jovi and how we kind of wanted to be like him in a lot of ways,” Cerbone said. “It’s been original members and they’ve been around for so long and it’s kind of cool that the stars have aligned and the timing was just right and that it happened in that way.”
The band began in 2008 and three years later they signed a record deal with Capitol Records. Cerbone left the comfort of his restaurant and traveled with the rest of the band to Canada to record their debut album.
Some unfortunate circumstances started to arise and the release of the album, “Love, Lust, and Bad Company,” was pushed back and ultimately shelved after Universal Music Group completed the purchase of Capitol Records at the end of 2012.
The band did find some success with their first single “The Crazy Ones” however, which was used as the official theme song for the WWE Elimination Chamber in 2013. It was also featured in a television spot for “The Expendables 2.”
Dan Uricoli, who is no longer with the band, decided to release the album on his own in 2015, but it has not gotten much attention so far. Cerbone is looking toward re-releasing it or doing a double album release in the future.
During their brief time apart, which they like to call an “extended vacation,” the band, which now consists of Cerbone, Koussevitzky, Steve Morgan, Ryan Spears and Mike Lowther, returned to their previous lives. For Cerbone, that meant returning to being a chef and restaurateur at Pizza Time in Boca Raton.
“We’ve always been homelife kind of guys,” Cerbone said. “Home is where the heart is. It was normal for me. It wasn’t that we faced a failure or anything like that. We were all career guys before we had music. It was nice to have a bit of normalcy again and to kind of focus on ourselves as people.”
They kept in contact though and made sure to leave the door open to get back into the music business. They ended up finding the perfect opportunity.
“For us, this is the top of the mountain,” Koussevitzky said. “No other band on earth has inspired us more than Bon Jovi. My first concert was Bon Jovi’s ‘Keep the Faith Tour.’ I was nine years old and it changed my life. To be asked to share the stage with Jon and the boys at The Forum is absolutely surreal.”
This upcoming performance is not their first brush with famous bands however, as they have toured with Theory of a Deadman, Pop Evil, Shinedown and Halestorm. In 2012, they also opened on the mainstage for Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and Megadeth at Download Festival in England.
“We had an amazing experience with all the bands we toured with, but this one is a little bit more meaningful because of the rocky road that panned out from all that other stuff,” Cerbone said. “What makes this show special is that throughout all of this time and all of the BS, we were able to come together as a unit, just minus one original member, and jump right back on the same page with everything.”
Koussevitzky submitting their video and photo for the contest might end up leading them back on the road to stardom as the band has gotten offers for more performances after they open for Bon Jovi on March 8.
“If things keep on rolling this way I see a very bright future and the plan moving forward is to really make it conducive for all of us to execute the way we wanted to execute the first time and whether that’s independently or with the cooperation of a label who knows, but we are going to move forward and I think it’s going to be great,” Cerbone said.