If you haven’t heard of Waterloo Revival yet, you’ve been missing out. Austin, Texas natives George Birge and Cody Cooper met in middle school and began writing songs together as early as 7th grade. Cody even taught George to play guitar. The two officially became Waterloo Revival in 2012 and over the next few years moved to Nashville, dropped radio hit singles “Hit The Road” & “Bad For You”, and released their new EP Front Row this past March. I got to talk with the duo about how they got their start, music, and their plans for the future.
So I know you get asked this all the time but for the folks in the back who haven’t heard yet, how did you guys come up with your name?
George: We are from Austin, Texas and before it was named Austin it was originally named Waterloo. Austin, Texas has a huge music scene and we wanted to carry the torch for that music scene and are proud of it. Thus the name.
How would you describe your sound?
Cody: We definitely have pop country elements. We’re fans of 2000’s pop rock, and bands like Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind. We’re a hodgepodge mix, and it depends on the song.
George: Austin has a huge blues and country scene that influenced us. We have a mix of traditional country as well.
What is your favorite type of show to play?
George: Festivals are a lot of fun with the die-hard country fans who are singing our songs back to us. That is such a cool feeling and is a testament to how die-hard those fans are. We also had the opportunity to open for Toby Keith, who is an idol of ours. It was very cool and we take notes on how he works an audience and live set.
What is your favorite song of your own and to cover live?
Cody: My favorite song of ours to cover is our most honest song, “That Damn I Didn’t Give”. My favorite cover is this mix up we have of “Back In Black” and “No Diggity”.
George: I love to perform our newest song “Racin’ to the Red Light”. It has a fun production vibe and the crowd always has a good response to it. My favorite cover to do is “All Star” by Smash Mouth because it is a blast to do live. And “That Ain’t My Truck” by Rhett Akins.
The EP just came out, are you guys getting ready to go out on the road and promote that?
George: We have a pretty full summer of shows and are also hitting the fest circuit. We have a couple slots opening for some bigger names including a show run with Toby Keith. We’re headed everywhere promoting the new record. We just started this run we’re on now and are playing cities we’ve never been to before.
Who have y’all done shows with so far?
George: Toby Keith, Brett Eldredge, Kip Moore, Eli Young Band, Dustin Lynch to name a few. It’s been awesome.
So the “Bad For You” music video was the first music video you guys have ever made and is the perfect mixture of almost raunchy and fun, how was that experience?
Cody: It was awesome and it was great to work with everyone on staff.
George: It’s funny because as tongue and cheek as some of those scenes are, you have to do every scene a bunch of times. Cody had to take a sexy bite of strawberry and Nutella so many times and it was funny. We got to drive an awesome convertible too.
Tell us about your Opry debut experience.
Cody: It was a very humbling experience.
George: Our debut was last year, and since then we have been invited back three times. It was so nerve wrecking the first time, but since then it has started to feel more like home. It’s always sold out and is like country music’s church. We’ve performed there with country music royalty like Charles Kelley, Jewel, Rascal Flatts, and Craig Morgan.
Number one thing on your bucket lists?
Cody: I’d love to go on a European tour since there is a cool fan base overseas. Playing Madison Square Garden and the Titans stadium is also up there.
George: Mine are always changing. But one thing we are dying to do is play Stagecoach.
Favorite non-country artist or band?
Cody: I’m really into Ryan Adams from when I was getting into song writing. I’m also a huge Beatles fan.
George: More recently James Bay, Ryan Adams and Matchbox Twenty. And Cody also loves Rihana, especially her song “WORK”.
What is coming next or in the future for you?
Cody: Right now we’re going out on the road to promote the new EP.
George: We will have a single to the radio soon, stay tuned. And pushing the new music.
Whiskey Riff is all about momentum, and these guys are too. Jump on that bandwagon now, Waterloo Revival is a force to be reckoned with. Keep up with the guys on social media at @waterloorevival.