When singer Rino Cerbone and drummer Andrew Koussevitzky named their rock band Stellar Revival in 2008, they had no idea how apt that name would be almost a decade later.
"We were in different bands in Miami," Cerbone says of their formation. "I was in Copacetic, and Andrew was in Westview. I always knew I wanted to play with Andrew at some point."
"We got together through MySpace," Koussevitzky says, as if to point out how long ago it was. "I had just started law school, so I wasn't sure how serious I'd take it, but once we started playing, it was evident this was a serious situation. The music was killer right away."
Influenced by Incubus and with individual members aspiring to the sounds of everything from blues and country to '90s grunge, Stellar Revival quickly found success. They signed with Capitol Records and played massive music festivals around Europe. But since 2013, they haven't played a single show.
"Technically, we didn't break up," Koussevitzky clarifies. "It never felt like the end. It was an extremely long vacation, but some frustrating stuff happened on the business end." Cerbone opened Pizza Time Ristorante in Boca Raton, and Koussevitzky moved to Los Angeles to work as an attorney.
Then, one day, Koussevitzky had an idea: to send Stellar Revival's music video to Bon Jovi's management team to vie for the chance to open for the "Livin' on a Prayer" rockers at a show at the Forum, the legendary Los Angeles arena where the Lakers once played basketball and where music's biggest stars have rocked out.
"From the most humble space, I can say I knew we were going to win," Cerbone says. "When we found out, it was a nice phone call to make to the other guys that this is how we're getting the band back together."
Joined by original guitarists Brian Spears and Steve Morgan and new bassist Mike Lowther, the guys were psyched to reunite last month at such hallowed ground. Before his own turn on the Forum stage, Koussevitzky says, he saw System of a Down play the venue and began imagining himself and his bandmates there. "Everyone in a band walks into a room, whether the shittiest bar or most amazing arena, and imagines what it would be like to play there," he says.
Now that Stellar Revival has been revived, the band will play a few West Coast shows. "We want to get back to the cities we played before and reconnect with our fan base," Koussevitzky explains. But they haven't forgotten the town where it all began. Their tour plans also include negotiating a homecoming show in Miami. "We're really nailing the songs again. There's a revived energy."