Another Uni assignment: Feature interview for a music magazine. Gained a First.
|Verses vs. The World of Music
With captivating vocals and memorable guitar riffs ready to put even Jimmy Eat World in their place, pop-rock band Verses have already made a mark on the music industry only a mere two years down the line.
The four-piece band have recently released their second self-released EP ‘No World For Us’ with producer Romesh Dodangoda, offering even more insanely catchy lyrics and impeccable drum beats to enthral us rock-music lovers. With no management or label, the foursome has had a hard time getting to where they are. Even after touring with the likes of Puddle of Mudd and ex-WWE wrestler Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy they still have a long road ahead of them. But no matter how hard being a DIY band may be; Verses are hitting the music scene with a forceful punch and an interview with lead guitarist Joe Welsh shows us that they’re not ready to pack up their set just yet.
The band has just undergone a five week tour, supporting three bands on the trot, and with this being their longest tour to date it’s easy to see how far they have got in such little time. They were even chosen personally by the main bands themselves, which suggests just how far the band could go,
“With some tours it can be quite impersonal, but having the bands personally come to us makes the first few days all the more easier. You know they want you to be there and you’re not just a hindrance” says Joe Welsh, tapping his hands on his knees in time to the music on the café’s radio.
The boys have toured before of course, but Puddle of Mudd and Fozzy are by far the biggest bands the four have supported, it’s only natural that this has opened up their eyes to the future,
“It taught us how professional bands work. We have been on big-ish tours before, but not to this scale. It showed me personally what I love and loathe of the industry, and what a big difference the people you have working around a band can make on your opinion of them on the whole.”
Touring with managed bands whilst you’re on your own is not all fun and games though, and showed the band just how difficult getting to the top can be,
“It was difficult in setting up and getting merch space, as the other bands had techs that would help load in gear, and tour managers to argue how much room the band should get in terms of merchandise.”
We know that merchandise is a big part of a band’s work, but even more so for DIY bands such as Verses. Merchandise is the foundation of their work, without any sales the boys would not have been able to get to the next venue, which gave the group a challenge during their long tour,
“Sometimes we were hidden round a corner somewhere with no plug sockets to even power the lights for people to see our merch, so it made it tough.” A grin spreads on his face,
“But luckily every night we sold more than we ever thought we would, which gave us more confidence in what we are doing.”
We know what you’re thinking, what is a pop-rock band like Verses doing supporting metal bands like Puddle of Mudd? The band themselves admit that the line-ups for both tours were a little weird,
“Our fan-base is usually more of a younger one, but we appeal to anyone who has an interest in rock music” Joe laughs, “Although Puddle of Mudd’s fan-base was more middle-aged men, most were open minded and we had great responses throughout.”
The band have gone far in the limited time they’ve had in the industry, and working with producer Romesh Dodangoda – whose résumé boasts the likes of Funeral for a Friend – shows that they’re not going down without a fight. The Brighton boys travelled all the way to Wales to record at Long Wave studios, slightly further away than their usual studio in London,
“At WellerHill we worked with the producer Dan Weller, but due to his unavailability we had to change producer. Romesh’s style of production really suited us, by the time one instrument was complete we were onto the next straight away, which obviously didn’t give us much time to relax. But that’s more suited to what we like, we are hard workers and focused so that relationship suited.”
Their newest EP ‘No World for Us’ was released late October, one that we have been eagerly awaiting since their first was put on our desk. In the space of two years the band have developed profoundly, and with the help of Romesh they've been able to produce four songs that are set to push them even further into the industry,
“The latest EP is probably more direct and to the point with the lyrics, less metaphoric and much more blunt”, comments Joe as he takes a sip of his drink, “The first EP was a selection of songs we had written over a transition period. We were in between two bands and two sounds, so the new EP is the parts we loved off the first amplified, and is a much more mature finished product.”
So what is next for the band? With such big tours under their belt, it is sure that 2012 will hopefully be the start of everything,
“The next step for the band is to continue touring the new EP as much as possible. We’re on tour in January from the 6th to the 16th with a band called Mallory Knox, who seem to be doing quite well in the underground circuit at the moment, as well as being in talks with management and seeing how that progresses.”
‘This is the moment we’ve been waiting for’, is sang by front-man Jason Danzelman in the ultra-catchy tune Push Back the Line. Let’s hope there’s more moments like this for them in the near future.