A chat with VersaEmerge
Here’s a quick question for you; what’s got over 2.4 million views on MySpace, has five members, and is about to take over the world on an alternative-rock fuelled spacecraft? The answer that I know you’ve all been anticipating is…*drum roll*…VersaEmerge, a new talented bunch from the depths of Florida in the mighty US of A. Currently on a transatlantic adventure, the quintet are travelling across the UK on the ‘Give it a Name Introduces’ Tour, proving that they’re indeed a force to be reckoned with. A force that, after being named as one of the '100 Bands You Need To Know in 2009' by Alternative Press, could just be the thing that makes your foot tap like its got a nervous disposition. To discover the reality behind the latest hype I spoke to VE’s lead vocalist, Sierra Kusterbeck, a rather excitable young lady who seems to like sheep…
After trying to introduce myself a few times and getting no response I wondered whether Sierra had waxy ears, but then I got an explanation, “We’re driving through Wales at the moment on the way to our first Give it a Name gig, so the reception’s rubbish”, bodes well for a great interview then. As the reception brilliantly cuts out and back in again my ears meet a high pitch squeal, “Oh my god, everything is super-green here and there’s sheep! They look like cotton buds spread over the hills”. After thinking this could be quite a good lyric I asked Sierra what the band have got in store for them this year, “We’re really busy, but Give It A Name’s going to be awesome. Then we fly home and have about three days there, then we fly to Bamboozle”. FYI, as they tend to say in America, Bamboozle is a very popular American rockfest where the likes of Fall Out Boy, SUM 41, New Found Glory, and our friends Metro Station get the chance to perform to hundreds and thousands over the stretch of a weekend, a little bit like Reading and Leeds if you will, but on the other side of the Atlantic. So for newcomers such as VE it’s a sure-fire way of getting noticed, and with the amount of hits on their MySpace, there’s no doubt they’ll make an impression. After I tell Sierra of the magic 2.4 million number she screams with delight, “Have we?!” adding a lovely touch of naivety to VE’s already-made success, “I think that Myspace has played a very big role in getting a fan base and generating a buzz. To be able to post bulletins and add friends reminds people that you’re still there. It’s so easy and I definitely think it’s helped us,” and from the sounds of it, so do I.
What then, is their ‘je ne sais quoi,’ the one thing that makes them sound oh-so-very good? “Well we try not to take any influences from contemporary artists or bands. Cos we don’t want to get caught up in everything that’s going about, we take influence from our roots and what we’ve been grown up on”. From this it sounds like VE have got their heads screwed on, searching for a new genre that will most definitely make them stand out from the rest. In fact, you could say that VersaEmerge are single-handedly saving the world it seems from musical similarity, “I would like to say it’s original cos whenever people ask ‘what’s your genre’ I don’t know what to say. So it’s like alternative rock with a cinematic feel.” If that’s not good enough for you, consider this – VE worked with James Paul Wisner (Underoath, Dashboard Confessional, and The Academy Is...) on their new self-entitled EP. Pretty impressive eh? “On this EP we all worked together and had the same feel throughout the whole thing so we got to work with one person, and one person who’s really good. He taught us a lot of things, and really helped us find what we were looking for”. From the sounds of it, VersaEmerge could quite possibly be the next big thing, so why not put on your earphones and give them a listen.
If you want to find out more about VersaEmerge, check out that MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/versaemerge.