VERSUS: A BAND WITH A MESSAGE BY: Stephanie Stevens
“There isn’t an easy way out of the noise that can overcome your mind, but with understanding that there are a lot of us in the same boat we can fight mental illness with a network of support.
VERSUS hailing from Seattle, WA is bringing new life to the nü-metal rock that has been coming out of the area. The guys have a huge message to let people around the world know about and it really hits home to many families, friends throughout the world…SUICIDE. With a very strong message lyrically the guys don’t fall short on making impactful and creative music to go along with it. The guys just released the bands newest work of art in the form of CARDINAL which includes the impressive single of NO SAFETY. The agony and spitfire of vocals combined with melody and seamless changes really makes the song something that will open your eyes even wider to these guys that make up the band VERSUS. The band just got done touring with labelmates Alesana so it was prime time to ask some questions to the guys so enjoy what the voice (Joe Taylor) of VERSUS had to say about how the tour came about, the new album and how the songwriting for some songs came about and the bands message.
Band Members JOE TAYLOR // VOCALS JOSH KENDRICK // GUITAR / VOCALS MACK NEWMAN // GUITAR BRANDON BOYLAN // BASS ANTHONY ZARAGOZA // DRUMS
WHEN DID YOU GUYS SIGN TO REVIVAL RECORDINGS AND WHAT MADE, YOU SIGN WITH THESE GUYS? We signed in January and it was an easy choice. They stood behind our message and that’s why we are here. To make sure everyone is aware of the mental health. HOW WAS IT MAKING THIS DEBUT ALBUM VS YOUR LAST SELF RELEASED EP THE BLACK, BEING THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE FIRST ONE FOR A LABEL AND OUT TO THE MASSES PER SAY? There was just way more of a process. We went deeper and rawer to really, shed light on mental health and how it effects Many. A lot of the songs are first hand prospective. HOW DID YOU GUYS GROW IN THIS YEAR SINCE THE EP AND D YOU FEEL YOUR GREW BIGGER ON A SONGWRITING ASPECT OR LYRICAL ASPECT? I feel like you always emotionally maturing of course but we stayed true to why we were in this band in the first place. To spread awareness of suicide and mental health decline.
THE NEW ALBUM IS COMING OUT IN MARCH AND IS NAMED THE CARDINAL, WHICH I THINK IS COOL CAUSE A CARDINAL SYMBOLIZES EVERLASTING VITALITY. IS THIS HOW YOU PERCEIVE THIS ALBUM AS A WHOLE AND THE BAND? Absolutely! A definition of cardinal is "important" and that's what we feel our message is! This message doesn't become less relevant in time. It’s of the most importance.
HOW DID VERSUS COME TOGETHER AND IS THIS LINEUP THE ORGINAL LINEUP? VERSUS has been the same since day 1 other than the addition of our guitarist/clean vocalist Josh Kendrick. Josh joined right before we started the creative process for THE CARDINAL. YOU GUYS ARE BASED OU OF SEATTLE HOW HAS THE SCENE BEEN DOING IN THOSE PARTS AND DO YOU GUYS TRY TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE SCENE EVEN THOUGH YOUR GETTING BUSY WITH TOURS AND ALL THE OTHER STUFF COMING FROM THE LEVEL WHERE YOU GUYS ARE AT NOW? We try our best to stay involved in our local scene. I feel like we have a very strong one. But you can venture away from that because you tour. You have to stay true to home. THE SONG STONE HEART DEALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS AND THE HARD TIMES LIFE THROWS AT US AS HUMANS HOW DID YOU GUYS DECIDE TO HIT ON A TOPIC LIKE THIS AND HOW DID YOU BASE THE VIDEO FOR IT DUE TO THE CONTENT OF THE SONG? Our message is everything to us which is why we chose this imagery and content for STONEHEART. It flows with the overall message of the sick people versus the system. It's one of our country's biggest problems yet the here isn't much support for it. We aim to change that ANOTHER SONG I LOVE OFF THE ALBUM IS BURN HOW DID THAT SONG COME ABOUT AND WAS IT AN EASY SONG TO WRITE AND FINISH? BURN was one of the last songs we recorded for the record. I came together so naturally. It's about getting where you wanted to be but be to withered to enjoy it when you get there. It's a hard song to sing for me emotionally. YOU WORKED WITH CASEY BATES IN THE STUDIO AND DID YOU GUYS AS BAND MEMBERS HAVE A PART IN THE PRODUCING OR ENGINEERING OF THE ALBUM? AND HOW DOES THAT PLAY OUT BEING IN THE BAND AND HAVING A PART LIKE THAT IN THE STUDIO? We are extremely hands on when it comes tracking. Our bass player Brandon works with Casey Bates to bring all the material together DID CASEY HELP YOU GUYS BRING OUT ANY ELEMENTS MUSICALLY THAT YOU GUYS DIDN’T SEE YOU HAD POTENTIAL TO DO? Casey adds an element to the band we didn't even know was there. It's hard to put my finger on it. He just makes it better for sure. He's an extremely talented producer. IF SOMEONE HASN’T SEEN YOU GUYS IN A LIVE SETTING WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO SEE, CAUSE YOUR MUSIC SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD BRING AINTENSE LIVE SHOW? You going to get an overwhelming rate of emotion with the visual imagery to match it. You won't leave a versus show without feeling something. SPEAKING OF LIVE SHOWS, YOU ARE GOING OUT WITH LABELMATES ALESANA HOW DID THAT TOUR GET HOOKED UP AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING WITH THAT BAND? The Alesana tour was great. Really good people all around. And still true fans of just playing music. It started by me and Shawn talking and then we made it happen. It was a very fast process ANY LAST COMMENTS? Suicide is a thing that's not going away and we need to do our best to create and Web of support to change that.