By Kate Butler
If you haven’t heard Verses yet, I highly recommend you get out and see them perform next week. Comprised of five extremely talented musicians, with members hailing from such local bands as The Missing and She Roars, Verses have been an outlet for what just didn’t fit musically with their other bands and music projects.
“The band evolved out of the range of the influences we all have,” said guitarist Matt Bowie. “We all ended up writing stuff that didn’t fit in the other bands. This was a voice we didn’t yet have a vehicle for.”
The band evolved out of what was going to be a cover band for Ontario’s, The Fullblast.
“The band started as what was to be a Fullblast cover band and over the years, evolved into what we are today,” said drummer Kyle Clark. “We were trying to play The Fullblast and they are so fast, they are the fastest band in the world. Bowie had a song that he had been working on. It was not a song that would fit with any other bands we were in at the time.”
Verses endure a unique twist to the band dynamic, having their lead singer living primarily in another province over 4000 kms away.
“I knew they had been looking for a vocalist and I joined and we started practicing together. Unfortunately, it interfered with the other part of my life, my career,” said vocalist Connor McQueen. “There is no other work here so I had to move 4000 kms away. Just when we were getting great together as a band, I had to leave. True plight of the Maritimer.”
Although McQueen will be making his way west again after the holidays, the band will carry on as it has for the past eight years.
“We have friends and acquaintances within the Fredericton music scene who would be willing to come and sing for us,” said guitarist Andy McDonnell. “We are also open to people who haven’t screamed before to come and try it out. It hasn’t slowed us down though, Bowie and I have taken on vocals when Connor is away.”
Like many other bands recording and release music these days, Verses took a DIY approach to getting this album out.
“The album was recorded in several different places, it’s become the mobile album. We did have a deadline before Connor went back out west to get the vocals done,” said Bowie. “At the end of the day, Connor did vocals on six of the eight tracks and Andy and I filled in the gaps. Sean Campbell was great to work with for recording, it takes a lot of patience to work with us. We get distracted pretty easily (laughs).”
“We had a lot of support from friends for the album,” said McDonnell. Our friend Jesseb O’Donnell, who had just graduated from audio engineering school in Quebec, mastered the album, Ryan McLaughlin did the layout and Jordan Carruthers supplied all of the photos,”
Summing up how Verses has progressed, bassist Colin Steeves explains, “The song, The Queen, it’s a transition for what we were writing before to what we are writing and playing now, which is a lot heavier. This song became the new bench mark for us and where we headed.”
As for the evolution of the band’s sound and where it continues to develop, “We are always pushing the envelope, time signatures and tempo,” said McDonnell. “We have always held strong in straight-forward metal. Sometimes we get technical, but that’s not what we are strictly about.”
Verses/Pharoahs/Mangler | The Capital Complex | December 29, 2014 | 9:30pm | $7 at the door
Verses are Matt Bowie, Kyle Clark, Andy McDonnell, Connor McQueen and Colin Steeves.
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