I love going to concerts. I really, really do. However, over the past year and a half I have tested that love. Before Bearded Gentlemen Music existed I would catch a show only when a band I was really in to would roll in to town. There have been times within this past year or so when co-founder Jon and I have been attending 3-4 shows a week for months on end. It gets plain out grueling and has made something I love feel… Well, just like work. Almost.
The truth is I’ve seen so many amazing shows. I learned about new bands and expanded my tastes. There is nothing quite like going to a show with no expectations and coming away with an unforgettable memory. Such was the case with the Junius / Silver Snakes / Night Verses concert at the Shred Shed in SLC that Jon and I caught earlier this year. All of the bands were incredible and everyone honestly held their own throughout the night. When the extremely dynamic Night Verses first took the stage I knew that they would be a tough act to follow. After experiencing their blistering set I was eager to download the bands free EP and was very excited when I got the chance to get a preview of the now freshly released LP Lift Your Existence (6/25). Trust me, it’s killer and worth the purchase! I was fortunate enough to ask guitarist Nick DePirro a few questions about the band, touring, and their new record.
ND: Yeah, Aric (Improta – drums), Reilly (Herrera – bass) and I have been playing together through various bands for most of our lives, and for a period of about 2 years, we were playing shows and recording demos instrumentally while looking for a new singer. We were fortunate enough to come into contact with Douglas through a mutual friend, who brought him to a show we were playing. Douglas liked what he saw, and we all decided to jam that night. We kept in touch over the next year or so, and then finalized everything shortly after.
During the songwriting process is there input from all members on how the songs turn out? Or are music and lyrics written separately?
Yeah, we all have our contributions to each song. The 3 of us typically write the music first, trying every idea we could think of before we’re happy, then we send over what we’ve created to Douglas on the east coast to add his vocals. He’ll send a recording back to us, and we’ll exchange our thoughts and decide if there are any changes to be made musically or vocally. It’s a pretty smooth process.
You guys are getting ready to release your new album Lift Your Existence on June 25th. I have had the chance to listen to it and I think it is stellar and is already getting great reviews. What was the inspiration for this record?
Thank you. We’re definitely stoked about that and appreciate the response so far. This record is a culmination of everything we have thought and written over the last 2 years. It was inspired by various things, but mostly the desire to create something we could be proud of, and hopefully something that any music fan could enjoy.
BG: Any personal favorite tracks?
“Pull Back Your Teeth” because I love Douglas’s aggressiveness in it, and it’s a fun song to play. Also “Blind Lighthouse”, because it’s one of the more moody songs on the record, with one of my favorite endings.
Lift Your Existence is made up of 15 full length passionate, moody and energetic tracks. A lot of albums released these days are released with an average of 10 tracks. Was it hard to cut things out or were there a bunch more that didn’t actually make the cut?
Yeah, it was pretty hard to cut songs out. We love to write, and we do it often. We had accumulated over 50 songs before recording this record, and it took a while before we were sure it would be these 15 that would make it.
Night Verses released it’s first EP Out Of The Sky for free. Was this to spread the word and get the music out there or was there any other reason?
We just wanted to make it easy for people to access and listen to our music. Releasing it for free seemed like a good way to accomplish that, because it was instantly available to anyone interested.
We were able to see you guys play in Salt Lake City a few months ago with Junius and Silver Snakes. And we were instantly drawn to the bands incredible dynamic. Describe what people should expect at a Night Verses show?
That show was awesome. We couldn’t be more grateful to have been part of that. At a Night Verses show, people can expect to see 4 musicians that love what they do, and put all the emotion and passion they have into every performance. Each show is it’s own experience.
Have you had any troubles while on the road touring up until now?
What started as trouble, actually turned out to be a very positive situation. Our van broke down just outside of Salt Lake City, and with the help of some awesome people, we were able to get a ride into town and play 2 shows while our van was getting repaired. One of them happened to be this show with Junius and Silver Snakes, which really couldn’t have been more perfect for us, since most of us were already fans of their music.
One thing that I noticed and admired was that every member of the band came out in the crowd after the show and watched and applauded the other bands. It was apparent that you guys are music fans and appreciated the art of playing live. Would you agree with that assumption? Is this a pretty normal ritual for Night Verses?
Yeah, I would say so. We can usually find something to appreciate in a live performance, even if we’re not exactly fans of the music. It was very easy for us in this case, because it would be impossible not to be captivated by the vibes of both Junius and Silver Snakes live. I personally wasn’t too familiar with their music other than a few songs I’d heard through the other guys in my band, but I now listen to both of them often. Highly recommend checking them out.
What are some bands that influence you? Any that we would be surprised by?
Our influences range from trip hop, to Opeth, to Fiona Apple, to Meshuggah, to Isis…it comes from everywhere. For me personally, Adam Jones from Tool and Cody Bonnette from As Cities Burn have both had a big influence on my playing.
Has there been a band that you have been particularly excited to be on tour or play a show with? What would be your dream tour?
We were stoked to go out with the tour letlive. put together back in March with us, Hrvrd, Conditions, and Rescuer. Everyone on that tour was awesome to watch every night, and even cooler to hang out with afterwards. My dream tour would be – Tool, Isis, and Meshuggah. I would want to tour with them just as a spectator every night.
Simply put, Aric is an absolute beast behind the drums. I found a video of him playing in the Guitar Center Drum-off, it’s outrageous! What is the background on the instrumental training within the band? Any formal training? Is anyone self taught?
Haha yeah, it’s a pleasure to have him behind the kit. Aric and I have taken lessons at various times through multiple people, but Reilly is actually self taught on bass. He used to play guitar in our old band, but made a transition to bass for this one. It worked out pretty well.
I was personally a fan of Doug’s former band The Sleeping and wasn’t really aware of Night Verses until I saw you guys live and made the correlation. But it seemed like at the show there were a number of people who were there specifically for you and knew the lyrics and everything. Do you still get a lot of association with The Sleeping or is Night Verses gaining enough momentum and standing apart?
At first people were comparing us to them, naturally so with Douglas singing and all. I think we’ve been able to come into our own at this point though. People can see a clear difference between the two bands, and I think Douglas has come a long way since playing with The Sleeping to where he’s doing new and different things with us now.
Obviously, the new album has yet to drop, but what are your thoughts on how you would like Night Verses sound to progress or the direction you see the band going to on the next record?
I really just see us continuing to expand on our sound. There are things we would like to try that we were not aware of or capable of trying while writing Lift Your Existence, and other instruments we haven’t tapped into yet. We have no plans to become a different band with each release though, so if you are a fan of Lift Your Existence, I think you’ll be happy with where we continue to go.