I got to have a chat with Jason Danzelman, frontman of Brighton four-piece Verses. And very nice he was too.
This interview was conducted on 27th March 2014 for CRITICAL WAVE.
Your upcoming debut album is called ‘Feel It Faster’. Why is it called that?
A lot of people, when they first heard the title, they kind of thought it was some sort of sexual reference, but it’s actually not!
I’ll be honest, I thought so too.
(laughs) Everyone has a dirty mind, haven’t they? It’s basically an album about searching for happiness I guess, and how it’s kind of easy to want to find that straight away, but kind of realizing that it can take a long time. So it comes from a line in the first song, ‘we all want to feel it faster’, and I suppose the ‘it’ I’m talking about is happiness.
How have you heard your music described? Have any been particularly odd?
I don’t know that anyone has described us strangely but we’ve had strange things when people have reviewed our live show and said that we played covers of songs that we definitely haven’t played covers of.
What were you accused of?
We read one recently that said that we played a cover of ‘Apologize’ by Timbaland. I don’t remember doing that!
Would you ever consider it?
Maybe! You never know. Maybe it’s a sign that it needs to happen.
Regarding weird descriptions, I’ve always liked asking what performer’s music would taste like…
I would go with a nice banoffee pie, I’d say. It’s got like a slightly crunchy base (bass?), it’s soft in places and it’s sweet and tasty at the same time.
That is the deepest, most poetic answer I’ve been given for such a stupid question. I’d promised Critical Wave I would stop asking that too.
Yeah, I really like that!
Back on the subject of live performances, you’re about to go on tour, aren’t you?
Yes, we are. We’re going on tour with LostAlone and The First, starting on the 3rd of April.
How do you prepare for a tour?
We rehearse a lot! We do work very hard at trying to make sure that we are as prepared as possible. Aside from that, we just try and really enjoy our time at home, even though it’s really frustrating in between tours. We always just want to get back out there again! If we can’t tour for a long time, sometimes you have to appreciate that time you get with your family and stuff like that.
You enjoy touring enough that you are offering an ‘acoustic house gig’ on your PledgeMusic page…
Yes, we have! We did one of those before actually when we released our last mini-album. It’s slightly strange. It’s a different kind of atmosphere completely to any other sort of show that we’ve ever done, but we like to try and do something a little bit different and throw ourselves out of our comfort zone every now and then.
How many people did you have to perform to?
I think it was just 5. We kind of did them whilst we were on a tour and during the day before we would head to the venue. We would stop by other people’s houses, with a few of their mates. It was fun.
Why did you choose use PledgeMusic?
It’s a really good platform for… I don’t want to use the word ‘DIY’ but I think it’s cool that bands can just put music out themselves. We’re going through an independent label, which is run internally by people close to the band, so it’s all very close-knit. It’s a really great way to reach fans, and creates a sense of community between the band and their fans. It brings people together and it’s something that everyone can get involved with, knowing that they are personally helping the artists out themselves, which I think is really cool.
Were there any items that you considered offering, but decided against?
I think everything we wanted to do has been covered. You could get pretty crazy and offer hundreds of different bundles for the album. I think we wanted to keep it down, with not too many different choices, and just wanted to up the best and most special things that we could think of.
What bands would you like to be compared to?
The bands we look up to are all the kind of bands who are doing their own thing and carve their own path, if that makes any sense. Bands like Biffy Clyro, or Brand New, or Thrice, or even Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World. Bands that really stand out on their own that have broken out of the scene and are doing their own thing. They’re the bands that inspire us. It would be great to be compared to bands like that.
Out of curiosity, since this caught my eye… why do you call Joe, ‘Fish’?
(laughs) It’s actually a really boring story. We always try and come up with more interesting scenarios like “he was born in the sea” or “he can only sleep at night if he’s in the water” and stuff like that. The actual story is that a member of his family, when he was a kid, couldn’t say the word ‘Joseph’, and said ‘Joe-Fish’ instead. Then everyone started calling him Fish. I think his Nan actually started it! We all have her to thank for that.
Anything else to plug or preach to readers?
We have our debut album, Feel It Faster, up for pre-order. The website for that is www.versesband.com. Everyone can get it from there!