Recently, Project Metal Music has been talking to the New York, USA band Verde, and they graciously agreed to do an interview, hear about how they formed to recording their new album.
Do all of you come from the Long Island NY, or did you move at some point?
I believe we are all natives.
When you were kids growing up, what was there to do for you in Long Island?
Steve played football and skateboarded, Dan played lacrosse and rode BMX, Ron played soccer, there were patches of woods to play in and build forts and make bike trails and stuff like that back then.
What were you listening to when you were growing up?
Everything from Benny Goodman to Run DMC to Slayer.
Who or what was your influences in becoming musicians?
Everything from Benny Goodman to Run DMC to Slayer.
When did you form Verde?
Back when we were in high school there was a talent show. For some reason we decided we were going to start a band around that time so it just kind of worked out.
When you decided to become musicians, why did you choose the Metal/Alternative Metal genre for the sound of Verde?
I don’t think we ever really sat down and decided that. There was a desire to go a little harder than what was out there at the time, and the rapping/slam poetry thing started innocently enough when our vocalist quit the day of a show and Steve just had to go out there and do something. He was originally playing guitar, and wasn’t comfortable singing at the same time so he did this talking/rapping thing and it was different from what anyone else was doing at the time, so it stuck.
Back in the early 2000’s you were making a name for yourselves in the New York area, playing the venues there. What was your reaction when you found out that Steve (Blair) your vocalist had a horrific car accident?
Verde was not the primary concern at that point, Steve himself was the focus.
Steve, you where lucky to survive the car accident, and now you have pretty much made full recovery, the only sign that you have now of any physical problems is your cane. When the doctors told you that you broke your spine in the car accident and that you wouldn’t be able walk again. What was your reaction to what they were saying?
That it was unacceptable, which was a reaction that they were not particularly prepared for.
After Steve had the car accident, it states on your ReverbNation page that the band nearly disbanded, was it because that Steve might not recover? or was it that Steve might not want to carry on?
It was a bunch of things. There were some things that had to be worked out and obviously Steve’s situation was literally life changing. Things got prioritized and Verde didn’t make it high on the list at the time.
With Steve proving the idiot doctors wrong, he got back on his feet. Verde was reunited and played cancer benefit gig, what was it like to be back, doing what you do best?
It was like we never stopped. We hadn’t played together in 9 years at that point. We set up and said… uh, does anyone remember anything? We played the first song and was like “Woa I can’t believe that went so smooth”. Of course there was serious dust to blow off but we got it working. At the show, the place was packed. We started it up and everyone got into it, it was great. A stranger approached Steve after the show and said “I didn’t expect a real band to be playing here, I thought it was going to be just local stuff, when are you playing Philly?” Another told us “I just wanted to let you know that I hate that kind of music, but I could listen to you guys all night, I was getting into it.” That kind of validated everything and we had a great time so it was an obvious choice to us to continue.
Your first E.P. which is self titled, what made you come up with the songs on the E.P.?
Well, it’s all about overcoming your obstacles and was meant to be motivational and have an overall positive theme. All in Due Time is about overcoming issues and that you can do it even though it’s not easy and can take time. Power is about recognizing that you are competing with everyone and you need to keep that fire in your belly or you’re going to miss out. Phoenix is about learning to work with what you got, let the fires that consume some people totally burn your weakness away, turn your weaknesses to strengths, that kind of thing. Direction is about not being afraid to take the next step. Me Too is about using what is uniquely you to be more than anyone that may try to label you, copy you, and put you in a box. Aggressive, but positive.
Your next album Live @ Ollies Point, what made you decide to record the show and release it as a live album?
It was originally part of a plan. We have a lot of plans. We have a lot of plans that we don’t stick to for a variety of reasons including no reasons at all. That being said, we have plans to renew the original plan, which was to release all the live recordings for free. The problem is that many times the sound from the board comes out subpar for any of a million reasons and we don’t think it’s good enough quality to release, even for free.
On the Live @ Ollies Point, there was 4 new tracks on there, what were those 4 tracks? and why did you include those 4 tracks on your set list?
We wanted to get some reaction and try out some of the new stuff we were writing, those new tracks at the time were “Brain Obey”, “Ominous One”, “Thousands More” and a song that we had actually written way back when but I don’t think we ever played out in a show called “Slapped for Taking a Breath” or kind of abbreviated as “STAB”.
You have been working on your second studio album and is due out at some point this year, could you tell me what should we expect on the album? The title? and when its coming out?
Like we mentioned before, our plans keep changing. As of now I think the plan still is to release one song at a time on a monthly basis and have them up on our website exclusively, until all the songs on the album are complete and then release to iTunes and Google and Spotify and all of those at that time. Plans change though. The name we can’t confirm at this time, but we are reasonably sure it won’t be named after a color, a fruit or vegetable.
After the release of your second album will you be doing a tour in support of the album? If so, where about’s will you be touring?
Probably, but it will depend on the release date. Likely we will stay closer to home base NY, NJ, CT and PA. We never know what is going to be dangled in front of us, so don’t count anything out.
Have you any plans on coming to the UK?
We would love to, and apparently we have quite a few fans there but from a logistical stand point we are probably not going to be able to do that any time in the foreseeable future.
And finally. What advice would you give to up and coming musicians?
If you aren’t having fun, no one is. Do it because you love it. Be creative. And have drink for us… actually, just buy us a drink. Or three. Better make it three. X:)
A huge thank you to Verde for taking time out to do the interview, it is very much appreciated.
Project Metal Music.