With sound check running late we make our way to the upstairs dressing room of tonight’s venue in Swindon, The Victoria. Joining us is frontman and guitarist Jason Danzelman and guitarist Joe Welsh of Verses, who points out the furniture in the room makes him feel like he’s at his nan’s house.
HTS: Hi guys! Your debut album ‘Feel It Faster’ has only been out for a few days, how has the reaction been to it so far?
Joe: Reaction so far has been amazing, really humbling.
Jason: It is mind-blowing isn’t it. You get to gauge what your fan base is like and how supportive and loyal they are once your album comes out, cause you know people have been talking online about it a lot and stuff like that. It came out when we were playing Slam Dunk, cause the phones signals really bad I didn’t really get chance to check Twitter until I got home and it was like woooah so many people are talking about it.
Joe: It’s still such early days, at the stage we’re at the moment we don’t expect to sell lots and lots straight away it’s a gradual build up, but to have such a big reaction right from the start is wicked.
HTS: You set up a Pledge campaign for the album, tell us about it.
Jason: It was a really cool way of connecting the artist with the fan, like it creates a little community; it feels like a little Pledge family.
Joe: I like that.
Jason: Yeah it’s a really cool sorta thing; I can definitely see why so many bands are doing it now.
Joe: You can do stuff that’s personal to the Pledge campaign so you can put certain videos for it, acoustic versions of songs and stuff like that that you only get when you Pledged.
Jason: There’s signed handwritten lyric sheets that you can’t sell on iTunes you know…yeah it’s a really cool thing to do.
HTS: You guys played Hit the Deck and Slam Dunk this year, how were those experiences?
Joe: Amazing, HTD the Nottingham show was probably one of my all time favourite shows, I think its right up there.
Jason: It was so much fun.
Joe: We played the Forum in Nottingham and it was a big, big venue. It was incredible the reaction we got and it was a good crowd.
Jason: We walked in and we like “what are we doing in here” (laughs).
Joe: And Slam Dunk we’ve just come off of and that was probably one of my favourite festivals we’ve done. Just the vibe of it was wicked.
Jason: You just bump into so many good people so many bands that we hadn’t had the chance to hang out with for so long, just brilliant vibes.
Joe: Just three days of partying.
Jason: We’ve just about recovered and now we’re starting our tour.
HTS: Have you got any other festival slots coming up this year?
Jason: Yeah we’re doing Camden Rocks Festival which is sort of part of this tour we’re doing that as the London date this Saturday.
Joe: We got 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham?
Jason: Yeah…2000 Trees is always one I’ve wanted to do and Nass Festival, and some others which we can’t really talk about yet, that’s the way it is. I keep almost letting things slip in interviews (laughs). I can’t remember what we’ve announced and what we can say. We’re doing a cool sorta small one called New Age Festival and we’re second from top of the bill, which is pretty cool.
Joe: The Computers are headlining that. That’s gunna be an interesting one, I’m looking forward to it though.
HTS: The album artwork is very odd and visually striking, what’s the story behind it and who designed it?
Jason: It was designed by Aled from Kids In Glass Houses, cause obviously those guys are splitting up and he’s moving more into that field. So it was a big honour that he was interested in working on it.
Joe: Immediately we had a fan base for that artwork and it was the way we wanted to go with it.
Jason: We basically sent him the all the lyrics for the album and music, I have no idea how his brain works but we just looked at it like ‘how has he done this?’. But I like the fact that it’s a bit different and that it doesn’t look like anything else, I think some people might be a bit confused by it, but why not you know? It reminded me of Pink Floyd and stuff like that when I saw it and love all that.
Joe: It’s cool, it’s nice to do something a bit different.
HTS: Describe ‘Feel It Faster’ in three words.
Jason: Feel it Faster…
Joe: It is good…
Jason: What is it you said to me the other day; you said ‘mum likes it’?
Joe: ‘Mum likes it’ yeah…
Jason: Your mum does like it. All our mums like it but…that’s five words. (all laughs)
Joe: She really likes it.
Jason: Let’s go with ‘mum likes it’. I think it’s an album that can appeal to anyone; it’s an album that you don’t have to be a certain type of person or be in a certain scene to enjoy it.
HTS: Yeah your sound has quite a wide spectrum and is accessible.
Jason: It is, the music that we like is stuff like that, like Biffy Clyro and Foo Fighters.
Joe: Jimmy Eat World, well I guess Jimmy Eat World is more scene based.
HTS: Who are some of your favourite UK bands at the moment?
Joe: There are a lot of good UK bands at the moment, Deaf Havana we’ve always loved.
Jason: Be really cool to see what they’re up to next, think they’ve been working on something new haven’t they? I don’t know…not sure. The Mallory Knox lads got album number two on the way.
Joe: The UK music scene is looking damn positive at the moment.
Jason: Twin Atlantic have something new coming out, absolutely brilliant band. Canterbury’s album they released last year was it? Or the start of this year was it? That’s amazing we listen to that in the van all the time, Decade as well, there’s just so many, let’s just list every UK band. It’s an exciting time for UK rock.
HTS: It is pretty strong at the moment, can hopefully overpower America!
Joe: Yeah bring it on!
Jason: Challenge accepted!
HTS: Finally, what would your ideal tour line up be? Dead or alive?
Joe: Gotta be Thrice, one of my favourite bands.
Jason: Yeah we loved them growing up and that was sad when they called it a day wasn’t it…I’d have Jimi Hendrix, I’ve always wanted to meet that guy but I’m never going to, but now’s the chance with this question cause it’s gunna happen right? (laughs)
Joe: It’s been booked! (all laughs). We’ll do us opening to Jimi Hendrix…
Jason: Wait why are we opening if it’s the dream line up? We can do anything we want, and we wanna play first! (laughs). Maybe like Queen or something that would be pretty sick.
Joe: Jimmy Eat World, I’m a massive Jimmy Eat World fan. Our drummer Dan would be Green Day, it’s turning more into a festival.
Jason: It’s becoming one hell of a line up.
Joe: Those sorta bands that would make us happy I guess…oh and for our bass player Katy Perry! (all laughs)
Jason: I think a lot of us would want Katy Perry on the bill.
BUY Feel It Faster – Verses on iTunes