Friday, April 12, 2013

Interview: Night Verses

>> Back in the days when Guitar Hero was at its prime, I stumbled upon a band called The Sleeping.  They had a track on one of the Guitar Hero games, and after getting it stuck in my head, I looked into the band.  I discovered that the band was from Long Island, like myself, and that they had a bunch of great albums.  I really enjoyed those albums.  Flash forward to now, and The Sleeping is no more.  I was excited to learn that singer Douglas Robinson had joined another band.  This new venture is Night Verses.  I was very pleased to discover that, based off of a four-song EP, this new project rocks just as hard.  The EP has a lot of energy and passion in every track, and it comes through even stronger in the band's live performances.  I was able to see Night Verses at The Studio at Webster Hall last week (4/2/13).  I got to talk to Doug about how this band came together, and why he's so excited about it.

Please state your name and role in the band.
I'm Douglas Robinson and I sing for the band Night Verses.

This is not your first musical venture, right?
No, it is not. (laughs)  I was in The Sleeping for 10 years. Basically when The Sleeping had ended I was already working with these dudes. I had met them in California when I had moved out, I moved out to LA just to kind of get away from music for a little bit and wound up randomly meeting the dudes in Night Verses. Basically we got along really well and things were cool.  I had seen them at a show instrumentally and I really liked what they were doing. And even though The Sleeping was still active at the time, I started writing with them and I let them know that I'd want to sing for them at some point.  Once The Sleeping ended we were kind of already just writing stuff together anyway. The Sleeping ended ended for totally different reasons, it was just kind of at its time I guess.  But yeah, we did that, and I went back and we started sending demos back and forth and that's how it started.

So you're based in California now, basically?
I live in New York still, but yeah, the rest of the band is from California. We still say that we're based in both areas because I live here and I like to represent as much as I can.

Was it difficult to write the first EP you guys put out, being across the country?
Not so much. There wasn't live practicing yet, but there were a lot of demos going back and forth and with all our recording equipment it wasn't really hard to track. It was just arranging live practices before we recorded the EP, which we actually only did once or twice, but everyone was just so comfortable that it was almost meant to happen and it wound up working out really well.

As of now, the band has only released that one EP so far, correct?
Yes. We have a four song EP called Out of the Sky that we're giving away for free on our website. We did that and we just wanted to give music to people and show them who we were and let them know that we're something new that's going to be full time, and it's something we care about.  We wanted to give music to the people because that's the type of people we are too, it's not so much about the money or anything like that, it's more that we're artists who like to create. Our main thing was coming out of the gate and showing people that by giving away the EP for free.  We could have sold it, for cheap even, but we just didn't want to.

So releasing that EP for free served as an introduction of sorts? - 3:06
Exactly. Just wanted to show people who we were and what we were about.

You're on tour now. How has that been going?
This is our third tour, ever. This is our second US tour. Our first tour was in the United Kingdom, we did about two and a half weeks there. The second tour was the West and Midwest, and this is now our third tour which is pretty much an East Coast tour.  But it's still new, and I'm super, super excited to be a part of this.  It's exciting to start fresh but good to have been through it all to know what is going on. I feel a lot more experienced, just more comfortable and confident and it's cool to see the band growing and actually be aware of how it grows.  When The Sleeping got started out and we started growing, it's hard to gauge it when you don't know what's going on.  I'm a lot more aware now and it's cool to see it grow and all the cool shit that's happening to us. It's a lot of hard work, it's not like anything is coming to us just because I came from The Sleeping.  A lot of people tend to think that it's easier but we've just made contacts throughout those years with The Sleeping but that doesn't change the fact that this band works just as hard.  The dudes in the band are some of the hardest working people I know. It's almost like I never really skipped a beat and I just feel more refreshed and rejuvenated and happy to be touring again in a van, and I'm excited to see it all build.  A really exciting part about the music is watching your craft form in front of you.

You played your first Long Island show with Night Verses the other day (3/30/13).  How was that experience for you?
It was cool.  It was a smaller venue, and I like that. I think it's more of a challenge to show people what you're bringing, what you're about, and what you want to accomplish.  I thought I'd be a lot more nervous but I wasn't because I think a lot of what The Sleeping has taught me, at least now in this new band, is to not be as critical as I used to be.  I'm a lot more aware of what's going on but I'm also a lot more excited for just being a musician, I think I'm praising it more than I ever really did.  I used to just be kind of nervous about the business aspects of music and stuff like that. I'm finally rejuvenated to the point where it's good to play again.  For a while, I didn't even want to play and I know it sounds selfish because music is one of the best things you can do for a living but it's like any art - sometimes you put it down for a little while if you're upset with it or frustrated. I just feel completely re-energized and a lot of that has to do with being a different person.

Like you said, you had first moved to California to get away from music for a while, and then ironically you found this new project. It's cool to see how that happened.
Yeah, it's pretty crazy. It's definitely one of those things where you don't really believe in fate but then how could you not when certain things like that happen, you know? There's a big, crazy story as to how I even wound up going to California.  Basically, the main reason was from a book I read.  I wound up reading this book and being super pumped on what I interpreted it to mean, and what it showed me.  I had moved out to California quicker than I was supposed to and by doing that, I met the guys.  So it was definitely a pretty weird feeling to know that if I didn't do it that way that it wouldn't have really happened.  I feel like it would have, now that I'm starting to believe more in that fate kind of thing, but it was definitely cool the way that it happened.

Looks like that worked out for the best. - 7:50
Yeah, I'm happy. Everybody is super on the same page too.  This band, like I said, they're genuinely hard-working people who are just as excited to play shows to 20 people as they would be to play for a million or whatever and that's a very important thing.  It's not even because it's a new thing, because I've been doing it for 10 years, and they've been together for about 8 years just playing in their room, or playing in billiard halls in California. You'd think that people like that would give up by now but we're all collectively on the same page and it's cool that we found each other from across the country.

So you have one EP out, and you're touring now. What's next?
We have a bunch more touring, we're gonna be busy the whole year, and many years to come. Our debut record is coming out in June. It's called Lift Your Existence. I wish I could tell you more on it right now but it's gonna be... I'm really excited for it.  I think it's something that a lot of people are going to be happy to hear because there are a lot of people in this world who still believe in music for what it is and what it should be. I think a lot of people are going to pick up this record and see that there's still music out there that pays homage to old school music but still does something futuristic and original and I think a lot of people are going to be really into that. I've never been this happy to release something. I think it's just because there's a lot of pressure within me, too, from The Sleeping so it just makes me really stoked to release this record.  I think people are gonna hear the passion on it, they're gonna hear the individuality and the band as a unit.  They're gonna hear the musicianship and the meaning behind everything and I think it's really going to reach out to people who need music like that again.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
You can download our EP for free on our website, , and see us when we're in an area near you. Look out for the record.

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