I had the pleasure of speaking with the members of Night Verses in regards to the release of their brand new album, Lift Your Existence , available now. Check out the interview below.
1) How did Night Verses begin? How long have you been around?
Aric Improta: Well me, Nick, and Riley had been playing together since were about thirteen years old in a bunch of different projects. We started to figure out what we actually wanted to sound like about three years. We also went through the longest singer hunt that any band has probably ever endured. We tried out at least thirty people and had every problem in the world. Egos, people that thought the music was too complex, didn’t like the things that we were doing, things like that. Luckily for us, we had a friend named Tim, and we took him to an instrumental show we were playing at this hole-in-the-wall place. We were all kind of nervous because we were big fans of The Sleeping (Douglas’ other band) and so the fact that he showed up was just like “holy shit, that’s crazy”. We jammed together that night and we all knew that it was the right fit. He heard what we were doing and he heard where he could put his voice. He knew how to bring actual emotion to it, which was a big thing. It was one of those things that took a bit of time to get together, but we knew after that first jam [with him] that this was the lineup that we wanted.
2) When and where was the “Lift Your Existence” album recorded? How long was the process?
Nick DePirro: We started demoing the first full-length record in pre-production during the summer of last year. We ended up going into the studio officially in January, and we ended up going to Interlace Audio in Portland with Kris Crummett. We were there for about a little over a month. It was a cool process, for sure. It was pretty intense for the amount of stuff that we wanted to do, but it worked out pretty well.
3. What was recording with Kris Crummett like?
N: From our experience, he was very hands on, and really wanted to make sure he took his time with each person and bring the best out of you. I thought that was really cool, because there’s a specific style and sound I wanted to have on the guitar. He saw that, and he was down to try different things until we got to it. He gave each person a very similar effort. I really liked working with him.
Douglas Robinson: I think it was very cool for us specifically because of the sound of our band. Krummet has similar musical tastes that we do. So when we had to get a vibe across or use an example of what we were trying to get, he would already be in that same kind of mindset that we were. If one of us wasn’t matching, he’d be able to match us right into it because we all had very similar music tastes. It was really cool to work with him vocally. We all related to him musically, within our instruments, as well as just in general. He’s a big Nirvana fan, and I am too. Using them as reference to recording, or thinking of bands that I grew up on with him thinking the same thing was really cool. I thought it was a really big inspiration to be able to record with someone who saw exactly eye-to-eye on things like that.
4. What does the album title “Life Your Existence” mean? Where did it come from?
D: A lot of the songs on this record have to do with growing into your own, and becoming aware of oneself, and the things around you. It’s just a big process of growing into who you’re supposed to be. We had come up with “Lift Your Existence” because we felt that it truly matched the vibe of the record. For me, lyrically, it was something that I wanted to explore. The idea of “lifting your existence”, the idea of becoming who you need to be. It definitely fits the vibe of the music.
5. I hear quite a few different influences in your music. Where do your musical influences range from?
N: We go all over in terms of what we all listen to. We all come to a common consensus when it comes to bands like Deftones and The Mars Volta, things like that. I grew up on Thrice, so it’s possible that there is some influence in there. I wouldn’t say they’re a conscious influence for me at this moment, but there could be an undertone there.
6. What was the song “Antidepressents” written about specifically?
D: I try not to fully explain what the songs are about completely, because I want people to get their own take on it. But it’s more of a positive song than people think. It was also written from a point of my life where I just felt low. It wasn’t so much about how I was feeling at the moment, but more about where I’d come from and what I’d become. It was written in the sense someone at the bottom of the bottom, writing about how they overcame things that were going on in their life, whether it was a certain someone, or something that makes them feel the way that they feel now. It’s definitely more of a positive song than people think, but it’s also a song for people who feel a negative in life and feel that things are at a low for them. I try to reach out to everybody when I write, because I’ve been at the bottom of the bottom, and now I feel that I’m where I’m supposed to be. A lot of that song has to do with coming to the realization that things are okay, even though there’s been a struggle with it.
7. You guys have some really unique and crazy song titles, like “Parasomnia”, and “Cathexsis”. Where does the inspiration come from when creating song titles like that draw from?
E: I think this whole band, at least our sound, is pretty collective. You heard earlier how we all have different influences, yet we do have common ground. This band’s sound is a lot bigger than anything that we could ever do as individuals. I think with that huge variations comes different sides to us. I think that these titles all go together but they’re not completely the same. There’s so many different emotions that are tied to each song. For a song like “Cathexsis”, the definition of it was something like “to invest an unhealthy amount of emotion into a person, place or idea”. It was just one of those things where we were going through the content of the song, and it matched what the actual subject was. Some of them are more straightforward. Like “I Don’t Want My Loved Ones To Die” (track 14). When we were going through titles, that just seemed like the most appropriate one for that song. I think that’s why they range and are so different from each other.
8. The last song on the album is “Phoenix”, a ten-minute epic finale to the record split into two parts: Rising (Part 1) and Falling (Part 2). What would you say inspired you guys to write a ten-minute song to close the record?
N: We had a lot of ideas that ended up becoming a big song, I guess you could say. We’ve always been a fan of big songs. We’ve always liked bands like Isis, bands that wrote big songs like that. It wasn’t really an issue to us to have it. We all thought that the song sounded really cool, so it just kind of worked out.
Reilly Herrera: It’s always hard to figure out which song you’re going to put last. When we were finishing this record, we wanted to do about fifteen songs since we had cut it down from about fifty-five songs. This song was designed to kind of finish it, because we couldn’t think of a more ideal way to finish a fifteen-song record that had as much detail and ideas that we had put into it.
D: I think a cool thing about it too is that not a lot of bands are doing things like that. This band doesn’t write to try to be anybody but ourselves. Like Nick said earlier, we’ve always liked bands like Isis that write longer songs. We’re writing to get a message out to people, but we’re also artists and we do what we want to do because we believe in what we do. Ending it that way was a way for us to say “This is who we are, this is what we do.” We’re trying to cater and do ten songs. We’re not trying to just site here and make a record. The last song captures as individuals and as a unit and what we’re about.
8. Where do you take lyrical inspiration from?
D: I get really inspired by walking around wherever I am and listening to the demos. I’ll walk around New York City, or wherever I happen to be when the band sends me a song, and then I’ll come and start tracking. I’ll start focusing on melodies. Then I’ll start focusing on the lyrical content and realizing what it is that I’m trying to write about. I happen to feel the best writing-wise when I don’t write. A lot of inspiration comes from the world around me and what’s going on in my life. The inner struggles that I have, and what I’m going through with myself. A lot of it has to do with the vibe or mood I’m in. Lyrically, when I start solidifying everything and writing it down after I get out what I’m feeling and understand what it is, I take inspiration from artists like Fiona Apple. I like the way that she tells a story through lyrics, and that has a lot to do with the way that I finalize everything. I try my best to be a storyteller, rather than just a guy whose writing lyrics on a piece of paper.
9. What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
N: I really want people to be able to have an experience that we’ve always had. Having our records be timeless, where you could listen to them in any situation and always have something to go back to. There’s a lot of bands that I listened to that I don’t listen to anymore. There are also a large number of bands that I will always listen to, always and forever. I think that our goal is to be one of those bands, in the end, and I hope that people can relate to it in that way with this full CD. That’s one of my goals, personally, for people to walk away and go “Oh man, I’m gonna stick with this band forever.”
E: I think we also try to do our best to write with multiple levels of appeal. Me, Nick, and Riley have spent the last seven years working on this music, putting in the same type of detail that we like to listen to, so it’s been really fun to get to team up with someone like Doug, who has clearly been doing an amazing job songwriting. I feel like one of the biggest goals and accomplishments we did on this record was having songs that you could relate to, both as a person and a musician. If you knew nothing about guitar, drums, or anything like that, you could still find a lot in Doug’s lyrics or vocals. If you’re a guitar player, or a drummer, or a bass player, you can go into this record and hear the amount of effort that we’ve put in during the last three years. Even though this record has just come out, this record has been in the writing process for about three years now, from the first demos of the music to where it is now.
10. Last question: What are your future plans?
D: We have a lot of touring coming up, nothing
that we can really announce yet though. We’re still a new band so there’s still
a lot of groundwork to do, which we’re all very stoked on and happy about. We
definitely have a bunch of summer touring bands in the works. We’re going to
start getting back overseas too. We’re really excited to start playing
everywhere, especially in the U.S. We’ve only done about twenty shows in the
United States and same in the U.K. Right now we’re just gearing up and getting
ready to tour on this record.
Lift Your Existence is now available. Be sure to follow the band on Twitter @NightVerses and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NightVerses