For many Reading sextet Veridian are a brand new band. Having launched at the start of the year with debut single ‘Refuse To Feel,’ the sextet have quickly gained praise for their impassioned brand of alt rock-pop. However their origins stretch back nearly two years. With members coming from defunct local bands pop punks We Caught the Castle and alt rockers Borderline Fire, Veridian have gradually been writing material, honing their dynamic sound along the way.
‘Refuse To Feel’ sets the benchmark high with it’s infectious chorus and punchy tempo, and as we learn in this interview, the bands future material incorporates more orchestral elements that makes Veridian stand out from the growing pool of emerging UK alt-rock bands.
To learn more about Veridian, we quizzed Pianist/Keyboardist James Marshall Stack about the bands beginnings, how the experiences of their former bands influenced Veridian and more.
AH: The band officially launched a few weeks ago and we know the band is made up of members from We Caught the Castle and Borderline Fire, but how did Veridian come together?
James: Well, we had all been very good friends since meeting at the first show we played together. Both of our previous bands ceased around the same time and there had been a small amount of talk of putting something together between us. Simon (Jackman) and Robbie (Everett) already had a small amount of demo material recorded, which had been played to all of us individually. I think in the end after a couple of beers, the six of us decided we definitely wanted to continue writing, recording and playing music as well as continue touring, so we agreed on a six-piece. It then took us another 15 months to decide on the name.
AH: You’ve just released your first single – ‘Refuse To Feel.’ What is the track about and what influenced it?
James: ‘Refuse to Feel’ was written directly off the back of the demise of our previous bands and the split with previous singers. The song was actually written nearly two years ago and was the first track that we started to learn as a six-piece. It’s essentially almost a bitter love song about leaving a loved one or a friend for the better and feeling positive about it. It’s a song of passion and confidence that whatever is on the other side and what ever happens next is going to be bigger and better. That’s where the pinnacle lyrics “We’re better off alone” come from.
AH: How did the time in your former bands influence Veridian?
James: We’d like to hope that being in bands previously would stop you from making the same mistakes. We’ve learnt things like playing the same town over and over doesn’t work, or how not to get ripped off by tour promoters. The music has changed, as our previous material was certainly a lot heavier, but the structures of the songs have remained much the same. If anything our love of music is what has carried us through and we’re hoping now that something will come out of it.
AH: Throughout the UK there is guitar-driven pop-rock bands popping up all over the place. What do you think makes Veridian stand out?
James: I think we’re trying to steer clear of being any normal guitar band by using strong vocal harmonies and other instrumentation within our music. ‘Refuse to Feel’ has the hard hitting piano parts as well as introducing cello and violin. As we begin to release more music, we will start embellishing on these as well as bringing in brass instruments, percussion and synths.
AH: With ‘Refuse To Feel’ being your first single, can we expect more material soon? If so, how does it compare to ‘Refuse To Feel’?
James: Yes, the 2nd and 3rd singles are ready to go and we’re currently working on music videos to go with them. Each track will follow a slightly different style or theme, some being a bit heavier, some ‘pop-ier’ or more electronic. All will still follow the same style of big choruses that will get stuck in your head.
AH: Even though you have only existed publicly for a few weeks, it looks like the response has been positive so far?
James: Very positive! It’s taken nearly two years to get to releasing our first track so we’ve been building up to this for a long time and it’s great to see such a good response from friends, family and previous fans or people we may have met from touring before.
AH: You’re playing your debut headline show in Reading next month. Do you have any other shows lined up?
James: Just this one for the moment. We are currently discussing the possibility of a small tour but don’t have any details yet. We can’t wait to get back out on the road again.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)