A dense sound to come out of the post-punk music scene, Veers will release their first self-titled EP this month. Falling in the tradition of alternative British rock, their music brings a consuming energy to the room that will get you amped up far beyond the end of the concert. Band leader Andrew James sings with a full, classic rock timbre that burns with its own sense of urgency. Their abrasive sound combines wiry vocals, tangled guitars, and thick drums to bring you volume with a jagged edge.
Prior to forming Veers, vocalist and guitarist Andrew James, originally from London, lived the New York grind for a number of years. It’s in Los Angeles that he met other transplants and similarly oriented musicians – bassist Roland LeFox, guitarist Sam Woodbury, and drummer Tommy Roslak – and formed the band in 2015. The new lineup “was a no brainer really, it felt right” says James. He adds “I like volume, I like a loud drummer, so many drummers in bands at the moment seem afraid to actually hit their drums, I’ve no time for those.”
While the band self-recorded their EP at various homes and studios throughout town, they got Matt Silberman to help track a few overdubs. James also called on his long-time friend and hero Dan Molad (Lucius), who produced and mixed the four-track EP. This makes for an idiosyncratic sound with a strong melodic sense – stay on the lookout for Veers and their dark, chaotic, fun sound.
In conjunction with this video premiere, I met with Andrew James:
When did you move to New York and what brought you there?
Yeah I’m from London originally, then made the voyage across the ocean to New York. I didn’t really intend on staying there, I was planning on staying for a few months, then tried the bagels and a 4am last call and thought, “I could get used to this”. New York is a grind though, lots of people hanging onto broken dreams, afraid that leaving is failure. I have mixed emotions about the place. Though I did meet some amazing people.
When did you move to LA? Can you tell us more about this transition?
I left New York the day after Christmas 2014, and much like my London to New York story, I didn’t plan on staying in LA… I came here to start writing music for a new project, but then I tried the Mexican food and a 2am last call and thought, “I could get used to this”. LA has been great to me so far, being about as disconnected from London as can be; it’s definitely a place I’m happy to call home. LA to me has more of a positive vibe than New York, it’s a very different place, people love to compare the two but fuck that, you can like both, and there are no rules. I like the LA music scene more though I will say that, it’s not as folky.
You are currently polishing your first EP, which will be released in September 2016. Can you tell us more about the journey behind this upcoming release?
The EP is sounding great, we are really happy with it, and it was a pretty relaxing process to make. We used a lot of sounds from the demos recorded at home actually and then just added to it, so going into the studio the foundations were already there. I guess the hardest part was picking which four tracks to put out first, there’s a lot of songs in the locker, but I guess these four were the ones picked out of a bowler hat.
We’ve decided to self-title the EP “VEERS”, we don’t really like named EP’s, being such a small body of work, and they are only an introductory tool anyway, so why not shove the name VEERS in everyone’s face. Unless we call it “Captain Kahlua’s Carpet Ride To Mushroom Palace” or something ridiculous, then VEERS is just fine.
How was this first studio session with the band?
The first studio session with the band never really happened as it was all so broken up and recorded at different peoples houses and studios where Tommy could really smash some drums without the police coming, but we all agreed on parts pretty easily and the songs are rehearsed well enough before recording that we all knew the parts; other than that we added a few elements here and there, we all just got the job done really. So I guess you could say it was extremely smooth sailing. None of us like bands with drama, it’s got to be fun, anyone that starts moaning in the studio is buying everyone lunch, that’s for sure.
Where did you record it?
Sam and I currently share a house in LA so we recorded a lot of the basic’s there, then Dan (Molad), Tommy and I were able to use a friends studio in Santa Monica to record anything loud, drums, loud guitars etc. The studio is also full of almost any synth you can think of, so that was fun, I could have spent weeks in there, shut away on some Howard Hughes vibes.
Then we went to Matt Silberman’s home studio which was mega, and like walking into a house from Boogie nights, recording whilst staring out at a swimming pool wasn’t too shabby, very LA. That wouldn’t have happened in London, though we do have some pretty big puddles.
Did you have guest artists contribute to it?
No guests artists on this EP, they cost too much haha, friends don’t come cheap these days. 99% of people we know are musicians and all grafting to keep the bills paid so you can’t really ask them to give up their time to come play on a tune, and why would you, ya know, we are all pretty good at getting some kind of sound out of any instrument, that’s the fun part. Most friends of ours aren’t really into the same music as we are anyway.
Where do you like to play in LA?
LA has some great venues, from the small clubs to the big halls, we are kind of spoilt here, though the (and I use this term lightly) “promoters” are usually lazy wankers that find it impossible to reply to an email.
Our favorite places to play around town are probably Harvard and Stone, they are a great bunch there, and their promoter is actually a proper geezer, though he’s Scottish, bless him, they are always great to us. Other places are The Satellite, and a pretty new venue called The Hi Hat in Highland Park, again great people. We will pretty much play anywhere though, we are out for a good time and want people to see us to have a great night, it’s all about the hang.
If you’re in Los Angeles, do not miss their EP release party at Harvard and Stone on September 26. They are also on the bill of the Desert Stars Festival on September 23rd at the cherished Pappy and Harriet’s.
Last but not least, check out the video premiere for their first single “Reflector”: