When American Verse aren’t spending their time working, schooling and laughing to reruns of King of the Hill, you will find them locked up in their own musical world in Worcester, MA. With just one pass through their music, you can hear the influence of notable bands from the turn of the millennium like Brand New. Twenty-somethings will rejoice for sounds that remind them of their yesteryears while younger folks will be surprised that a band with instruments doesn’t have to sound like a “rock” band on Disney.
As I sit in my living room typing with the sound of Stewie Griffin my late night soundtrack, I advise you to get to know a little more about American Verse…They work hard, want to play more and have some new music on the way…
Kendra: Can you remember the moment in your life when you thought, hey, this music thing is for me?
Dylan: I guess I’d have to say it was when I got my first guitar in the 6th grade, I had played the drums for two years prior but once I got a guitar in my hands I just fell in love with it. I remember telling my mom I didn’t wanna play football anymore; I wanted to take guitar lessons.
Kendra: America has an interesting origin story, how does American Verses compare? Go on and share how you guys came together…
Dylan: Well way back in 2004 I started a band with Brian and some high school friends called From The Heart, we got Joe as our lead guitarist for that band in 2006 and broke up in 2008. Then I was just playing local shows as a solo act and was asked to join a band called Beyond City Lights in 2009 in which Steve was the drummer and in the summer of 2010 Steve and I decided to quit that band and start American Verse in which we recruited Brian as our bassist and Joe for lead guitar.
Kendra: You guys have a very hands on, DIY, approach when it comes to the band. What’s the hardest part and do you have any advice for bands taking that route?
Dylan: I guess the hardest part would be having to self-fund everything, and my advice would be to just go out and enjoy playing your music. Trying to run your own band can get fucking stressful but in the end it’s always worth it.
Kendra: With all the things you have to do with the band, is there time for real “day jobs?”
Dylan: We all have jobs, Brian has a full time job, Steve and Joe work and go to school, and I work two jobs, but we always put the band first.
Kendra: Back to the music, with music I think of the song writing process like that one line, “Which came first the chicken or the egg,” but with music it’s “the music or the lyrics.” So in your guys case, do the words or chords usually flow first?
Dylan: Always music first, Joe or I will write the skeleton of a song, bring it to the band, we work out all the music, and then I will write the lyrics for it.
Kendra: Speaking of writing and everything…What’s going on with American Verse in the musical sense? Writing, recording, album out, touring?
Dylan: We are in the process of mixing and pressing our first EP called Standard Emotions which will be out at the end of May, we are trying to set up a couple small tours this summer, and we are always writing new music so rest assure we will have new tunes to record by the end of summer.
Kendra: You guys are looking to play right now because well, duh, that’s what it’s all about as a band. But if you could pick three places to play next week (either venue or city), where would you pack up and head to?
Dylan: I’d have to say anywhere in New York, anywhere in New Jersey and anywhere in Pennsylvania for the soul reason that we haven’t played those states yet and I’d love to play them.
Kendra: While on this imaginary trip, if you had to describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your band as an American hero, who would you pick and why?
Dylan: I’d have to go with John Quincy Adams, cause he has good PR with the general public and I think it’d increase the chances of the person I was talking to to actually check our band out.
Kendra: Saves The Day are probably one of the heroes you thought about since they’re an influence on not only you guys but many bands your age. Personally, I am not a fan, so what is it about that band that makes them top notch?
Dylan: Saves The Day is such a huge influence on so many bands because they are just simply the fucking best; amazing song writing and incredible lyrics.
Kendra: Well put and like I said, so many bands have been influenced by STD, and with numerous new bands coming out every day there’s only a select few who’ll ever do anything worthwhile. So what in you tells you American Verse is the best idea?
Dylan: American Verse is the best idea because this band writes the best songs I’ve ever been a part of.
Kendra: Real quick, King of the Hill…an amazing show. Any favorite episodes or moments from it?
Dylan: It’s the best show ever! And anything that involves Cotton Hill, the time Bill gets piss drunk and steals an army tank, the two part episode where Hank meets his Japanese half-brother, and the time Hank smokes weed.
Kendra: Definitely love the Japanese one…but come on, where’s the Peggy Hill love?? But lastly, what can we expect from American Verse in the coming months?
Dylan: In the next few months we will have our new EP Standard Emotions out, we will be playing all around the northeast, and who knows what other crazy shit!
Kendra: I said lastly right above this but one more…if I were to ask American Verse to make me a mixtape of the Top 5 songs for an East Coast road trip, what songs would you pick for me?