The subtle confidence exudes from the pages when Versus Angels discusses their emergence onto the music scene with their tour through the Midwest. They are a heterogeneous mix of styles and personalities coming together to create music for the stand-alone purpose of evoking the intangible; to move a person’s body and soul.
Through their transparent passion for music they have intertwined sounds from each members unique background to simply produce the music they want to produce. Lead guitarist, Worth Weaver, had the opportunity as a recording engineer and studio owner to keep a purity of sound for their single Just Alright and hopes to continue producing and expanding their already solid hold in the rock realm.
Beginnings are always important so this question is for Worth Weaver, why did you choose to break off from He Is Legend? What did you learn from your departure, and how did you go about establishing Versus Angels?
Weaver: I absolutely love the guys in He Is Legend, and I love playing and performing with them. I recently did preproduction for the new record in my studio, and I will have to say the new record is nothing short of a masterpiece.
That being said, I have my own personal reasons for my departure from the band as their guitarist. There are certainly no hard feelings or bad vibes between us on a professional or personal level.
We are now, and will remain, the closest of friends. I felt the direction that Versus Angels was going was more in line with my goals on a personal and professional level, and I made up my mind to pursue that with all my mind and heart. I wish the guys in He is Legend the very best as they are one of the most talented bands I have ever had the pleasure to perform with.
Being a fairly new band, what have been the biggest challenges establishing your sound?
Tony Morgan: I’d probably say the fact that all of us come from different backgrounds of music. We’ve all played in so many bands and different styles of music that establishing our sound was a little challenge at first. Nonetheless, it’s here and it’s growing each time we play.
What’s the overall message you want to give to your fans and the public?
Weaver: We have such a blast writing, recording and performing together. It’s about so much more than fame or fortune for us. We each live and breathe music. It’s something that consumes me from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I close them every day. That passion is something we want to share and convey to each of our fans. The passion that each member of VA shares for the music is contagious, and we want to share that drive and love for our art with our audience. We are so fortunate and thankful to be in the position to share our music with such a wide audience, and we want to continue to give our all to and for them. I always love that intangible “feeling” I get when I hear a song that moves my very core and soul. I suppose that’s my goal with VA’s music, to move someone in a way that no other medium can.
Your music is nuanced with influences from other musicians. Is there someone you guys tap into more often than others? Who are your biggest influences?
Morgan: We are all influenced by so many different kinds of music, from jazz to metal. I personally grew up listening to a lot of pop punk. But as I got older, I started listening to bands like Foo Fighters, Anberlin, Weezer, Brand New and Jimmy Eat World, to name a few. A lot of those bands have a major influence on the way I write songs today.
How do you guys go about incorporating each band member’s personality in your music?
Weaver: Great question. We each have such broad and diverse influences that it can be overwhelming sometimes (laughs). I come from a blues/jazz/classic rock background as a guitarist, and those influences show in some of my writing on the guitar here and there. Shaun (Freeman) is really into speed metal and the more heavier styles of rock than I am, and he always pushes me in a new direction with his ideas. It’s almost like we balance each other out perfectly as song writers and guitarists. Jonny (Braddock) is such an incredible bassist and probably has the most diverse range of musical influences in the band. His input with structuring song ideas is invaluable to VA’s writing process. Tony is a master lyricist, incredible with his choice of melodies and harmonies, and is equally as talented when it comes to his arranging skills. He is the glue that brings and holds our songs together and gives us the signature VA sound. We all have a good grasp on our place when we write a new song or idea, and our mutual respect for one another as artists shows during the process without a doubt.
“Music for the sake of music” has been the mantra of the rock scene since the ’50s. How would you respond to a statement like that one?
Morgan: I think more people should abide by it. We simply play music because we love to. We love sharing what we pour our hearts into in hopes of fans being able to connect with us emotionally through our songs. We aren’t looking for fame or fortune. We just want to do something we love doing in front of people who love hearing it.
Can you explain the process of a self-produced EP like We’re Only Human?
Weaver: I have been a recording engineer and studio owner for around eight years now, and it was so much fun to finally have the chance to track my own band. The process was seamless and invigorating on so many levels. As an engineer, I start with tracking the drums first (which, in this, case were performed by the very talented Rodney Liles).
Then we moved on to bass guitar, electric guitars and finally vocals. Everyone was so prepared and mentally pumped for the tracking process, it made my job as an engineer so much fun.
The project was then mixed and mastered by my dear friend and fellow engineer John Harrell. I can’t wait for VA’s next project together as we are continually writing new material and pushing ourselves to be better songwriters and musicians.
Morgan: The inspiration for “We’re Only Human” actually came from watching a speech that Charlie Chaplin gave in the movie “The Great Dictator.” We even loved it so much, it may have even been added in the actual song somewhere.
After having a couple of East Coast tours, are you looking to expand your performance radius? Where are you guys expecting to travel next?
Morgan: We would love to expand through out the nation eventually and we’re currently working on that! In the meantime, we are booking as many shows and tours as possible, up and down the coast and hitting some Midwest dates along the way. You can always visit our Reverb Nation or Facebook page for upcoming tour dates.
Artists hit rough times in their career. What has been the advice or motivation to keep making your music?
Weaver: Music has paralleled my life in so many ways. Everyone has peaks and valleys over the course of their lives and careers. Music is simply an expressive way to either share or vent these moments of change. We are all changing all of the time in either positive or negative ways, and it can be hard to keep going when you feel defeated by the pressures of life, love or work. Music has always been there for me, regardless of the circumstances I have encountered. I just have always made up my mind to find the positives in a negative situation and not let these situations tear me away from what I love to do or why I love to do it. My best advice is don’t ever stop creating, growing and moving forward in anything you choose to pursue in life. That’s an excellent lesson music has taught me over the course of my career.
Your new single, “Just Alright,” has a rocking sound. How does this represent the direction of your music for the future?
Morgan: Thanks! I think that song represents our direction pretty well. However, I’d also like to add that it’s only the beginning of what is to come from Versus Angels. That was one of the first songs we wrote and we’re constantly testing our limits with our song-writing and playing abilities.
Our plan is to keep bringing the rock with hints of each of our personalities/influences and to grow as much as we can as a band.
Versus Angels was posted on November 6, 2013 for HM Magazine and authored by Kaitlin Reynolds.