Old rona may be hanging around like a party guest who’s overstayed their welcome, but …
Art is all about self-expression. Just ask Verum, who’ve proven this on their mammoth debut EP, We Call This Healing.
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The trio of Kaden Perkinson, Logan Taylor and Zane Gillespie put their heart and soul into the record, and they’ve shown exactly what they’re all about. Naturally, we wanted to dig into how it all came together, so we got them on the line for a chat.
Hysteria: Let’s get the band introduced.
Kaden: We all went to the same high school, but Logan and I were in the same grade. We were good friends. We’d jam, and we were in projects with other school friends. Once we graduated, Logan and I continued to jam, and we wanted to start a band. We’d heard about Zane through friends of friends, so we approached him to play the drums for us. Over time, we worked out a nice formula between the three of us. We’ve had a lot of fun being that garage band that’s evolved into something serious.
We hear you guys took some time apart before this EP came together.
Zane: We wanted to put the finishing touches on the EP, but we also wanted to create a bit of a demand for Verum. We love our fans, but we wanted them to have this thirst that hadn’t been quenched in a while. Getting away from the scene for a bit was the best way to do that, in my opinion.
Kaden: We went from being a band that played shows every week to almost going on a hiatus. It helped us step back and reassess how we wanted to approach our EP, gigs and everything like that.
We love how nostalgic, yet modern, the record sounds. Who are some of the band’s biggest influences?
Zane: It’s a tough question because we’re such a mixed bag. We were writing blues initially, but then we took our first Sydney trip and did a 180. After that, we started to write heavier.
Logan: I know for me it was Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Rage Against the Machine.
Kaden: I got into a lot of heavier, darker stuff. I also got into riff-centric, but vocal, music. The likes of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Violent Soho.
In its simplest forms, using music as a distraction is a healthy way of healing; it lets you get away and enjoy yourself for a minute.
[ Kaden Perkinson – Verum ]
We think all those influences carried through to the EP.
Kaden: That’s good to hear. From day one, Foo Fighters have been a massive influence of mine, so it was cool to hear that people picked up on that straight away. It wasn’t a massive intention. We didn’t sit down and say we wanted to write a song that sounded like Everlong, but it’s cool when you idolise a band and people say that you have that sound.
Was there an overarching concept you were trying to tell?
Kaden: It’s in the name of the EP. As individuals, we all use music as a form of healing and to understand ourselves. In its simplest forms, using music as a distraction is a healthy way of healing; it lets you get away and enjoy yourself for a minute. And then being a bit complex, there’s also using music as a form of expression and using it to cope with things. When I went through the lyrics, I could pick out things that were going on at that time. The EP was written over a long period. There are some really old songs and different arcs about how I’ve progressed as a person and how I’ve progressed in relationships with other people. I think that shows in the songs.
Give us a memorable moment from the writing/ recording process.
Kaden: Definitely when we went in for the second time to re-record a few things. We put a lot of focus on the tracks then. Everything was tracked live, and we’ve been playing some of the older songs at gigs for a while. So when we went in the second time, we focused on newer songs. It was harder, but we also thought it was a more creative process. We realised we changed as we wrote things. We found ourselves being more critical too.
So how do you think the Verum of the past compares to the Verum of now?
Zane: I just remember how fun it was playing at the Soundlounge in Currumbin. It was always a dream of mine to play live, at least in front of one person. Compared to now, we’re playing to larger crowds, and it seems like it’s possible to do this for the rest of my life. I love every part of this. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Kaden: When we first started, we took things very casually. We played when we wanted to because it was a bit more of a side hustle. It was like a hobby we had on the weekends, but now it’s become more serious. We’re all passionate about music, so we decided to give it a red-hot go. Now we’re actually sitting down and thinking about what we do and approaching things differently instead of blowing things off or being nonchalant.
What’s in store for your upcoming shows?
Logan: We had a tour booked with shows in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast, but COVID’s come around the corner again. We still plan to play all of them, but we’ll just have to see when we can make it work. We’re going to try Queensland first and move around when everything’s in the clear.
Kaden: We’ve started focusing on putting more of a show on instead of just rocking up and playing our songs. We’ve put a lot of effort into the setlist and changing up how we play songs live. We want to make things more interesting. I think we’ve spent the last few months just testing different sets and working in new covers and different ways to play/write/sing. We don’t want people to show up to a band who just plays their EP and goes home.
We have two strong covers now. One’s Guerrilla Radio by Rage Against the Machine, it’s really fun and different from what we’re normally like. We also do Eightfold by Violent Soho, it’s energetic, and it gets the crowd going.
What’s next for the band?
Kaden: We want to put out a single by the end of the year. We’ve been writing a few new songs recently. We also want to do a Brisbane or Gold Coast show too. That may or may not change depending on COVID. We don’t want to rush things. We want to roll things out properly, so we’ll take our time if we have to.