Whilst on their first trip overseas, Alter The Press caught up with Georgia's own, Veara, at the London stop of the 2010 Eastpak Antidote Tour.
The pop-punk four piece spoke to ATP about their new album 'What We Left Behind', signing to Running Man/Epitaph Records, how the band originated, playing overseas for the first time and more.
Alter The Press: How has your first trip overseas been going so far?
Bradley Wyrosdick (vocals/guitar): It's been going pretty well, but our first day was pretty crazy. When we landed in London, at Heathrow airport, we went outside to go pick up our van. We're actually driving ourselves around over here, and in Europe. So we went to go pick up our sprinter van, and the van we ordered was an automatic, but they brought us a manual, so we were like, "We can't drive this because we don't know how to". We were trying to figure it out but Brittany (Harrell - drums) got the furthest in driving it.
Patrick Bambrick (vocals/guitar): Maybe ten feet.
Bradley: And the guy who dropped it off was there, from Vans for Bands, and we said that we couldn't drive the van; luckily, he drove us around all day. When we went to pick up our drums, we were missing a snare, and had to fix that. We couldn't find a hotel that night so we had to find sleeping bags.
Bryan Kerr (bass/vocals): And we couldn't find sleeping bags.
Bradley: It was an adventure.
ATP: Who's been driving for the most part?
Patrick: I have. It's been quite the adventure. I think I'm use to everything right now, even though everything is on the wrong side of the road! I like it though; it's a challenge. I drive the van mostly, back in the US. I enjoy the roundabouts over here, I think they make more sense than most intersections do, and I feel the UK's traffic patterns are far superior to those in the US.
Brittany Harrel (drums): I'll vouch for him, man! He took to it like a duck takes to water. He's been driving like he's been over here before!
Bryan: The yellow lights before the green lights here are pretty cool too.
Patrick: That's the 'hit the gas' light!
ATP: Have you managed to do anything on your off time here yet?
Brittany: Not yet.
Bryan: I went to one of the malls here the other day, but it was like an outdoor mall. I don't know if all of the malls are like that here. The electronic store there was a little strange. It was interesting.
ATP: The cliché question. Where did the name Veara come from?
Patrick: There's a music store from our hometown, and all four of us have had awful and awkward experiences with the lady that owns the store. I won't mention the store for legal reasons, but her name is, Vera. We all thought she is a total bitch and we all thought it would be funny; because we've all been in a few bands from the start, and now we're still doing this.
ATP: How did the band originate?
Brittany: Me and Bryan met in high school, back home in Georgia. We were in marching band together and started jamming. We randomly met Patrick through the internet, and then that's when Veara really started. We started by playing covers at our friend's birthday parties and stuff. We were already friends with Brad, who had played in other bands around town. We lost our singer at the time, and we asked Brad, because he was our friend already and can sing, so we gave him a call. He was down for doing it; he came, hung out, and joined the band almost three years ago now; that's where we are.
ATP: You've recently released your new album 'What We Left Behind,' through Epitaph Records. How did you end up signing with them?
Brittany: That's a long story. We met Sue from Epitaph at Bamboozle a couple of years ago, we were randomly talking about our band, and nothing came of it. We told her we were recording some demos and she said to us, "Come e-mail me when you're done recording the demos". We were friends already with Josh (Woodard) and Jeremy (McKinnon) of A Day To Remember. We've known all of those guys for a while. At the time we were recording the demos, Josh was managing bands and we asked him to check the demos out. He checked it out, liked it, and immediately called us after listening to them. He said, he and Jeremy want to work with us, and that they were starting their own label, Running Man, so we started working with them. They were looking for a label to help and put out the record, and asked us what label were we interested in. We've always been fans of Epitaph Records, and told Josh and Jeremy that we'd met Sue and had her e-mail. So they e-mailed Sue the tracks, and I think she showed everybody in the office, they were all down for it and flew Sue to our hometown show. We were actually playing with A Day To Remember at Augusta, Georgia. So we ended up hanging out with her, and started to get the ball rolling.
ATP: How did you meet Jeremy and Josh from A Day To Remember?
Brittany: Well, they played a show in Augusta, long before they blew up; just when they started playing shows out of their hometown. It was there first time playing in Augusta, and I think Secret Lives Of The Freemasons were playing on that show too. We actually played after them, which is kind of weird, and that was the first time we met them. They got really big in Augusta, long before how they are now, so we would always play with them every time they came through. We'd always play shows with them, and that's how we started the friendship. They helped us out by putting us on the set of their DVD shoot, for the re-release of 'For Those Who Have Heart.' They also hooked us up with shows regionally.
ATP: You're the first band to be signed to Running Man. Are there any other bands they are working with?
Patrick: They are definitely on the hunt, but they aren't going to pick up whoever. They just pick up who they really like a lot. Josh and Jeremy are pretty picky.
ATP: How has the response been to the new record, so far?
Bradley: It's been pretty good so far. I feel like a lot of people thought we just came out of the air, out of nowhere, but it's not true. People ask us about how long we've been touring for, and we've been touring seriously from around 2007. Even before I was in the band, they were always touring. Everyone usually gets pretty surprised. It's had a really good response especially in, strangely enough, Australia. I think the record came out there a few days before the US. It only just came out here, hard copy that is. We've always been getting a lot of response from Australia, and have ended up getting to play Soundwave Festival, which is great. We're pretty stoked on that.
Bryan: It seems the more touring we do in the US, the more and more kids are finding out about us. It'd be like, "We've never heard of you guys before. You guys are awesome!" and we'd seem them come back at shows. Like at the Rufio tour recently, we had a lot of kids come back.
Brittany: That's a big thing. We just did another tour, before we came over here, and that Rufio tour, we had a lot of kids talking about the record and coming back to see us. We're so stoked on that. The response has been great. I know we're only on the third show over here, but the first two shows have been great. Kids know who we are so we're like, "That's so awesome!" They say to us, "We came here to see you guys!" and that's sick!
Bryan: I think the Poughkeepsie, NY show we played, before we came here, gave our hometown show a run for its money.
Bradley: That's like fifteen hours away from us! We also did a tour in the summer with Our Last Night and The Bled, and that was probably the first time we saw a live response. Almost everywhere we went, places we've never been before, there were kids singing the words.
ATP: What's planned after the Eastpack Tour?
Patrick: We're going to do a few shows with The Wonder Years back in the US, with A Loss For Words, before Christmas.
Brittany: I think, once we get home from this, we have about a week and a half off, then we start heading up north to start these shows.
ATP: It's early days still, but do you have plans to come back to the UK?
Brittany: We don't have any plans set now, but I want to come back as soon as possible.
Bradley: I think it's safe to say we'll be back next year, hopefully.
Patrick: Maybe even in the Spring. I don't know. Nothing is confirmed.
Brittany: I don't why we wouldn't come back next year. It's been awesome so far.
ATP: Thanks guys. Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
Brittany: I want to say, thanks for checking Veara out and if you haven't, please check out 'What We Left Behind'. We appreciate all the support and we hope to see all of you at a show. Come check the tour dates, and come hang out with us.
'What We Left Behind' is out now on Running Man/Epitaph Records.
- Jon Ableson