While we were at Groezrock Festival we were able to sit down with Sean Murphy (vocals) and Zak Drummond (guitar) from Verse. The guys were kind enough to share some of their time with us to answer our questions.
What did you miss the most about playing this music during near 3 years you stopped?
Sean: Most of all things we missed the connection we had with people. The people in the audience, but there are just some people who are always there and when we stopped we just stopped seeing those people as well. That is something we all really missed. We both kept playing music, doing projects, but we all felt like the chemistry wasn’t there, so that’s something we missed as well I guess.
What did your lives look like during the band’s hiatus?
Sean: As I said we were all still keeping ourselves busy with music. I have been working on a project and Zak had a couple, like five or so?
Zak: Yes, we all basically kept making music in other bands and work.
Sean: Oh yeah, we worked a lot, at least I did. A lot of making pizzas (laughs).
In your reformation statement you said that things got a little crazy at home, with being on tour all the time, and now you got back together because you missed playing music and the chemistry you shared writing it. How do you plan on combining the two this time, keeping both parties happy?
Sean: Before we broke up we were at a point where we were just going all out, on and on, we kept working so hard that things just got too crazy.
Zak: We all decided to take it a lot slower this time so that we have time left for the people at home. This way we can manage between band time and time to be home.
How have the reactions to the reformation and the shows been so far?
Zak: Today is actually our second show since the reformation, so we can’t really say anything yet. But the reactions so far are all very positive.
Sean: Of course there are some naysayers who thing is not cool and are just negative about the whole reformation thing in general. People are coming up to us after the show and most of those are positive in their reactions, so that’s a good thing.
We saw little studio updates on your Facebook. What can we expect from your time in the studio?
Sean: We thing this is our best album so far (laughs proudly)!
Zak: I agree. We are all very happy with the result. We are now at the point where we are all just listening back to it and think “mmm, this is pretty good”. Basically we are just waiting for the album to come out.
Can you share a little about the theme of Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace?
Sean: I can’t really explain the music, but lyric wise it is really about life lessons, the things that happen to me, family life. It is all very personal, but that is just the how I write my lyrics.
Can you explain what the title Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace is about?
Sean: Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace revers to the point where we stopped and broke up as band, it resembles a point in my life. The process of aging and as we stopped and I could see things more clearly and see how weathered I had become, you know. I had come to a point where I was who I did not want to be, a point where my friends did not even like me anymore.
What ends of the world would you still like to visit, and play at with Verse?
Zak: I just want to revisit all the places we have been before and see the people who we have met over the years.
Sean: We would all love to go to South America. I think we are all pretty stoked to go there some day. Personally I would love to go to New Zealand. It is beautiful there.
Would you say that hardcore is a universal language, which anyone can relate to?
Sean: Yes, I think so. Of course sometimes bands alienate certain people. I am also guilty of that. Hardcore music has honesty to it and most things we can all relate to.
Besides the release of Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace, and the European tour, what else is happening for Verse in 2012/2013?
Sean: We are taking it slow, but that does not mean we won’t be touring a lot. We just want to keep on playing great music.
Words by Ruben Middelweerd
Photos by © Josi Hoffmann / Holding.The.Moment