Our featured artist in this week’s Meet The Band is the Seattle group Versus. Their full-length debut The Cardinal was just released. Vocalist Joe Taylor introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Versus.
Joe Taylor: Versus is a five piece nu-metal/grunge rock band from Seattle. We formed in 2015, members coming from different music backgrounds. We released an EP titled The Black in January 2016 and began touring.
Describe the songwriting process for The Cardinal.
We just went with the flow, and didn’t limit ourselves to a sound or demographic. It was an organic composition. The beginning phase was recorded and laid out by our guitarist Mack, then it got into the hands of our other guitarist Brandon for spice ups and post productions, then sent over the the magical Casey Bates for mixing and mastering.
What’s the lyrical focus of the album, and what led you in that direction?
We wanted to give a immediate mental image on what it’s like to live with depression and how it affects all categories of life.
How would you describe the album’s style/sound?
That’s a hard question. There are so many tracks that aren’t like the others. It has a lot of hard rock, grunge and nu-metal vibes, but each song speaks for itself, I think.
How did you come to sign with Revival Recordings?
Me and the Revival team had a couple talks about why we all do what we do. We followed that up with a meeting in their turf of North Carolina and all the dots were connected. They just understood our motives and backed it even before we were signed to them. It’s a beautiful group of passionate individuals in that camp.
What are your expectations for the album?
To help people, to help them understand we all have our trials. Music has helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. Hopefully we can use our past experiences and put them into a lyrically visual format to help others through similar experiences.
You just wrapped up a tour with Alesana. What were some of the highlights for you?
Being able to play with a bill of great guys. We made friends and wonderful memories, played packed houses and met amazing people.
What are your upcoming tour plans?
Seattle is known for its music scene. Is it competitive, nurturing or both?
Definitely both. It is a very welcoming scene, but each band/artist is pushing each other to become better.
How did you get started in music?
Picked up a guitar and never put it down, I guess. After feeling what it’s like to play in front of people, you realize then and there that it’s a drug you can’t get elsewhere.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Deftones, Chevelle, Tool, P.O.D, Linking Park, Creed, etc. Hard rock from the late ’80s to the present.
What was the first concert you attended as a fan?
Seen any good movies or DVDs lately?
Finding Dori. So good!
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Thrice’s new album all day everyday. So emotionally heavy.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
New album The Cardinal is out now. We couldn’t be any more excited about it!
(interview published March 4, 2017)