The first week of November sees the release of Breaking Out, the new album from British rock singer/songwriter Verity White. An award winning artist continuing to rise up the UK rock scene Verity is no stranger to courting eager attention, with her album an ear grabbing realising of earlier potential and the source of a new breed of promise to expect her prompting bigger spotlights. To celebrate the album’s release we thrust a host of questions to explore the world of Verity White…
Hello and welcome, please introduce Verity White.
Well the ‘band’ is me, but I work with my hubby as the producer and instrumentalist, as I’m more of a mentalist than any good with any instruments. We actually got together long before we started writing together, my musical releases only started in Autumn 2016 when I felt I was ready – I had to go through a lot of stuff to get to a place with my confidence to release anything.
Have you been or are involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?
Yup, I’m still a backing vocalist in the prog-rock band Pendragon, I’m not sure that its really influenced what we’re doing, although obviously it is also rock based so maybe it has? You tell me! The other bands have just been covers bands on the local circuit so not a lot of influence there.
Was there any specific idea behind forming your own project and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
There was actually. After I came back from my first tour as a backing vocalist in Pendragon a lot of their fans got in touch to ask if I was releasing music. I had been thinking for a while that maybe I ought to start and that was what I needed to actually do it. It was natural that I would work with the best producer I know, who I also happen to be married to. I always wanted it to be rock focused, but there is a lot of influence of electronica in there too, loads of synths! Also some folk roots and definitely classic soul. It’s like a mash-up of my best music playlists!
Do the same things still drive the band or have they evolved over time?
I’m definitely still driven by the same things. The same music inspires me but I’m always finding new music to do that too. I don’t think I will ever lose my drive, I’ve actually got a song on the new album about the pressure I put on myself to succeed.
How would you say your sound has evolved since starting?
It’s more the writing than the sound; I understand more what does and doesn’t work, and how to use my voice and melodies as an instrument that blends better with the rest of the music. You see, the last year has been prolific, we’re written so much so you cannot help but get better at it.
Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?
Definitely organic, if it feels right, it happens.
You touched on it earlier, that there is a wide range of inspirations at work for you; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?
Definitely Nine Inch Nails, they’re a massive inspiration, but also a lot of 90’s grunge and rock bands, like Nirvana, obviously, and Veruca Salt, and other strong female artists with great music like Amanda Palmer and Tori Amos.
Is there a particular process to your songwriting?
Yeah, usually Al and I get a rough chord structure sorted which Al then adds drums and bass to, I get this track and write the various melody lines and lyrics, then I record and we add incidentals and then I leave him to mix and master it all!
Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?
It’s boring but it is all personal experiences. I alluded before to my ‘dark past’ and it’s no lie, there’s a lot of material there!!
Could you give us some background to your latest release?
I Don’t Care is actually homage to my time at uni when I got drunk all the time and slept around to try to forget about how unhappy I was. It’s actually a pretty dark message for such an upbeat punk-y style rock song! The whole album Breaking Out, when it comes out, is actually a movement into my personal self-believe and breaking free from what I’ve been holding myself back with. It’s been a real journey writing it and I think a lot of people will find some of the messages and stories within it have something they will recognise in themselves. Hopefully they’ll like the music too!
Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop as you record?
I go in with clear ideas but then we also do a lot of improvised takes and sometimes they are wonderful. I think you need to have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve before you go to the studio, and a clear idea of the performance and energy you want to give, as you get what you put in. If you’re underprepared and under rehearsed it’ll never sounds as good whatever you do.
Tell us about the live side to the project, presumably one of your favourite aspects to making music?
LOVE IT! I love being on stage – it’s my favourite place. Maybe except bed, but you know. Our live shows are just that – a show – it’s not just a name on stage, but we like to get a real connection with the audience and hope that the energy and enthusiasm we have on stage is addictive!
It is not easy for any new artist or band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?
It’s a lot of hard work, and it is down to you. I’ve found social media, mainly twitter, has been incredible for building a fan base, just through genuine interaction. Personally I’ve found that just by being me and my working my arse off every day, I have managed to get people interested. However – the weird thing is – they’re mainly not from anywhere near where I live. Isn’t that typical! Good job we’re touring in January!
How has the internet and social media impacted on your presence to date?
The internet has revolutionized the way you can interact with fans; it’s makes it easier than ever to connect directly with your audience. My last year has been heavy working on increasing interest in the music through social media alone. I’ve only plays a couple of gigs! Personally, I think this way, when you do tour, you’ll have people who are interested enough to actually come to see you! I hope that I can always keep connected with the people who love my music. I would hate to lose that, they make me so happy and are such wonderful people!
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Massive thanks to you too!! I guess just keep an eye out for the new releases – Breaking Out is going to be awesome and it’s out first week of November!
Check out Verity White further @ https://www.facebook.com/veritywhitesinger https://www.veritywhite.com/ https://twitter.com/veebear and explore/buy Breaking Out now @ https://veritywhite.bandcamp.com/album/breaking-out
Pete RingMaster 03/11/2017
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