On the evening of January 9, I drove into San Francisco to attend a hardcore show. Knowing that Verse would be playing I wrote up a bunch of questions prior in hopes they would okay an interview. Not only did they accept the interview, but I'm pretty sure one of the boys winked at me. After their performance, I met up with Eric and Sean outside. They were both covered in sweat and smiles. And thus it began!
Scene Point Blank: What is your name and what do you do in Verse?
Eric: My name is Eric and I play guitar.
Sean: I'm Sean and I'm the vocalist guy.
Scene Point Blank: What does the acronym V.E.R.S.E. stand for?
Eric: It doesn't stand for anything, it's just a word.
Scene Point Blank: Okay, if it was to stand for something...?
Sean: Best question we've ever been asked.
Eric: Very enormous... red... super elephant.
Scene Point Blank: Assuming it's a word, what does Verse mean to you guys?
Sean: It's tied into the music, it's how I came up with it. I thought it was kind of a cool word. I've always been into bands that have one word rather than some super long name. So it kinda stuck.
Scene Point Blank: How did you guys get started?
Sean: We all pretty much knew each other before. Eric and I had been in a band before. Everybody in the band were in side projects with each other before. We started off as a side project, I was playing drums. I was in another band called What Feeds The Fire and that was coming to an end. I left that band and asked if I could move to vocals and find a different drummer. Then our friend Mike started playing drums for us. That's pretty much how we started. Then we recorded that four song 7'. And that was that.
Scene Point Blank: Do you agree?
Eric: That's the gist of it.
Scene Point Blank: After releasing a 7' on a Rhode Island label, why the full length release on Rivalry Records, a west coast label?
Eric: We actually spent a long time trying to find a label to put it out. Kyle had wanted to do it for a little while and he was a friend of Sean's. I met him a while ago, before the record came out. It just felt right. It's good to have someone we know, someone we can trust to put the record out. At that point we didn't feel like Al and Dan with Contrast were really going to be serious about doing a full length. That's pretty much where that came from. I work with Dan, that's how I met him, he was going to start a label. That was his New Year's resolution, he wanted to start a label. We had just done that recording and said, 'Why not put our demo out on a 7'?' So it wouldn't really be a demo, it would just be a 7' or whatever. He agreed to do it; then he talked to Al and wanted to see if Al would help out and do a split release. So that's what ended up happening.
Sean: Dan's label is called Double Down records. I don't know what they're doing now, but just as Eric said, I don't think they wanted to be super serious with it. It was kind of like a hobby of theirs, to put out records.
Scene Point Blank: You guys didn't want to put your record out on a label that did something like the R'n'R/Suicide File split, where kids would never get it?
Sean: Yeah. I've known Kyle for years now, he's always been an awesome dude. He really follows through with what he does. He's already doing an amazing job with that title. It was kind of like an obvious choice once he approached us.
Scene Point Blank: Rival or Rivalry?
Sean: Rivalry is flowing off of my tongue a little bit better now than it was before. He didn't have a choice, so it's kinda what you got to do. I don't think it's a bad name.
Scene Point Blank: What does Rebuild mean to you?
Sean: We come from Providence, Rhode Island. There's so many different kids there. Like crust punks, hardcore kids, straight edge kids, all sorts of different people there. Everything is pretty divided. Still, wherever you go it's fairly divided as far as that stuff goes. As long as people can behave, act normal and not be dicks/complete assholes, I'd like to see them all come together and be able to have a good time at a show. That's pretty much what I had in mind was with Rebuild. Just like... something for everybody. Rebuild the scene, like a community. A hardcore/punk community including everybody, not leaving anybody out.
Scene Point Blank: With the word rebuild it brings thoughts of starting over, so were they any main negatives there is currently going on?
Eric: Yeah, this growing thing with violence at shows lately in a lot of scenes. I don't think anybody should have to be afraid to be at a show. The whole reason we're here in the first place is because of this community. We should feel comfortable with that. For anybody to make anybody feel uncomfortable with that situation... doesn't make any sense.
Sean: I was scared growing up in some of the neighborhoods I did and my surroundings. I found hardcore and it was a safe place I could go. To see it be like a scary place now? That sucks. That's where I went to escape all that shit. It kills me to see things go to shit.
Scene Point Blank: What you're kinda saying is that hardcore can be a sanctuary from everything that sucks and that place you go to is scaring you, so where are you supposed to go then?
Sean: Yeah. I'll be honest, I haven't and I don't think I ever will, but at times I get so bummed out at some shows that I go to I think about walking away. And never turning around. I think this is a stray away of it's original intent, what hardcore/punk was supposed to be. As I said, it's supposed to be about community, helping each other out, teaching people about new and different things, opening people's minds, not beating the fucking piss out of everything. That's self defeating if you're going to treat it like that.
Eric: The biggest problem is, I don't think anybody realizes it, there's really nothing to prove. You're here. Obviously, you have some fucking problems if you're here. You have some social problems, some problems growing up, some problems at home, that's why you're here. You should be taking it on the outside world than our own world. People need to realize that.