At the Indianapolis stop of Warped Tour, I grabbed a chance to sit down with Blake, guitarist ofVersaEmerge. Being their first time on Warped Tour, he was alive and well and telling AP.net about having a chick in his band, future plans, and how they got in with the Ramen.
First of all, for the record, can you tell me your name and what you play in your band?
Blake: Hi, I'm Blake and I play guitar in Versa Emerge.
Let's start this off. Is this your first time on Warped Tour?
Blake: Yes it is. It's our first time doing any large, hot outdoor festival.
Wow, are you pumped? Are you tired? How are you feeling right now?
Blake: A mixture of both, I think. Ultimately, we're completely and utterly stoked every single day to be on Warped. It's the ultimate opportunity to be able to play for kids at the show that's known as the show that everyone goes to. At the same time, I'm in desperate need of a shower and I'm tired and I can definitely sleep.
So, you guys recently signed to Fueled By Ramen. Tell me about that. How did you hook that up? I know you guys are from Florida and they originated in Florida, did that come into play?
Blake: By the time we started talking to labels, FBR was primarily based out of New York so it didn't really have anything to do with us being in Florida. We started recording some home demos and we had a previous male vocalist. We recorded our EP, Perceptions, last year - we had a couple producers here and there helping us out and doing us favors. We toured a little bit last year off of that EP with various bands and then the labels started coming to us with interest. Right off the bat, we loved all the bands on Fueled By Ramen, and just being with John, the owner - he was the one who found us - there was an instant connection.
I think for you guys, the kind of crowd that FBR brings out is well-fitted for you guys. But let's get back to you Warped. Did you guys go to Warped Tour when you were younger?
Blake: Yes! Sierra's a little younger than us, so it's more new to her, but as for everyone else in the band, Warped Tour seemed almost like this magical world. This carnival - it's crazy. I think it's important for a band to experience Warped Tour.
We're you the band that pushed their CD's in the front of the line?
Blake: Yes, definitely. When we had a male vocalist in 2006, I remember walking around the whole day with an iPod and CD's, trying to spread the work. We had little business cards [laughs].
It must be nice to be done with that. To sit at a merch table.
Blake: Yeah, and it's awesome to have a street team helping us with signs and stuff.
How do you think Sierra is being perceived at Warped Tour? Do you think the dudes are into it? How about the ladies?
Blake: I think having a girl is beneficial. Girls almost wanna be like her and guys, if even their not a huge fan of the music...
Having a hot chick on the stage?
Blake: Yeah. [laughs] I mean, we never had the intention of riding the fact that she's, you know. But people can think what they think and we can't change that. We keep trying to make our music the best we can.
Do you ever get tired of the Hayley [Williams] comparison?
Blake: Yeah, we do. I mean, you can't let that bother you too much, but you know, it does get a little annoying after awhile. There's nothing we can do except be ourselves.
Can you run us through some future plans?
Blake: Well we have a new EP out right now, self-titled, and we've been touring that all year. Came out in February. Recently we just started writing for our full-length and we'll hit the studio, probably in December. And we're looking for early summer to release.
Any recommendations you have for us? Bands you really love, or bands you'd like to get some exposure?
Blake: Our friends in The Arrival - we've toured with them. Amazing band from Alabama. Check them out. Eye Alaska are good friends. And There For Tomorrow - our first tour was with them. We just recently became friends with The Maine. Rocket to the Moon, our labelmates. I could go on all day!