Q&A: The Vernons
We try to harken back to the latter day saints of blues rock n roll, and evolve it into a modern sound. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, The Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival would be a good set of parents for what we try and achieve.
Who makes up your band?
There are four members; Jonny (Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar), Elliot Gooch (Drums, Backing Vocals), Hugh Tait (Bass Guitar – slappin da bass is his technical term) and myself James on lead guitar and backing vocals. Jonny and I are childhood friends. I met Elliot when I was on Gap Year and Jonny met Hugh when they were on Gap Year.
What were your influences when you first started writing music? And what are your influences now?
Since I was young, my Mum was always playing rock n roll and soul records to keep us entertained (not that the TV was doing a bad job). So, I was influenced from a young age in the original musical styles. She was also a major Cat Stevens and Van Morrison fan, which influenced heavily. Now days, I try to listen to as much as possible. Anything Jack White or Dan Auerbach are involved in is usually the way to go.
What are you working on at the moment?
We have just begun the release period for our debut EP The Vernons: Volume I so we’re gearing up for an East Coast tour of Australia going from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney. On the writing front, Jonny writes the majority of our material so we are constantly trying new things in rehearsals to keep our selves going.
Do you have a procedure for writing music?
Usually something will pop into my head when playing guitar. Start with the riff and then the lyrics seem to flow pretty quickly. I’ve found it’s harder to write lyrics before melody but simultaneously is usually the easiest.
If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, who would you collaborate with? And why?
Jack White. I believe that he has one of the hardest working of his craft. He has several outlets for his creativity and he makes a guitar sound that is unique and its simplicity makes it complex.
What do you think about your Gold Coast’s music scene?
On the Gold Coast, live music is unfortunately not as popular as it could be. We are a tourist town and nightclubs feature as a top attraction so it is understandable. However, the people that do watch live music are courteous and understanding. They can clap in times and are always down for a dance. We love playing home shows.
If you could play anywhere, where would you love to perform?
Central Park, New York City.
Seen any good bands lately?
The Alabama Shakes at Big Day Out. What a brilliant, polished performance. They were the best band on the day. With Foals a close second.
Any interesting stories?
There have been some fascinating experiences so far in our music career. One of the biggest moments was to share backstage with others on the bill at The Big Day Out. We met the Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr and Childish Gambino. Our drummer claims to have met Anthony Kiedis, however, we are yet to see evidence.
Where are you playing next?
Our East Coast Tour will commence at The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay on the 16th of August. Come on down. If you need to check any tour dates, please check out our facebook for more info.