Monday, November 04, 2013

Interview with Verscythe's Justin St. Pierre

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Verscythe's own Justin St. Pierre. As the lead singer of Verscythe, who are a New Bedford, MA-based power metal/traditional heavy metal band, Justin commands a power-house five-piece that recently released the excellent "A Time Will Come". You can check out my review of that album at the bottom of this interview. In the meantime I just want to thank Justin for sparing some time in his busy schedule to answer a few questions from Heavy Metal time Machine.

Andy-For  our readers who might not be all that familiar with Verscythe could you please give us a brief rundown on who everyone is and who plays what.

Justin-Justin St. Pierre - Vocals / Chris Reed - Guitar,Backing Vocals / Jack St. Pierre - Bass, Backing Vocals / Jeff Rull - Guitar, Backing Vocals / Kevin Camille - Drums

Andy (A)-How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard Verscythe?

Justin (J)-Thats always a difficult question because everyone has different opinions, but we would say that we have a power metal sound with some thrash in the mix.

A-You guys came together back in January of 2011 correct?

J-Correct, Jan of 2011.

A-Is it fair to say that your band was formed out of the ashes of Kreagen?

J-Sort of. Kreagen was formed by Myself and my brother Jack with two other guys. When Kreagen started playing there was other local bands around. Beyond the Embrace which Kevin played for and Reflections of Mortality which Chris played for. We were all friends in the New Bedford local metal scene. Years later Kevin left BTE and Reflections of Mortlity broke up, so I put down the guitar in Kreagen and Chris and Kevin joined Kreagen for the last maybe year before Kreagen ended. Jeff had played in different bands for years but when we first met him he was just a fan of local metal music who came out and supported. We knew he played and he was such a great guy that when we were looking to get Verscythe started he was the first choice to come play. 

A-Where did the band's name come from?

J-The bands name was found through Alister Crowley's book 777 after Jeff took all the birth dates of all the band members and combined them.

A-Wow, I'm not sure I ever would have been able to guess that! Now, your Facebook page lists bands as diverse as Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden as influences. What are some other bands that helped to shape your sound? 

J-As a group we would say Helloween, Megadeth, Fates Warning to name a few, but individually we listen and are inspired by everything. From classical to hardcore and everything in between. We all have the same idea that good music is good music no matter what the category and good music can always bring inspiration.

A-Variety is the spice of life! When we talk about your recording output it seems as if you guys were able to forgo the usual demo first route and just jumped right to a full-length album. How did you guys manage to pull that off? 

J-We were able to pull that off because we have been doing this for a long time now. We've all recorded other albums with other bands so we are comfortable with the process. We had the songs that we felt would make a cool album so that doesn't hurt either. Also we are very relaxed with each other and with the engineer so it's a fun experience not a stressful one.

A-Your album "A Time Will Come" sounds killer (especially for a self-release) and comes across as a professional product. What was the recording process like?

J- First, Thank you very much. Recording "A time will come" was just a fun process. We were in the studio just having a blast. Doing this before and being comfortable with the process makes it easier to have fun and still be professional when getting to business. We are friends with the man recording the album as well so we can go in there and just do what we have to do with no stress. We get ideas while recording so we just try stuff out and see what sticks and try to not take ourselves to seriously while recording because it's not always gonna be 1 take with no mistakes. We just laugh and then get back to business.
A-Personal preference time. Iron Maiden or Judas Priest?

J-It's like almost 50/50 but Iron maiden has the edge. We love Priest, but there is just something about Iron Maiden that sticks with us. 

A-How about Black Sabbath? With Ozzy or with Dio?

J-Black Sabbath with Dio is amazing music, but when it come down to it Sabbath with Ozzy is always gonna be it. 

A-AC/DC with Bon Scott or Brian Johnson? 

J-Same as above Brian Johnson is awesome, but we are Bon Scott guys

A-Metallica or Megadeth? 

J-Interesting question. Early Metallica was jaw dropping, but they did have a lot of Dave's riffs and ideas to work with. We would say up until "And Justice For All" Metallica certainly has the edge, but after "Justice..." Megadeth 100%

A-I was just at one of my local record stores over the weekend and had this actually conversation with one of the store owners and another shopper. I tried to argue that "Justice..." sounds kind of hollow as Newsted's bass is nowhere to be found! I'd agree wholeheartedly with you though that after that fourth album it was all a gradual downhill slide. Changing gears here, but who are some of the bands that Verscythe has shared the stage with?

J-We have shared the stage with a lot of bands, but to name a few: Rope, Forevers Fallen Grace, Train of Thought......there are to many to remember, ha!

A-Well, if you had a chance at your own dream bill who would you love to play with and why?

J-We thought about this for a while and it would have to be like a month long festival with like 5,000 bands on it. Way to many bands to name but it would be freaking awesome!

A-That would be epic! So, what is the scene like in New Bedford, Massachusetts? Are there any other bands you would like to suggest or help plug?

J-The music scene in New Bedford is dismal. All of the good original music venues have closed down leaving the local bands ass out for the most part. It's hard to plug anyone anymore because we are not 100% sure about who is still around in New Bedford. It's a real shame!!

A-Where can our readers find out more information about the band and purchase their own copy of "A Time Will Come"?

J-People can find out more about Verscythe on Facebook, Reverbnation, or just Google us. You can buy a copy of " A Time Will Come" on bandcamp, or hit us up on Facebook or Reverbnation and I think we even have some listed on Ebay.

A-Sweet! Is there anything we didn't cover that you'd like to address?

J-I don't believe so. We just wanna thank you for taking the time to listen to our album and do this interview with us

A-It was really my pleasure! I will now give you the final word. The stage is all yours. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans? Do you have any words of advice for up and coming bands? Have a favorite movie or TV show you want to talk about? Anything and everything is welcome so the mic is all yours!

J-To anyone who likes our music and even for people who might not. If you are a fan of music than help whatever local scene is near you, your what makes us!!  We write music that makes us happy and if there are some of you out there who get enjoyment out of it, that pumps us up. We are fans of music, it's what runs through our blood, it's in our souls, it's what makes us survive. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all those who have shown us support. Rock Hard, Ride Free!!!!!

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