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The Hot Sweat
Hana Pestle
Hana Pestle
By Cristina Carrazza, Regional Head- Midwest

VersaEmergeIf there is any band to watch this year, it's Fueled By Ramen's latest act VersaEmerge. This female fronted quintet from Florida has had a very successful 2009 so far. They released a self titled EP in Feburary and are currently touring with We The Kings, The Maine, The Cab, and There For Tomorrow on the Secret Valentine Tour. By this summer, the band will tour with Craig Owens, play at Bamboozle, South by Southwest, Give It A Name and the entire Warped Tour. During the Connecticut date of the Secret Valentine Tour, we caught up with front woman Sierra and guitarist Jerry and got personal, and funny, insight into this promising band.

Cristina: First of all, introduce yourselves
Sierra: My name is Sierra, and I sing for VersaEmerge.
Jerry: My name is Jerry, and I play guitar…. For VersaEmerge

CC:  So how would you describe VersaEmerge?
SK: Umm, I would describe it as a crazy battle act going through space,  and taking decades and decades.
JP: I would say it’s like riding a unicorn through a blackhole.
SK: And surviving…
JP: and surviving and playing like Elton John’s Greatest Hits through your Ipod.
SK: But that is very faint from all the “shh” noises of materializing
JP: yeah, for sure.

CC: On your official bio, it says you’ve “taken a little bit from artists of all different genres you have toured with in order to come up with something completely unique and unprecedented when it comes to your music”
SK: and we try…
JP: yeah
SK: Is that what they’re saying?!
JP: It definitely isn’t something one of us has said. It sounds so fancy
SK: *laughs* But it is true! We definitely do try. We’ve been on tour with many different genres. We went on tour with a lot of underground hardcore bands. Like Our Last Night, which definitely doesn’t sound like us. And then some pop acts, like The Arrival, and We The Kings.
JP: Eye Alaska
SK: Yep

CC: How has your music evolved since your first started touring with these different acts?
JP: Not necessarily the music, at least not in my opinion. I think, personality wise we all change after every tour. Or I do at least.
SK: He’s more of an asshole after every tour.
JP: Definitely, definitely.

CC: Oh I feel the sell out rumors coming from that…
JP: Sell Out?! I’m not going to sell out. Well sell outs do have a bad attitude as they get more famous but we’re not bad towards our fans.
SK: You’re bitter.
JP: Wow, this is all going downhill. I thought this was going to be easy, you seem like a nice girl, and then all the sudden we’re talking about how mean we are and how we’re sell outs.
SK: Well, to actually answer your question you do learn a lot while on tour. I know I do when you meet different kids who play music. I always talk to all the other frontmen and we swap how we do things, how we warm up and stuff.
JP: I personally talk to all the other unnecessary, extra guitar players in other bands and we talk about the same things, warms ups and stuff. Well, I made that up. There is absolutely no warm up technique for the unnecessary guitarists.

CC: So who are some of the artists you would like to tour with and learn from?
SK: Jerry will read off our list for you. 
JP: Umm
SK: *whispers* Besides Emery
JP: Ha, well I always say Emery because they’re my favorite band and they have been for years. Well, even now we’re playing with bands who I’ve listened to since I was like, 14.  It’s really unreal to be in this situation.
SK: The Maine has been on your Ipod since you were 14.
JP: They have, I’m a 14 year old girl at heart. If you would have asked me this question before, I would’ve probably said some of the bands we’re touring with now. Well besides from Emery, I guess I would love to tour with Panic At The Disco. I think we all agree that would be very fun.
SK: For me, vocal wise, I would love to travel with other chick artists. Solo artists, not female fronted bands. I mean, how cool would it be to go on tour with Bjork.
JP: That would be awesome. Or like No Doubt.
SK: Ugh, Paramore already got that.

CC: Well you could have the Versa, Paramore, and No Doubt line up
SK: That would be a definite girl’s trip.
JP: I don’t know why everyone thinks it’s so offensive that we’re compared to Paramore. I think they’re amazing. There is so much awesome music out now, you can’t help the comparisons from coming.

CC: Well people have been nice to you so far. But other bands, like Hey Monday, have really been criticized for sounding like them.
JP: But they don’t at all.
SK: I think it’s funny. Music is all an opinion. But some kids really want people to hear the shit they have to say. I’m sure all those people that bash us will show up to our shows
JP: and be all like will you sign my poster!
SK: I’ve seen people go back and say how much they liked us
JP: I hope so, we try.

CC: I know you guys have said in some interviews that you like to “pleasantly surprise” people when they come to your live show.
JP: We definitely try to keep the energy level as high as possible.
SK: Honestly, if the audience is crazy that’s all that matters. Like last night…
JP: Last night was awesome.
SK: We played in Canada last night and the kids were wild.
JP: They were going ballistic.
SK: I was on top of kids and everything. I’m pretty sure if you go to a show, with girl fronted bands… well girls are very girly, except for a few.  Well if you go to a show that has a girl that looks like she’s mad PMSing and has like knots in her hair going crazy on top of you, I don’t think you would necessarily be expecting that.
JP: Playing in Canada, I was kind of apprehensive. You know, you hear things about how they don’t like Americans and stuff like that. I don’t know, I’ve never experienced it but I’ve heard that from other people.
SK: You just don’t like Americans.
JP: What?! Do you see what I live with?! Why do I live in a van with her? Well, anyway every kid was so nice. They liked us.

CC: The response has been great, from what I can tell, considering this is your first big tour since you were signed to Fueled By Ramen
JP: It really has been awesome. We really didn’t know. Like you said this is our first big tour. We had no idea what kids were going to be like. We thought they were going to wait outside while this stupid band played.
SK: Which is what every other tour was.
JP: Right, exactly.
SK: I remember when I was younger, well like three months ago, and I was going to shows in my hometown, people wouldn’t really go see the opening bands.
JP: Yeah, they would just show up an hour before the show ended to see the main band.
SK: These kids are different. They’re all like “We LOVE We The Kings.” They love it. I mean these kids have never heard of us and then they come up to our merch table and are all like “this is the first time we’ve heard of you and we’re buying all your crap.”
JP: Yeah. I don’t know how to react sometimes.
SK: Yeah, it’s weird. Like I’m not used to being followed to the bathroom.
JP: Like we got out of the band today and these kids had cupcakes for us.
SK: They passed me! They didn’t even said hi to me and they were all over you
JP: Well, that’s because people don’t like you.

CC: So what would you like to talk about now…
SK: *sings* Let’s talk about… oh wait I shouldn’t say that.
JP: Why not. Let’s make this awkward. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about Jesus, why not. Let’s talk about anything.

CC: Well, you have the stereotypical things you guys have talk about in interviews.
JP: But this is fun, let’s have fun and talk about things we usually don’t talk about.
SK: But we should punch out the essentials first. Like we’re going to be in all of Warped Tour.
JP: Yes. Warped Tour. Craig Owens tour, which will be awesome. Bamboozle. Give it a Name. Tour in Europe. South By South West.
SK: I’m getting my boobs casted! They’re going to be in display for all of you to see in Warped.

CC: Keep A Breast? [Breast Cancer Foundation]
SK: Keep A Breast baby.

CC: You forgot  to say when the full length was coming out in the essentials.
JP: Oh! Yes! Expect it the end of this year or very beginning of next year. We’re procrastinating.
SK: No, we’re actually writing for it.

CC: Is that enough essentials for you two?
JP: Yes, perfect.
SK: Let’s talk about the first word that comes to your head when I say dog!
JP: Cat
SK: See then it’s not fun. I have a very fat cat, he’s 18 pounds and his name is Fat Phil
JP: I would just like to add that there was no sexual innuendo there. That was a total feline, animal reference. I don’t want people to get the wrong impression.

CC: Um, how about we do band superlatives?
JP: Yes, let’s do that with band members.

SK: Ok Anthony first (drums)
JP: Anthony is most likely to spontaneously combust.
SK: Most likely to burst in flames.
JP: Sometimes, because of his red hair, I’m not sure if he already combusted. And If he’s just smoldering
SK: He’s a wick waiting to be lit
JP: He’s the liveliest.
SK: Firecracker!
JP: He’s the most saturated personality.
SK: I’ve never met anyone like Anthony. When we first came to the band we didn’t get along but now we love each other.
JP: Out of all the other four retards in this band he’s one of my favorite people ever. But I have gotten so close to everyone in this band, I can talk shit about them and not worry.
SK: Exactly.
JP: Once you understand him, you can’t help but marvel at the engineering of the kid.
SK: You find yourself just watching him. You don’t have to say anything
JP: I tell Devyn (bass) all the time, I can just watch his brain and each and every click.
SK: I see him wake up in the morning, his eyes open, he looks at something, and I can see the words processing in his brain.
JP: Exactly. I think all the time, he’s like that little windmill thing in Macs that you get when you’re waiting for something… Anthony gets the windmill all the time.  But whatever he says, it’s just hilarious.

CC: That’s great.
SK: Shall we move on?
JP: Devyn is the most likely to be a vampire. He’s very goth
SK: He’s not goth but he does have his zombie stage.
JP: He has the biggest taste for metal out of everyone in the band.
SK: But cliché metal
JP: The first thing he does is get on his computer and just listen to some like ridiculous, brutal, baby stabbing metal.

SK: Blake (guitar)! Most likely to… be lost in space and not know it.
JP: No, most likely to stumble onto the cure for cancer. He would accidentally find the cure for cancer.
SK:  He would be all like, what does that sound? For some reason I feel like that cures cancer?
JP: I take that back, he would write the song that cures cancer.
JP: So I’ll do you now.
SK: Be. Nice.
JP: Ok, most likely to end up recycled. After she dies I think they’re going to recycle her body and she’ll be printed on a water bottle. Not that you’re plastic. She’s one of the most organic person I’ve ever met. It’s not bad, but she’s a hippie.
SK: Good thing the rest of the band weren’t here, they would be all like most likely to be a hamster.
JP: There’s a huge resemblance between Sierra and a rodent. I can neither confirm nor deny my opinion on the matter but if you look at her you can see a sloping on her bottom face a slightly rounded mouth.

CC: Ha ok payback time?
JP: Ok, I’m covering my ears.
SK: Yes! Jerry is most likely to be the wittiest asshole that can launch a rocket with his mind. I don’t know how I can explain it but he’s very very funny and witty. He’s the only person in the band who had time to be a real human. He went to college and everything. I don’t think any of us have even paid our own phone bills. He’s going to be a lawyer. He’s very smart, he does my geometry homework. I pay him.
JP: Not true. I just want to clear up that that wasn’t a sexual innuendo either.
CC: Ok, I’ll post a disclaimer for the entire interview.
JP: I’m just trying to make this as awkward as possible. That’s my job.

CC: So one more random thing to end this. I know you guys have said a lot of random things already.
JP: Ok I got this. So, not to start a rumor or anything but I’ve heard that, and actually seen with my own eyes, that Ian from The Cab, his mom, carries his umbilical chord around with her.
SK: What?!
JP: Dead cerial.
SK: Is it crunchy? Is it in a jar?
JP: Not it’s in a Ziploc bag. And it has his name on it on the label part.
SK: Does she play air guitar with it?
JP: You would think that’s the logical thing to do.
SK: Well, Cristina wants something random to do with VersaEmerge so let’s think.
JP: Well she said random and given the definition of random that is relevant!
SK: Ok, I was just about to go eat to this Vegan restaurant. I don’t think I can do that anymore. Oh I’m very flexible too!
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