It's always pretty exciting when a new band comes along to shake things up a bit and one such band is Californian rock outfit Night Verses. But whilst the band may be new on the circuit, lead singer Doug Robinson certainly isn't as fans of the now defunct The Sleeping will testify.
Night Verses have this month released their debut EP 'Out Of The Sky' and the best news is it's absolutely free for you to download from their website at www.nightverses.com. Doug hitches up with MetalTalk.net to chew over the fat...
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After fronting The Sleeping for ten years how are you finding the transition to Night Verses?
"It was definitely a little weird at first but a lot smoother than I thought. I couldn't make the full transition right away due to the fact that all of us in The Sleeping were on different pages about how, or even if, we wanted to keep the band going. As much as I knew what I wanted I couldn't just abandon the people I grew up with. But it all worked out. The Sleeping kind of knew our time was up and once we solidified our break then I finally received the closure I needed to move forward.
Tell readers of MetalTalk.net how your involvement in Night Verses came to be...
I had moved out to Hollywood for a while to get away from everything in NY. I was fed up with music and just life in general that I felt I needed some type of change. So, I packed up and headed out west.
"A couple days after I got there a friend of mine (who I had met through touring) asked me to come to a show he had organized for a benefit. I honestly wanted nothing to do with music at that point; I just wanted to relax and come to grips with myself but because this friend always supported The Sleeping then I decided to do the right thing and go support.
"I get to this show and become instantly reminded of why I didn't want to be involved with music for a while. My friend winds up telling me about a band playing that he thinks I would really enjoy. I didn't really care to hear anything at that point but I just couldn't find it in myself to bail on him as a friend. So, these three musicians took the stage and they literally blew me away. They were an instrumental band playing music I have never heard before. I was hooked instantly and told them that (even though The Sleeping was still together at this point) one day I would sing for their band. Everything wound up happening for a reason and now here we are."
Introduce us to the other musicians and their backgrounds?
"Nick Depirro is 24 and he's the guitarist, Reilly Herrera is 23 and he's the bassist and Aric Improta is 22 on drums. They're based out of Fullerton, California and they've been playing together for about seven or eight years. They've mainly been an instrumental act due to the fact that they were just never able to lock in the right singer. They've even told me at points that they felt like giving up but just couldn't really get into the idea of creating music without one another."
And how does the music differ from The Sleeping?
"When The Sleeping ended, I wanted something with a similar edge. I wanted to be with musicians I love and respect heavily who create music for the sake of art... not money, fame or any other misleading focus. I met these guys and instantly connected with them on that wavelength. We have officially made this our living and we do want our sound to be heard by the world but we want to do it with integrity and sincerity.
"A lot of people think that can't happen anymore because most music has gone so far off the deep end but that's what makes us push harder for what we are trying to accomplish. As for the song writing, it's sonically a different unit. The influences within the musicians are different. The people are different and the vibe is different.
"I also feel that I have become more in tuned and evolved with myself as a singer. I loved The Sleeping more than anything but I did take some of it for granted at times when it came to taking care of my voice. There's just a different intensity inside of me, I suppose."
Are you hopeful and expecting fans of The Sleeping to transfer over to your new band?
"I felt extremely comfortable about this transition. The Sleeping have the most amazing fans in the world and I'm not trying to be one of those people who says it just to look good on record. We were a group of honest musicians who wrote music for the love of music. We didn't write it for any scene, we didn't write it for any trend and we didn't write it for any other reason but for the love of our art and bettering ourselves at our passion.
"Our fans knew that from day one and never left. No matter what we wrote, our fans stuck with us because they knew we were always wanting to evolve on all levels. So, when I made the switch and Night Verses was announced, people knew to expect the unexpected. They knew that this wasn't going to be something just to save my musical career. Fans knew that this was going to be something with integrity, from the heart and in your face. So far, all of the comments have been extremely positive from fans, new and old."
You'd been gigging extensively with your former band for ten years and it's been said you weren't looking to get involved with a new band immediately. Was there an element of burnout?
"I was definitely burnt out. It sounds selfish to say because music is my living but any job (love it or hate it) can crush you.
"However, it wasn't so much the physical aspect of touring that burnt me out but rather the mental aspect. When something you love loses momentum then you start to break down mentally. Your confidence deteriorates and you start to question what you're holding onto.
"I was also having a ton of relationship problems at the time and instead of growing up to face them I simply just ran to the other side of the country. My PMA was definitely taking a swan dive but it all seemed to have happened for a reason. Night Verses brought life back into me and I now feel more alive than I have felt in a long time."
You've toured across the world. Which countries have you found gigging in most enjoyable?
"Besides the USA, which will always be amazing because it's my home, I enjoy the UK. I'm a huge Clash fan and every time I've toured over there I somehow find myself mentally connecting to that era. The sense of freedom in another culture is one of the simple reminders of why I keep doing what I do and to be able to see it through the eyes of a musician is just a beautiful experience.
"Paris was also another incredible experience. Honestly, there's something worth connecting to wherever I go and I truly mean that."
How involved were you in producing the material for the newly released EP 'Out Of The Sky'?
"When we approached Kris Crummett we were all extremely pleased with his previous work, particularly Closure In Moscow's, 'First Temple'. We spoke with him and immediately connected on many levels but the main thing that drew us to him was his take on approaching the sound of this band. He understood the fact that we wanted to make our mark but we wanted to attack the thought very naturally.
"We wanted our songs to come across as songs with lasting impact but without compromising the artistic integrity and direction of the band. We weren't trying for typical formulas or anything like that. We let the music organically venture towards the direction it was going in and we adjusted what didn't sit right with us.
"People say there's a formula to successful music and to an extent that is correct. However, there are certain bands out there that bend the concept in an undeniable light... that's what we want. We want to be game changers because that's who we are as a band and as individuals. Everyone's equal and intense involvement helped all of this transform into the EP.
"When are UK fans going to be able to catch a live show? Sooner than they think..."
It's an often asked question for bands in interviews but who or where does Doug Robinson go for musical inspiration?
"Honestly, I don't know where I go for inspiration. I kind of take in sights and sounds and just let them consume who I am when I'm writing. I'm always inspired to write and when I'm not inspired to write then I've got my headphones and I'm always inspired to listen."
And looking into the future, musically what if any, goals are left to aim for?
"Sky's the limit!"