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INTERVIEW: Version 5

How would you classify your music?

Spencer: I would say it falls somewhere in the middle of industrial/electronic and rock. Sometimes featuring elements of dance &edm, and another moment heavy hitting guitar riffs.

Andy: We’ve coined the term “Elo-Rock” to describe our sound.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Andy: We look to The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Daft Punk, and we even look to deadmau5 for a lot of inspiration.

Spencer: Kind of a random set of artists, but that’s what led to our genre in the first place- Andy was a rock NIN guy and I was leaning more towards EDM and Daft Punk.

What do you want fans to take from your music?

Spencer: Energy. We love anything with high energy & intensity. Not only that, but we feel our music can be hooky enough to leave people wanting more. As we like to say, we want to create an addiction out of this lifestyle. It’s more than just the music, but whatever people are passionate about- dancing, singing, writing, painting, cooking, whatever it is, can be fueled with energetic motivation. I love that characteristic in people.

Andy: We wrote these songs with the live show in mind. Our favorite shows to go to had the most energy. We feel like that’s what rock and edm do well- high energy performances based on the music. We want it to sound big. We go to a lot of live shows- people (even if they don’t have a lot of extra money to spend) go to shows to escape their reality. So we focused on what we were looking for in a live show- and our music fuels that.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest album? When will it be released and how does it differ from your previous work?

Andy: We just released this EP as our debut- so I guess this is square one for us [laughs]. We’re looking to release a couple singles throughout 2016 and continue to hone our sound.

What do you love and hate about the Music Business?

Spencer: It’s gratifying creating your own music (or any art, for that matter) because when people like it, and get into it, that song (or whatever) becomes greater than the sum of its parts. There’s something extra. So I’m constantly chasing that.

Andy: We haven’t been in the biz long enough to be bitter [laughs] but it’s challenging, no doubt. But that makes it more rewarding when you do something well too.

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

Andy: For me, it was a Social Distortion concert at Minneapolis’ First Avenue venue. It was a no frills- balls to the wall concert. That’s what I like. As far as what I like about playing live, it’s the immediate feedback. A prime show with a prime crowd has everyone adrenalized and I love it.

Spencer: At one point we we’re doing a music fest in Cleveland and went to a show at Peabody’s which (is/was?) a super grungy-ass rock club. We saw Pitch Black Forecast play, which I wouldn’t normally listen to in my day to day life, but it was just so aggressive and badass- I loved it. When it’s that in your face, you don’t have a choice but to listen. When it comes to playing live, I love the atmosphere. Everyone is there for a good time and just buzzin’ over good music. I think all musicians feed off of that.

Is there a song on this latest CD that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

Spencer: I really dig “Why Don’t You Drop.” The intro guitar riff was actually recorded on a shitty acoustic guitar in my basement like, 4 years ago and that’s what ended up sparking the writing process for that track.

Andy: Personally I like Bury You. To me, it sums up what we’re in to. The pre chorus had an EDM sounding synth right in a heavy riff in the chorus. Part of the reason we did a three song EP is because we really liked all of the songs.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last few years? What made you decide to come back into the music business?

Spencer: Version 5 is relatively new, though we have been playing with various other line-ups and bands in the last few years. I think once we found a style, genre, and line-up we we’re stoked about, we wanted to really hit it hard.

Andy:  With this band, we finally had an agreed upon “vision” of what we wanted to be. Instead playing and “discovering” a sound, we knew what we wanted [v5] to be before we got started and aimed for it.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

Spencer: Liam Howlett from The Prodigy, for sure. It would be insane to co-write with that guy and/or pound down a dozen drinks.

Andy: That’s a tough one. Either Nine Inch Nails or The Who in their prime. The Who set the bar for rock shows. I think anyone from Kiss to Marilyn Manson have something to thank The Who for.

So tell us what’s next?   

Spencer: Currently, we’re in the early pre-production stages of a music video for “Why Don’t You Drop.” We’re really thrilled with how our latest video turned out and we plan on stepping it up again with a darker, psychological visual for this one.

Andy: As I said, we’re writing hoping to release a few singles this year. Also in the process of booking shows for Spring and Summer. We’re hoping to expand and play as much as possible this year.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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