VEER – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
Ronald Malfi, singer/guitarist for the rock band VEER
PD: What type of artist are you?
RM: An eclectic one, hopefully. As a band, VEER is best described as alternative rock. I like songs that are emotive, hard-hitting, and original. I like the lyrics to be focused and tell a story but to also exist broadly enough so that the “message,” if there is one, can be universal and all-encompassing. A song should mean something different to different people.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
RM: VEER has been around since 2016. We spent the first year and a half working on material, finding our groove, and of course performing live. We garnered a decent fanbase pretty early on, and have opened for a number of national acts when they come through Maryland—bands like Sponge, Fuel, Puddle of Mudd, Trapt. Our debut album, Apocalyptic, Baby, was released in December 2018. There are 12 songs on that record, which was my goal from inception—a solid number of tracks that really provide an introduction to music fans about who we are as a band and what we’re here to say. A month after its release, we won best rock band by the Maryland Music Awards. The response from fans and the music industry alike has been incredible.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
RM: As a band, we’re extremely varied. I love what I grew up on, which is a mix of classic rock, alternative rock, Americana, a lot of jazz. I love jazz. Jon, our drummer, brings the heavier side—he’s the Slipknot fan, the recovering Metallica-holic. Ryan’s lead guitar playing is evidence of his influences—the guitarists of classic rock. Christian, our bass player, probably shares his tastes the most with me. As for VEER’s own music, there are certainly the sensibilities of a lot of those influences in our songs. It’s important to me to keep a balance in the song writing where we don’t go too far in one sub-genre or specific direction—or misdirection—because I wouldn’t want to be pigeonholed as a specific sound. I wouldn’t want fans to anticipate what our next record will sound like. I saw we play alternative rock only because that style of music casts a wide net and can really be anything you want it to be. But really, we’re just a rock band.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
RM: It may sound myopic, but we’ve kind of already achieved much of what we’d set out to do. We wanted to play some high energy shows, garner a strong fanbase, release some solid songs. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve done that, and my only hope is that we’ll be able to continue doing it. Lately, our focus has been to widen our audience by playing more festivals. I’d personally love to play a stadium—a big show in front a crazy-ass crowd. Our stage shows tend to have an intimate feel—it’s hard for them not to, since we’re all close friends, and Jon’s my brother—and I’d like to see how that translates to bigger and bigger audiences. I also really enjoy the song-writing and recording process and look forward to working on our sophomore album.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
RM: Primarily, I write the songs. I introduce them to the band in a variety of stages—sometimes really rough, some chords and a vocal melody, or in some cases, nearly complete. The band adds their own influences to the music and we spend some time going back and forth on how things should sound or where things should go, should we maybe add a pre-chorus here, that sort of thing. In this process, the music can change quite a bit or stay pretty close to what was originally presented. Jon has brought some chord progressions to me and we’ve built songs around those. I enjoy the collaborative effort, working with someone else to step outside the box and come up with ideas that I didn’t come up with on my own.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
RM: Jon is a marketing juggernaut. He does all our design work, books our shows, coordinates with promotors. Basically, all the shit the rest of us hate. What he does is really astounding. Lately, we’ve seen other bands in our area copying some of his promotional techniques, but it’s a good thing. It keeps the scene alive and out there and energized.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
RM: Up until last year, I still had a tape deck in my car, so I’m a confessed luddite. I like tangible stuff—a CD I can hold, a slick album booklet I can flip through. That said, I don’t have any issue with downloadable music. It’s the future. I mean, it’s more than the futures, it’s the right-now. Music is so accessible, and that’s a great thing; the downside is that it’s become less of a commodity and it’s out there for cheap, which makes it tough to make a living selling music at the level where we’re at.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
RM: Ask me on a different day and you’ll get a different answer. Today, it’s a tie between Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and “Raining in Baltimore” by Adam Duritz.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
RM: Local musicians who are ignorant to how important it is to support one another.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
RM: Every time I get on stage with the rest of the band, man…
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
RM: Aside from some more shows on the horizon, we’re writing new material for our second record. We’ve got a handful of songs and various stages and are just working through them at this point.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
RM: Our next show is the night before Halloween at a club in Baltimore. It’s less a show and more a party to thank all our fans for their support throughout the year. It’ll be a blast.
Band/Artist location – Annapolis Maryland
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Merch – Twitter –
Instagram – Itunes – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Google Play – CD Baby
Check out our page for VEER