Versify – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
Versify Band members:
MB Michael Bush: Vocals/rhythm guitar
SS Sean Spiteri: Lead Guitar/backing vocals
AB Aaron Busby: Bass
FJ Francis James: Drums
PD: What type of artist are you?
MB: We’re a rock band. We like playing songs loud and I have the tinnitus to prove it.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
MB: We formed in Cardiff in the summer of 2019, rehearsed incessantly before doing a couple of gigs around the South Wales area towards the back end of 2019. At the turn of the year we started playing a lot more gigs, as well as releasing our first single “Fun For Fire” on the 20th of March.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
AB: Musically, my influences mainly consist of Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath and Jason Newsted of Metallica. Other artists who have influenced me include; Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin. Non Musical influences include artists such as Russell Mils and art sales like De Stijl.
FJ: My main musical influence is the prog rock band Rush. Musicians that have inspired me are Neil Peart, Steven Wilson and Derrick McKenzie. Other bands that I enjoy are Dream Theatre, Alter Bridge and Jamiroquai.
SS: From a guitarists point of view, my influences are that of Jimmy Page, Jack white and Peter Green.
MB: My main musical influences include the usual suspects of The Beatles, Neil Young and Bob Dylan. Dylan’s songs are incredible, so much so that it makes me question the futility of my own songwriting pursuits. Tip of the hat to anyone who measures up his body of work. I don’t really have any non-musical influences, unless you count peer pressure, of course. Your teen years pose all sorts of moral dilemmas.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
AB: My goal is to be able to earn a living solely from performing live and recording music with the bands and artists I am associated with.
SS: I dream of playing bigger stages and building a fanbase that we can connect with. I think it’s important to set small goals that are easier to achieve and move towards one larger goal like supporting artists that are currently bigger than ourselves.
FJ: I do session work for other bands as well as play drums in Versify. My dreams and goals are to be able to make music my main source of income. I hope to be involved in music in any way I can.
MB: I’m a simple man (as many will attest to) and while I’d obviously like to see the band move onto bigger stages, I don’t have any grandiose delusions of super-stardom. As long as I can support myself through music alone, then I’d be a very happy (simple) man. Having said all that, it would be pretty nice to own a yacht, or a small country.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
FJ: The other members of the band write most of the music, I supply the drum part and help with the song structure.
AB: Michael is the primary songwriter (No clue what the songs are about).
MB: While I have been the sole songwriter up to this point, I’ve been keen to get the rest of the boys involved. I usually bring song ideas into the rehearsal room and then we’ll just jam it out until we figure the arrangement and dynamics of the song. The songs are about all sorts; myself, people, society, some bloke called John – which I’ve explained to Aaron many a time, he was probably just too drunk to remember.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
AB: For promotion, we run our own social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as relying on word of mouth from those within the Cardiff music scene. We also work with The Animal Farm, London, who helped us record and promote our single “Fun For Fire”.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
FJ: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with downloading music online, just so long as the artists gains something from it.
AB: I support downloading music online. However, I don’t personally use streaming services such as Spotify and tend to buy physical and digital copies of the music I enjoy.
MB: While I still do buy records (up the vinyl re-revolution!) streaming is where it’s at now, and that’s how I usually listen to music.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
MB: All of them… It’s a difficult question and one where the answer would change on an almost daily basis. But for today, I’d have to say Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. The lyrics are so vivid and I often find myself in the most reflective of moods after listening to it, “Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?” Probably.
AB: I wish I had written “The Wizard” by Black Sabbath. This is because it is the first Black Sabbath song my dad showed me, and so it has a lot of nostalgia associated with it.
SS: It’s got to be “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. Imagine writing a song that is chanted in every stadium at every sporting event across the globe?!
FJ: “Spirit of Radio” by Rush. Just a brilliant song. How three musicians can generate that good a sound continues to blow my mind.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
FJ: Dodgy aux cables and long download times.
SS: People who put empty packets back in the cupboard of fridge.
AB: People who try try and impersonate my Brummie accent.
MB: People with better eyebrows than me.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
AB: With versify? Playing in The Moon in Cardiff to a big crowd on Valentines day earlier in the year.
FJ: I have a few proud moments in music. One of them was recording drums at Monnow Valley studios, one of the most iconic studios in the UK. Other proud moments have been performing at Tramshed (Cardiff) and releasing music with Versify.
SS:Probably playing at Tramshed with Versify at the Immersed festival earlier in the year, amongst some brilliant local talent and the great Richard Ashcroft headlining.
MB: Picking up and learning to play the guitar, closely followed by the first song I wrote, which was absolutely terrible.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
MB: All sorts. We’re all anxiously waiting on rehearsal rooms re-opening, but in the mean time, Sean and I have been passing ideas to one another (GOD BLESS TECHNOLOGY), in an attempt to keep the creativity flowing.
SS: We are currently looking to record another single. This one is pretty high energy, so keep an eye out for that.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
MB: Versify’s “Fun For Fire” is available to stream everywhere (including here: spotify:album:1K4FDixxSqfhwOt1Im01AI). If you want to buy it, then you can download it from the iTunes store, Google play store and Amazon Music. Alternatively, for the incredibly reasonable price of £50, we’ll all come round your house and play the song in your kitchen.