An Interview with Verge Collection ahead of their 'For The Story' Tour
Fresh off the back of winning the 'Tapped by Otherside' touring grant, local band Verge Collection are set to kick off their national tour following the release of their new single 'For the Story'. We had a chat to Ben from Verge Collection ahead of the tour.
Isolated Nation: So first I’d like to congratulate you guys on winning the ‘Tapped by Otherside’ touring grant from the Otherside Brewing Co., you beat out some other great Perth bands for this one. How are you guys feeling about touring for the first time in about a year? How did you think you would go coming up against these other bands?
Verge Collection (Ben): I’m so keen to go back on tour, it sort of works out like a full life reset and gives that justification for why you’re making stuff in the first place. I had no idea what other bands had applied but I also had no real expectations about the grant, so I was pretty stoked.
IN: You’ve previously highlighted how hard it is for Perth bands to tour, I can only assume this means you guys have jobs/commitments outside of the band. What do you guys do to support this ongoing passion?
VC: I am currently unemployed so PM me if you have any vacancies. But yeah most of us work, mostly.
IN: Do any of you have other hobbies you’re a bit mad about outside of music, or that consume heaps time?
VC: Baz and myself are pretty into sound production; Baz does heaps of mashups and stuff. Bryn loves cars. And Andy is very into spirituality.
IN: You recorded and released your first EP, Open Plan Living in September last year (also if you’re class of ’09 we’re the same age!), and you’re set to release your debut album late this year. Can you talk me through how you’ve found this experience of moving relatively quickly into recording, and whether your writing process has changed much moving into the album format?
VC: The process is more or less the same — write some songs, show the band and then go record them. I’m just super impatient and wanted to do an album that really reflected a time and a place. I don't think being a perfectionist is the right way to be when making something. I’m more interested in fixing my mistakes on the next record.
IN: Is there anything specific that you can point to that you’ve been drawing inspiration from for the new album? Any life events or other artists you’ve been inspired by that we can look to?
VC: My old man kicked the bucket last year and afterwards I kind of realised a lot of the topics and themes on the album were projections of his own shortcomings, so for me it’s pretty cathartic. The album is pretty much just observations about people, specifically ones close to me, but I think it's ambiguous enough to apply to other people's situations.
IN: I noted a sneaky Ashfield train station in your video for ‘Our Place’, and a mention of your local IGA in the song ‘Postcodes’. The Midland line is obviously a bit more unique than people give it credit for (cc: Peter Bibby). What Perth area are you guys from and how do you think that has influenced you? Referencing ‘Postcodes’, what was the local IGA you were referring to?
VC: I grew up south of the river in Brentwood and then Bateman, so that’s IGA Mount Pleasant, and I hated every second of my time spent there. I guess seeing the class divide in that area has given me an interesting perspective. Brentwood used to have a lot of state housing, but then across the road Mount Pleasant had a lot of mansions, and that IGA was always the middle ground.
IN: You seem to love that older Australiana aesthetic and “vibe” (it’s just the vibe of the thing). Does this reflect your childhood and your genuine appreciation of this aesthetic, or is this more of an ironic thing (it’s hard for me to tell these days)? I can only assume with the Verge Collection Dingo Flour tees you guys have a genuine love for vintage Australian culture?
VC: Definitely genuine, but not so much older Australian stuff. I always loved modern Australian rock/garage etc, so I think it's probably that. I also just really like Americana because it’s all about the vernacular and that sort of explains the ‘Australiana’ thing — it's all just sincere stories about time and place.
IN: How did you go about hunting down the clips in your video for ‘For the Story’? I can also assume that given your “Please don’t sue us” in the description that you guys made this one yourself?
VC: Yep, this was my first crack at making a clip and I just spent a day searching for my favourite beer ads and found some other gold along the way. No one has asked us to remove it yet, which is pretty sweet.
IN: Some more generic questions here that we like to ask everyone — what other albums have you guys been listening to lately? Do you have any shameful musical tastes?
VC: There are no shameful musical tastes, it's all just perspective... aye. The last album I really got into was Foxygen's Hang — that thing was a fucking trip. Go to our Spotify playlist for shit loads of cheese though.
IN: Been watching any good TV shows or seen any good movies lately?
VC: I am actually not a huge movie/TV person, but like half of the world's population I am for sure watching Game of Thrones.
IN: How did the supports for your upcoming tour come about? Was this something you had much involvement with and are there any of them in particular you’re excited to see live?
VC: I'm keen to see all of them, especially White Blanks, cause Marcus is a fucking nutcase. My manager and I sat down and just listened to a shit load of Bandcamp EPs and singles, and we bonded quite a lot during that time.
IN: And lastly, I’ll try and juice this a little bit: any word on a more exact date for the album or a title?
VC: I’m putting my foot down and calling it ‘Flâneur’, and if I could, I’d release it as soon as the Vinyl pressings come back. But it'll be late 2017- early 2018.
Verge Collection are playing at Jack Rabbit Slim's on Friday 11 August, and at Prince of Wales on Friday 25 August. Visit VC's Facebook Page for more details and tickets.