VEARA is coming to Ottawa for a gig on November 6 at the Luneta Café.

I recently connected with Brittany Harrell (their kick ass drummer) for a little chat about life with the band, and what it’s like to be on a label like Epitaph.

First of all….holy shit, you’re on Epitaph Records. What did you do when you got that call?

We snapped!! It was so un-real. Definitely celebrated that night.

I can see your music fitting into that whole “pop punk” scene, but you guys have a different take on it. How much pop do you try to squeeze into your punk? Or is it the other way around?

When we’re writing out songs we don’t necessarily try to go for anything in particular. If the song comes out more punk or more pop it just kinda happens. Sometimes we’ll start writing a song and it will start off say “more pop” and then in the end it could end up more punk.

 As far as musical labels go…genres have splintered into little niches (skate-punk, hardcore, pop-punk, emo, etc etc etc). Do those labels/descriptions help or hinder an act? Are you pigeon-holed?

I think labels are something kids need. I don’t necessarily think it should define a band though. I’d classify us as a pop punk band, but I don’t like to use that as a barrier to creativity. I do think labels can help kids find out about new bands. For instance; say your friend is into pop punk bands and he or she asks you, “hey I’m looking for some new bands to check out. Can you hook me up?” You could give him or her all the bands you know of that are classified as “pop punk” bands and could possibly show them their new favorite band.

Your lyrical content is unique, it’s about relationships and (pardon the cliche) growing up. How hard is it to balance “growing up” and being in a rock band? I see a lot of my friends try to do it all, but it’s tough. I’m not sure if any of you have spouses/kids…is that in the plans for any of you? How might that change the dynamic of VEARA?

Being in a band isn’t easy. It’s not the glamorous life people make it out to be. We sleep in the van if we can’t find someone’s floor to sleep on. Showering is also not always accessible haha. So growing up for us in this band has been different than that of the every day person. Being able to write about it musically definitely helps though! None of us are married and no one has kids. I don’t think anyone has any plans of those happening, but who knows what the future might hold.

I’d like to really compliment your drumming. It’s blowing my mind… how long have you all been playing music individually? And how do you bring all your experiences together to create new songs?

Thank you very much! I personally have been playing the drums since I was 9 years old. So I’ve been playing for about 16 years. I think everyone one else started playing around the 15/16 age mark. Writing songs usually start with Brad and Patrick working on a guitar riff and melody. Once they’re happy with it, they’ll bring it to me and Bryan and then we will all dive Into the song and bring it to life!

The band really came into its own when Bradley joined up 5 years ago. What was it about his presence that changed things?

Brad was what Veara was missing. There’s really no way to describe it. It’s one of those cases where when it’s right, you just know. Brads a great singer/song writer and when he came into the band we all clicked musically. It was and still is rad!

The new record…what can you tell me about it? How did you feel when you were finished recording?

Growing Up Is Killing Me is our proudest work. I know musicians always say “our new stuff is the best” blah blah blah but this record definitely is. We grew a lot as musicians and song writers during the writing and recording of GUIKM. We really nailed down the sound of what Veara is. The songs are aggressive, catchy, and dynamic. I still listen to GUIKM all the time. I love it! When we were done recording it, I felt great. We really captured something special and I am stoked for all of you to hear it!

You’ll be in Ottawa soon….as you’re driving all over North America. What do you do to keep sane in the van?

We listen to music, talk about random stuff, stop and eat, etc. Sometimes those long drives will get to you so you gotta try and keep busy doing something (laughs).

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