Words by Kyra Jade Coombs
RNB infused post-hardcore was enough to capture my attention and take a closer look into VRSTY.
This New York band has recently signed to Spinefarm Records – with the likes of Atreyu, BFMV many more heavyweights – and are on the cusp of releasing their new EP Cloud City on December 4.
Starting off as a solo project with Joey Varela and having no real intentions of his music ever ‘taking off’, VRSTY evolved into a full band in 2015 and things have never been the same since. Vocalist Joey had a chat with HEAVY to give us a glimpse into what life has been like since Covid-19 has taken the world by storm and what plans they have for the remainder of the year leading up to the release of Cloud City.
I found myself wondering if the constantly touring band had the opportunity to play any live shows this year or if it was all virtual, to which Joey replied: “We were on tour right before the lockdown in February and that was the last string of shows we did. Everything has been digital since. It has been super different, I mean right before signing to Spinefarm Records, we were pretty much touring continuously for 2 years straight – home-tour-home-tour repeat. Covid happened and it’s all home for us now and super weird for us to get used to”.
Following on from that question, Joey talked about being isolated at home and how it really took a toll on his way of thinking for a moment of time. “When all this (Covid) happened, I was kinda sad at home and one day I woke up and thought to myself – NO ONE is going to do this for me, if you don’t get up and do it now, this will all have been for nothing”… and I’m so glad he pushed through the mind funk because the first single released off their EP, “Shameless” is an absolute belter.
Right from the start of “Shameless” you are drawn in and want to hear more. The clean RNB-style vocals are polished and work well with their heavy break downs. I would say VRSTY have found the perfect balance of RNB/ post-hardcore style, producing catchy songs that get stuck in your head!
Could we expect more songs like “Shameless” on the EP or will there be surprises left for us to discover? Joey sounded excited to explain.
“All the songs are different,” he measured. “Our next single won’t sound like “Shameless”. The way I sing will be similar and we try to make all of our songs catchy. They’re all super different, one song is even a completely different genre”.
Given the hypothetical scenario – ‘Covid is all but a dream, where is the first port of call for touring?’ Joey replied with a clear message. “I kinda just want to leave the states and tour a little bit. I don’t know specifically where – Australia or Europe – I would love to tour there. I feel like I’ve been locked up for so long, I need to leave my house AND my country. I strongly believe that when live shows come back, it (the industry) will be stronger than ever now people know what a world without live music is”.
Let us be real, Joey is right – life without live music SUCKS.
Watch “Shameless” below: