Room Thirteen caught up with Night Verses straight after their set at Hevy Festival 2012 and talked with them about how they completed their line up with Douglas Robinson (ex-The Sleeping) after 7 years of being in a band.

R13: You have literally just finished your set at Hevy how was it?
Aric Improta (Drums): Awesome, I had a great time!
Doug Robinson (Vocals): It was cool, Really nice to see everybody interested because it is our 5th show ever and 1st time in UK. A lot of people we have met along the way are very excited to check it out. Everybody seemed to be really into it and we had a really good time up there.

R13: So you say this is your 5th show ever, but Aric, Reilly (Herrera - Bass) and Nick (DePirro - Guitar) have been in a band together for 7 years before Doug joined. Do you see this as a fresh start?
All: Absolutely.
R13: Have you scrapped everything that went before?
All: No.
AI: We kept a good chunk of our music but Doug has really revamped our songs making them basically brand new to us.

R13: So are you involved in the song writing process Doug?
DR: We are all actually involved with each other [queue giggles]. I mean it's Like a family. Musically we are all very into the creative aspect of everything. No one directs anyone, it's just for the better of the song. We all give each other feedback but for the most part they trust what I do, and they trust what I do, and so everything meshes together really well. Even before we met each other we all knew what we were doing. So it is nice to come together and be this whole new entity and have it be going as easy as it has been going.
AI: That is why we were so stoked to find Doug. We had been writing together all this time with a bunch of different musicians, probably 25-30 coming in and out, it was a constant weeding out process (not in a rude way). Creatively and effort wise we were the three who kept going and wanted the same thing. It got a little hopeless and for a while we thought we might always be an instrumental band. At this point Doug came in and it was awesome because he instantly got what we were doing and it didn't take explaining, he knew our impulses right off the bat when we started talking.

R13: So how long was it before you knew Doug was the one for for you?
RH: It was pretty immediate. The very first time we jammed together it was at three in the morning and we wrote four songs off the bat. It took a while for Night Verses to recognise itself as a band.
AI: Yeah, we knew we were going to have to wait for a while after the first jam session to get to the right time for things to happen but we were all down to wait. What was it a year?
DR: A year and a half!
AI: Yeah so we just kept writing. We are at 50 instrumentals now or something like that. Doug comes in and he will have not only vocal ideas but structural ideas up to the point where when we go back to the songs they are stepped up like crazy for us. It is cool to have the fourth perspective.

R13: In your show today, Nick, you ripped through a couple of solos. Who do you draw inspiration from?
ND A lot of people. Adam Jones from Tool is my biggest influence I would say. I really like what he is able to do with sounds from his guitar. I try my best to take that influence and make it my own. Tom Morello. I like the effects he has always been known to use. That and all the metal I listen to like Meshuggah. I try not to shred to crazy sometimes, but I pretty much do what I feel like.

R13: Who are your shared influences?
DR: At the Drive-in is a big one.
AI: Deftones, Isis and Tool.
All: Those four are the ones we can collectively agree on.

R13: I would say my musical highlight of the year so far is the reformation of At the Drive-in and Refused.
All: Hell Yeah!
R13: So is that the same for you guys?
All: Yeah.
RH: I went to Coachella solely to see Refused and At the Drive-in play and it was the best concert I have ever been to. It was unbelievable.
DR: It is not just the fact these bands reformed. People like us grew up on music when there was a message. There (currently) doesn't seem like much of a positive message, it's more about who you know and fashion. Not everyone is like that but it is for the most part, so bands like that reforming, beyond the fact we enjoy them as musicians, is important because it gives us a bit of hope that there are still bands that want to do what they do because its music and it is what matters. You know what I mean? Music is a huge message and we want to be one of those bands that bring that back. I know we are going to do everything we can to do that.
AI: We feel strongly that all the bands we have mentioned have done something to push the envelope for rock and roll. I know rock and roll is a dated term.

R13: That is what it should be in my opinion because meaning can get lost by putting a name to every single kind of music, really all it comes down to is good music and bad music.
RH: Yeah, I would agree with that.
AI: We grew up loving rock because it was new to us. When we heard these bands it was new, it was fresh, we were inspired by them. Lately it seems like it's been more about finding your genre and sticking by your audience. But those bands were just out there to make the best thing they could and let the audience find them. That is what we are looking to do. To make the best music that we can and we hope that people gravitate towards us in the same way that we gravitated towards each other when we started playing together.
DR: It's cool that you touched up on there being good music and bad music in your view, because whatever is good, is fucking awesome to you and whatever is bad, you don't enjoy. I think that is cool because we have other influences; I'm a huge Fiona Apple fan, she is one of my favourite artists in the whole world. She is this very deep and dark songwriter, very orchestrated with a really killer vibe to her. It is nothing like this year at Hevy, but I am heavily influenced by her and it's nice to have an artist as good; dark and meaningful, and poetic as she is. Whenever we are influenced by someone we are not trying to be like them, we enjoy what they do, but we want to make music where we enjoy what we do. So we base it off our influences in respect of what they mean to us, and I think that is a really important thing when it comes to writing songs and being a musician.
AI: It's cool to have somebody like Doug come in who is heavily influenced by Fiona Apple, or Nick who is more into bands like Meshuggah and stuff like that. We all have our own weird little place where I'll get influenced by stuff like trip hop and use that for some of our sound or even Bjork is a huge influence, even though I'm not a vocalist, but the different textures she uses we can try and integrate with the more metal stuff that Nick is listening to or some of the punk stuff that Reilly grew up on. So this keeps it interesting for all of us.
RH: You have to be honest with yourself as a musician or artist and maintain your integrity, push boundaries and stay creative.
DR: That's what it is all about man just be creative, a lot of people nowadays just want to make what is safe for them or what they think will draw well. That's not what music is about. None of us want to do that, we want to do what we believe in. We enjoy to play and we will play to whoever enjoys it.

R13: So you have just touched on playing to people who want to hear you. In a previous interview Doug stated that the UK and Europe is where Night Verses would have a great start. Why the UK and Europe?
DR: It is home to the rock culture that I grew up on. The Clash, Sex Pistols and punk rock. I wanted us to come to where it is that rock still has it's roots. I have been here in the past with a previous band (The Sleeping) and I remember how beautiful everything was and how everybody here still believed in the message of music. I love the US (obviously it's my home) but I have been touring it for ten years and it is just nice to have a fresh start with new dudes.

R13: You mentioned home and a new start just then. Was your first gig a hometown show and if so was that in New York or Los Angeles?
DR: Well we did two hometown shows!
R13: Which was the first?
DR: We played LA first...
AI: ...and it was exactly what we would had hoped for. To be honest we were just stoked to be able to play new songs, 'cos we had been playing instrumental songs for a while and it was nowhere near the same thing. To have this fourth member to come in and bring the energy that he does was awesome. And it was awesome to see people singing along at our first show.

R13: So had you recorded before your first shows?
ND Yeah right before we played.
DR: Then we had the NY show not too long after the LA show. Both shows were five to ten people away from selling out. The LA show was sort of like a random one off show for industry people and friends. The NY show was with a whole bunch of bands that are my friends. There was Sainthood Reps who have been doing pretty well in the US and Tidal Arms which is Fran ex-From Autumn To Ashes new band so it was really cool...
AI: ...and they all killed it too. Its almost more energising playing with people that challenge you as a listener.

R13: And you have just played at Reading Sub 89 with Funeral For A Friend.
AI: Yeah they were really good guys, Doug had made friends with them before, they were nice and it was cool to have a crowd that was already there, and to start off the UK with a nice big show with honest musicians.
RH: One thing we had always heard about the UK is that people enjoy going to shows and participating. We really got that vibe that people were down to watch bands and we got a really good response. We talked to a lot of people out there and they were all really stoked.
DR: We want to do something for being the sake of musicians and bringing it back to the meaning and the message again. I think a lot of people here are receptive to that kind of thing.

R13: You self released Out of the Sky EP and you are giving it away for free. Why?
DR: We wanted it to be an introduction for people to us. More than like "we're in this band check us out, but you've gotta buy this product", instead we can just say "here, take it". It's for people who want to be introduced to something honest.
RH: It makes more sense then not try to make five bucks off an EP, rather than just give the music out to people and they generally enjoy it the way that we enjoy music.

R13: Most of the bands I have been speaking to don't make anything from their music, they make money from the T-Shirts!
AI: I'd rather have people buy merch and come out to the show than buy a five dollar EP.
RH: It's cool 'cos they can take the music, get into it and then come to the show.

R13: What instrument is played at the start of Be Happy With Yourself I'm Staying Here In Hell?
AI: To be honest I don't actually know the official title of the instrument! We wanted to make sure we could get a full sound. We found it so hard to find a fourth member we decided that we had to depend on ourselves. So I got the Roland SDB20 which has 700 instruments on it. It took me a good year to hone down the good ones, there is a lot of cheesy stuff on there. So at the time I had been listening to a lot of DJ Shadow and Opeth. Opeth has some amazingly tasteful piano stuff, which is kind of what I wanted to get the vibe of as far as the patterns they use, but tone wise DJ Shadow was a big influence on that. That Endtroducing CD is the best night driving CD of all time!
DR: Yeah.

R13: Another good one is Russian Circles' Station.
All: Great record.

R13: So were all the weird sounds I was hearing but couldn't quite place played by Aric live?
AI: Yes. Actually that was a big thing we were set on too. We love live music. Not trying to pull apart people with back tracks but that's just not what we want to do. We saw Crosses, Chino Moreno's side project, and I was super stoked to see them basically doing the exact same thing. To see them do it and pull it off they way they do just made me love it even more. It's fun to play stuff, I want to be part of the music which is coming out of that thing. I have insane A.D.D. and I can't just keep playing a really basic beat, well I can, obviously you have to on occasions but when that happens the opportunity is there to be playing a piece of melody and have something going on there to fill the atmosphere. That's when we throw it in. A big influence for that I have to mention is Danny Carey from Tool because he is phenomenal at mixing all of his effects in. He is an inspiration.

R13: Is the 'Verses' in Night Verses like a verse chorus verse or a sports team verses?
AI: Actually it is musical composition.
R13: As in Night Songs?
AI: Yeah Exactly. When we were looking through names we knew we wanted something with night because we related to music more at night: the music that we love and especially the bands that we were influenced by. We were trying to think of something that could capture that. The definition I have for Verses is an artistic composition. So we thought it was the most appropriate thing to capture the vibe.

The self released EP 'Out of the Sky' is currently available to download for free from

Night Verses are:
Aric Improta (Drums)
Doug Robinson (Vocals)
Reilly Herrera (Bass)
Nick DePirro (Guitar)