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The Veer Union Chat With Tri-staterock
Having written a review on THE VEER UNIONS latest album, “Divide the Blackened Sky” (which can be seen here), I was given the opportunity to interview guitarist/song writer Eric Schraeder.
Tri-staterock: Hey this is Yon from Tri-state rock. How’s it going man!
Eric: Hey Yon how’s everything man?
TSR: Can’t complain. Congratulations on the new album. I actually got a chance to review it and I must say it was pretty intense!
Eric: Thanks man. It was a while before we knew we were going to be able to put one out. I’m glad you liked it.
TSR: Where are you guys right now? Who are you touring with?
Eric: Well, right now we are in Rochester, Minnesota. We’re working a tour with MY DARKEST DAYS. We’re on the fourth day of this tour and we’ve got months of more touring ahead. We’ll be playing with SMILE EMPTY SOUL soon.
TSR: Yea, those guys are awesome. That’s going to be a fun tour. Well, I’d like to ask you about your writing process. Lyrically you guys really touch down on personal issues. What inspires this type of writing?
Eric: At the end of the day, we always write from the heart. We take our life experiences and turn into what you hear; especially with this record. We actually had a 2 year period where we didn’t play a show at all. Universal records had dropped us off the label; two of our members left the band. We weren’t sure which direction to take the band, if there would even be a band, let alone drop this record. Through it all we stuck with it and persevered.
TSR: I’ve listened to “Divide the Blackened Sky” loads of times now. It’s not easy to compare you to other bands at all. I mean, you have similarities with the type of genre but you guys have your own sound. Musically, who do you follow?
Eric: Thanks! Crispin is a huge SOUNDGARDEN fan, and I am a big ALICE IN CHAINS fan.
TSR: I see the influence from AIC now with the dual vocals! Awesome!
Eric: Exactly. We love harmonizing!
TSR: I have to ask this. Where is your favorite place to play?
Eric: Vegas is always fun (laughs). I love playing home in British Columbia. There is nothing like playing a good tour and coming back home with a super fucking tight band to play a show! You get to see your family and friends and what’s better than that?
TSR: No place like home. There are lots of bands like yours trying to make it on the scene. What’s your advice to them?
Eric: Work hard. The industry had changed so much. It was hard to “make it” before and it’s even harder
now. People don’t buy records like they used to. You have to keep in mind the reason you’re doing this. Play music for the love, not to get rich. Keep your head and heart in there and you’ll persevere.
TSR: Great advice! Let me ask you, do you ever get tired of playing the same set list night after night?
Eric: No so much a set list, more like a particular song. We almost never play, “Youth of Yesterday” off of “Against the Grain” anymore. We might pull it out for an encore every now and then but that’s just not who we are anymore. And we do change up the set list after a while to keep things fresh.
TSR: Since you’re a rhythm guitarist, any good tips for us?
Eric: Actually on this record I played lead and rhythm. It was a challenge but a fun one! My advice is to keep working. Never stop and never think you know everything you need to. There is always more to learn. Sometimes I’ll sit and write part of a song and I won’t come back to it for six months. Crispin has material from three years that we’ll use. Use what you have and stick with it.
TSR: Back to your lyrics. I can relate to so many of the songs off this record. Who writes them?
Eric. It’s cool because Crispin and I really find this part important. We want our lyrics to be a huge part of what we do. We both put our heads into them and just combine ideas.
TSR: It’s been great talking with you man! I look forward to seeing you guys with SMILE EMPTY SOUL
soon! Before you go, give a shout out to all your fans here in the tri-state!
Eric: It’s been my pleasure. I want to thank all the fans for listening and for all their positive feedback. Keep on showing up at shows and showing support and we’ll continue to put out great music!