VerseChorusVerse – 20 Questions
VerseChorusVerse is the current name for Tony Wright. He used to be in a band that he formed called And So I Watch You From Afar and he is now exploring this new venture with his only English appearance of the summer at Ramblin Man Fair. He took part in one of Pete’s tailored and here are his responses:
- Where did the name VerseChorusVerse come from?
I was in an instrumental band that didn’t have Verses or Chorus’ so I thought it was kinda funny, I suspect I am the only person who draws amusement from it. Plus I couldn’t really use my own name as my namesake from Terrorvision is still using my name, imagine! I also thought it’s a fine excuse to genre-hop, lots of styles has verses and chorus’.
- Has your music been used in films?
Not as far as I’m aware, other than A Hard Days Night and Help! Some band covered all my throw away tracks for those.
- Favoured stage guitars and why?
Currently, its my Lowden S-35, since I’m pretty much acoustic these days. I’m not the tallest guy in the world so when I play a standard sized acoustic, I look like a haggard 10 year old. The Lowden is parlour sized and the greatest acoustic I’ve ever had the pleasure to write and perform with. I call her, “Stringface”.
- Do you have a favourite venue, in your homeland? If so, why?
There’s still a lot for me to play! For both my previous band and my current solo guise, I’d have to go with Roisin Dubh in Galway. I’ve played some of my favourite shows there, from crazy new years wrecking sessions to seated acoustic sing and stomp-a-longs, the good folk at the Roisin Dubh have never disappointed. I hope I haven’t!
- Who are you looking forward to seeing at Ramblin Man Fair this year and why?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Ian Siegal who is on right after me, the guy is great. Last time I saw him was in Belfast a few months back and he was fighting a bad flu, he still powered through, thanks in no small part to a healthy amount of hot whiskeys being brought forth by the audience. Can’t wait to see Jason and the Scorchers either, and of course Mr Allman.
- What was it like working with producer Iain Archer on your debut album?
Iain is an absolute gent, completely love that guy. He made me feel totally at ease and was more than willing to experiment and put himself out there too. Never short of an idea and always getting me to push myself but never once making me feel uncomfortable. Can’t say enough nice things about him really. No scandal, sorry!
- Tom Petty or Tom Jones? (Say something about both)
Tom Petty, sorry Mr Jones. Tom Petty is a Travelling Wilbury! Even forgetting all the incredible songs he’s written over the years, he was in a band with Roy Orbinson and a Beatle! Although I would kinda like to hear Tom Jones do a cover of Refugee…
8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Although it wasn’t given to me directly, you can’t argue with Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. “Don’t Panic”.
- Can you dance? Do you dance?
I have the moves alright, but they’re very rarely given a public outing. Its for the best really, it wouldn’t be fair to people that do it professionally, to see such exquisite poise, grace and rhythm executed in perfected harmony. Either that or I’d get sectioned.
- Have you ever watched a whole TV series? If so, what was it and why?
The only TV I watch other than documentaries is Doctor Who now that I think about it, I watched the original series when I was a kid with Sylvester McCoy and met him when it had just finished, he sent my brother and I Christmas cards for a few years and was a true gent to a couple of kids that thought he was the greatest. So when it came back I kept watching since he was such a legend.
- Name a piece of music that makes you laugh (intentionally or otherwise) (Artist/Title)
Louis Prima. Felicia, No Capicia. Gotta love Louis!
- Could you tell me a bit about your time in the band And So I Watch From Afar (ASIWYFA)
It was a really great time and I learned a lot about life in general, I got to live out a lot of dreams and see a lot of wonderful places with some wonderful people. I wouldn’t change a second of it. Except maybe I’d have brought more socks.
- I once found myself playing on stage with NI musos who turned out to be Them! have you a couple of favourite Them tracks? Why do you like these?
Amazing! Them are, as far as I’m concerned, one of the greatest bands ever, I’m insanely proud to be from the same Island as them. I honestly think the their cover of John Lee Hooker’s, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ is the greatest sounding recording ever made. Everything about it is perfect. It thrills me like no other record. Also gotta love their version of ‘Its Alright Now, Baby Blue’, the greatest thing about Them is that I honestly don’t think its dated at all. If any band could capture the essence of that sound now they’d be hailed from here to eternity. At least by me! And, of course, Gloria. You’re not a band until you’ve jammed out a 10 minute plus workout of Gloria!
- If you could score a superhero film, which character would you choose? Are any of your existing songs usable in such a context?
I have a song on my 1st EP called, “The Accused”, that would probably, contextually, work for Batman, since everybody always seems to turn against him when he’s just trying to help. Poor misunderstood Batman. I also have a song called, “Spiders”, that could work for Spiderman, I guess. I must say that, stylistically, neither of these songs would be great in CGI packed action blockbusters. They would be INCREDIBLE.
- Name the best song endings – not fades! – by The Who and The Kinks…any reasons for your choices? Nominate as many as you wish.
Obvious choice but the end of Baba O’Reily by The Who, just such a great song in general but how it build and speeds up like a locomotive just really cooks! Another Who track would be I Can’t Explain, just because I love the song! Picture Book by The Kinks would be a definite favourite too, how did Green Day get away with so blatantly ripping it off, fair play lads! Village Green Preservation Society is one of my favourite albums.
- David Bowie and Suzanne Vega record one of your songs and then one by another artist… what’s the pairing of songs? If you could arrange the music what instrumentation would you utilise?
Ha! I have a song on my first record thats a duet, ‘Help Myself ‘, sang with the wonderful, Katie Richardson, so that’s an obvious choice, its a fairly Country arrangement, so maybe they could strip it down to just piano? Or, even better, harpsichord! Like Lurch from The Addams Family. Although I’d love to hear what they could do to a song I have called Big Red Van, and I’d like Mr Bowie to utilise his more electronic side a la Little Wonder. Turn in into a drum n bass workout, OR more industrial like I’m Afraid Of Americans.
- Do you ever deviate from standard guitar tuning? Do you ever play slide?
Drop D is fairly common in my tracks, and on the new recordings there is even a few Drop A! I’ve been experimenting more with open tunings recently so I’m sure that will bear some fruit soon. I’m fairly hopeless with a slide but it comes out once in a while when I’m channeling my inner Elmore James. We all have one. Don’t we?
- What was the last track – any artist – that you were itching to play to friends?
Usually anything by John Fullbright, I think he’s an incredible musician and writer. I usually introduce people to him with his track, “Gawd Above”, but its his solo live ones that really floor me. Check him out!
- Have you any interest in Science Fiction, Nature or History? Do your lyrics ever reflect this?
You might have deduced from some of the answers above that I like Sci-Fi! My next album has plenty of references to different sci-fi classics, but they’re referred to very loosely. I have a few music videos (Nothing is Easy, No More Years & Three) that have heavy sci-fi nods in them. Nature gets a look in here and there as does history, I’m more interested in those things outside of music I suppose though.
- Name a best ever live album – any artist or genre.
That’s a tough one, but currently, “Its Too Late To Stop Now”, by Van Morrison. Although that will probably change by later tonight.
VerseChorusVerse is performing on The Blues Stage at 1pm at Ramblin Man Fair on Sunday 26th July 2015. For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/VerseChorusVerseVCV