Blake Harnage was kind enough to answer some questions from both myself and fans regarding the exciting future of his and Sierra Kay's band, VERSA.
You must have a lot of bottled up energy waiting to explode, how excited are you for this new era of VERSA?
Yes Definitely! We’re beginning VERSA as a brand new project. We actually considered a new name entirely, but “VERSA” just feels right. It’s hard for Sierra and I to call ourselves anything else.
Your 2nd LP (Another Atmosphere) was originally scheduled for release in early 2013, how has this two year delay in releasing new music and touring affected the band?
Once again, we feel as if VERSA is an entirely different entity with entirely different plans. It has been quite a long time since the two of us have released any music, but we’re paying little mind to the events and snags along the way. It has felt strange to be off the road for such a long stretch of time, but it’s given us a lot of time to become better songwriters and begin to self-produce our own music.
We’re just happy now to be able to do our thing, and to do it without any confines between us and our fans.
The Neon EP is our “1st release”
What made you decide to release Neon as your debut single for VERSA? What’s the meaning behind the song?
Pretty early on during the writing of Neon, Sierra and I had favoritism towards it. It seemed liked a very good track to “set the stage” for music to come. A sort of dark vibe, big rhythmic groove and a showcase of both Sierra and I’s vocals in unison. I think that vocal configuration is reoccurring throughout the Neon EP.
[The meaning behind Neon is basically the glow that someone can exude, it’s so attractive and hypnotizing, you can’t seem to pull yourself away from it. A self destructive kind of love. -Sierra]
Do you plan on resigning with another label in the future, or staying independent?
We’re in no rush to sign with another label. I feel like there’s so much an artist can do on their own today with tools like YouTube and Twitter. The main reason we asked to be released from our previous label was to gain the ability to work at our own pace with our own plan. We’re ever grateful for the help we were given, it’s just not the right place for us right now.
As a duo, Sierra and yourself have different charisma’s, yet you seem to get along so well and ‘mesh’ well together to create music. What do you think makes you get along so well and be so in sync musically?
Sierra and I are definitely a yin and yang. We have a lot of personality differences, which I think ultimately works towards a massive advantage. Where I lack, Sierra makes up and vice versa. Since we began making music together back in 2007, we’ve really been able to hone in on how this mechanism works.
What songs are you most excited to share with fans and why?
We’ve got so many tracks on deck to be released and are currently planning on putting out at least two more new songs in the next couple of months. A benefit of working at our own pace with our own plan!
Questions from Fans:
“To Blake: Top 5 Places you would visit that you have never been before?” -Claire Wong
Iceland & Alaska. Plus anywhere and everywhere our tours are wanted. South America, Central America, The Philippines, Indonesia, so on and so fourth.
“I’ve read in a couple interviews that sci-fi movies have really influenced the new direction. Are there any in particular?” -Claire Wong
Visually, we often reference Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was a genius and a pioneer of modernism.
“Worst and best Christmas gifts you’ve ever gotten?” -Maja
No gift is a bad gift haha. I got some pretty sweet outer space socks this year… Sierra got an intergalactic ant farm that she’s pretty happy about.
VERSA’s debut EP, Neon, is out now. You can purchase it through iTunes or Bandcamp at a pay what you want price.
When it comes to Christmas presents I always struggle with what to get my dad. Though he appreciates my art he’s not quite so into the junky kitschy art projects I flood other people with. I was stumped this year and about a week before Christmas I decided I’d do a simple ukulele cover for him. I asked him if he and his dad had a song and he said, “of course, April Showers”. He started to hum it and got teary eyed so after that it was a no brainer haha. My below par ukulele skills kept me from being able to teach myself to play and sing it in under a week. I somehow lucked out and ended up with Blake as a best friend and he made this happen. Singing in his vocal booth where he usually records actually talented singers had to be the most intimidating thing ever haha. I didn’t want to post this but my dad keeps asking me to. Strings are from the Al Jolson recording. This is the card I gave him with the song: