To be honest there is no comparison to of Verona. The last time I talked to the “Glitter Grunge” – as I like to call it – front woman, Mandi Perkins, she and of Verona were in their infancy. Fast forward almost two years later and of Verona has taken off.
Their 2011 EP, Fall Like Roses, was named EP of the Year here at Lemonade and their debut LP, The White Apple, picked up a Lemonade Award in 2012 for “Indie Album of the Year”. We are not their only fans though, MTV’s “Hype Music” has been in love with the band nearly as long as we have and if you still aren’t convinced…just check out their fan base…they are rabid.
I caught up with them once again to talk a little about what 2013 has in store for of Verona.
Brandon Enyeart: The last time we talked, you were just releasing your first EP, Fall Like Roses, now here at the start of 2013 you are enjoying some pretty awesome success with your debut full-length album The White Apple. Give us a little insight on what life has been like the last year and a half?
Mandi Perkins: It’s been great. People seem to be really responding well to the album and that feels amazing. We’ve also played some fun shows like Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide Festival and MTV’s Woodies Festival. This year we are really going to be taking our show on the road starting with the UK this March.
BE: Obviously, we are fans here at Lemonade…we did after all name The White Apple “Indie Album of the Year” this year. There are so many great tracks on it. Are there any that standout to you guys the most?
MP: The title track is important because it encompasses what the whole album is about. It’s basically a journey about realizing what is real and what is an illusion and learning to tell the difference. It’s about letting go of the things that cannot be changed. “Castles” and “Dark in My Imagination” are doing quite well on radio so far, so those definitely stand out for us as well. “Raining” is also really important song, especially to me.
BE: Your fan base is insanely loyal. How does it feel to have that sort of following so quickly?
MP: That is the most genius part of it all because ultimately, it really is all about the music. There is no trickery or gimmicks involved with our band. We don’t do hundreds of YouTube videos or post crazy provocative pictures. It’s basically the three of us creating music, putting it out there and hoping that people dig it. The idea that people have actually been listening to the entire album and responding in such a positive way is mind blowing to us. Plus, we have a really interesting and intelligent group of people on Twitter. We couldn’t ask for anything else really except, of course, to have more people hear it, which is our goal for this year.
Dillon Pace: I co-wrote the songs with Mandi and while we were doing that, I immediately had a vision of where each song should go. Mandi knew what she wanted to say lyrically and I knew what I wanted it to sound like musically, so right after we would write a song, I would start on the soundscape.
MP: We actually love being rather insular and I think that is what makes “of Verona,” “of Verona.” I’’m not sure an outside person would have truly understood what we were trying to do with The White Apple, but we were all involved in the process. After Dillon would do a bit of the production, he would have Jeff and me listen, then we would give our feedback and go back and forth from there.
BE: You released a brilliant cover of Nine Inch Nails’s “Hurt”. Tell us a little more about how that came about.
MP: We released our cover of NIN’s “Hurt” in honor of Amanda Todd, a young girl who committed suicide because of bullying. It broke our hearts to read yet another story about a kid who was tortured for being different, so much so that she didn’t want to live. It’s not right, especially with cyberbullying because that can never be erased – it’s out there for everyone to see. We just wanted to help in some way.
BE: I know there are a ton of readers who are dying to see you guys live. How does 2013 look for of Verona?
MP: Looking solid so far! We have a lot of shows coming up, including our first trip to Europe next month. Hopefully we’ll have played 200 shows by the end of the year. We really want people to hear our album and the best way to truly experience these songs is to see them performed live. We have really cool visual projections that correspond to every musical element, so people can see the music while they are hearing it. We wanted to create an all-encompassing show that the audience could really feel.
The White Apple by of Verona is now out on iTunes and most other major digital retailers. And check out their cover of “Hurt” below.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine