Vancouver based The Veer Union is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their first commercial album release with Decade 2: Rock and Acoustic. Lead vocalist Crispin Earl was kind enough to chat with us to about various interesting topics including the new box set, the reaction to their recently released cover of Linkin Park’s “Numb”, and their upcoming fall tour.
Alt Revolt: I heard that you just returned from a motorcycle adventure?
Crispin: Yes. It was pretty epic. I’m not going to lie.
Alt Revolt: Where did you go?
Crispin: I started in Port Angles, WA then I went all of the way up the Oregon coast. I reached California then I turned back. I really took my time. I did about three or four hours a day on my bike. I stayed at a lot of spots along the ocean. It was pretty awesome. I had no idea that the Oregon coast was that beautiful. You are forced to not pick up your cell phone and become one with nature.
Alt Revolt: Congrats on the upcoming release of Decade 2: Rock & Acoustic! It is fantastic!
Alt Revolt: Can you explain how this release fits in with the box set that will be coming out?
Crispin: Many years ago I had written an entire album that I shelved. I recorded all of the demos for that album. The band disbanded then I formed the new band which is the one I signed with for Universal in 2009. The entire album with that band was shelved. Then I decided ten years later that I was going to pull out all of the demos. I reproduced five of those demos and wrote five new songs. All of this became Decade 1. I also did acoustic versions of Decade 1. Now this is the other half of the album Decade 2. There are four demos reproduced and four new songs. We also recorded one cover. Then we recorded acoustic versions of these songs. One of those songs was Linkin Park – “Numb”. So that is all of Decade 2. There also is another album coming out called Decade 3. This includes all of the demos plus ten unreleased songs or rarities. That is what the box set is. It is not repackaged old material. The only old material is Decade 1 which came out two years ago.
Alt Revolt: Will the new box set be available at your shows this fall?
Crispin: Yes. It will be available. We have only done one run of this box set. It is a limited edition and will have six albums. This will be the only time fans can get the box set. I’m so excited to get it out there!. The fans have truly embraced the sound and evolution of the band. Nothing has made me more happy!
Alt Revolt: My two favorite songs on the new album are “City Of The Sun” and “Man Into Machine”. Can you talk a little about those?
Crispin: “City Of The Sun” is a really deep song. That one was hard for me to write. When I first started the new lineup of the band, I was working with guitarist Ryan Ramsdel. His fiancé had recently passed away. He was in a really dark place. I was trying to find myself and also in a dark place. He told me his story and it hit me hard. She had passed away from cancer. I took his story and put it into my own words. I’m speaking from what I believe is his position. I assured him that one day your two spiritual souls will find each other again in the “City Of The Sun”.
Alt Revolt: Did “Man Into Machine” inspire the album cover design?
Crispin: Yes. A little bit. It was the last song written for the album. We were having this trans humanism vibe throughout. I can’t believe we live in a time where everyone hides behind their computers. There are trolls on the internet that say whatever they want to say but never to a persons face if it was human to human. It just seems everyone is so connected to their devices. As human beings we are animals but we are evolving into something else. I see more people talking about the life in which they should be living. They are more concerned about their Instagram posts rather than living in the moment.
Alt Revolt: Are you surprised by the positive reaction to the cover of Linkin Park -“Numb”?
Crispin: I would say I’m grateful! Every single time you record a song whether it is an original or a cover you hope it is perceived the same as you perceived it. It was a sensitive thing to do from such a big artist that has had a positive impact on me. I could have received a lot of hate mail but I’m happy it has been received so positively.
Alt Revolt: How did you approach this song? Did you want to stay true to the original or do your own interpretation?
Crispin: Both. We really wanted to do a cover the way The Veer Union would do that cover. It did not make sense to do a rock version of that song. We thought it would sound to much like the original. I feel like doing it as an acoustic version conveys a deeper connection between the lyrics and music. I think that we achieved that.
Alt Revolt: What is the hardest part of being an independent artist in this musical climate?
Crispin: If you think things are the same as they were ten years ago you are destined to fail. The hard part is the exciting part for me. If you want to evolve in the musical industry today you will succeed. If you are not prepared to evolve you will die. I’m so hellbent on doing what I want to do that I have to figure out how to evolve every step of the way. I find it very interesting. So far so good. We are still evolving and making music. A lot of people still think you can throw money around and get something written for you but that is not real. I started music because I was inspired by “real artists”. Not people pretending to me artists.
Alt Revolt: Who are some of your vocal influences?
Crispin: It has been a hard year for rock and roll. The one that comes to mind is Chris Cornell. I would also say growing up Corey Glover of Living Colour. I also listened to a lot of R&B artists growing up as well.
Alt Revolt: Can you talk about the upcoming Resurrection Tour?
Crispin: Yes. We are heading out with Puddle Of Mudd, Tantric, Soil, and Saliva. It is going to be epic. We have toured with Puddle of Mudd in the past. I have never had any issues with the band. Wes has always been one of the sweetest dudes to me. I was on tour with them and got sick. Wes personally invited me on the tour bus and took care of me. That is maybe one of the reasons why they have asked us to tour with them again. I’m really excited and looking forward to this tour.
Alt Revolt: I hope to get out to the Denver date in September. Good luck with the tour and thank you for the time!
Crispin: Thank you!
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