Getting to know /// Versus Ursus

Versus Ursus 2

Music that most astonishes you is the one that sounds unconventional. If you want new musical sensations, give a listen to Versus Ursus who get inspired by rock, metal and punk and spice up this cocktail with avanguard and progressive styles. Versus Ursus’s very own Matt Goss introduces the band.

– Versus Ursus is a reincarnation of Pharaoh. What triggered the change? Apart from the new name, what are the qualities Versus Ursus has that Pharaoh didn’t?

–  I feel like the name change happened at a tipping point in the band, we were starting to play a few gigs further afield and had been making plans to tour more extensively / record a full length. We felt like if we were going to do those things we needed to do it under a more unique name that was only associated with us. Essentially giving us a stronger identity as a band I’d hate to think that people who wanted to find us online after they saw us live would struggle! In terms of the qualities Versus Ursus has that Pharaoh didn’t I suppose we are really trying to get out there and play different places and push the band a bit more. So I would say perhaps we are taking things a bit more seriously although we are definitely not taking ourselves any more seriously ha ha.

 – Your sound is quite a cocktail! How was it crafted and what are the major inspirations (musical and non-musical) behind your sound?

– From the outside it could probably seem a little strange the combination of different elements that combine to make our sound. In reality it developed in a very organic way, from the very beginning our vocalist John’s strength was his melodic singing and when you combine that with instrumentation inspired by the heavier more chaotic side of music it creates an interesting juxtaposition. That is essentially how the sound was born but it has been slowly growing and developing taking on the influences of everyone in the band. We actually all contribute to the writing process quite heavily which I think really adds to the depth of the songs as we come from different musical backgrounds sometimes people will think of a part that someone else would never even consider.

–  When it comes to writing music, how do you prefer to do it? What’s the best environment for you to write in?

– We have a lot of people in the band who have previous experience being song writers in bands so we all tend to have a lot of ideas going round at any point, writing has never been a problem for us I think we probably have demo’s for a good four or five songs hanging around that aren’t even going to be on the next release we are working towards as we already have the 11 songs for that. If I were to describe the typical process it would normally be that one person would send around a demo they have been working on to the rest of the band, we would all learn it in its current state, then we would work on it together at practice all developing the idea and contributing different bits. So I guess the best environment would be both on our own and in the studio together!

 – When it comes to live shows, what’s your main approach to them?

– We have a super high energy show so we tend to go in quite hard and run a bunch of songs together. John our singer likes to get involved with the crowd and make people dance and give people the mic in bits of the songs. Which can have some interesting results, I think we really just want to make people feel involved. My favourite memories from gigs I have been to tend to be when I get to take part in a way or feel included so we really try to break down the barrier between the band and the audience. We never just stand there and expect people to watch us like a spectacle. It’s very interactive ha ha.

– Where would you like to play your show of a lifetime?

– I think there are hundreds of things we want to do as a band but the most enjoyable shows tend to be the ones where we are up close and personal with the audience. So I wouldn’t say Wembley Stadium or anything like that. Probably just playing to loads of people in a really packed club would be the dream!

– What are your plans for the nearest future?

– We are currently in the midsts of recording our first album which is really the focus at the moment, we are very excited to share these songs with people. We are also doing a short tour in October going further away from home than we ever have done before playing places like Nottingham and Birmingham. I think that’s our goal really to go and play for people in as many places as possible.

– What’s your biggest dream concerning Versus Ursus?

– I don’t think there is any over riding one goal but there are definitely things we would love to do as a band. I think we would all really like to travel and play for people in other countries. If we are talking big the Warped Tour in America is something that I have always wanted to do. It would be amazing to do things like that go overseas and play hundreds of shows for people, onwards and upwards!

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Comments
4 Responses to “Getting to know /// Versus Ursus”
  1. Jamie says:

    That’s certainly an interesting mix of influences! Great name for a band and I expect they’re very good live.
    Another British band for you to investigate, Olga, is Splashh – another psychedelic rock band, from London although three of the four members are from abroad. Checkout ‘All I Wanna Do’- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUNArMF_vDI

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