Lisbon’s Vera Vaz and João Farmhouse of the dream-pop band Veer are currently half way through their European tour and can be found at The Wave Maiden this Saturday (tickets £5 on the door). I was fortunate enough to grab some time with the pair as they prepare for the show.
The pair are well established within the Lisbon pop music scene and are soon to be releasing a new EP On Our Own. Veer have shifted their sound to focus on a more intimate approach to songwriting. They left behind them the grey and cold winter; spring came and, with it, two voices and two instruments: A keyboard, with an incisive sonority, marked by occasional rebellion; and a guitar that varies between restlessness and crystalline softness, resulting in melodies that surround us in an intimate nostalgia.
Could you tell me about how you initially got involved with music and who influenced you most?
We both got involved with music pretty early in our lives. [Vera] Despite coming from different places and cultural environments, we both come from music-loving families and had our parents introducing us to music and inspiring us with the sounds of their youth. [João] In Portugal we were under dictatorship for a long time and my parents’ generation was one of hope, freedom and fight for the rights we have today, and that also inspires me every day.
Could you tell me about how the band came to be formed?
[João] It happened almost instantly after we met. Everything started in a festival called NOS Primavera Sound in Oporto, Portugal. Between drinks and watching the bands play (I even got a chance to hear Vera sing a little bit) we began to joke around the idea of being a band together or even just play with one another. One month after we were already playing around with chords and melodies.
For those who are new to your music which three tracks would you encourage them to check out first and why?
[João] For starters, we have only one single/track out. It’s called ‘Mess‘ and it’s available on Bandcamp and YouTube. So we encourage everybody to listen to our single three times, to watch our music video on youtube another three times and to come to our show June 30th at the Wave Maiden or feel free to follow us around the rest of the tour! We promise lots of love.
How do you feel when you share your music for the first time? Do you prefer to share new music live where you can see the crowd’s reaction first hand or online perhaps?
[Vera] Sharing music for the first time is a relief but also very nerve-racking, it’s a mix or pure unadulterated joy and that tingly feeling you get before taking an exam. However, we most definitely, without a doubt prefer to share new music live it’s good to feel nervous, to feel the pressure of playing for the first live and to see people react to it, energy flows back and forth between us and the crowd and that is what live concerts are all about, sharing an unforgettable experience together as one. In the other hand, when you release a song that’s the real test, there is no shared experience, so it is only and exclusively about the music.
Sharing music for the first time is a relief but also very nerve-racking, it’s a mix or pure unadulterated joy and that tingly feeling you get before taking an exam.
What bands and artists are you currently listening to and how are they inspiring you to explore and implement new ideas with your music?
[João] Leonard Cohen is always a charm, but also King Krule, Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Amen Dunes. [Vera] Mac DeMarco, The Holydrug Couple, Echo Lake, Princess Chelsea… But’s not about finding a song and saying “we should do something like this”, but more so like listening to different things and different artists and genres and incorporating all the tiny bits of the things we like with all the ideas with come up with. Furthermore, the inspiration source in a song can be (and usually is) as simple as a change of chord, the way the delay works its way in a song, it’s all about the little details that speak to you and mess with you.
While on tour do you get very much time to explore the towns and cities that you are playing?
[João] Unfortunately it’s hard to find time to visit and explore when you don’t have a day off for it, but we try to do it as much as possible.
What can those fortunate enough to have tickets expect from your live show?
[João] Love, smiles, cool melodies, and if the P.A system is good, a loud warm powerful sound to make you fly straight to Mars!
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?
[Vera] Later this year we will release our first EP, On Our Own so you have that to be excited about. And surely there will be lots of cool new songs and future concerts to see. Until there be sure to follow us on social media @veerbandveer to keep up with veery important news (pun intended ahaha).