Vesperteen is the new project of Colin Rigsby, who you may recognise from House of Heroes. I first discovered Vesperteen thanks to Reel Bear Media, who filmed a brilliant music video for the song ‘Obsess Possess’ (and Josh Dun shout outs) and have been a fan ever since. Colin took the time to answer some questions about his latest EP, what he wants to achieve through his music and the Columbus music scene.
What inspired you to become a musician?
I grew up in a musical family and always had music around. But I think people are born with certain things inside them that really direct their energy towards certain obsessions.
Where did ‘Vesperteen’ come from?
The name came from a comic book character I started concepting about 10 years ago. Now, the name means setting out with intention into the evening, listening to your favourite records. It’s a person who blooms after sundown.
How does the writing process work for you?
I seem to write most constructively in long bursts of inspiration that strike when I’m not expecting. That makes it tough to schedule, ha. But when it comes I have to get it all out right away. I am always recording little melody ideas ALLLL the time though. Then I get down some pretty thorough demos before going in to record them.
What do you think is the easiest part of writing a song?
I guess I could say the “easiest” part is the very first flash of inspiration, when the melody first comes into my head. Because it’s like I didn’t really do anything to get that part.
What would you like to achieve through your music?
To be the soundtrack to peoples’ feelings and experiences. For people to find solidarity and therapy through my lyrics.
The ‘Obsess Possess’ video is insane – I love it. Where did that idea come from?
It IS insane! I love it so much. My buddy Mark Eshleman (Reel Bear Media) came up with the concept and executed it to perfection. It’s a cool interpretation of the song’s story.
There’s a real feel good vibe on the EP (mostly!), would you say this is a conscious effort?
Not really at all, ha. I’d say the VIBE may be feel good, but the content is all pretty rough. Depression, doubt, loss, insecurity, and reckless abandon are all strong themes throughout. But there are small rays of hope sprinkled about as well. So that must be what you’re picking up on.
Definitely – I love when songs sound happy, but have lyrics that say something different if you really listen. Songs like ‘Shatter in the Night’ make me want to dance, what’s the reaction you want from fans?
I want all reactions to be genuine I suppose. Dance if you wanna. Cry if you wanna.
The EP explores some different sounds, if you could sum it up in three words what would they be?
Retro, dreamy, cinematic.
What song would you recommend to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
Hmmm, good question. I feel like none of them stand alone to represent all the others, and I’m glad about that. Each one is its own experience. But maybe I would say Shatter, since it’s the one most likely to stay in your head for days.
What is the most challenging song to play live?
The speaking part on the bridge of “Feathers So Hollow” is hard to time out correctly.
Who has influenced you and who do you admire?
SO many influences in so many ways from so many talents from a wide variety of art forms and genres. Currently, I’m inspired by anyone who I can tell is absolutely being themselves in a creative way. Someone who is SETTING the trends rather than regurgitating them.
Anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Oh, man, let me think… Pharell, Swizz Beats, Butch Walker, Justin Vernon, Daniel Johns.
The Columbus music scene sounds amazing from what I’ve heard, any local (or other small) bands you recommend?
It really is. I am honestly just getting into the scene though. I’d have to say my favourite local act to watch is The Hoodoo Soul Band. Most talented guys in the city in one group. It’s CRAZY.
Fondest musical memory?
Probably just seeing some of my favourite artists perform over the years. Also, I’ve had some radical shows with my other band House of Heroes.
Earliest musical memory?
Recording songs off the radio onto cassette tapes.
My mum gets me to ask everyone – what’s your favourite app?
Ha, nice. Instagram cause I love photos, Amazon cause I love the fact that I can browse and buy something while being anywhere and it will be sitting on my porch 2 days later. And then PayPal cause I love just seeing money appear into my possession. Feels magical. Ha, that sounds lame.
If you could play with anyone living or dead who would it be?
Freddy Mercury. This was the quickest answer I’ve had for any of these.
If you’re buying music, do you buy it as a CD, on vinyl or digital?
These days always digital and vinyl. Used to have SOOOO many CDs though.
I warm up my voice A LOT. Basic stretching and breathing. Stay off my phone. Tea and honey are ideal, but not always available.
Have you ever met an idol and freaked out?
Nope. I’ve felt intimidated, but never freaked out.
Advice to aspiring musicians?
Be yourself and be humble. Those have nothing to do with the actual music but are the most important.
What are you looking forward to from 2016?
Playing more shows! I’d love to get over to the UK asap. Anywhere and everywhere though. Also, I’ve started writing and recording new songs, so I’m looking forward to getting those out as well.
If you haven’t already got the ‘Vesperteen’ EP then I recommend getting it right now, it’s beautifully haunting and takes you on a wonderful journey. Whether you want easy listening, a song to dance to, a song to cry to, or a song to pick apart, this EP has it for you. I can’t wait to hear new music and hopefully catch Vesperteen on UK shores.
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This interview took place on 1/5/16.
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Are there any questions you’d have liked to see? Let me know below. I’d love to hear what you think.