posted on November 06, 2012 00:00
Versus the World — a combination of former members of the Ataris, Lagwagon and Crooks and Liars — formed in 2005 and released their second album in July.
“Drink. Sing. Live. Love.” features upbeat songs about following your passion, mixed with tunes about all-too-real situations.
Donald Spence, formerly of Crooks and Liars, talks to InsideSTL about the gap between albums, touring with Unwritten Law and more.
Versus the World opens for MXPX and Unwritten Law Nov. 9 at the Firebird.
InsideSTL: How has the bigger than normal gap between albums affected your music?
DS: It didn’t really have any effect on Versus the World songs… We’re kind of writing different types of music. Maybe it kind of broadened what I was doing. Before [we took a break in 2010] I was just writing straight rock ‘n’ roll...
InsideSTL: What is your writing process lyric-wise?
DS: Lyrics, I just kind of have a bottle of red wine and just kind of start writing on the porch. I always have a notebook with me…
InsideSTL: “The Kids are Fucked” seemed like one of the more angry songs on a relatively positive album. Where did the inspiration for that song come from?
DS: I run punk rock club in Santa Barbara. [“The Kids are Fucked”] is about one of the guys got stabbed in the back by [a] kid in the show. It was a really scary night… So I don’t know. It really affected me a lot. Me and my guitar tech Mike had to stuff bandanas in the hole in [his] back…
InsideSTL: Is there anything about the album you would change?
DS: I think maybe I would have left “Fear and Finale” for a B side maybe. Actually, no, I think I’m alright with it. I’m happy with how it turned out.
InsideSTL: Of all the changes within the music industry since you guys put out your first album, what is the one thing that has stayed the same?
DS: What’s stayed the same? I don’t know. I guess the touring’s always been the same. No one’s buying music. Instead of CDs [people are] buying vinyl… That aspect is totally weird. [But] just getting in the van and playing shows… getting out there doing work [has stayed the same].
InsideSTL: What do you see happening with the band within the next few years?
DS: We’re really busy. I think we’ll put out another album and see the world. We’ve got Japan, Australia and New Zealand coming up in the next six months… [I’m] writing a lot. I think this is going to be the busiest we’ve ever been as a band…
InsideSTL: How much of an influence have your other bands had on Versus the World’s music?
DS: I think a lot, you can hear a pop song style on record kind of reminiscent of the Ataris... Without those other bands, we couldn’t be this band for sure.
InsideSTL: What are you looking forward to about touring with Unwritten Law?
DS: Haha, those guys are our buddies. So I don’t know. It’d different when you’re touring with friends because sometimes it takes a few shows for everyone get used to each other. It’s like the first day of school. [But we’ve] done so many shows with them it’s just gonna be a fuckin’ party…
To purchase tickets for the show, go HERE.