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.


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