As much as you think it might be an easy task, it’s not always that simple to showcase new, up-and-coming artists. We mean, usually when it comes to these things if you aren’t familiar with the artist’s name, what’s going to make you click on our story versus The Top 10 Most Expensive Holiday Gifts Ever? Yeah, not always that simple.
However, putting all doubts aside, we’re going to do our best to start highlighting emerging bands we believe in. Bands that stand out against the tiring monotony of our music scene. You know, bands like Seattle metalcore outfit Vespera.
With only two singles to their name, the band has slowly but surely put together a brand of dark and ethereal metalcore that has without a doubt caught our attention. Like a brainchild of Northlane and TesseracT, Vespera’s mind-altering sound pulls from an array of different influences and past experiences resulting in something we think everyone needs to hear.
Now, doing our best to get to know frontman and former touring member of Slaves, Falling in Reverse and Dayshell, Jonathan Wolfe, we reached out to the scene veteran to discover how he got started in music and what lead him towards this kind of music.
To check out our chat and discover your soon-to-be favorite band Vespera, see below. Afterwards, for more from the band, head here.
Where did you grow up? And was there a music scene where you grew up?
I was raised in Miami, FL and there was a phenomenal music scene when I was growing up. Unfortunately, it began dying off around mid-2007 but during the active years, I was so fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented and passionate artists. Without South Florida’s underground hardcore scene, I don’t think I would’ve had the resources to pursue music full time!
What were you and/or your bandmates doing before your band formed? Jobs? School?
Before I started working on the Vespera material, I was producing and co-writing with other artists around the US and writing poetry for a passion project called “Wolfespeak.” Cairn [Tse-Lalonde, guitarist] had just graduated from Berklee and was living in Montreal and Jonathan [Schwartz, drummer] had just gotten back from Valencia, Spain where he was also attending Berklee. Paul [Anderson, bassist] still does phenomenal luthier work down in Portland, OR.
Who or what influenced you to start playing music?
There wasn’t a specific catalyst, more so multiple events in my life that led me to this very moment in my life. I remember always messing around with an old piano my grandmother had sitting in her house. When she realized how transfixed I was with music, she was very encouraging. What [also] really inspired me was the feeling I’d get going to these insane local shows we used to have in Miami. The energy was addicting and when I finally stood up on that stage for the first time, I knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.
How do you feel about the digital age? Do you feel it’s helped or hurt musicians?
I’m very neutral on the digital age. I personally wish I was doing music in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, but I think so many wonderful things have resulted from the digital age. We’re simply evolving and adjusting to the changes that have taken place, Musicians need to understand that it’s not just about talent anymore. You have to be well versed in multiple aspects of entrepreneurship. Regardless, I think it’s exciting and there’s a lot of potential for growth in the near future.
If you could collaborate with any artist of your choice who would it be?
Thom Yorke, hands down. I love his writing and would love to lock ourselves away in a remote cabin and just pick his brain for days and create with him.
What’s the best live performance you’ve seen?
I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the dudes in Envy On The Coast, they came back after such a long hiatus and their performances have blown me away. They really have this unique groove live that makes them stand out from other artists. They don’t fancy light shows and productions to get a crowd’s attention.
What have you learned since being in the music industry?
Don’t get your hopes up until it’s actually happening.
If you could be a fly on the wall for any artist during their writing sessions who would it be?
Tool, hands down.
What would you like to be remembered for? Musically or not.
I just want to make a positive change in society through music. If I can use my platform to raise awareness, inspire positivity and forward thinking, I would truly feel fulfilled as an artist.
Best piece of advice anyone has given you?
“No matter how far you get in life, remember to always be humble and kind. Our resume does not dictate our worth as human beings, how we treat one another does.”
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