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Los Angeles-based indie rock band of Verona knows what it means to make sacrifices for your art. The band, which consists of lead singer Mandi Perkins, multi-instrumentalist Dillon Pace and drummer Jeff Sojka, recently released their debut album, The White Apple, which has been praised by critics who compare it to ‘a soundtrack from a film of the future.’ While the band has its feet firmly planted in the gritty and often unrewarding world of electro rock ‘n’ roll, Perkins, armed with insuppressible attitude and an English Literature degree from UC Berkeley, is striving for a more meaningful connection with her fans.
of Verona, which strives to express its tunes in ‘an honest way,’ was formed solely on the virtue of its talent. The band was named after one of William Shakespeare’s shortest plays: “The Two Gentleman of Verona.” Perkins asserts that the Bard’s masterpiece has survived not as a result of its length or complexity, but rather by virtue of the story itself. When the band was formed in 2010, Perkins wanted its foundations to rest on authenticity and ‘no trickery.’ She essentially wanted to create a project that would be about the musicality; the innate story of its members.▼ Article continues below ▼
Case in point is the title track to their 2011 Fall Like Roses EP, which is a 6-1/2 minute journey of ‘melodic dissonance’ conceived in Pace’s basement studio as he scurried around frantically trying to pack a suitcase before leaving for the airport. What he didn’t realize was that he had left a drum loop and string section going and the microphone on. This moment – forever captured on tape – were the songs lyrics and vocals Perkins created on the spot that were later placed atop an eerie piano among other production elements added shortly thereafter.
Though it was spontaneous and unplanned in its embryonic stage, the Fall Like Roses EP turned out to be the sonic engine for The White Apple album, which was released in 2012. The album was unique in how it was both written and recorded. Perkins and Pace began exploring a deeper sonic landscape. From a lyrical perspective, the album explored the timeless humanistic themes of loss and recovery. While The White Apple definitely fits into the cinematic classification, “it is not all happy or sad, it’s multi-dimensional,” says Perkins. The album does not follow the ‘typical’ rock art form and demands the attention of the listener -and commands repeated listening.
Having endured the rigors of touring for four years now, Perkins concedes that she has never been on tour in a fancy private jet or taken around in limousines. But when she finally gets on stage, none of this matters -the entire struggle seems to dissipate into the ether and it is all about the connection she makes with fans.
What’s your MOMENTUM?
of Verona has MOMENTUM. Working with unique people like this, Sennheiser together with Spotify, is telling the stories of a hugely diverse yet 100% inspirational group of 100 people, following their journeys and learning more about their passion, their lives and their own personal MOMENTUM. They’re people with a passion and connection to sound that has taken form in many different ways. People who go further than others. People who know what others don‘t know. People who do things, that haven‘t been done before. People who push the world ahead. People with MOMENTUM. This spirit, this commitment to the core to create something that is special, unique and that has uncompromised authenticity and substance is what Sennheiser seeks to celebrate and discover over the course of the MOMENTUM project.
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