Patrick Thompson of Alesana, is a part of another band, this one kicked things off in September of 2014. In which time, this Wisconsin based metalcore act, calling themselves, Versus Me, with members, James & Lee Milbrandt of Serianna, Clint Greendeer of Guardians, and Dustin Helgestad of Crossing The Delaware; have been operating under the radar for the past year. During this time, they have released multiple singles, videos, and been playing showcases in and around the Midwest region, including various festivals, as well as a tour. Now they have taken the time to go forth, writing and recording for their debut full-length album, titled "Changes", in which they will become a name within the industry, that all will know of and hear. Guitarist/Vocalist Patrick Thompson himself, gives us a run down of the band, this release, and what the future has in-store.
1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?
Patrick: My name is Patrick Thompson. I sing & play guitar in Versus Me.
2. You guys are a newer band so many people might not know about your history. Would you be able to delve into it a little?
Patrick: I myself am from a group called Alesana. James & Lee Milbrandt are former members of Wisconsin group Serianna, and Clint Greendeer is from the Wisconsin group Guardians.
3. Where does the name Versus Me come from?
Patrick: After finishing the lyrics for our debut album changes we realized that our theme is internal conflict. We then started a group chat solely for band name ideas. I believe Versus Me was the 56th idea. Most of the ideas were absolute nonsense, and very silly. Such as "Trophy Life", and "Flat Brim in the jungle gym".
4. Why did you think taking the approach of DIY was the right way to go? Do you hope to find a label to call home? Perhap's Alesana's own Shawn Milke's Revival Recordings?
Patrick: We agreed from the beginning that taking the DIY approach would be best for us. We wanted to earn our way up, and build a group that would last. That wouldn't be just a flash in the pan, or a like house with no foundation. We feel that the support of our local music community is very important. That its important to grow with our fans, and have a real relationship with them. The experience, and knowledge we've gained and continue to gain is invaluable to us.
We do hope someday to find the right label home for us, and when that day comes we will seize the opportunity. As smart, and refined professionals. Having earned our way up. Ready & able to maintain a long lasting career.
5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?
Patrick: After listening back to our album "changes". I'd say August Burns Red & Pierce the veil are the most predominant influences.
6. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?
Patrick: Our lyrics are 100% about us, and what we've experienced in life. For us our greatest enemies being ourselves "Versus Me". Mostly pointing the finger at ourselves, and including the resolutions we found. I feel that many groups bring to light many problems that we all face. Yet so often there is never a solution provided. That we only hear half their story, and never the outcome. We make it a point to be honest, and to always seek a silver lining. To show our listeners that may be struggling that there can be a happy, and bright future beyond their dark days. Sometimes all you need to do is make a few "Changes".
7. When did you start writing for this album?
Patrick: We started writing "Changes" in 2012.
8. What has the recording process been like for the album?
Patrick: The recording process was a blast. In the fall of 2013 we went down to Nashville, and tracked our album with our producer Josh Napert in his home studio. We maintained a positive focus, and literally flew threw tracking without a hitch.
9. How do you think the mixing and mastering will go?
Patrick: The mixing and mastering went very well. In The early winter months of 2014 we mixed and mastered our album with Joel Wanasek here in Wisconsin.
10. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?
Patrick: Josh Napert produced our album, and also wrote the vast majority of our production. He's like our sixth member.
11. Are there any surprises or any collaborations on the album?
Patrick: There are no surprises other than the few guest vocalists we've had on our first two singles. Craig Mabbitt on (A)tension, and Josh Napert on An American Tale.
12. How would you describe the overall sound of the new album?
Patrick: I would describe it as emotionally provoking. The songs definitely provoke many different emotions in me. If anyone listens to our album and simply feels nothing then we've failed to connect, and I hope they throw it in the garbage.
13. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?
Patrick: Honestly we just hit the ground running. All of our goals, and plans came post its completion.
14. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?
Patrick: The incorporation of trance and edm was a new experience for me.
15. How has the vibe in the studio been going for everybody?
Patrick: The vibe was positive, humorous, and focused.
16. Did you feel any pressure whatsoever for this album?
Patrick: None whatsoever.
17. When can we expect the new album to be released?
Patrick: Changes will be released this September 13th, 2016.
18. You mentioned that one of the songs off this album, will be made into a single, leading to a video, so which is the lucky song in question, can you disclose?
Patrick: All of our music videos off this album have been release over the last two years. Our final release being the "Just So You Know" 360° music video. Which was released this past July 28th, 2016.
19. Have you been road testing any of the new material? If so, how have audiences reacted to the new material? Are you playing all of the album? Would you consider playing it from front to back?
Patrick: As of now the only songs we have shared with the public are the songs off of "changes". We've spent the last few years building our fanbase off of them, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
20. Will you be touring this album? Is there a chance you will be doing a short tour, before the album is released?
Patrick: Tour opportunities have yet to make it our way, but in support of our album we will continue to to focus one our Midwest region.
Patrick: I absolutely would love that. Yet we haven't received the opportunity to make it happen. Sadly I don't foresee it ever happening.
22. What else can we expect to see from you guys for 2016?
Patrick: In 2016 you can expect to see Versus Me playing shows in our region, and promoting our album "Changes" as much as possible.
23. Do you have any last words for fans or potential new fans?
Patrick: If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything.