One thing for sure is that Verity White has made the most out of these difficult times. With the benefit of having a professional recording studio at home, the UK based artist, alongside her partner in crime Alex White, have churned out two EPs during the lockdown period – and f that isn’t enough, the pair have been entertaining the masses online with their regular Monday night live streams on Facebook.
HRH Mag caught up with Verity at the start of the year to get the lowdown on her second EP ‘Ungrounded’ (out now via WDFD Records), the prospects of an album release, and her outlook for 2021.
Today marks the release of your ‘Ungrounded’ EP. How are you feeling?
I’m feeling good. What’s been great this time around is that we managed to get the EP out to lots of reviewers before the release date. And I know that feels like a real rookie thing, but we sometimes get overly obsessed with mixing, and so things run over. But we set some solid deadlines this time, and we met them, which is amazing. We got the EP out to a load of people, and I think because we’ve only very recently just released another EP, I think my name was already kind of somewhere in the back of people’s heads. And so, with the second EP, I think more people were interested – like oh, hang on a minute, I know that name, so they picked it up. We’ve had some amazing reviews. I think because of that, there has been a nice buzz today online. Loads of people have been wearing our T-shirts for Band Shirt Friday and sharing their thoughts about the EP and saying nice things. It’s been awesome!
‘Ungrounded’ is the second EP that you have written and recorded during the lockdown period. Were those songs that you’ve written during that time, or did you have them stockpiled beforehand? How did they come about?
So, the majority of the songs were written in lockdown. I think, if you look at the song “Strange Times”, which is the lead single from the newest EP – it’s about the lockdown and these weird times that we’re living. It’s about the lockdown, but it’s about politics and things like that. But it’s also got kind of a message of hope through it. I like to include a message of hope in my music. Although a lot of it is autobiographical and about bad situations that I’ve been in – through the lyrics; I like to show a glimmer of hope; because I feel like there is always hope. It doesn’t matter how dark things are – there is always something that can make you smile. And that might be your cat giving you a cuddle or something. But there is always something there that can make you smile. So yeah, they’re generally written through the lockdown.
In terms of the songwriting process, how does that work between yourself and Alex?
Interestingly, we’ve done these two EPs differently. With the first one – ‘After The Storm’. I wrote the structures, the chord sequences, and all of the lyrics. We don’t usually work together; we tend to do stuff separately. And he then orchestrated them from that. And then we did all the final recordings. Whereas with the second EP, Alex wrote the chord structures and sequences and sent those to me. I then did all the lyrics and the vocal arrangements and all the different areas of the harmonies. And we then sat down, recorded them, and talked about all the incidentals together. But there is one track that we wrote together in more or less in the same room, at the same time, which is actually “Strange Times”. So, we sat down, and we were like, let’s do one more. Because we had written a few, there was three that we were happy with, but we couldn’t find that fourth song. So, we were like, you know what, let’s try sitting down in a room writing together, at the same time, which we have never done before. I know that sounds weird, but we’ve never done it before. And it seemed to work ok. So yeah, that is the one that we’ve probably written in a more normal way.
Having done two EPs over lockdown, have you got ideas about maybe doing an album at all?
I think it’s on the agenda. I feel like the lockdown EPs was stuff that we wanted to do, not only for ourselves to keep us from going insane but also for the fans to have things to look forward to. I don’t think many musicians in the grassroots scene are lucky enough to have a studio at home that’s kind of fully professionally kitted out. So, we’re in a good situation where we can write music and get music out there to people and hopefully make their lives through lockdown feel a bit better. I think we do want to work on an album next. Alex said to me before the EP release that we need to start working on the album now. But like, oh my god, just let me sit down and have a few Gin and Tonics please, my brain can’t cope. But yeah, it is twinkling away. And what that looks like we don’t quite know, because obviously, we don’t know what will happen in the COVID world. But we’re hoping to get our band more involved this time around too.
Do you have any loose plans for 2021? Or is it still very much a wait and see kind of thing?
So, we have quite a few gigs booked in 2021, one of them being HRH Spring Break [Editor’s Note: Now rescheduled for March 2022], which we’re very much looking forward to – fingers crossed. We are going to work on a new album, we are going to be working on music, and we’re still going to be doing our live streams. I will book gigs and a tour when I feel that it’s safe enough to do so. And when I feel like I’m not going to have to have the expense of then having to cancel it and rebook it all. It’s dire out there for grassroots music. It’s not just the musicians who are suffering; it’s all of the people that work in the industry; it’s the venues. I don’t want to get into a situation where we owe venues all of this money, and then we have to cancel it. You don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m cautious. If things go in the right direction through January, February, and March and vaccines hopefully start rolling out, I can see some semblance of normality returning throughout the year. Then I feel that we’ll probably be booking a tour – that is the plan.
Interview conducted by Adam Kennedy for HRH Mag.
You can catch this rock Queen at next year’s Hard Rock Hell Spring Break at Camp HRH Great Yarmouth, between 9th-13th March 2022.