VERIDIA is an electronic rock band forged in Nashville, Tennessee. The band is composed of Deena Jakoub on vocals, Brandon Brown on guitar, Trevor Hinesley on guitar, and Kyle Levy on drums. The group released their debut EP, Inseparable, in February of 2014. The EP reached number #2 on the iTunes alternative chart, and their song “We are the Brave” is a billboard no. 1 single and was nominated for “Rock Song of the Year” at the 2014 Dove Awards. The band has played at Voodoo Fest and Winter Jam, and is currently on tour. Their new EP, Pretty Lies, is coming soon in September.
VERIDIA took the time to speak with Alex Patel before their show at Warehouse Live in Houston, Texas.
Question: The “Only The Crazy Survive Tour” has been going on for the last couple of days. How has it been so far?
Trevor Hinesley: Good!
Kyle Levy: Fun!
Deena Jakoub: It feels like it’s been more than three days.
Question: I know it’s only been a few days, but any notable memories so far?
Trevor Hinesley: I would say day one it was stressful.
Kyle Levy: We added a lot of new stuff to our show. Lights and fogs and new songs. So that was pretty crazy. It’s day three and we are still learning how to pack the trailer and have a well-oiled machine. And then today our driver drove away and ripped the gas line off the gas pump. It was pretty hilarious.
Deena Jakoub: That’s how I woke up.
Trevor Hinesley: By day three we still have some decent memories going on.
Question: The band just finished a 5 part acoustic summer series. How was it making the series? It’s very different from the Inseparable EP.
Deena Jakoub: It was so much fun. A friend of Trevor’s was in town and he’s an awesome videographer. He basically donated his time. He spent so much time [doing the summer sessions]. Each video was done in a span of 24 hours. It was like what are we going to wear, I’m going to throw mud at you, haha.
Kyle Levy: We got to be super creative. There weren’t any rules with this one. One of the places we did a video was a barn. It was “Dirty Secrets.” The house we were at – they literally tore it down the next day. We found some cool places.
Deena Jakoub: We did “Still Breathing” also in an abandoned house. The basement was open and we did it there.
Trevor Hinesley: Some of these songs may be translated to full band at some point. So we tried it on acoustic. It was just fun to experiment with some of this stuff.
Question: Looks like you guys had fun at the festival in “Young and in Love?”
Trevor Hinesley: Yeah!
Kyle Levy: That was fun. It was much smaller than it probably appeared.
Deena Jakoub: It was in White House, Tennessee
Trevor Hinesley: Really small town.
Deena Jakoub: They have that fair ever year.
Trevor Hinesley: It’s in the middle of nowhere so we were driving out there and thinking there is going to be literally a ticket booth and that’s it. But then we get there and there is this huge fair.
Kyle Levy: It was pretty cool. It reminded me of home.
Question: In the Inseparable EP there was a lot of electronic rock. What can fans expect to see in the upcoming Pretty Lies EP?
Trevor Hinesley: Even more electronic stuff. And there’s a feature in there from a good friend of ours, Matty Mullins from [the band] Memphis May Fire.
Kyle Levy: The new EP is kind of similar to Inseparable. As a new band you expect people to finally hone in on one sound. If you listen to Inseparable it’s a full gambit, it’s everywhere. This one is very similar to that.
Trevor Hinesley: It’s still very much VERIDIA though. Very eclectic.
Deena Jakoub: I think part of our identity is being able to throw whatever is currently inspiring us into each individual song. To be able to do that is part of who we are. Even from song to song, it may be completely different; well that’s what flavor we were feeling that day.
Kyle Levy: It keeps things interesting. We can cater to say many different people that way too. There are pop songs that I wouldn’t listen to that Trevor would. And there are heavier songs that I would listen to that someone body else wouldn’t.
Trevor Hinesley: I think I heard an interview with Skrillex; they were talking about how everyone though electronic music would be a fad, but they’re just getting started. You create new sounds. We are just seeing the beginning of that and as that evolves so will VERIDIA
Question: Deena and Brandon moved from Texas to Nashville where you met Kyle and Trevor and the band was formed. Was there instant chemistry or did it take some getting used to?
Deena Jakoub: Actually it was pretty instant.
Brandon Brown: Deena and I have been friends for over 10 years now. I feel like the very first time we ever hung out, we were friends instantly. When we headed over to Nashville we instantly became a group.
Kyle Levy: It’s kind of strange how well it fit together. Strange in a good way…crazy in a good way.
Deena Jakoub: We are kind of like siblings. We butt heads sometimes but we are all cool with each other.
Kyle Levy: We have very different personalities. All strong, all different. But there are some ways where we all relate. It’s awesome. I’m super thankful for it.
Deena Jakoub: When you live in a 15-passenger van together you get to learn how to be sensitive to each other’s needs and emotions
Trevor Hinesley: It’s complementary the way we’re different. They say opposites attract in relationships, and that goes for friendships too. Kyle is very hands-on. He builds a lot of our road cases. He builds his own drum kits. I’m very techy; I do software and web development on the side. Brandon owns a social media company. And Deena is our creative mastermind.
Kyle Levy: Deena just started dabbling in interior design and decorating.
Deena Jakoub: It’s just fun stuff.
Trevor Hinesley: Everyone has their own creative element.
Question: What is the influence music has played in your lives as a whole?
Kyle Levy: Somebody scores a winning touchdown. You score a winning touchdown. I have never scored a winning touchdown, but I’ve got a winning lottery ticket, even if it was only five dollars. You have those moments where you just want to scream and say yes really loudly and you’re just excited. It’s like a rush. One note in a song can make me do that. One little sound, one little guitar strum, a drum fill. Music is such an emotional thing. There are people that are really into sports and they just listen to music in the background, but what do they play at sporting events to hype everybody up? Music. It has a crazy effect. I would be lying if I said music doesn’t affect everybody somehow. There are people that are crazy about music like us. I get really amped up. I have literally screamed in my car because I heard a solo that Trevor did. There are people that don’t get that excited but they still like music. It still moves them in one way or another. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is. Music has just been an emotional thing for me. It’s something that I use to help me feel like I’m not alone. In our writing we do the same thing. We want people to feel like they are not alone.
Trevor Hinesley: [Music] is a huge driving force in your life, emotionally. There are songs for when you’re feeling down or when you’re just pumped on life. It runs the gambit. You see a lot of that influence on our music. We’ll go from real dark to real amped up. When I was a kid, my uncle played bass guitar, but he was the only musician in our entire family. I picked up bass guitar after him and then moved to guitar when I was 14. I wasn’t a huge music listener before that, but because I was learning to play an instrument I started listening to more music and then it just flooded me. I stopped playing sports and started focusing on music. I was practicing 3 to 4 hours a day. It was what I was made to do.
Brandon Brown: The powerful thing about music is that you want it to meet you where you’re at. If you’re sad, you want a song that’s sad with you. At least I do. I don’t listen to music to try to change anything. I listen to music because I want it to be right there with me. Music can be a part of you in that way. Knowing how powerful that is and how it meets people at their lowest times and at their highest times, there is a real opportunity there. We all feel like this is our calling. Like Trevor said, we were born to do this. That’s motivating. We have an opportunity to say we have a message that we’ve been given one way or the other, and we can meet people right where they are at. Whatever that situation is. If we can provide some hope in the low times or celebrating with someone in their high times, that’s a really powerful thing.
Deena Jakoub: I think we all know from music what has personally impacted us the most. Being able to put that in our own songs is exactly what Brandon was talking about. Being able to do that in a positive way, even when you are talking about your dark moments, is so important. I remember listening to darker songs when I was younger but sometimes they are so dark that they keep you in that place for a while and it’s hard to come out of that. Being able to write a dark song that allows you to mourn or allows you to be angry for a little while but still lifts you up out of that is a goal of ours.
Question: Any final thoughts you would like to share with your fans, America, and the world?
Kyle Levy: Well my biceps are about…
Brandon Brown: the size of my wrist.
Kyle Levy: They’re not very big.
Brandon Brown: We want to give the biggest thank you possible to our fans. VERIDIA has only been around for two years. The milestones we have been able to see in those two years are thanks to the support of our fans and support of our record label and families. I don’t think any of us thought that we would have some of the opportunities that we have had in the short amount of time that this band has been together. Everyone deserves a huge thank you, and I want to let the fans know that we are working non-stop to put out more music and put on the best shows possible and see as many of them in person as we possibly can.