Verlee for Ransom are an Indie band from Seattle, USA consisting of Kyle Morrison (cello/guitar), Rio Chanae (keys/backing vox), Nathan Keiffer (drums), Kaye Gill (bass) and the Keira Verlee (Lead Vox, Songwriter, guitar). Verlee for Ransom have recently been touring extensively in the Seattle area so we were really happy at Song Revelation when Keira Verlee, the lead singer, agreed to complete a Feature Artist interview. Read on to hear about which modern day artists Keira looks up to, what Verlee for Ransom are currently working on and what they’re hoping to achieve for the rest of 2011.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Female fronted guitar & piano driven Alt-Pop/Rock infusing multiple genres using both acoustic (cello, guitar, drums) and electric (guitar, bass, keys) instruments.
Q: What is your musical background?
Keira Verlee: I’ve been singing ever since I was really little, but I started taking voice and piano lessons when I was 10. When I was 12 I started guitar lessons and began writing songs soon after. This past year I have been taking music classes, such as songwriting and music theory, at Shoreline Community College.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Keira Verlee: 2010 was both emotional and rewarding at the same time. My previous song writing partner from VerleeRose decided to go a different direction in February of 2010 and that was difficult for me because we were very close. However, that same day I started working on putting together my own band. We rehearsed from Feb to July, then played a test show and rehearsed some more. We played our first real show in October only 9 days after bringing on our lead guitarist/cellist. Shortly after that show we replaced our drummer and played a few shows in November and December… now we are on our 3rd drummer and it feels like we have the perfect formula. So far 2011 has been incredible!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Keira Verlee: Pretty much every band I listen to inspires me in some way musically. I listen to a wide variety of music, but recently I have been listening to Radiohead and Metric quite a bit.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Keira Verlee: Radiohead for sure. Also Death Cab for Cutie, Metric, and Modest Mouse.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Keira Verlee: I would love to collaborate with Thom York from Radiohead and Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie. It would be amazing to play with them as well!
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Keira Verlee: Everything In It’s Right Place by Radiohead, Raise Your Weapon by Deadmau5, Goodbye Blue by Pink Floyd, Edit by Regina Spektor, Seventeen Years by Ratatat, Darling by People Eating People, and Little Drop of Poison by Tom Waits. These are just some of the songs I’ve been listening to recently.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Keira Verlee: It usually starts with something that is on my mind or happening in my life. Rather than write in a diary, I tend to turn my thoughts into songs. I write the lyrics, melody and chord structures using either guitar or piano and then I bring it to the band. Sometimes I have a pretty clear idea of what I’m going for but a lot of times the arrangement just sort of happens when the band writes their parts… it just comes together.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Keira Verlee: I think that both melody and lyrics are really important components of a song. Lyrics bring ideas, messages, and emotions into a song. Whereas melody brings variety and adds so much to the expression of the song.
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Keira Verlee: Seattle is an amazing city for so many reasons. We have a great music scene, especially for all ages bands and the people here are pretty chill. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Keira Verlee: Well, we just released our debut CD on May 20th and we’re working on our first music video for Velvet Masquerade. We also have a new drummer as of about a month ago so we are rehearsing a lot and working on our live show since we have shows & festivals just about every weekend throughout the summer. I also have a bunch of new songs to work on and we plan on doing some more recording over the summer in addition to putting together an acoustic set.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Keira Verlee: I wish I could pick one highlight, but there is no way to choose. Every show I get to play with the band is a new experience, along with every recording session and band practice. I really just love playing music with such wonderful and talented musicians. (Kyle Morrison: cello/guitar, Rio Chanae: keys/backup vox, Nathan Keiffer: drums, Kaye Gill: bass)
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
Keira Verlee: Music video, shows, festivals, new songs, recording…
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Keira Verlee: We just had our CD release show which was awesome! Now we’re mostly playing festivals and other events throughout the summer where we can focus on playing in front of people who have not seen us before.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Keira Verlee: I do crafty things that keep my hands busy, like knitting and drawing when I get stressed. Somehow I find it quite relaxing.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
We love you!
Editor’s Note: Verlee for Ransom have developed their own unique style of piano and guitar driven Indie Pop which is both unique, appealing and commercial.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Verlee for Ransom just follow the links below:
twitter link: www.twitter.com/verlee4ransom
facebook link: www.facebook.com/verlee4ransom
myspace link: www.myspace.com/verlee4ransom
web page link: www.verlee4ransom.com
reverbnation link: www.reverbnation.com/verlee4ransom
Youtube embeds: www.youtube.com/verlee4ransom