Q&A with Jonathan Wolfe of Vespera: "I Just Couldn’t Walk Away From Something That Brought me so Much Joy. "
Vespera might be a relatively new project, that doesn't mean that they're not doing things right. The band formed unexpectedly last year while frontman Jonathan Wolfe was on a hiatus from making music - in between touring stints with bands such as Slaves and Falling In Reverse - and it just goes to show that sometimes, things don't always go as planned. Since their formation, Vespera has been hard at work, creating honest, passionate music.
So far this year, the band has released a music video for their emotionally powerful track, "Bloom," that echoes the themes on their upcoming debut album, The Thoughts That Plague You. Get to know the band below, and keep and eye out for more new music soon!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Vespera for anyone who might not be familiar?
We’re a brand new band from all over North America, but we’ve all relocated to the Pacific Northwest and called it our new home. We like to consider ourselves a genre-bending Rock band and draw influences from multiple artists across all spectrums! We enjoy long walks on the beach, talking about space, and good food is our ultimate weakness.
The band is a relatively new project that you started last year while taking a hiatus from making music. What made you want to pick up and try something new with this?
It’s simple. I just couldn’t walk away from something that brought me so much joy. This industry can be quite challenging and exhausting, but at the end of the day, I realize it’s worth it. The second I stand on that stage and begin to perform, all my troubles seem to wash away. I’ve missed that feeling for two years, and I’m tired of feeling incomplete. Vespera is my most honest and genuine attempt at music. I realized that it was never about something as contingent as writing “good music.” I decided that my goal was to create something that I felt was missing in a majority of the world: honest music.
Is there anything you’ve learned in your previous experience in the music industry that you feel has helped when it comes to writing and performing as Vespera?
Every single day has been a learning experience for me, even to this very moment. I feel like you need to spend a solid amount of time learning in the trenches before you can climb out and start pushing on your own. I realized that in order to be a true artist, you must be willing to let go and give every ounce of yourself to your craft. I have learned that being relentless and willing to take the biggest risks will lead you towards the proper path. You have to be willing to work harder every day, remove your ego, and become absolutely receptive to what the universe places in front of you.
How do you feel this project differs from others you’ve been involved in?
I feel that this is the start to the most authentic body of work that I have ever created and planned to perform on. With other projects, I felt like the goal was never clear and that the visions of others never lined up unanimously. I’m finally with a team who shares the same vision and is willing to give it their all. Vespera is the chapter of my life where I finally get to see all of my hard work and patience come together.
You guys recently released the music video for your song, “Bloom,” which is a pretty personal track. Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind the song?
This entire album is quite personal. I seriously wore my heart on my sleeve for all of this. I’m coming in from a very genuine angle, overall, with the music. I wanted to keep not only the music, but the lyrical content polished, yet still raw. If you think this song is personal, just wait until you hear some of the stuff we’ll be releasing this year. Bloom, however, is a song about two weathered people who’ve endured strenuous pasts and come together to create a better future together.
“Bloom” comes from your upcoming record, The Thoughts That Plague You. It being your debut release as a band, is there anything you really want to accomplish with this release?
I just wanted to share a very honest side of myself in hopes that others who are struggling through tough times can relate and not feel alone in their strife. I’m hoping that I can rally together fans both new and old to help us push forward during such an interesting time in music. I want this to be a band that can build a community, something that isn’t reliant on the standards and expectations of existing labels and industry members. We just want to create something different. Maybe our eclectic backgrounds and upbringings can become a catalyst in pushing forward a new mentality in the industry and perhaps, one day, even the world.
Were there any big challenges that you faced when working on the album? If so, how did you overcome them?
There were a few. I was constantly in my head from the moment I started this new venture. It got to the point where I hit a writer’s block while writing the vocals for this record due to being so obsessed and transfixed on just making honest art. I walked into the studio with seven songs expecting to only record five. Within two days of being there, plans changed, and I suddenly had to create at least three more songs. I had to do a lot of thinking on my feet, but it was absolutely worth it in the end. The challenges transcend more than just the album, though. Even while I wrote the treatments and storyboards for the music videos, I would encounter countless obstacles to overcome.
When you make the conscious decision to involve yourself in every aspect of the creative vision, you overwhelm yourself beyond belief. I have walked out truly appreciating so many other mediums of creativity, and I want to continue collaborating with more people. Art is a beautiful thing, and it’s even more beautiful when you’re creating it with a plethora of people.
Can fans expect to hear any more new music soon?
Extremely soon. We’ve got a lot to share.
What is the rest of 2017 looking like for Vespera?
Only time will tell, but we are extremely excited about everything so far, and we know it’s only going to get better from here. 2017 is looking like a lot of hard work and proper dedication.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It was an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for listening to our music and asking questions. I just want to let our readers know that this is a genuine and honest endeavor. We really want to bring back that element in music that inspired us as kids, and we really hope our music can form a deep connection with our listeners. Some of us nearly quit music. We’re happy that we’re getting a proper opportunity to make our dream a reality.