Free Fargo: My introduction to VP was through Vaughn, a mutual friend of Josh’s and mine. At that time they were playing to pre-recorded tracks. Which in many cases in music can be a wonderful thing. Anyways, I was sitting there listening to all these exquisitely layered compositions… Now my personal belief is; music is the alchemy for the spirit. It’s one of the few things the secular and religious worlds have in common. You add the two elements of sound, and rhythm… Your body will react, and move in some fashion.
My musical influences started when I was very young with my father, and my uncle. Through my father I grew up listening to 60′s R&B to and some country, such as, Arthur Prysock, Lou Rawls, and Willie Nelson. My uncle turned me on to the likes of, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Pete Seeger. Then the world within music started to change, when I discovered both, Prince’s 1999, and The Cults Dreamtime albums around the same time. From there came… SWANS, Einsturzende Neubauten, Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Skinny Puppy, Iron Maiden, Cocteau Twins, and Dead Can Dance.
Why did you choose steampunk as your genre of choice? What attracts you to steampunk?
JP: Vernian Process was conceived as a steampunk themed project from the earliest ideas I had for it back in the late 90’s. At that time it was a little joke I made up to entertain myself. I had no musical ambitions at that time, and just thought it was a fun idea.
I’ve been a steampunk fan for most of my life. I was introduced to the wonderful world of steampunk in the early 80’s by my dad via old syndicated re-runs of “The Wild Wild West”, and Disney films like 20,000 Leagues, In Search of the Castaways, The Island at the Top of the World, and The Rocketeer (which I saw in the theater). When I got a bit older I became fascinated with tv shows like Brisco County Jr., and Disney’s Tail Spin, and literature such as Michael Moorcock’s “A Nomad of the Time Streams” trilogy. And eventually I began creating my own stories and worlds within the realms of steampunk fiction.
So suffice to say, steampunk is in my blood. It’s my favorite form of science fiction by far.
MI: When I joined VP, I was looking for something new… something with lots of energy, but also something that required a high degree of musicianship. I had done my share of acts that were highly energetic but musically dull, and also acts that were musically complex but very sterile and dispassionate. steampunk (at least VP’s version of it) seamlessly combined the energy of punk rock with the beauty and challenges of Neo-Classical composition.
PJZ: In all aspects of my life, I’ve always erred on the geeky side. The first movie I vividly remember as a child – Aliens – secured a lifetime love for science fiction and well-crafted horror. I grew up reading science fiction, playing RPGs, and admiring the art of ages past. The roots of steampunk came naturally into my life.
As a genre, my decision came by a different route. I was involved in a few metal bands, but found myself disillusioned with the scene and sought fresh air in something that spoke to my musical roots. I liked Vernian Process and other bands associated with steampunk, so I thought to myself, why not join one? Coincidentally, Vernian Process happened to be seeking a bass player just as I was seeking a steampunk band. I auditioned, and the rest is history.
Brian Figueroa: I’m attracted to Steampunk because of the people that are making it come to life (the people in VP, the people that are anti commercial and creative) and the people who are seriously devoted to science fiction and music.
How would you describe your music to people who have never heard it before?
MI: That is hard to do. We try to keep our style morphing from one work to the next. We have elements from a dozen different influences and styles in each song. One thing is for sure, however: At a VP show, there’s bound to be something for everyone.