October 17, 2014
Four years after their last release, Emarosa is finally back. The band may have been hidden away for a while, but that never meant they stopped working. And proof of that can be seen in their newest release Versus. Read the interview below where we caught up with keyboardist Jordan Stewart, bassist Will Sowers, guitarist ER White, and Emarosa’s new vocalist, Bradley Scott Walden at the San Diego show of their current tour with Yellowcard and Memphis May Fire.
Question: So Versus has been out now for a little over a month, how are you guys feeling with it being out?
Will Sowers: So great, very exciting.
Jordan Stewart: Yeah it’s been four years. It’s been a long time since we’ve put out a record. And it’s really great to have it out there because we’ve been working on it all that time. We didn’t really take any time off; we were always writing and playing. It’s great to have the record out, especially with Bradley on it, representing the band now.
Q: What was your biggest influence on Versus?
JS: Probably get back to Emarosa.
Bradley Scott Walden: I think for me, it was all of the doubt that came from everybody that said “This band is dead.” For the fans, the band had been dead for like four years, give or take. And no one really thought that they’d be able to replace their former singer. Then they did, and had the best opening week that the band has ever done. And so, it pretty much just shut everyone up. And I think, you know, I make music for myself, but at the same time, it might have been an ego thing, but there was a part of me that wanted to prove that this band is not one person. The band is – a band. You know, ‘cause I was a fan as well, so it gave me an opportunity to enjoy a band that I love that hadn’t been around for a long time.
Q: So how did you approach this album differently, being that it has been four years since the last release?
JS: We wrote it as a band – a lot more together. We were able to stem from the vocals influencing the music rather than the music and then the vocals being put on top. The whole process was cohesive and I think the record shows that.
Q: What was the best part of making Versus?
JS: Getting it done. *laughs*
WS: That is the damn truth!
JS: It was not fun. No one is going to sit here and say they loved recording that record and had the most inspiring, creative experience.
WS: We love the music that we created. But the recording process…
JS: It was tough; it was four years. You know, that much looking in on yourself and without much outside exposure and just working on something, really changes it. And you can’t really wrap your mind around what you’re really working on anymore because it’s been so long since it’s been out there. It was definitely good to finish it and hear it.
WS: Yeah, I think all of us knowing the product we had, the music we had been creating, and actually having proof of that to show people was very, very fulfilling.
Q: And where did the title Versus come from?
ER White: Bradley was actually wearing a “Detroit Versus Everybody” T-shirt, and it was just like, “Versus.”
JS: We had been struggling with the title for a long time too. We were at practice jamming, and ER saw Bradley’s shirt and said, “What about Versus?” and it stuck. And so much of the process and so much of getting where this band is now was a lot of learning and a lot of “versus” with not just ourselves. It really added up everything we were trying to say and do and it was a strong statement.
Q: And so this tour with Memphis May Fire and Yellowcard kicked off in Vegas, how did that show go?
WS: It was awesome, lots of fun.
JS: That was our first time being back at the House of Blues and it was pretty awesome. It was redeeming too. We hadn’t been there since 2010 and it was great to see fans still allowing us to get onto those stages.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out you were invited to join this tour?
ERW: Oh man… Okay. So I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ve been listening to Yellowcard for a long time. So it was kind of mindblowing.
JS: It was surreal… I got my first speeding ticket driving around with a Yellowcard CD in, and I threw it out the window after because I was so mad I got a speeding ticket – it was a burned copy! But I was like, “Damn it! You got me a speeding ticket!” *laughs*
BSW: My mom actually asked me a couple weeks ago, since joining the band and where my career is at – I’ve been doing this for about seven or eight years now – and she asked me, “Have you had an ‘oh my goodness’ or ‘holy cow’ moment?” I hadn’t gotten one of those “I cannot believe this” moments. And I don’t know why but my friend texted me yesterday and he says, “You’re on tour with Yellowcard” and then it hit me. I think the very first girl I was ever uh…
ERW: *laughs*Affectionate with?
JS: You got affectionate to Yellowcard?
BSW: “My Only One,” man! I had just like, gotten out of high school and I was like, “Oh man she is ‘My Only One.’” But yeah, yesterday was my “oh my goodness” moment, we’re on tour with Yellowcard.
Q: What’s a song you have on your setlist that you’re most excited to play?
WS: After the Vegas show, “Say Hello To The Bad Guy.”
JS: I like that one too. We’ve brought back some intros and interludes we used to do a long time ago for Emarosa. It’s really fun to step out of the recorded music, jam stuff out and step back in.
ERW: The first three songs in our set I feel are awesome. “People [Like Me, We Just Don’t Play]” “Mad,” and “Set It Off [Like Napalm]” – it’s a nice grip of songs to start everything off.
Q: So when was the last time you were in San Diego?
JS: The Chiodos Tour. We came out in the spring and played SOMA. It was great.
Q: What’s your favorite place here in San Diego?
JS: The beach.
BSW: Yeah, it has to be that.
WS: All of San Diego, I love San Diego. It’s one of my favorite cities.
Q: What’s your favorite city to play?
JS: Chicago. Anywhere in Texas or New York.
WS: I like playing New York a lot. I don’t like before going on stage in New York, but I like playing New York.
BSW: We did the Chiodos Tour and a short headliner for Versus and I loved playing San Antonio because that fanbase was so intense. I like Chicago because I get to play in front of my mom when I play Chicago.
Q: What album or artist are you really listening lately?
ERW: Wildcat Wildcat.
JS: I’m big into Flying Lotus right now.
WS: I’ve been listening to so much random stuff. But Young The Giant has been a big one of mine.
Q: What’s your favorite album of all time?
ERW: The Ugly Organ by Cursive.
BSW: Phantoms by Acceptance
WS: Yeah, stuff.
JS: Maybe “In Rainbow” [by Radiohead].
Q: What was your very first concert?
BS: Backstreet Boys. I promised my mom I’d go see Backstreet Boys if she took me to go see WWF.
WS: You don’t have to have an excuse for going to go see The Backstreet Boys… Mine was Dashboard Confessional.
ERW: Mine was Moneen, Taking Back Sunday and Saves The Day.
Q: Think of an iPhone emoji. Which emoji best describes your life right now?
JS: I’m always the surf guy.
ERW: I’m that girl serving the pizza. The invisible pizza.
WS: I’m going to go with the mustache emoji… Or probably the old man emoji because I’ve been going to bed so early.
JS: Oh there’s a VS. emoji. We’re all the VS. emoji.
BSW: I just want to be pizza. Right now I’m the little barber thing. I want a haircut.
Q: Alright, final question. What’s your proudest moment as a band?
JS: I think we got some to accomplish.
ERW: I’m gonna go with us being on the Jumbo-tron at Riot Fest. That’s a pretty big highlight of a career. I think that’s pretty sweet.
BSW: As a band though, it could be different than as an individual.
JS: Yeah it really is. We still have work to do. It’s coming.
WS: I think when the four of us made a couple of hard decisions together and made this tour happen. I think those were some proud moments.
JS: We’re definitely buckling down with some work to do, and people here know it.
BSW: So we haven’t had it yet, but it’s coming.
Stay caught up with Emarosa here:
And purchase the new album Versus here: