Reilly Herrera: The Low End Force Behind Night Verses by Kilian Duarte
It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to bring a band from its infancy to a label backed album. It also takes some real hustle to have already gone on a US tour with letlive, GRVRD, and Wilson. But that is precisely what the gentleman of Night Verses have accomplished since forming in 2012. June 25th, 2013 saw the release of the metal outfits new release “Lift your Existence” on Easy Killer Records. Vocalist Douglas Robinson, guitarist Nick Depirro, drummer Aric Importa, and bassist Reilly Herrerahave developed a tight and precise heavy outfit that should be hit with many different types of metal fans.
We wanted to get a couple of answers from Reilly on what made this record and this band a rising force in less than 2 years.
BMM: Tell us a bit about how Night Verses came to be and what led it to the players it now consists of?
RH: To make a long story short, Aric, Nick, and I have been playing together in various bands for the better part of the last decade. We hit a stroke of luck when a friend brought Douglas to watch an instrumental set in LA a couple of years ago. We hit it off really well both artistically and personality wise – which was great for us because we didn’t have a singer, and we were all fans of Douglas prior to meeting him. We started sending and working on songs together and when the timing was right; we made Night Verses an official full time thing. I couldn’t be more excited about it.
BMM: How did you personally come to discover bass and what made you realize it was the “right” fit?
RH: When our old band broke up, Aric, Nick, and I made a conscious decision to focus on making the exact music we wanted to. Nick and I were both writing and playing guitar at that time, and it wasn’t satisfying the full sound that we needed. It was kind of a no brainer for me to switch to bass, especially with the stuff Nick was writing on guitar at the time. Once I switched focus to rhythm, pocket, and locking in with Aric it just felt right. It’s felt that way ever since and I wouldn’t want it any other way. There’s a certain satisfaction I get with the low end that I don’t feel with anything else.
BMM: Tell us a bit how in less than 2 years the band has not only toured the US but also got the backing of Easy Killer records?
RH: When we decided to make Night Verses official we knew what we had to do. Having Douglas on board helped too because he had already been touring and releasing records for years. We don’t allow ourselves to be lazy when it comes to getting stuff done for the band. We write and practice non-stop and we have a clear vision for Night Verses. If we’re not collectively always working towards those goals then we’re fucking up. Having that mentality while creating art has helped us a lot, and I like to think it shows in the music. On top of that, we have a tight-knit team behind us always pushing the ultimate goal of the band. It’s a shared vision and we’re very lucky to have people on our side that understand what we’re trying to do. We’re lucky Easy Killer saw something in us. Hard work, like-minded people, and a lot of creative energy are the basis of it all.
BMM: Can you tell us a bit about the writing process for this record?
RH: It began before Night Verses was even a band technically. It’s a culmination of the ideas and the overall sound we’ve been developing for years. Having Douglas’ melodies, ideas, and approach come into the mix really made us all hone in on the best way to create structures that would satisfy what we wanted out of our songs. There was a lot of writing, and re-writing, and there were a lot of debates internally about specific parts and songs in general. If we wouldn’t have been that thorough with our approach I think we would have gotten a much different end result.
BMM: What gear do you currently use?
RH: I play a Spector Euro 4lx, a simple Hartke rig, a Tech-21 Sansamp programmable driver, and other various effect pedals.
BMM: You get some seriously meaty/growly tones on this record, what has been your way of achieving a sound that cuts through your mix?
RH: The bass that I play is ridiculously hot, and produces a lot of that tone naturally with the Spector Tone Pump circuitry. Recording this record made me realize how important attack is as well. There were some heavy parts that I was really slamming down on and softer parts where I would lighten up. Working with a talented, knowledgeable producer like Kris Crummett helped a lot too. He has amazing gear and knows how to use it. If I wasn’t able to get a particular growl or roundness to a part, for example, he was there to direct things and make it happen.
BMM: How have your recent experiences touring the US been like?
RH:They’ve been amazing. We haven’t done too much yet, but the letlive. and Wilson tours were great experiences with great people. There were times where it literally restored my faith in humanity – meeting all these amazing people from random parts of the country. Touring will always be a tough thing though. It’s hard work for every band. There’s no way to sugarcoat driving 34 hours through ice and snowstorms just to get to your first show, hah. Regardless, nothing beats playing music every night to new people.
BMM: What is some advice you could give to bass players for surviving touring life?
RH: Bring lots of underwear, socks, earplugs, and wet wipes.
BMM: Who were some of the bands musical influences that inspired the sound?
RH: At The Drive In, Tool, Deftones, and ISIS are a few collective musical influences. As a band though, any artist or artwork that is created with passion, creativity, and hard work influences us.
BMM: How do you view your relationship with drummer Aric Importa as a rhythm section for this band?
RH: Amazing. He has an immense amount of technicality in his playing and somehow balances that with the same amount of raw feeling. Playing with Aric everyday has spoiled me without a doubt. He’s always down to push the limits and progress in his playing, which by default requires me to do the same. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I like to think we create an interesting rhythm section because of that. If you listen to the album and pay attention to that stuff, you can hear that there’s a lot going on. I’ve been friends and have been playing music with him since 7th grade. He’s a phenomenal drummer and person overall.
BMM: What are some of the main goals for Night Verses in the near future?
RH: Tour and get Lift Your Existence out to anyone who’s willing to listen. Aside from that, continue writing for our next record in our time between tours.
BMM: Any final advice for your fellow bass players?
RH: Everyone has their own approach, but using a metronome and practicing a lot has helped my playing. Look to inspirational players and innovators for influence, whatever genre or style you happen to play. Also, watch your carbonated drink intake if you’re an avid player. I was on a pretty strict practice regimen and was drinking a bunch of carbonated drinks when the Out of the Sky EP came out. I developed a ganglion cyst in my wrist because of a specific ingredient in the carbonation and it solidified the cyst in my wrist, causing me to have full-blown out patient surgery to have it removed. Random, but definitely something you want to avoid.