Week in Pop: Dinowalrus, Kate Grom, Versing

Sjimon Gompers

The proliferation & persistence of Dinowalrus; photographed live at Webster Hall by Silvia Saponaro.


Modern day wonders of the western coast—Seattle's own champions Versing; press photo courtesy of the band.

Modern day wonders of the western coast—Seattle’s own champions Versing; press photo courtesy of Conner Lyons.


Seattle quartet Versing has versed us in the tenets of everything DIY while continuing to captivate our ears & attention. Living up to their accolades & their tag-line as truly “one of Pacific Northwest’s premier rock and roll bands”—they have won over fans locally & elsewhere in the underground circuits with the advent of their Nude Descending album (released through Youth Riot Records), they have been declared the favorite Pac Northwest band of The Courtneys (of whom Versing are playing The Courtneys tour kickoff show in Vancouver on March 3) & so forth-Versing today unveil the dates for their March west coast tour along with the world premiere of their Tour Tape. Ever since we were introduced via their debut single “Haunted Hauses“, the four piece of Daniel Salas, Graham Baker, Kirby Lochner, & Max Keyes offer up a sweet slacker sound that adheres to counter-culture garage club traditions that have been around since the advent & emergence of the electric guitar.

Experience what the rest of the world—namely the west coast—is about to discover as Versing presents the follow-up to the lauded Nude Descending release. Spanning a cycle of four tracks, Versing’s Tour Tape is guaranteed to both please the converted fans while making new disciples of the rising Seattle band. The fun begins as Versing draws us all in with the appropriately titled “The Draw” that is an anthem that has been tailored to be performed live at every occasion. And the energy only rages onward & forward with the raging, stage-crashing “Command Me” that commands & conquers anything & everything within earshot of this ecstatic, slacked-back number. And even though Versing have become beasts of the underground industries in their own creative right, they raise a toast to the vintage Flying Nun kiwi-DIY-pop icons The Clean with a rendering of “The Blue” that cranks up the New Zealand jangle with a scuzzy Seattle state of mind lens. “Vermilion” takes on the subject of that red pigment sourced from mercury sulfide, oka cinnabar, that is a slow burner to see you through the night. The four tracks provide not just a March west coast tour preview of what to expect from Versing, but rather hints at what the beloved group’s sophomore album might sound like.

Following the debut listen to Versing’s Tour Tape—read our roundtable interview with our friends Daniel, Graham, Kirby & Max.

Give us everything that’s been happening over at club Versing since we last talked circa Nude Descending.

Dan: We recorded a full length record last spring that we are really excited about! After that we made a music video with our friend Efraín for one of the songs from Nude Descending:

Graham: Max and I went to Mexico to visit some friends and had a real nice time.

Kirby: I got really into Rocket League. It’s really fun if you’ve ever imagined playing Hot Wheels soccer before.

Choruses & verses with Seattle's Versing; photographed by Conner Lyons.

Choruses & verses with Seattle’s Versing; photographed by Conner Lyons.

What’s been super cool in Seattle lately that has you all inspired?

Good Person Recordings is a Seattle label that donates a percentage of their profits to local non-profits. They recently held a benefit show for the Refugee Women’s Alliance. We’re also stoked that it was a Seattle Federal Judge that blocked Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

What are some of the top essential items that are key for surviving Versing’s upcoming west coast tour?

Takeya ThermoFlask® insulated water bottles, pillows, Twilight books on tape, chess pass-and-play game for Max and Graham, and Wendy’s chili.

The rock, rhythms & rise of Versing; press photo courtesy of the band.

The rock, rhythms & rise of Versing; press photo courtesy of Conner Lyons.

What are you all looking forward to the most on this tour?

Kirby: Hanging out with my family!

Graham: Annoying Kirby.

Max: Sleeping on the beach.

Dan: I’ve never been to San Francisco before….!

Versing & the cool cats.

Versing & the cool cats.

This Versing west coasts tour tape rocks. Give us the stories behind all the following four songs featured on there:

We recorded versions of “The Draw”, “Command Me”, and “Vermillion” for our upcoming album last year, but Command Me and Vermillion didn’t make the cut. We decided to revisit those two and do a new version of “The Draw” that’s faster and heavier than the album version. It’s taking a long time for our album to come out so we wanted to record and release something in time for our tour. Also we did a cover of The Clean. Sorry Flying Nun!

Post-tour plans?

Graham: Hope I don’t get fired from my job!

Kirby: Release our full length hopefully!

Striking a pose with Versing's band photo; photographed by Landon Gauthier.

Striking a pose with Versing’s band photo; photographed by Landon Gauthier.

Summer plans?

Max: We might be doing a east coast tour later in the summer which would be super sick actually.

Must hear/must see/must read media?

Dan: The Courtneys II

Max: Breeze’s new album

Graham: Twilight 1 and 2. I haven’t seen 4.5 yet but 4 was really bad.

Important activist causes right now?

Anything that opposes Trump and gets people in the streets is worthwhile these days.

Catch Versing on their March west coast tour via the following dates:

02 Bellingham, WA
03 Vancouver, BC
04 Seattle, WA
06 Oakland, CA
07 Eagle Rock, CA
09 Los Angeles, CA
10 San Francisco, CA
11 Portland, OR

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