I tell ya – there’s some really great music coming out of Portland, Oregon nowadays, and there aren’t many we’re higher on than alternative rock outfit Veio (Cameron Byrd, Brett Byrd, Trae Davis, Kris Lewis), a rock band with the kind of 90s influence you know we here at PEV love. While the band has roots that go back to 2010, this latest lineup is its strongest yet; just listen to their latest singles, “Structures” and “Ghost”, and you’ll see why. The tunes are off of Veio’s new record (that literally JUST came out), a collection titled Infinite Light / Desperate Shadows. The band Veio1gave us a good idea of what else we can expect from the album: “This album was a different process for Veio. We had two new members with different writing styles so it took a bit to really get the writing process moving smoothly. We spent a lot of time working on each song to make sure it sounded just the way we wanted it to. Our fans can expect this album to be the next step for us. We feel like we really took it to another level while still keeping the sound of the first releases that make this thing a Veio album.” Click to to check out Infinite Light / Desperate Shadows – it’s as fresh as it gets. But first, definitely keep reading. There’s still so much more to dive into in all the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: Veio (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Veio: I think what makes us stand out from other rock bands is musicianship. We take the time to carefully craft each song to tell the story that we want it to, and we try to do things a little differently whether it’s rhythmically or sonically without being over the top.

PEV: Calling Portland, Oregon home, what kind of music were you all into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

Kris Lewis: All of us have very different musical backgrounds, growing up especially. Besides rock and metal we all like jazz, funk, rap and everything really. My first concert was Garth Brooks. My parents took me when I was around 11 or 12 at the Memorial Colosseum here in Portland. I remember it being really loud and awesome.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene in your hometown when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?

Veio: Veio originally started in 2010 and although the internet was alive and well then, promoting your music online and using other advertising wasn’t as prevalent for us starting out. So like most bands, the first people that show up are family and friends, the other bands and people that have come to see them. You try to put on a good show and connect with people and hope they enjoy your music. Then, in subsequent shows, more and more people that have heard about you start coming out.
Our first show as our current lineup actually happened in Spokane at an awesome little dive bar that is about to reopen called The Viking Bar. The Spokane music scene is awesome and one of our favorite places to play. The show was great, pretty full crowd. Veio hadn’t played a show in over a year before that so definitely a little rusty that night but overall a fun show.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Veio show?

Veio: We try to create music that is really emotive and we try to create that same kind of atmosphere live. A lot of energy, a lot of ups and downs and we try to bring it every night.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

Veio: We play music for a lot of reasons and playing live is a big part. When you step on stage and start playing there is nothing in your mind and you’re just in the moment. We put in a lot of time and effort into rehearsing so that we are all pretty solid with our parts so that live we can go up there and have fun.

PEV: How has playing in Veio been different from working with other artists or projects in the past?

Veio: That’s a good question because we’ve all come from bands that did things very differently in terms of songwriting. Our process, that we’re still honing in, took some time to develop but through that process of learning how one another creates music we have created our own sound that really comes through on the new album. There isn’t one way that we do things – we’ll jam stuff, or somebody will bring in an idea; we try to explore things until we find something that really fits what we wanna do with each song.

PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music? Where do you get your best ideas for songs?

Veio: Each of us listens to a wide variety of music and I think we all pull elements of what we listen to into our own playing styles. Our best ideas for songs happen naturally through jamming on an idea or flowing through a song. The best ones feel like they write themselves.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Veio?

Veio: Three of us played college baseball and Cam actually played college basketball as well, and we have college degrees. Kris actually has his degree in chemical engineering, whatever that is.

PEV: What can fans expect from your upcoming release, Infinite Light / Desperate Shadows?  Tell us about the writing process behind this work.

VEIOPROMO2Veio: As I alluded to, this album was a different process for Veio. We had two new members with different writing styles so it took a bit to really get the writing process moving smoothly. We spent a lot of time working on each song to make sure it sounded just the way we wanted it to. Our fans can expect this album to be the next step for us. We feel like we really took it to another level while still keeping the sound of the first releases that make this thing a Veio album.

PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song or album is complete and you can sit back and listen to it in full?

Veio: The feeling right now is anticipation. We want to share what we’ve created with everyone. “Structures” and “Ghost” are out and it’s been exciting receiving the responses from everyone. At the same time we’re anxious to release it and go on tour to support it.

PEV: What would you say is the biggest challenge for musicians trying to make a name for themselves these days?

Veio: The biggest challenge is getting your music in front of the right people. Some people would say that the internet has helped people do that, and indeed it has. But at the same time, it’s given everybody an equal voice and bands of all levels are shouting equally and it’s hard for the consumer to figure out whom to listen to.

PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

Veio: For us, it would definitely be overseas in the UK, Europe or Australia. We haven’t made it over to those places yet but we are very much looking forward to doing so. Right now we’re very much a regional band, playing the western part of the country so there’s a lot of uncharted territory.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

Veio: We’re all very family-oriented and like to spend time with our families. We all really enjoy sports and follow our teams closely. Cam and Brett are both the outdoorsy types and like to fish and camp.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

Veio: Jimi Hendrix might be cliché but he was really transformative with his sound. It’d be interesting to see what he could do now with technology. Present artist…we would probably pick the guys’ from Karnivool; they are a favorite band of ours.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

Veio: There are a few northwest bands that are coming up through the scene that we’ve been excited to play with. Fallen Theory out of Eugene has a pretty great brand of rock. We just played with a band called Deadcode from here in town that played their first show with us. I think they’ll be making waves in the coming year.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what do you think each of you would be doing for a career?

Veio: It’s actually the opposite for us right now and we all have careers and we’re trying to make music the full time gig. Brett is a Music Rights Coordinator at CD Baby. Trae works in graphic design and does most of our artwork. Kris works as a Chemical Engineer and Cam works in Finance.

PEV: So, what is next for Veio?

Veio: We’re hoping that this album is well received and we have a few tours lined up in support of the new record. Then after that, we are looking to expand our tour map to a national level. From there, we’ll see.

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