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Rock Documented: You start and finish out this tour as headliners for your 10th Anniversary Tour. How has it been so far?

Crispin: It’s been amazing. It’s been one of the best tours we’ve ever done actually; especially as a headliner. We’re excited to be out here and excited to be still making music after ten years.

RD: You’re currently supporting The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on the Shred Til You’re Dead Tour. What is it like touring with these guys?

Crispin: My take so far on the entire tour? What I love about it the most is the fact that it’s completely different; there are so many different types of bands on this tour. Every band has they’re own thing and every single band is awesome. I’m not going to lie, we’ve been on a few tours where it’s just kinda like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know if people are going to like this band.” Not every time. We like to have locals when we’re headlining because we want to be able to see new artists and see the new talent. But, this tour, the entire tour, every single band is different. One band is a little more rock, the next band more metal, more scene metal, it’s a very diverse kind of tour which is the reason we wanted to do this tour. And, that could also work badly but it hasn’t. All the people have been very receptive to our different types of music on this tour. So, it’s been awesome so far.

RD: Speaking of which, this tour is intense! In 2 months you only have a few days that you’re not performing, that’s a lot of traveling. How do you guys pass the time while on the road?

Crispin: We do “this.” We actually just went across the road right now and went to the gym, worked out, we took some showers, and now we’re back in our RV cooking dinner. We try to keep life as normal as we possibly can on the road. It’s never really normal, but we try to keep it normal. But the best thing you can do is really try to eat the best you possibly can so you can work off your hangover.

RD: Who’s on your playlist right now?

Ryan: The new I Prevail, Bring Me the Horizon.

Crispin: I’ve been digging new Wage War, Royal Tusk, Memphis May Fire. Lots of stuff, you know. But at the same time we’ve been listening to new John Mayer.

Ryan: And that, what were were listening to last night? Anderson .Paak. It’s like R&B. Dan found it.

Crispin: This guy, he’s a drummer but at the same time he’s this amazing R&B, kinda hip-hop vocalist. The thing about this band is, I think that that we’re super diverse in what we listen to, and again, one of the reasons why we wanted to do this tour because it’s a little more of a diverse tour. Just because we are a hard rock/nu metal band doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t listen to things from R&B, to country, to hard core metal or scene metal, or death core, pop, or…yea, I listen to a lot of pop. It’s all over the map.

RD: Decade 2: Rock and Acoustic was released this past August. As the name implies, this album includes both acoustic and non-acoustic versions of some songs. Why did you choose to do different renditions of your songs?

Crispin: I think that a lot of the reason is we’ve always believed that a good song can be played in any different genre and any different format or way, and most of the songs kind of start from acoustic. Not all of them, but a lot. Some of the ones that didn’t start from acoustic, when we actually have to break it down and learn how to play it acoustic after, that’s a challenge in itself. It’s kind of a challenge for us to be able to do that but we also don’t to be pigeon-holed and say, “The band only does this ____.” We did a couple of acoustic tours in the past and it was such a different experience all together.

Ryan: It was a lot of fun. It went over really well too.

Crispin: And sometimes you actually get to play for a completely different demographic of people that love your music that might not like the hard rock stuff. For us it’s just another avenue to be able to play to a different demographic as well.

RD: This album also included an acoustic cover of Linkin Park’s “Numb” in tribute to the late Chester Bennington. Are there any other covers that you’ve been curious to try out?

Crispin: That is a better question that we can answer much better 6 months from now. Hint, hint. I’m going to leave it at that.

RD: You started the record label Rock Shop Entertainment a few years back. Do you feel that in doing so this has allowed you to have the creative freedom that you hoped for?

Crispin: 100%. I mean, there was a time, 10 years ago, before we put out Against The Grain, where it was always like, “Well, we gotta write a song that interests a record label.” Blah, blah, blah, when you’re young and all you care about is getting a record deal so that you can get the word out there. Now, it’s exactly the opposite, we’re just going to put out what we want to put out, when we want to put it out, when it’s convenient for us to put it out, and same with our touring schedule.. Luckily for us, as a band, we don’t really like to stop working. So, it’s just constant touring and constantly in the studio. If something sounds more like an album track, we can go, ‘Maybe this is a single?” We do what we want and luckily the people usually like the songs that we like most as a single. Like, “Living, Not Alive.” So, we’ve been really lucky that way. The same thing with Decade 1 when we put out “Defying Gravity,” we were like, “I think this is the best song on the album, we should go with this.” Our entire team was like, “Yea, we agree.” So, it’s been really nice having our own label and doing it ourselves, it’s changed our lives.  

RD: You recently released the video for your single, “Save Yourself.” I understand that like many, you have also struggled with depression. What advice do you have for those also struggling with this infliction?

Crispin: First and foremost, if you’re in that space, the only thing that you can do is change your perspective. So many people don’t realize that that is the number one. If you want to do it without turning to some kind of medication, you have to change your perspective because you know what the problem is. Ninety percent of the time it is in your mind. At the end of the day, you need to change your mind of what is going on in your mind so change your perspective. If you’re doing something that you hate, you hate your job, you hate your relationship—change it. You change your perspective in your life and all the sudden you’re like, “Wow, my life is so much better and nothing changed.” It’s not like anything has really changed, it’s that everything has changed, because you’re looking at life differently. That’s what I would say.

RD: The Against the Grain 10th Anniversary album will be released on April 21st. It has remastered tracks, some acoustics, and a bonus one too. What tracks are you most excited about on this release?

Crispin: I would definitely say that we’re excited for the bonus track. Funny enough, the song “Healing” was written right after things went crazy with Against The Grain and the band was falling apart, the label fell apart, everything was really…I was in a bad spot. I actually had written “Healing” just before the new incarnation of the band. Ryan is the first person I met and you know, it was almost kind of like I was writing that song about what was yet to happen. But, that song was written in a demo kind of version. I thought I was going to do a solo record at that time and then I met Ryan and somehow he helped me go, “You know what? You should keep Veer going.” I’m like, “You know what, maybe I might.” We started the new band, so the new band has been together for 7 years now and here it is 7 years later. Things are so much better since we started our own label, and now it seems very perfect timing to come back to Against The Grain and go, we really are healing as a band. That’s kinda why that song is so important.

RD: When looking back at the past 10 years, what you you feel you know now that your wish you knew back then?

Crispin: That one’s super easy; start your own label.

Our shots from the pit!

Check out The Veer Union’s latest video for their single “Save Yourself”:

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