Some guys dream of the day when they successfully perform with a group of their long-time friends. Many few have actually accomplished that dream. Enter: The New Velvet. Even though the group has known each other for awhile, they only recently professionally performed as a band. They might be “underground,” but their support system grows on a daily basis. Lead Vocalist, Dustin, gives me a closer in depth look into the menality of The New Velvet.
1. So, guys! Introduce yourself, tell us a little about you individually, and let us know how you became a band.
Our band consists of Dustin Paul, Robby, Sheep and Ben. This is Dustin right now- I like cats and can be kind of awkward at times; I tend to use basic household items in excess. For example I will take 3 tissues instead of just 1 to blow my nose… not sure why; maybe its like a safety blanket kinda thing. Ben, Sheep and I went to high school together and that is where we all met (although I did know Sheep through the grapevine for a long time before that, since about 5th grade) We grew into the band we are today through the musical experimentation and the strange immaturities of high school. We have been blessed to know and work with an amazing and talented up’n’coming Engineer/Producer/Mixer with his own studio (in his backyard…) Ben’s brother Jake! (www.Jantelis.com) Jake records many bands and produces some of the best sounding independently done music I know of. Robby was in another band whom was recording at the studio, and basically, we stole him from the other band… haha well… everyone was cool with it so it all worked out. From then on, the 4 of us were doing all different kinds of music under different band names. We even had some other guys join and leave the band during that period. “The New Velvet” didn’t come into being until about a year and a half ago; well…the songs starting coming but the name was still being decided on at that point.
2. Being an “underground” group… You’ve gotten to perform with the likes of Plain White T’s, Natasha Beddingfield and other well-known acts. How have you made the most of those opportunities?
Songwriting, recording and just getting out there. E-mailing/calling a lot of places and the will to go anywhere to play in front of anybody!
3. I really enjoy the song, “Imaginary Girl” off your debut album. What was the inspiration behind the track?
Imaginary girl was one of the first 2-3 songs we wrote as TNV. For that reason alone, I think it is special to all of us. It’s when we were finally settling on our sound and Imaginary girl helped define that direction. Different guys in the band will tell you different ideas that inspired them in the writing of that song. For me, it was the years I spent dreaming of the perfect girl I would “meet one day.” The truth is, you never meet that person. You may meet someone who you fall in love with but it’s never exactly like you had in mind. So as I grew up I realized this Imaginary girl would always be in my head… and never be real! And in some way, she would always be perfect because I dreamt her up. I felt compelled towards writing a song to express this romance. However, I would warn people not get this confused with an “imaginary friend.” They are not the same thing.
4. Speaking about your debut album… It dropped last September. What has been the biggest advancement for the group, and what can fans expect for the future?
Our biggest advancement has been the relationship we’ve managed to build with fans/friends through our songs. One of the coolest things in the world is when we witness people on our social media websites becoming friends through the common ground of TNV family. We meet people, people meet each other, and we are all there for the same reason: to make a connection through music. That is, and always will be the most astonishing and surreal experience for us
To name a random cool thing that happened this past year: We were flown to Odessa, Ukraine for a performance through the clothing company Ecko Unltd., and shortly after played their cooperate dinner at Chelsea Piers in NYC with Chiddy Bang! Like I said before, TNV has only been around for about 1.5 years so that was a pretty incredible experience. However, nothing compares to the people, friends and new fans we met along the way!
In the future our fans can expect the unexpected. Expect more videos and songs. Expect to meet us this year and expect to sing the songs with us right in front of you. We plan on meeting everyone in one way or another.
5. Do you guys have a theme song that is not one of your own?
Not sure, if we do it changes often and its completely insane.
6. What is one thing you would change about the music industry if you could?
Bring real musical instruments and singer/songwriters back to radio. Less forced/produced pop stars and more natural sounding tracks. Maybe bring artist development back to the table in the major label scene, and less jumping on an already moving bandwagon (an artist that is already having success will THEN get interest from a label) in order to sign artists. There are so many incredibly talented artists out there who simply don’t have the means to expose their music, and because of that a lot of great music is not being recognized or heard.
7. If you were not musicians what professions would you choose?
Probably some other aspect of the music industry or if I could get payed to play video games…
8. How about any new material the fans should know about?
We’re always writing and coming up with new ideas. Life just doesn’t feel right without it. Album #2 is on everyone’s mind.
9. What has been the most rewarding part about being in a group. Especially one that you’ve known the other members since high school.
We are very fortunate to have the connection and history that we do. I think we cherish the fact that we’ve made it this long and far together. The most rewarding thing for us is sending our songs out into the world and them bringing us back what we now call “The New Velvet family.” We are unimaginably grateful for every single person who has joined it and we read (and try to respond) to every message/comment. The only thing better than writing a song you love is seeing what that song can do to others, and if they feel something, automatically, you’ve something right. We will never take that fact for granted.
10. Following the six word memoir, in six words describe your life as an artist.
Eccentric, Dramatic, Invigorating, Conflicted, Sporadic, Skittles
Check Out there Facebook Page For The Latest Updates!