Vancouver, B.C.’s The Veer Union has endured a rough couple of years, but founders, Crispin Earl (vocals) and Eric Schraeder (guitars) have remained steadfast in their resolve to keep the band moving forward. This spring the duo, along with drummer Neil Beaton, and new bassist Winston Wolfe hit the road in support of the band’s third album, Divide The Blackened Sky, an album which almost never saw the light of day.
Despite a strong showing with the band’s sophomore album, Against The Grain, they lost their record label, Universal. They recorded their second album primarily on their own, with a little help from writer and producer Brian Howes (Nickelback, Hinder, Puddle of Mudd). At the time, the guys weren’t even sure if the album would ever be released. The band’s debut album, released under the name Veer, was done much the same way. For Crispin and Eric it was like going back to the beginning.
I spoke with Eric Schraeder this week to get his take on the dark edges of the new album, the music industry, social media, the line-up changes, and how the band found its new record label, Rocket Science Ventures. After busting his chops a bit, the first thing Eric talked about was that sense that the band had started over.
“At the end of the day, this is how the whole band started, with Crispin and I’s vision. It was weird and kind of surreal to find that six years later through a record deal, through all the stuff we had been through, we were kind of back at square one again. It was kind of crazy sitting there back in Vancouver, literally without a band. It was definitely an experience.”
In the midst of all of this, the band’s other guitarist, James Fiddler and bassist Marc Roots left the band, leaving them as a trio. “There was a lot of down time within leaving the record label and finding a new home, and recording the new record, Schraeder explains. “And in that time you know, people grow apart. people have different views and different thoughts on the way their lives should be lived.”
Despite losing two of the band’s key players, Schraeder harbors no ill will. “Fid and Roots, you know, they’re some of my best friends to this day. I talk to them at least once every two or three days. They just felt the need to leave and pursue different avenues, and that’s great. It’s perfectly fine. And they contributed a lot and helped out on this record.”
Replacing Roots is the band’s former bass tech, Winston Wolfe, who hails from Australia. However, the band opted not to replace Fiddler, choosing to remain a quartet. “That was kind of interesting on my end,” reveals Schraeder, “because there’s two guitar players on the record. So I kind of had to get really creative and do a lot more dancing around on the pedal boards. Switching up parts was a challenge, but it was cool to take that on.”
You can listen to the full interview below and read our review of Divide The Blackened Sky, here.