One of Arizona’s budding stars within the reggae-rock community is a band called The VeraGroove. After three years of successful touring locally, the band has elevated their game to take the next step with a lineup change and recording at Red Bull Studios in Los Angeles. They were also recently announced as performers at Cali Roots 2012!
The VeraGroove came together late in 2009, after the original four members went through their own set of trials and tribulations before picking up their respective instruments. The one unifying aspect behind The VeraGroove is the love to play music for a live audience, as the band has shared the stage with notable acts, The Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Dirty Heads, Iration, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds, Seedless, The Green along with plenty more.
Presently, the backline grooving rhythm section of Corey Sims (bass), Johnny Maurer (drums) and Sean Lee (keyboards) have welcomed two new members. In most cases, replacing a lead singer of a band turns stomachs sour, but The VeraGroove is still in their infancy stage, only just getting their feet wet. However, the new singer and guitarist, Andres Rodriguez is a smooth transition. After all, Andres spelled former lead singer of The VeraGroove, Rick Moore, on occasion.
According to the band, “The newly reformed quintet have added the soulful styling of frontman Andres Rodriguez and the technical layers of lead guitarist Stetson Lee to complete the sound they have been searching for.” Acquiring Stetson Lee (no relation to Sean Lee) was not an easy task. As The VeraGroove’s manager, Sam Scarce, stated, “Stetson moved straight from Utah to Tempe to join the band. [Stetson is a ] 19-year-old prodigy. Corey got in a car, drove straight to Utah, they started practicing and never looked back.”
Never look back is absolutely right, The VeraGroove instantly started performing live, wasting no time. The band even packed up their gear and drove from Tempe, Arizona to Los Angeles to record an EP at the Red Bull Studios, working with Eric Stenman. In regards to the recording process Corey Sims said, “Recording at Red Bull Studio LA was a great experience, we worked with Eric Stenman…great guy (Thrice, AwolNation, Deftones, Weezer, M.I.A, and many more). When opportunity arises you must seize it! We have only been together with this line up for a little over a month.. We had some tracks we needed to finish and did so on the way there to utilize our time and get it done. We also had some friends come by from Fortunate Youth, Katastro and True Press. We are so very excited to unleash this new groove on the world!” On December 18th, The VeraGroove will officially release their first song with the new lineup titled, “Eastside” exclusively on iTunes.
According to new lead singer and guitarist for The VeraGroove, Andres Rodriguez told The Pier, “The lineup change has been a fun fun road so far and we are looking forward to 2013 and our new EP release . It sounds so great! Thanks to Eric [Stenman] at Red Bull Studio and our family out in Cali . Come out and show some love this coming year, it won’t be the same without you.”
As the band is excited to “unleash” their new music on the world, they will start by opening for The Dirty Heads and Authority Zero in Scottsdale, Arizona on New Years Eve. That show seems like a pretty fitting launchpad for a successful 2013 with a brand new lineup.
Upcoming Tour Dates
Dec 31 @ Scottsdale’s Ultimate Block Party. Scottsdale, AZ *
Jan 03 @ Green Room. Flagstaff, AZ **
Jan 05 @ The Junxion Bar. Tucson, AZ **
Jan 18 @ Crescent Ballroom. Phoenix, AZ
May 25 @ California Roots Music & Arts Festival. Monterey, CA
* With The Dirty Heads
** With Fortunate Youth
Watch: The VeraGroove – Red Bull Studio Update