The many versions of Versions

Monday 31st, August 2015 / 15:08
By Jenna Lee Williams
Versions plays Bermuda Fest in Edmonton this September. Photo: Jenna Lee Williams

Versions plays Bermuda Fest in Edmonton this September.
Photo: Jenna Lee Williams

EDMONTON — Although Edmonton three-piece Versions have categorized their sound as “jerky garage rock,” their sound is much more dynamic than the description suggests.

“When we started the thing we wanted to do was be a rock and roll band, garage rock, but that is not really the case now,” explains vocalist and guitarist Tim Hatch, who sat down for an interview alongside his bandmates and backup vocalists Troy Dykink (drums) and Keith Olson (bass). Each member is an avid musician, cutting their teeth in past and current nosier, experimental projects like Scram, Dutch Hey Wagon, Fauxgazi and Quasar, along with indie rockers Hot Panda.

“We are like fast funk, slow punk, rebel music,” Dykink clarifies, somewhat.

After forming in late 2013, the band immediately realized they had a strong dynamic.

“On the first record we hit the ground running. We had about four sketches done in two rehearsals. At the end of the second rehearsal we were so pumped we hugged,” recalls Olsen.

Primary lyricist Hatch explains his lyrics form from the stream of his consciousness, and he figures out the meaning after the fact.

To Hatch, the track “Practical Effects,” from their EP Blasted to Something, “is kind of about not being able to articulate your point.“

“Finally a song for the frustrated lyricist,” jokes Olsen.

Versions released a scrappy demo tape along with the aforementioned EP. Fueled by a record listening session following every jam that is dominated by underground ‘70s and ‘80s music, the members also admit that “in our private lives we listen to some fucked up shit” while the focus shifts when they are together.

“I try to make these guys listen to First Aid Kit,” says Olsen. “And other new stuff too. We listen to new music when we are together but normally stick to the old stuff.”

Undoubtedly, some of the new stuff is more saccharine. As the members tell us, they are currently working on new material, which they will self record in a 70-year-old cabin. In comparison to the snotty, fast sound of their already released material, the new stuff has shifted directions towards the extremely broad term that is “pop.”

“It has definitely gotten poppier. This is definitely the poppiest stuff I have ever played,” notes Hatch.

“There is no problem with that. We are loving the pop,” says Dykink. “This is a pop period in my life,” adds Olsen.

Their album will be self-released on their label Thee Armadillo records.

Check out Versions as a part of Bermuda Festival on September 12th at Brixx in Edmonton with Black Thunder, Counterfeit Jeans, and Electricity for Everybody. Bermuda Fest runs from September 9th to September 13th at multiple venues. You can learn more online at http://bermudafest.com/.

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