The web of sound that is created when a group of musicians come together, is an ecological connection between each member, overlapping and warping in on itself to create something larger than the sum of its parts. There's a thread weaving itself through the music, connecting from one end to the other, across the silent gaps that separate.
Los Angeles band INVERTA is striving to understand and foster the growth of this thread. Their sound can be described as semi-noir, melodically-charged, and multi-layered; a fusion of hard rock and progressive/alternative metal. The band puts emphasis on their attempt to write conceptual songs by arranging subtly-deep melodic overtones placed within polyrhythmic odd time signatures. These songs create a cinematic scope easily grasped by any listener, also appealing to listeners that strive to be challenged by music. Parts of songs sit comfortably in the pocket, while others build tension, exploding into anthemic choruses. Dynamic verses harness any aggression that was created previously and descend into spatial grooves and textural drones. The band's goal is to produce album-oriented songs that take their audience on a thematic journey to places in and out of harm's way.
Many of the world's technically proficient bands place an indelible mark on the members of INVERTA. Each band member explores within their musical range and influences, engaging the notion that form emerges between struggle and resistance. Their work is a satisfaction for the appetites of hard or progressive rock fans that appreciate musicality and musicianship, but the band also prides itself on its ability to write a strong chorus that fuses the audience and the band into one cohesive unit. Their devotion is strengthened by a driving force, striving for progression and accomplishment.
Shawn Lickliter - guitars
Chris Dunn - Bass & Guitars
Rorie D. van Klaveren - Drums & Percussion
"ANTHEMIC" & "THÆDA" available NOW on iTunes! www.itunes.com/inverta
Currently streaming on:
www.z889.org - Burlington County College's Z889 Radio
www.angermanagementradio.com - Anger Management Radio
www.uicradio.org - UIC Radio
www.ekr.net - European Klassik Rock Radio
www.progrockandmetal.net - Prog Rock & Metal (PRM) Radio
www.latalkradio.com - LA Talk Radio | Troy's Room
www.plutoradio.com - Pluto Radio
www.theradiocafe.com - The Radio Cafe
www.maximumthreshold.net - Maximum Threshold Radio
INVERTA clearly knows how to make good music...
... that has the loud, “face-melting” instruments all other hard rock bands wish they could capture.
The first thing you notice about Inverta is that they sound very, very good. Great production and some talented composing means you immediately take this band seriously.
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The first thing you notice is about Inverta is that they sound very, very good. Great production an...The first thing you notice is about Inverta is that they sound very, very good. Great production and some talented composing means you immediately take this band seriously. Imagine the softer side of Bullet for My Valentine or Trivium with the heavier moments of Godspeed You! Black Emperor - where screaming guitars are replaced with a beefy but more emotional sound.
The second thing you notice about Inverta, is that there isn't a vocalist. Currently in the market for a new singer, Inverta are pressing on regardless - and it works because at no point does you feel like there is something missing (in fact: one must wonder how the vocals would fit into the project - find out from the band themselves below).
What this all means is that we are presented with a tight, exciting instrumental outfit who manage to avoid sounding overblown and self indulgent. It will be interesting to see what a vocalist would bring to this project.
Who's who in the band?
The current line-up of INVERTA is Shawn Lickliter (Guitars), Chris Dunn (Bass & Guitars) & Rorie D. van Klaveren (Drums & Percussion). We all live in and around the Los Angeles area of Southern California USA.
How did you get together?
INVERTA developed from a studio project that began in 2006. At the time, we were enthusiastic about creating new music but were unaware as to the direction we wanted to take. We began collaborating and recording ideas while auditioning potential bass guitarists and vocalists. Once we got everyone in the room, we found ourselves writing with more innovative, experimental, and intricate time-signature riffs that were sounding more aggressive than what some of the guys wanted to do which made it difficult for them to find their place. Because we enjoyed what we were coming up with and didn't want to compromise the music, we replaced one of the guitarists with Shawn.
A friend of ours from Knoxville informed us that Shawn had just left his current band, was living in Los Angeles and looking for something new. We brought him in immediately and began to write. After auditioning several bass players, we found Chris. He was the best player and we got along well. He had just left his previous band after a month-long tour of Europe also looking to shift directions.
After a while, some of the members had to leave the group to focus on other endeavors leaving Dunn, Lickliter and myself to re-evaluate, eventually splitting away and reforming as INVERTA. The three of us found ourselves once again without a singer but were encouraged to move-on by the positive response of industry labels and the attention of new fans who wanted to hear more.
Who are you main influences?
Obviously, it's incredibly important for musicians to listen to music. We're no strangers to that concept. We love music, all kinds. We love watching other bands play at shows and festivals nearby. We love listening to our friends (locally) in bands and are encourage by what they are working on.
As a band, we strongly enforce the responsibility to not only listen to many styles of music that has come before us, but especially to what's going on now. In a city like Los Angeles, it's all around you. On any night of the week, you can go anywhere and hear any style of music. Not only do you have the opportunity to see great local up-and-coming bands, national and international acts, but you have this unique chance to see musicians from well-established groups play with their friends in lesser-know bands. Typically in smaller venues, which influence you even more. In America, as far as rock is concerned, that doesn't really exist outside of California. On top of that, you have movies and plays, beautiful people, the diverse culture and foods from around the world mixed in with the landscapes that drape from the beaches of Malibu to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. What can't you be influenced by? We're very spoiled here and influenced by all of it.
Personally, as a drummer, Karnivool is my new favorite band at the moment. Steve Judd (drummer) is twisting my head these days just trying to figure it out. Their stuff is very well done. As a musician, the new Deftones album is solid and I'm enjoying how more melodic the sound is. As a listener of music, I got a thing for Katy Perry right now. I don't know why, but I dig it. It's catchy. That's what's in the iPod right now and I'm sure, will find it's way into my playing soon.
Your profile says you're looking for a vocalist - what kind of person are you after?
On our MySpace we have a blog that has a pretty extensive description of what what we are looking for. It's derived from all our experiences from both listening to other bands as well as the vocalists we've worked with recently. At the core, we are looking for someone who can work with the challenging material, finds it inspiring and encourages them to think differently. Above all, a cool person that we all can get along with. Someone we want to spend time working with and enjoy their company. The three of us are great friends outside the band. We travel together, go to events, have dinners with our loved ones, etc. Technically, we don't want something we've all heard before. It's hard when most singers sound so much like someone else and they can't break out of that training. At this stage of modern rock, there's no reason to go backwards. Too many people have worked hard to break rock out of its doldrums ever since the 90's. Hard rock is so much better now. We have to keep up the momentum and progress forward.
You music works great as instrumental - would you consider not having a vocalist?
Yes, in fact, that is what we are doing right now. We're progressive that way. We consider ourselves a power-trio band of instrumentalists seeking a vocalist as another instrument. The material has been written in a way to accommodate vocals with slight adjustment, but also, they can stand by themselves if necessary. Like adding strings or keys which is often done in modern rock music. Until then, the songs are instrumentals.
If you could open for any band, which would it be?
We would be exited to open for any band. Just playing and providing an experience to an audience is enjoyment enough for us. We're lucky enough to just be able to do it and have a platform to make a statement musically. If the music can make a connection to a listener, providing them a better day, a place to get lost or something to associate a memory to, we think that's great. If it can inspire them to do great things, help them solve problems or come up with new ideas, we think that's a good day's work and find it very rewarding.
What would be your one piece of advice for other bands out there?
It's be spoken many times by influential people, successful inventors, magicians, scholars, ever since Picasso said it best, "Good artists copy, great artists steal." The statement still has power today. Artists need to own what they do. It has to be theirs so that if anyone wants it, they have to go to them to get it. It's the only way to survive. INVERTA has always been a band that works hard to own what they do and hold on to it. For us, that means we have to be happy with what we make and whatever we bring to table is a possibility. We can't rule anything out. Bands today need to be happy with what they are doing. Let other's inspire and know it's okay to be a sponge. If it doesn't get them excited everyday, aren't willing to sacrifice or feel confident in what they are producing, they need to change. Not for anyone's sake, but their own. We know it's cliché, but it's the best advice we can give to other bands and artists... Make music that makes you happy and unique. F*^# what everyone else thinks.
INVERTA's music has an epic, stadium quality that will carry them over. The sound is big, complex and intricate.
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Initially it’s easy to take a band with no vocals or lyrics less seriously, think they aren’t ready ...Initially it’s easy to take a band with no vocals or lyrics less seriously, think they aren’t ready or complete without a front person – Inverta is not one of those bands. This is a band ready made for a professional front person to step into. And until then, they stand complete as an instrumental act, playing legitimate venues to substantial crowds, both locally and regionally. This band already has quality recordings, social networks set up, a management and publicity team, and a sense of who they are and where they want to be as musicians and as a band. They aren’t simply searching for a vocalist to stick into a formed slot, they are actively searching for a professional front person who is prepared on every level to complete Inverta. The job opening is not for an armature. The qualifications requirements are lined out in detail. Headshots, resumes, and vocal samples a must have.
Inverta music has an epic, stadium quality that will carry them over,. The sound is big, complex and intricate. Guitarist Shawn Lickliter answers questions about the bands future.
Q. It sounds like you guys have a lot of explaining to do: New band
name; song title changes; and high quality recordings on your site –
with no vocals.
Can we start with the name change?
A. Sure. The name change reflects our current position as musicians.
New material and sound that we felt warranted change. We continue to
grow musically as individuals as well as a group and we thinks it’s
important to not reinvent ourselves, but evolve. Evolution warrants
Q. inverta is sans vocalist so far. Your myspace site gives
unprecedented details on what you are looking for in a singer. The
details of what you are and aren’t looking for must really help weed
out the randoms and the less experienced artists. How is the search
A. Well we still have a spot open which is ok. The three of us have a
particular vision and really don’t want to settle on just anyone. We
know that our basic requirements can seem intimidating. It comes
from years of playing in bands, having close relationships
with people and being a professional in the music business. If you break it
down, it’s simple. If you want to participate, you have to bring the goods.
The music is challenging and it’s going to take a lot of commitment and concentration.
It’s important because it produces results we can be proud of. Some
guys and girls have come in and absolutely killed it on a couple of tracks, but
just haven’t worked out to a cohesive compromise. We’re looking for another
instrument that’s complimentary to what we are writing and take us to another
level. It can be difficult at times when co-writing with a potential vocalist who
doesn’t share our vision.
Q. The songs have no set lyrics written for them then? The artist who
becomes your front person will provide the lyrics to go with the songs?
A. Yes, unless it is agreed that we write them together. We prefer that
the vocalist write their own lyrics and melodies. Its about the art of
creation as opposed to us telling them what to do. We definitely want
someone who can contribute and collaborate with the music.
Q. How do you feel like this sets you up to find a front person rather
than just a singer?
A. We feel it challenges vocalists to think outside the box a bit.
Sure we want to be heard and sell records, but I think its important
to own your individualism. It’s about skill, talent, and style. Everyone that
auditioned came in looking great and there’s no reason to believe we
wouldn’t get along with them. It doesn’t mean anything if their vocal style doesn’t
fit with our music. We want the vocals to sound modern
Q. Where do you come up with the song names? Someone have a boggle game
you use or….?
A. Ha ha!! They’re not really meant to be titles, but more of a call
sign so we can identify them. We apologize for sounding so mysterious.
It’s a long story, but we assure you, there’s a good reason for the
song titles as they are. We think it’s best for the audience to come up
with their own conclusion.
Q. The songs have a stadium quality to them. Do they translate well
into smaller venues and clubs?
A. We hope they do! There is something special about playing smaller
venues and clubs. Its so much more intimate and personal. We want
to connect with the audience. Stadiums are cool in their own way, but we
sometimes feel the music escapes through the roof before it connects with
Q. Do you currently play out with the music as is? Would you?
A. We are currently performing certain songs live. We consider ourselves
a power-trio band of instrumentalists seeking a vocalist as another instrument.
The songs were composed with vocals in mind and we are willing to adjust
to accommodate, but they also can stand on their own as instrumentals.
We’ll continue to audition potential singers, write and record new material,
and perform live as a three-piece. Right now we’re just experimenting to
see what works instrumentally and reserving songs that definitely need driving vocals.
Q. Can fans purchase music in it’s current form? If so, how?
A. Yes. They can go to our myspace page, myspace.com/inverta. We setup
a purchase link where they can download the two EPs or each song individually.
Q. What does each of you bring from the previous bands you were part
A. INVERTA is really a reflection of the best aspects from our previous
careers in bands. The three of us come from multiple genres ranging from punk
to funk and pop to metal. Chris and myself have been involved with projects that
had multiple tours and some radio success. Rorie has really good business sense which
is a rarity in drummers. Lol.
Q. It has been said that you already have a pretty solid fan base. How
have you built that up?
A. We’ve been fortunate to have the internet and technology to meet
potential vocalist and fans. When we started the vocalist search, we posted ads
on craigslist, music connection, and myspace as well as letting our friends
and industry contacts know about our situation. People started adding us on
myspace and the next thing we knew we were over 25,000 friends. We try to
stay connected as much as possible as well as networking with other bands.
Q. With the very particular requirements you have for your music,
members, and the opportunities that you are/aren’t willing to accept,
is Inverta even interested in being signed by a label? Or would giving
that kind of control over to others hurt your music?
A. It all depends on the label and the terms. Labels have become similar
to credit card companies. Once you’ve passed the pre-approved process
and received the full credit of their service, you’re kicking yourself 5 years
later for not paying cash and doing things on your own. I don’t think we’re
opposed to signing with someone as long as we can keep our creative
freedom, but how often does that happen with todays artists?
Q. Anything else you would like to add?
A. Thank you so much for this opportunity!! You guys rock!!
For more on INVERTA go to www.myspace.com/inverta.
INVERTA has created a hard rock album that delivers...
... everything a rock-enthusiast could ever dream of.
INVERTA is by far one of the best new pieces of instrumental hard rock and metal music put together.
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Quickly, you gonna to be familiar with them. Definitely. It is a name to remember. Based in Los Ange...Quickly, you gonna to be familiar with them. Definitely. It is a name to remember. Based in Los Angeles, this instrumental trio composed of Shawn Lickliter (Guitars), Chris Dunn (Bass & Guitars) and Rorie D. Van Klaveren delivers a magnificent mixture of powerful hard rock and metal music. It is highly quality like Apocalyptica but they do not use cellos. Their weapons are bass, guitars, drum and percussion used brilliantly. They already released two fantastic digital Albums Anthemic and Thaeda.
Imagine bass lines totally perceptible. Yeah ! this is possible like Tien or Twee and the rest of their songs. The guitar playing is remarkable and deserves the respect of the Avid Metal listeners like Nul or Elf. Their music is deep with blasting guitars and harmonious like Drie. The use of every instrument is impeccable and subtle. The music is not generic but incredible like Vier and Zes which are masterpieces and a musical treasure for music lovers. The musicienship is a far excellent. You really feel this fusion between every instrument like Twee or Acht. It is impeccable and subtle. Real magicians. The structure of tracks is rich. All the songs have a strong unified sound (it is a rarity) like Negen and Vijf and worth listening to. Inverta is by far, one of new best instrumental piece of hard rock and Metal music put together. If you love the instrumental side of Apocalyptica, Inverta will not leave you indifferent. Respect , enjoy and highly recommended.
INVERTA, Unraveling the fabric of a band.
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A new group of musicians is going viral in search of members. Leading the trend, Los Angeles-based I...A new group of musicians is going viral in search of members. Leading the trend, Los Angeles-based INVERTA is seeking a lead singer, and they are using all means possible to get one.
I INVERTA, the trio of professional musicians who have come together to form their dream group, answer questions about auditions for that possible 4th member.”
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orie, Chris & Shawn, the trio of professional musicians who have come together to form their dream g...orie, Chris & Shawn, the trio of professional musicians who have come together to form their dream group, answer questions about standing alone as a 3 piece, auditions for that possible 4th member, and their plans for licensing the unnamed songs.
Inverta has reviewed over 600 digital resumes from potential singers and auditioned 100. Has anyone ever had their feelings hurt or felt dissed by not being asked to join the group?
Going though this process for the last two years, overall, has been a very positive experience for us. The guys and I have met a lot of cool people, spent time with them, and come to know them really well. In some cases, we’ve become good friends and still keep in touch regularly. We’ve had the chance to hear from all around the world which has allowed us more insight to different cultures and beliefs in regard to music. Even though we’ve spend a lot of time and haven’t found the right person yet, we’ve still come out ahead with new relationships and feedback that has helped us to streamline the process. Most of the time, the auditioners have been very respectful and have thanked us for our serious consideration.
That’s not to say that we haven’t had our bad days. Though few, there have been times when a singer has taken this audition process too seriously and has reacted inappropriately. We’ve had people who contacted us that initially came across as cool, normal and genuine, to then, after we heard their demo and having to tell them ‘Good job but, it’s not what we are looking for’, go completely nuts and tell us we’re assholes and our music sucks. They’ve taken our music (with thier vocals on it) and started to shop it around their area, making deals and promoting as if they were already part of the band. We’ve had to stomp on the brakes a few times.
We’re very fortunate to have the internet and technology to meet these people out there, but in some cases, there is a physical distance that we’re sensitive to. We understand that this opportunity means a lot for artists. For some of them, it means a new life or a change of pace and venue, putting a lot of pressure on themselves. For us, it’s just about what sounds good. We’ve had to find a balance between being truthful to the auditioners and having respect for their art which may or may not fit in with ours, understanding that they might take it personally. We’ve found ways to prevent this by finding positives in their singing choices or giving them feedback to help them with their future endeavors.
Until the right person for the front person position is brought on, how do you stand as a band?
We consider ourselves a power-trio band of instrumentalists seeking a vocalist as another instrument. The songs have been written in a way to accommodate vocals with slight adjustment, but they can also stand by themselves. We’ll continue to audition potential singers, write and record new material, and perform live as a three-piece.
Is it just about skill and talent?
This is a very difficult task and probably the most important decision we’re ever going to have to make as a band. At this stage of the game, we’d love to tell you it’s more important that the singer be good-looking or have great stage presence. Yes, it’s about skill, talent and most of all… style. Everyone always comes in looking great, speaking well and there’s no reason to believe you won’t get along. It doesn’t mean anything if the vocals don’t fit with the music. It’s just that simple. To us, vocals that fit at least show skill and ability. They also exhibit talent which comes from training and experience. The road block usually happens with style. Being a progressive band, we’re not concerned with going backwards. We want the vocals to sound modern and unique. All of the demo tape we have with Jim Morrison, Scott Stap, Chris Cornell and Amy Lee on them, have been reused as Christmas gift-wrapping.
Have you always been in full accord over if someone might be ‘the one’, or has there been a day when one or more of you has been like ‘this is it!’ and the other(s) said ‘what are you thinking? He is NOT the one.’?
There really hasn’t been a time when we’ve strongly disagreed individually about any aspect of the band. I know that sounds uncommon, but we have a great relationship and good communication with each other. We voice our opinions about everything and we’ve been lucky that we respect each other enough to listen, knowing that it’s important and comes with the best of intentions. Vocalist decisions have been unanimous. If we had some doubt, we usually brought the vocalist in for a second or third time. That gives everyone more than enough time to feel confident in their decision.
The band truly has no preference between a male and female singer?
We don’t want to limit ourselves with the notion the right vocalist has to be male. Its possible the right vocalist could be female but most likely, it will be a dude. We’ve listened to male and female singers and been impressed by both. A while back, there was a female singer who did very well with the first track we sent her. She had something unique and knew how to record herself well, which made it very easy for us to hear what she had to offer. We sent her other tracks and she sounded good on those as well. She even flew out from Miami to meet us, hang out, play and spend some time in Los Angeles. Based on those recordings, we decided that if the music was going to have a female voice, this was the best example. It was enough for us to confidently decide that the female voice has a place in our music, but not as the main focus. It didn’t seem right. It seems to us that the music’s preference feels aggressive. It would be nice to hear from more aggressive female singers, but we haven’t yet.
What percentage of the vocalists who have applied have been female?
On average, for every ten male vocalists who contact us, we hear from one or two female singers. When we’ve gone out and searched for singers, the people who had more grit and aggression happened to be guys.
Your standards for becoming the final member of INVERTA are extremely high. Why do you feel it’s so important to have the perfect union?
We know that our basic requirements can seem intimidating. It comes from years of playing in bands, having close relationships with people and being a professional in the music business. If you break it down, it’s simple. If you want to participate, you have to bring the goods. The music is challenging and it’s going to take a lot of commitment and concentration. Show up on time, contribute, be dependable and have fun. You’d be surprised how often those principles get lost. A more perfect union is something we strive for and work hard to accomplish. We know what it takes to be successful and requiring those fundamentals, we feel, isn’t too much to ask. It’s important because it produces results we can be proud of.
Each of you have been in groups before. Tell us a little about those and how they effect the musicians you are today.
INVERTA is really a reflection of the best aspects from our previous careers in bands. For us, it’s a place to bring all those experiences and grow as musicians. We all wanted to do more musically and became unhappy as to the direction those other bands were going. We felt restricted. What was frowned upon before, now has a place to be considered or strengthened. We make it a place of happiness by exploring new ideas. It’s the band we all wished we were in, when we were with those other groups for so long. For many musicians, becoming more confident and getting to that place within their existing band is difficult. They usually break up and stop playing. We kept going.
Who would be on your dream tour?
We would be excited to play with or open for any band on tour. For us, playing and providing an experience to an audience is the dream. We’re lucky enough to just be able to do it and have a platform to make a statement musically. If the music can make a connection to a listener, providing them a better day, a place to get lost or something to associate a memory to, we think that’s great. If it can inspire them to do great things, help them solve problems or come up with new ideas, we think that’s a good day’s work and find it very rewarding.
Who do you share fans with? Whose fans love INVERTA and vice versa?
The fans of INVERTA are very diverse. We’ve heard from people who love pop rock and hip-hop to listeners of metal and classic rock. In general, they typically like heavier rock or metal music that they find intelligent and may require more attention to detail. These fans usually like Tool, Meshuggah or Opeth. We also hear from those who like more hard rock acts such as Karnivool, Deftones and Mudvayne. We’re fans of those bands too. Obviously, it’s incredibly important for musicians to listen to a wide range of music. We’re no strangers to that concept. We love all kinds of music and try to get our hands on whatever’s new and fresh. We love watching other bands play at shows and festivals nearby and getting the chance to see our friends (locally), really inspire us to play.
Where did the name INVERTA come from?
The idea of INVERTA, what it means, and why we give it that name, is something we just keep inside the confines of the band. Not for any specific reason(s) other than wanting the listener to derive their own meaning, allowing them a personal connection to the music. What they come up with, we’re sure, is much more interesting.
Your songs currently have no titles, just ‘call signs’? Why is this?
We apologize for sounding so mysterious. It’s a long story, but we assure you, there’s a good reason for the song titles as they are. Again, it’s best for the audience to come up with their own conclusion.
Your myspace says that you are turning away offers to license your material for now.
Why are you choosing to do this when so many of the licensing opportunities are for instrumental only anyway?
We had to post that in reference to an issue that we had with a few singers who auditioned for us. They were taking steps to license the songs with their vocals on them to major motion pictures and television without our permission. It’s a great idea and we’re not opposed to that kind of exposure except the individuals’ demos were an embarrassment. Since then, we’ve been giving samples (instead of the whole song) to potential vocalists, to prevent further infringements. Currently, we are taking steps to license our songs as instrumentals in various media outfits.