Vera

Vera

 Tallahassee, Florida, USA
BandRockPop

"From the pulsing bass line at the start of “Sound” to the vibrant guitars at the end of “Warm Me Up,” The Sound is a compelling EP that reflects melody, unity and honesty. Hinting influences that range from Coldplay to MuteMath to Pink Floyd, this album manages to create an atmospheric soundscape that elevates and alleviates the listener from the mundane tones music listeners so often face today.”

Biography

Conventional wisdom dictates that it's always best for graduating high school seniors to approach their futures methodically-college degree first, followed by a full throttle embrace of those career ambitions. But sometimes, as in the case of Will Mikkelson, frontman and lead singer/songwriter for the Florida based rock band Vera, an artist's potential is too great to put off and the songs he writes demand to be heard immediately. So in the midst of his freshman year as a Commercial Music Major at Florida State University in Tallahassee, the multi-talented performer is launching his career with the release of The Sound, Vera's debut 6-song EP.

One iTunes listener has already summed up the deep emotional impact of Mikkelson's songwriting and Vera's unique mix of classic and contemporary rock influences: "From the pulsing bass line at the start of "Sound" to the vibrant guitars at the end of "Warm Me Up," The Sound is a compelling EP that reflects melody, unity and honesty. Hinting influences that range from Coldplay to MuteMath to Pink Floyd, this album manages to create an atmospheric soundscape that elevates and alleviates the listener from the mundane tones music listeners so often face today." Vera has opened up for well-known acts such as Rookie Of The Year, Orlando's Between The Trees, and national rising act-Fireflight, and continues to captivate audiences with their vibrant tones and rich, dynamic melodies.

As Vera-whose lineup includes guitarist Patrick Chin, piano/keyboardist Erich Von Hinken, drummer Jordan Colle, and bassist Rob Polischuck-engages in the process of writing songs for the band's follow up recording and begins performing live in Tallahassee, Mikkelson's hometown of Orlando and other venues throughout the state, it's fascinating to realize that a year ago, the notion of a budding career fronting a rock band and a debut project in the marketplace was the furthest thing from Mikkelson's mind.

During his senior year, things were winding down with White Sky, the popular, mostly covers band he led in high school for several years with some lifelong friends. During his time performing at talent shows and winning the school's Battle of the Bands contests, Mikkelson-who counts The Beatles as his chief influence, claiming the first album he ever heard was Help!-began developing his chops as a songwriter. He didn't play any of his originals live until he played the dark, hypnotically expansive "Warm Me Up" at his senior talent show; now it's the closing track on The Sound, an eight and a half minute meditation on feeling numb and a plea for someone to help him rediscover his lost emotions. It's the perfect bookend to the jangling, infectious opening track "Sound," whose irresistible chorus launches with the question: "Is There Anyone Around?"

His fellow students' increasing demand for recorded music prompted Mikkelson to book time at Plush Studios in Orlando during Spring Break of 2009. While he was recording the hypnotic and infectious Coldplayesque "Angel," David McKenna, President of the independent label Bonded Records, poked his head into the studio and, intrigued by what he heard, talked to and connected immediately with Mikkelson. Liking the song and the young singer's voice and seeing his rich potential, McKenna soon began managing Mikkelson and Vera, which Mikkelson formed with his college roommate Patrick Chin and several of Patrick's musician friends from Tallahassee shortly after starting his freshman year at FSU. McKenna is working hands on with Vera as their manager, doing promotion, distribution (through Bonded Records' distributor Universal Music) and marketing while shopping them to a major label.

"It's amazing and exciting the way things have worked out," says Mikkelson. "My intention was just to go into the studio to record some of my songs to make CDs to sell at high school during my last months there, like a last she-bang. I had no intentions beyond selling these at school. I thought I would be going to college for four years and then pursuing a music career afterwards. Meeting David McKenna shifted my perspective and I realized that I can do the music now even as I attend school.

"The chemistry with the guys in Vera is very powerful," he adds, "and we're working on tons of new material that's less Coldplayish pop and more edgy and rocking, yet still very melodic. Melodies have always been my strength, a direct result of my love for The Beatles and appreciation for the simple relationship between melody, chord progression and lyrics. I'm a huge fan of simplicity both in my life and music, so no matter how deep and abstract I get in my songwriting, there's always the core of accessible melodies and lyrics."

After joining forces with his new band mates, Mikkelson turned to another of his chief influences, Pink Floyd for the name of the group. "Vera" is the name of one of the tracks on the legendary rock outfit's 1979 masterwork The Wall. He liked the wor

Discography

"The Sound" - EP
Released Digitally Dec. 2009
Tracks:

1. Sound - 4:55
2. It's You - 4:46
3. The Painting - 5:28
4. Discover - 6:07
5. Angel - 4:58
6. Warm Me Up - 8:59

Set List

- Intro Song (3 mins)
- Sound (5 Mins)
- Angel (5 mins)
- The Painting (6 mins)
- Unnamed Song (7 mins)
- It's You (*New Version - 6 mins)
- Sing Out (5 mins)
- Warm Me Up (7 Mins)
- New Song #1 (6 Mins)
- New Song #2 (5 mins)
- Blue Forever (5 mins)