Vermillion Road
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Vermillion Road

Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Alternative




"Get to know a Denver band: Vermillion Road"

“We want to appeal to as many people as possible while maintaining a distinct, original take on rock music,” Vermillion Road’s bass player Mark Mastrangelo recently shared with AXS. “If we were to select one recurring theme that can be found all throughout the album it’d be self-empowerment.” Releasing their debut full-length album, Palaces, on Friday, May 29 at Casselman’s, this high-energy, optimistic alt-rock quartet is all about connecting with their audience and meeting listeners’ needs with Vermillion Road’s music. The entire band sat down to discuss Palaces and beyond for this exclusive interview.

AXS: Are you Denver natives? If not, where is everyone originally from?
Hunter Heurich (guitar): Mark Mastrangelo, our bassist, and I were born in Boulder. Our vocalist, Will Robison, was born in Arkansas but moved to Longmont when he was three. Our drummer, Chad Pinkerman, is from Nebraska and moved to Denver in 2012 after graduating from college.

AXS: What brought Vermillion Road together?
Hunter: Mark, Will, and I had been in a previous band together. In the fall of 2012, we felt like we needed a new direction so we decided to form a new band and Vermillion Road was born. Will had been the drummer in our previous band, and after an exhaustive and unsuccessful search looking for a good vocalist/ frontman, I heard Will singing one of our songs one day and realized that we already had the perfect vocalist with him! After convincing Will to become our frontman, we began looking for a new drummer. As luck would have it, we found Chad that October via Craigslist, and everything fell into place..

AXS: How long has Vermillion Road been together? What have you learned during that time?
Chad Pinkerman: We’ve been together for about two and a half years, and have certainly learned a lot in that time period. Anyone who’s been in a band before likely knows how important it is to effectively communicate and maintain strong interpersonal relationships within the group. When you have four unique minds that are all very invested in something, there’s bound to be compromise – but at the end of the day when you take the stage everything else just disappears and there’s nowhere else we’d rather be. We’ve also learned that in order to be successful, we all have to treat the band as a business – it’s much more than just playing instruments when you’re handling all your marketing/PR/sales/website/etc. by yourselves.

AXS: Where was your first show in Denver, and what was the experience like? Who else did you play with at the show?
Mark Mastrangelo: Our first show in Denver was the Wicked Winterfest Competition at the Gothic Theater, where we played alongside over 35 other Colorado bands. We had only been playing together for about 3 months, but were fortunate to win the competition (serving as a great kickstart to everything that this band would become over the next few years).

AXS: Have any Denver musicians inspired Vermillion Road?
Hunter: Our main local influence is a band called Novus Folium (although they are no longer together). Novus made a large impact on the Denver rock scene and have been very generous in sharing their wisdom with younger bands. We actually ended up having their vocalist, Jonathan Lee, produce our album.

AXS: What inspired your new album, Palaces?
Will Robison: The original plan was to release a new single and see how it did, but in the process of recording that track we realized how much material we were actually sitting on and made a quick but unanimous decision to go ahead and turn it into a full LP.

AXS: What was the writing and recording processes like for Palaces?
Will: Our writing structure is a bit unique, as everyone in the band comes to the table with songwriting ideas. There were tunes that Hunter and I had been working up, as well as a chunk of tunes that Chad had quietly been putting together in his apartment in Denver. Once the band got together the creative juices were flowing at an all-time high and several of the songs literally came together overnight. As far as the recording process, it was tracked throughout the summer of 2014 at our home studio. We spent many nights sleeping on the couch in order to wake up and start tracking first thing in the morning. Jonathan, our producer, spent pretty much every weekend that summer in the studio with us, pushing our limits in order to create the best possible body of work we had in us. We were also very fortunate to have Justin Peacock mix the album and equally lucky to have Brian Gardner master it.

AXS: What else is Vermillion Road involved in locally, either as individuals or as a group?
Hunter: Will and I are both music majors at CU Denver, and are also involved in multiple musical ensembles on campus.
Mark: I’m graduating from CSU this May with a degree in Computer Science, and I’ve already landed a job at HP starting in June.
Chad: I’ve been out of school for a few years and I work in Product at Charter Communications.

AXS: Does Vermillion Road have a goal in mind for the sound the band produces? Are there certain influences or themes the band tries to inject into its own music?
Mark: We want to appeal to as many people as possible while maintaining a distinct, original take on rock music. If we were to select one recurring theme that can be found all throughout the album it’d be self-empowerment. We don’t like to think of our music as purely something you just nod your head to, we try to write straight from the heart and hopefully inspire people to be themselves and chase after whatever it is that makes them tick. Our primary musical influences would include Shinedown, Foo Fighters, and Breaking Benjamin.

AXS: For someone who has never seen or heard Vermillion Road, what would you tell them to entice them to watch your set?
Chad: Energy. And lots of it! Our goal as a band is to make a true connection to the audience at every single show. We like to think of a Vermillion Road set as a bit of an emotional roller coaster, there’s plenty of positive energy and rocking out, but also moments of raw emotion and hearts on sleeves.

AXS: What would your ideal live show look like? Where would it take place? Any particular time of year? Would a specific band/musician share the bill with or open for Vermillion Road?
Chad: Our ideal live show would be a sold out Casselman’s on May 29th with Resonance, Racing on the Sun, Frozen Tide, and Blue Mesa, which just so happens to be our Palaces album release show! [Laughs.] But if we were to pick a dream venue, it would definitely be Red Rocks, as it is hands down one of the best concert venues in the world!

AXS: What shows are you looking forward to over the next few months?
Will: Well as mentioned above, our main focus is on May 29th at Casselman’s (we’ll be playing the entire album as well as plenty of special guests and surprises!). Other than that, we’re looking forward to hitting the road and playing a few shows outside of Colorado this summer.

AXS: What do you enjoy most about Denver’s music scene, and why?
Will: In one word – family. We believe that Denver truly has the most supportive, genuine, and tight-knit rock scene of anywhere in the country. We’ve been generously welcomed into this family and are happy to be a member of Best 303 Sounds alongside over 40 other amazing Colorado bands. Right now the sky’s the limit and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us! - AXS

"Vermillion Road Q&A by Best 303 Sounds"

What is the name of your band/Who’s in the band?
The name of our band is Vermillion Road. It’s comprised of vocalist Will Robison, guitarist Hunter Heurich, bassist Mark Mastrangelo, and drummer Chad Pinkerman.

How did each of you meet?
Hunter and Will met at a rock band camp in Longmont, during the summer of 2009 when they were both in high school. They formed a band which they played in for a few years, but after several lineup changes, they decided they needed a new direction and some new talent and basically, a new band. In 2012, when Hunter was a freshman in college, he became friends with Mark who was also a student. Hunter saw Mark playing his 6 string bass and was impressed. He asked Mark if he’d be interested in auditioning. Chad, who had moved to Colorado from Nebraska, answered our craigslist ad for a drummer in the fall of 2012. And the rest is history!

How did you come up with your band name?
Vermillion Road is a real road that’s up in north Longmont. We actually took our first promo photos there. Hunter used to drive past it on his way to band practice and the name always stuck with him, and it was a significant part of Will’s growing up in Longmont. We like to think of Vermillion Road as more than just a name for us, it’s a metaphor for the journey we’re on.

How would you describe your music?
Energetic contemporary rock filled with heavy guitar tones, driving drum beats and soaring melodic vocals with catchy melodies and hooks. We strive to create a sound with a broad appeal across many different genres of music.

What is your songwriting process like?
Super random. Hunter & Will have always had stages of on/off writing since they started playing together. Chad is a creative Old Faithful. He ended up writing about half of the new album. Someone will often come in with a riff or two or a cool drum groove, and lyrics will either be penned by one member right there, or slowly composed over a series of months, getting picked apart & edited by the other members. It’s very unpredictable who will bring what to the table, but we always make sure we write with the intent to make music that will move people.

How has your band changed over time?
The original band that we formed in high school was a metal band. Over the years we became exposed to more types of music and our band evolved into more of a alternative/hard rock sound. Will originally was the drummer for our band but also did some singing. In the fall of 2012 when we became Vermillion Road, we began an unsuccessful search for a new singer. Hunter overheard Will singing one of our songs one day and realized we already had the perfect singer with Will. We shifted our search into finding a new drummer and were lucky to find Chad to fill that spot. Our band finally feels complete and we feel like a family now!

What was your favorite show you’ve played?
We’ve had a lot of great shows but one of our favorites was the Resonance EP release show at Casselman’s last October. It was the first time our band did a Foo Fighters medley where Chad took the stage singing and playing guitar and Will got behind the drums again. It was a blast, plus Will also got to sing Void on stage with Danny and the Resonance boys! Great crowd and super energy that night.

If you could change anything about your band, what would it be?
The fact that we’re not headlining Red Rocks! But in all seriousness, it would be nice if we all had more time in our schedule for practices and we all lived closer to our rehearsal space.

What can we expect in the future from you?
We made our first album over this past year and we have a release date for it!! The album is called Palaces, and it’s coming out May 29th. We will be headlining Casselman’s that night along with some other fantastic bands, two of which are also in the Best 303 Sounds family! We also have a music video for the lead single off Palaces! Keep checking our website!

What was your best and worst experience (or performance) as a band?
One of our best experiences was winning the Wicked Winterfest 2013 at the Gothic Theater which took us by surprise as it was only the second show our band had played together! The worst would have to be experiencing some major technical difficulties at two other Battle of the Bands.

What does Claire & Best 303 Sounds mean to you and how is it different from other promoting companies?
Claire & B303S means the world to us. Claire has dedicated so much of her time, energy, and resources to finding good bands that actually work hard at their craft. We don’t know of many promotion companies that take the time to get to know the members of the bands on their roster & form a family with those members like Claire does. That’s really what makes Claire stand out to us. We feel like we’re part of a special, elite family. We feel loved, respected, and B303S’s whole message really resonates with what we’re all about—love & connection with others.

If a record deal presented itself to you – would you take it and are you ALL ready to take it to the next level?
We are all serious musicians and our goal has always been to take this band to the next level. Would we take a record deal? If it was the right deal with the right people at the right time we would have to seriously consider it. The prospects of such an opportunity are something we like to dream about. If that dream ever became a reality, there would be a lot for us to consider before we jump on anything. At the end of the day, it’s what’s best for our band that will take priority.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Buy the new record on May 29th!! Tell your friends about us!! Gene Simmons was wrong as hell, rock is not dead!! We Are VR!! - Bluestribute

"Testimonial (3/20/15)"

When I first began at, I’d never heard of Vermillion Road. I’d had credibility in the local Denver music scene once upon a time, but it had been close to a decade since I’d gotten my hands dirty. My first show with StudioF, I covered a few friends of mine who were in town. After their set, we were talking music at the bar when Allen Maddox of Scarlet Canary turned to me and said,
“You know who you need to check out...Vermillion Road”.

I took the suggestion with a grain of salt, chalking it up to one musician doing the karmic “pay it forward” thing with his buddy’s band, but not before downloading Tear Me Away to my phone for a later listen. Fast forward a few weeks, and I’m covering a different band at a different club, when I’m in another discussion about local Denver tunes. This time however my guest was Miss Scooby Snax (who wished to remain anonymous, but all of us know who she is…), dressed in standard issue local music attire, peacockingly sporting a Vermillion Road T-shirt. I inquired about her choice in tops and received,
“Yeah, those are some of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet. You should play them on your show…”

So I did my homework. I listened to Tear Me Away on my way home that night, the music keeping my mind off the lack of sleep that comes with burning the candle at both ends. Luckily the groove provided the escape I needed...the crunch of the licks playing to my penchants for jamming “air guitar” style on my steering wheel. The one thing I enjoyed most about the song was that I could understand the lyrics (if I wanted mindless screaming, I’d piss off my toddler), but more importantly the combination of it all, the riffs, the beats, the vocals, all came together in absolute perfection to have me jamming along (singing semi-correct lyrics at a tone that can only be described as “Dolphin Screech”) by the first time I hit the repeat button.

Sometimes in this industry, you can only do so much with what you’ve got to work with, and a lot of times that means waiting. Waiting on sponsors to come through with funding, waiting for new music to hit before it goes main-stream, mostly it’s waiting for musicians to come your way in order to get the newest material. For me though, it was a matter of timing, and waiting for the scheduling to match up. I was fortunate enough to finally meet with Will, Hunter, Mark, and Chad from Vermillion Road on Friday, March 20th, 2015. Close to a year after Tear Me Away premiered on StudioF (during which time requests came in for Your Throne, Storm, and an acoustic cover of Everlong by the Foo Fighters featured on the StudioF Secret Cover), I was finally sitting down with the guys at a place that couldn’t be more perfect than one located within (drunk) walking distance from my home.

We discussed the “usuals” (where ya been, where ya at, where ya going…), and although we jokingly discovered who would rather be a hot moron, or a wise cave troll, these guys maintained their professionalism thoughout; both on stage and off. The rumors were true, these were some of the coolest guys I’d gotten the pleasure of interviewing…and hanging out with.

Vermillion Road is a band's band, a band for all seasons, a band you want your band to play with, and a band you want to take your friends to see. They are the type of group that is talented enough to blow the doors off whatever venue they’re playing and are charismatic enough to let you remember that they’re just regular guys like the rest of us. - Mile High Underground StudioF -Patrick Volpi

"On Casselman's 10/4/14, Resonance EP "Solitude" Release Show"

Vermillion Road stole the show. They opened up the night and set the mood for the rest of the night. That mood consisted of high energy and high emotion. I felt sorry for everyone that decided to wander in late. - Curt Dennis-Bluestribute

"ROCKWIRED Radio Profiles"

Sex, drugs and rock n roll has always been one hell of an enticing package. Lord knows ROCKWIRED has built our reputation on celebrating the kind of music that speaks to the darker side of love and life. So when something comes our way that is described as positive and uplifting there might be a little bit of hesitation on our part but after giving PALACES - the new release from the Denver-based band VERMILLION ROAD - that hesitation was unwarranted. Just check out the baby faces on this band of twenty-somethings! What they lack in age they more than make up for in musicality and an innate sense of what makes a song work. With PALACES they've got an album full of finely crafted pop rock with a heart as big as it's sound as evidenced by the electrifying rockers TREAD ON ME and THESE LIES and the stirring balladry of the album's title track. - ROCKWIRED

"Palaces Album Review"

There is nothing quite like turning on a new band, not sure what you’re getting in to, and being pleasantly surprised to hear a very solid brand of alt-rock full of punk rock and indie influence. Such was the case with the opening track on the new Vermillion Road album Palaces. Power chords and strong, picturesque lyrics dominate the ten-track album. This album is easy to get lost in. - Colorado Music Buzz

"Palaces Album Review"

The Vermillion Road lineup exudes a good deal of passion and professionalism, clearly headed for the big leagues. Hunter Heurich rips and roars into the stratosphere with his inspiring guitar work, while bassist Mark Mastangelo and drummer Chad Pinkerman drive the rhythm section home with style and flair. And then there’s the super impassioned vocals of Will Robison, delivering the lyrics with a conviction that is staggering to behold. Expect this vibrant collective to find themselves signed by the time 2016 spins to an end. In the meantime, commence exploration upon the Palaces of Vermillion Road and catch up with a rising star! - Highwire Daze


1-track Single
released January 27, 2016
1. Run

10-track LP
released May 29, 2015
1. Tread On Me
2. Revival
3. These Lies
4. Left Behind
5. Palaces
6. No Crying Allowed
7. NHB
8. All the Same
9. Make My Day
10. Reach For Me

Before the Storm
3-track EP
released August 19-23, 2013
1. Your Throne
2. Storm
3. Tear Me Away



Vermillion Road has been generating a buzz around the Denver music scene since exploding onto the market in 2014. This young band’s original music draws inspiration from the alternative rock sound they love blended with a pop influence as well as infused with some heavier vibes. Their unforgettable riffs and pounding rhythms are balanced with expressive lyrics, memorable melodies and interesting dynamics giving their songs a refreshing modern sound that’s not only fun to listen to but exciting to watch live. In May of 2015, they released their first full length album, “Palaces” to rave reviews.  It was mixed by Justin Peacock (Bad Company, Indigo Girls) and mastered by Grammy Award-winning Brian "Big Bass" Gardner (No Doubt, Snoop Dog, Suicidal Tendencies). Their first single off the album, Tread On Me,” became a huge hit for the band not only winning an best rock song award but garnering them a very successful music video. Vermillion Road has received extensive media coverage in Denver and beyond, most recently featured in RockWired and HighWire Daze Magazines, their music has been played across the internet airways nationally as well as worldwide. They are currently in regular rotation with the 365 Radio Network / Midwest Broadcasting Group.     

Band Members