vershara (formerly a paper tiger)
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vershara (formerly a paper tiger)

Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Vershara (A Paper Tiger)"

Mao Tse Tung's Chinese Communist government used to refer to its adversaries, in particular the US government, as Paper Tigers. The derision was intended to infer that those to whom it applied really did not have the power they were perceived to have. Despite playing only six shows to date, however, Philadelphia’s Paper Tiger is trying to prove through its tumultuous blend of pop and dissident, progressive rock that Mao’s description doesn’t always ring true.

After a mid-December practice to work on new material and brush up the old stuff, Nick Mariakis (vocals/guitar), Chris Cooney (lead guitar/vocals), Keith Montgomery (bass), Bradlee Cumberbatch (drums) and myself repaired to the Great American Diner and Pub in Bensalem to discuss their new material, beating Ninja Gaiden II and their loathing of Fall Out Boy over a few pints of Guinness.

I noticed you guys didn’t play any covers during practice. Do you play them at all?
Nick: We play one cover- “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” by Joy Division.
Chris: Yeah, Fall Out Boy did that one, too.
Keith: Except they’re like New Found Glory re-visited.
Brad: We’re more of a showcase band than a band that does things for fun. We’re not there other peoples stuff to make people happy; we want people to like us for our creativity. A well placed, strategically done cover, I can see. I couldn’t imagine playing five or more covers in a night, no way.

You guys all like different stuff. How does that come in to play when writing new material?
Nick: Usually it’s fairly democratic. Someone will come in with
something and say, “Hey do you want to work on this or no?” If the answer is yes, we do it.
Keith: We all come from very different scenes. He’s [Brad] like the cover band funk sort of guy, I’m like the hardcore/punk guy, he’s [Nick] like the...
Nick (interrupting): Domestic violence sort of guy.
Keith: Chris is like the rock, alternative classics fan. There is an
adjustment period, but you've got to let down your guard a bit and open up to the collective ideas.
Nick: Igor Stravinsky said, 'Good composers borrow, and great composers steal.' There’s no better resource for me than Johan Sebastian Bach and The Beatles to get a sense of melody.

So people know where you all stand, let’s hear your top three.
Chris: Led Zeppelin, and, for songwriting, either Radiohead or Foo Fighters.
Nick: The Smiths, The Decemberists and The Killers.
Keith: Ink and Dagger from Philly, Texas is the Reason and Hum. We’re [Nick] both rabid Quicksand fans.
Brad: Led Zeppelin is my foundation, then it’s all over the place.
Anything that’s groovy with good rhythm I’m really into. James Brown is one of the reasons I wake up in the morning.

Have you had a good response to the live stuff?
Brad: The best feeling is when someone you don't know comes up and says they enjoyed our set.
Nick: Even if it is your mom.

What would you compare your sound to in terms of other bands?
Nick: I just tell people to listen. I’ve always adhered to the idea that’s it’s wisest to say, 'Listen to it yourself and make your own decision.
Brad: Since I came into this thing after all these songs were written, I had to identify with different artists to make it sound the way they heard it. There’s a poppy sensibility that happens with the vocals and guitar parts, I don’t mean to say it’s exactly the same, but it’s sort of like Blink-182 in some ways. The songs are better than most of the pop/punk I’ve heard, though. There are also parts that remind me of The Mars Volta or At The Drive-In. There are parts where you want to sing along that are pretty snappy, but then there are also parts that go into this sort of progressive rock as well.
- Origivation Magazine


Deadly Precise, EP. 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Unlike infomercials, most concerts do not come with a money back satisfaction guarantee. Thats because most bands are not A Vershara. The Philadelphia quartet promises to refund your ticket if you are disappointed with their live performance. This 'put your money where your mouth is' challenge is similar to their wildly chaotic yet synergistic sets.

Verhsara is Bradlee Cumberbatch (percussion/drums), Christopher Cooney (lead guitar, harmony vocals), Keith Montgomery (bass guitar) and Nikolai Mariakis (lead vocals, guitar). The group formed after Nikolai returned from a stint on the west coast, playing lead guitar in another band and impressing the likes of Lindy Goetz (former manager of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), with his stage antics and musicianship. It was agreed that Vershara would collaborate together in order to make music they were passionate about while concentrating on creating an awe-inspiring live show.

Deriving influences from classic bands like The Cure, and Joy Division, to modern bands such as Circa Survive, and Muse, Verhshara is hesitant to be categorized. When asked to describe their music; "a proper blend of sunshine & violence". We each have a sordid tale to tell, and Vershara is our medium, says Mariakis.

With so many other unsigned bands and people in general making music these days, Versharas live performance is what truly sets them apart. The high energy spectacle includes seamless transitions in between songs as well as the complete and utter mayhem created by the band members themselves to quickly capture the attention of their audiences. The band has currently opened for The New Amsterdams and Days Away as well as headlining their own shows in the Philadelphia region where no one has taken them up on their refund yet.

Vershara is currently an unsigned band seeking a record label to call home that is as unique as they are. They pride themselves on using word of mouth, and hand messaging of potential fans as their methods of informing people about their music.

Press Inquiries: Abby Johns: 717. 808. 7038: