From the streets of Columbus, Ohio, Vesperteen is on a mission to blur the lines of what a genre truly is with unapologetic lyrics and animated vocals.
Image via Vesperteen’s Facebook
If there’s ever a time to branch out and listen to new music, it’s the beginning of the year. New albums are announced, tours are launched, and, to be quite honest, bands just seem super excited to show you what they’ve been working on! This is the part when I introduce you to a super cool band with a super cool fan base.
Meet Vesperteen: the brainchild of House of Hereos drummer Colin Rigsby. Since its release in 2015, Vesperteen’s debut self-titled EP has been making its way through the ears of music-lovers in several continents. 2016 was an even bigger year for Rigsby as he toured the United States, released a brand new single, and launched the “Vesperteam,” which is that super cool fan base I mentioned earlier.
There’s no wrong way to introduce yourself to a band, but there are definitely more valuable opportunities. My first experience with Rigsby and Vesperteen was through a podcast hosted by graphic artist Brandon Rike. Back in February of 2016, Rike hosted Rigsby on The Graphic Sound and they discussed a wide variety of topics, from music to graphic design to marriage to the creative process. Not only did I discover what would become one of my favorite bands, I was absolutely enthralled by their discussion of what it means to be creative in various spaces, both physical and mental. Whether you already knew about Vesperteen or not, I highly suggest you check out Rike’s podcast.
It was during their conversation that I learned Vesperteen began without much of an idea of what was to come. It just sort of happened.
“Vesperteen as it is now, is these songs that I wrote all right around the same time,” said Rigsby. “They sort of came out of nowhere and came to me in an unsolicited way. I wasn’t expecting it. But I knew I had some songs I needed to write, and as soon as I began recording them I knew I had something great to create.”
What started out as some songs released under his own name quickly turned into “a thing” and now, over a year later, Vesperteen has grown into much more than “a thing.”
“The fanbase has exploded and grown very quickly, which has been incredible to see,” commented Rigsby. After a run through the South, one can imagine the fanbase has grown even more. Although he plays the same songs each night, Rigsby has watched them evolve with each stop in a new town.
“I like that I’m very comfortable with them now, yet they are still so fresh and new to so many people,” he said. And that they were! I drove down to the Radio Room in Greenville, SC last December to see the band I thought wouldn’t be in the South any time soon, and witnessed a handful of people dancing hard to his songs. I’m not sure how many people were familiar with Vesperteen before the show, but that didn’t stop them from enjoying his seven-song set (plus a mini-Dream On cover).
“It’s been awesome to see how many people are connecting with just the few songs I’ve put out so far,” commented Rigsby. “The crowds at the shows are their for that reason, and they love to sing along and feel a whole new sort of connection with the music they’ve been listening to in a more personal setting previously.”
Photo by Jared Heveron
Greenville was one of the final stops in the 2016 after a short tour through the Southern states of America, which is a pretty sweet deal as Rigsby and touring multi-instrumentalist Andrew Lee are from Ohio. The various cities in Florida and Texas offered a contrasting view of December for the Ohio boys, alongside some cultural energy.
“Really it comes down to the people in the cities,” said Rigsby. “We really have LOVED all of the South we’ve played so far.”
Vesperteen is starting off 2017 the only way he knows how: playing live music. A show in Lexington, Kentucky kicked off the second-leg of tour as Rigsby and co. make their way through Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Indianapolis. Following this run of shows, Vesperteen will be playing his first headlining hometown show on February 17th at Rumba Cafe! You can pick up pre-sale tickets via TicketWeb.com and then tell all your friends about the show!
What’s next, you say?
“Definitely will be doing a full-length album!” claimed Rigsby. “And much more touring. Those are really the two things I care about most. Creating more music and performing it.”
As I mentioned earlier, Rigsby spoke with Brandon Rike about the creative process and how it’s more or less an “itch you have to scratch.” Looking back on his 2016, it’s difficult to see when Rigsby would have time to itch that scratch, especially with the promise of a full-length record on the way.
“At this point on the road there is much more ‘business’ than there is creativity, with the exception of the performance,” said Rigsby. “I’m always writing lyrics here and there, but on a tour everyday is filled with so much traveling logistics and unloading and setting up gear and such. I’m always scratching that itch in some way though.”
The latest edition of that creative release came in the form of a music video for his 2016 single, “What We Could Have Been.” This is not your ordinary music video, my friends. This is a music video made entirely from the contributions of the ever-lovely Vesperteam, edited by Rigsby himself. He sent an email to his team and asked them to send in full videos or short clips of them singing, dancing, and being their normal, wacky selves to “What We Could Have Been.” By the time he was ready to put the clips together and edit the video, Rigsby had over 150 submissions from fans around the world! The final product of such an amazing concept can be viewed below, but I must warn you, your eyes might get a bit misty from all the love. Seeing a team-turned-family come together and dance it out is so special.
The video was premiered via Rock Sound, a UK-based magazine that covers both local and national bands (kind of like us!). Vesperteen’s video premiere in Rock Sound was not his first feature as the magazine dedicated a spot to him in the last issue!
“That was an example of my wonderful group of fans, ‘the Vesperteam,’ seeing an opportunity and jumping on it,” recalled Rigsby. “The magazine had tweeted about new artists that people were into, and my team just hit them up hard. So, they called me that afternoon to do an interview for the feature. It was so great!”
Touring the U.S. plus a full-length album means that 2017 is the year of Vesperteen. You can check out the dates he’s booked so far here; in the meantime, you can listen to his debut EP and become part of the Vesperteam. We would love to have you!
S16: Everyone is putting together their 2016 Albums of the Year list and it’s been so cool to not only see what other people listen to, but also to discover new music in the process (for me at least!). What’s on your AOTY list? Who are you hoping will release new music next year?
Colin Rigsby: Totally! I’m always excited about new music. I’m interested to see what Lorde does for her new album. As well as Haim. There’s several other pretty unknown artists like myself that I’m excited to see what they can make happen this year.