Today we are pleased to be hosting a very special interview segment called 'Allirea's Realm'.
Her guest today is musician/songwriter Joe Vercillo.
Joe has recently collaborated with well known Indie Author Imogen Rose! Read the interview below and scroll down to the bottom for GIVEAWAY information!!!
About a year ago, when Imogen Rose, the author of the cult bestseller, the Portal Chronicles, was surfing YouTube she stumbled upon a song, If We Fall, and instantly fell in love with both the lyrics and the male vocal. She put it on her writing playlist and looked up the Toronto-based band (SHE SAID SAVE ME) on Facebook… and liked their page. A while later, she received a PM from Joe Vercillo, saying that if her books were ever adapted for film or TV to feel free to use his music. She had no idea who he was, but looked him up. Imagine her fan girl sqee moment when she discovered that he was the lead singer for SHE SAID SAVE ME! They have been Facebook friends ever since.
The Portal Chronicles starts off with a serendipitous meeting in a London pub, which rockets the lives of the characters into a time warp of what-ifs. During the prologue, which is the key to the story, Rupert is humming a song in the London pub where Olivia and him seal their fates. Imogen Rose always wondered what he was singing. Now she knows. She wrote the lyrics and SHE SAID SAVE ME has put it to music, and is releasing it under their label. Needless to say, both parties are uber excited about this collaboration.
What is your favorite coffee drink?
*sigh* What is it with people not drinking coffee? I guess we can still finish the interview, even with you drinking *shudder* hot chocolate.
How did you and Imogen Rose hook up for this collaboration?
Imogen randomly came across one of my songs on YouTube and added it to one of her playlists. After she "liked" the SHE SAID SAVE ME Facebook page I sent her a quick "Thank you" for the "like" and since then we have been Facebook friends.
I know that Imogen has wanted to write the lyrics about Rupert in Portal, for
ages. Was it easy putting her words to music?
This was probably only the second time I've put lyrics to music, I usually have a melody first and then fit words in after. It was actually pretty easy though, we had to shift and change a few
words around here and there but overall it went really smoothly.
Do you read the words and "hear" the music it should be put to?
For this one I had only written the melody just a little while before Imogen even approached me with the idea. I only had some dummy lyrics for it so I guess it was serendipitous that her
lyrics fit in to it and that the melody had a good fit with the vibe she was looking for.
What embarrassing song might I find on your MP3 player?
Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever
Getting Back Together (Taylor's my fave).
Do you play any instruments?
I only play guitar these days (and not very well), but I used to play the sax back in public school. Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons was my inspiration.
How did you decide on what musical instruments would work for Imogen's song?
I think Imogen and I were both hearing strings (cello and violin) to go along with the acoustic guitar after we did some rough versions of it acoustically. It seems like a song to keep relatively stripped down and intimate.
If you had to categorize your music, which genre would best fit?
That's a tough question, Alternative maybe? We have songs in a bunch of genres: folk, pop, country, rock, punk. We like to keep it interesting.
Describe yourself in one word?
If you could travel back in time, which one piece of advice would you give a younger you?
Well, as Doc Brown once said, "No one should know too much about their destiny." But if the encounter with myself didn't create a time paradox causing a chain reaction that unraveled the very fabric of the space time continuum and destroyed the universe (granted that's a worse-case scenario, the destruction might be in fact very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy) [also from Back to the Future] I would tell myself to stop drinking cola beverages and just drink water.
Do you let any of your family members listen to your music before you release it to
My dad's not really into music so I don't really show him anything, but I usually play new songs to my mom in the mixing process, she finds it interesting to hear them evolve. I also burn copies
for my brother and a couple of other close friends. The rest of my relatives don't even know what music is, let alone know I make it.
Who is your best critic?
My best critic would have to be my friend, Kailyn, she knows her music and she's brutally honest. I always appreciate her feedback.
How long does it take you to put music to words?
To tell you the truth I've never really put music to words, like I said in question 2, I just took an existing melody and fit the words in as best I could, felt lucky it only took a couple of hours the first night and then tweaks here and there with Imogen for a couple of days afterward. Putting words to music for all of my other songs usually takes 1/2 hour to an hour. And then I tweak it randomly over the next couple of days until I'm happy with it.
What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
When I'm in Costa Rica (my home away from home in the winter), the river I paddle across on my board everyday to surf has crocodiles in it. All to save a dollar on the water taxi that ferries
people across (haha).
What’s up with Canadians and Costa Rica? Did you come across a crazy Dawson Creek inhabitant on any of your visits?
Haha! Sadly I did not encounter anyone from Dawson Creek. But yeah, there are a ton of Canadian travelers there! I always seem to run into someone from my hometown (Port Elgin, Ontario) too, one year my friends and I were walking this deserted stretch of beach and saw two people walking toward us in the distance. Sure enough it ended up being a friend of ours and his dad. Another time I struck up a conversation with a guy on my connection flight from New Jersey and after a couple minutes of talking about surfing we figured out we were both from Port Elgin and went to high school together, and the other guy he was traveling with who was sitting a few seats behind us was a guy from high school who I played hockey with. The places we were renting were about 20 mins from one another so we'd see each other out surfing all of the time. Gotta love Costa Rica!
What is your favorite thing to do?
I have about four equally favorite things to do: Fishing (hiking and wading through rivers), playing sports (hockey, tennis), recording music, and being in the ocean (swimming or surfing)
What is the one thing that makes you crazy? Commercials (TV and radio)
That would be apart from when your music is featured, like in a Dooney and Bourke commercial, right? Come on, spill.
Yeah, I'm not really a 'fashionister' so I didn't even know what Dooney and Bourke was! My music catalog is on a licensing website called Audiosparx where music supervisors can search for music for their projects (ie. movies, tv shows, commercials). Dooney's music supervisor found the song "Emerson" in their keyword search and licensed it for their ad. After that they licensed two other
SSSM songs ("Aliens"and "I'd Hang With You Everyday") for 5 sec clips to introduce different products on their website. So I'm honoured that they keep using our tunes!
I also heard that you have had some movie roles. Please tell me about that?
As for the movie roles I should start off by saying I'm in no way an actor! One of my side jobs to pay the bills is background/extra work in film. But the odd time I do get some fun roles to play. Most recently I played a gladiator in the upcoming movie Pompeii (which doesn't look like a good movie at all from the preview haha). Before that I had back-to-back robot soldier roles in Total Recall and another new one Robocop, I must say I play a good robot! Other than that I usually just get day-player roles on any films, TV shows, or commercials that film here in Toronto. It's a pretty fun side gig to have!
So who would you like to play in Portal?
I have no idea who I'd play in Portal! But if it is turned into a film I'd most likely be a nondescript passerby in the deep background, maybe having a fake/mimed conversation with another extra, or reading a book by himself with his back to camera.
What is your favorite color?
Blue or black
Will we see more collaborations between you and Imogen?
I hope so! I'd love to collaborate again, especially if she turns Portal into a screenplay.
And the most important question, is Imogen easy to work with?
Imogen was SO easy to work with! I credit our good work with our prompt email responses back and forth.
Thank you so much, Joe, it has been such fun getting to know you and I can't wait to hear more music from SHE SAID SAVE ME. Best of luck to you!