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AFRESH:  What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

NV:  ‘Nature VS’ is the collective name of our group.   We are all answering the questions starting after this one.  Our names are Jesse (guitars), Audrey (vocals, keyboards), Mike (bass), and Bradley (drums)

AFRESH: Where are the artists from? What is their talent in the group?

Jesse:  I’m from a small town in north-west Kansas named Marysville but now live in Lawrence.  I play guitars for the band and occasionally write instrumental songs for the group.

Audrey:  I’m from a military family, but I’ve been here in Kansas for a little while.  I play keyboard/sing, write a lot of songs and the lyrics.

Mike: I’m from Arlington, Texas, I’ve been in Kansas for close to 2 and 1/2 years now. I play the bass in the band, as well as the sarcasm flute. But thats kind of another side project.

Brad: I’m from Independence, Kansas – not to be mistaken for Independence Missouri. I’m the drummer/percussionist, occasional backing vocals, and resident philosopher.

AFRESH: How did the band get the name?

Jesse:  I think it was an idea thought up when I was living in Ohio.  I was going to recording school and I was occasionally talking with Brad, Audrey, and Mike.  I mentioned it to each of them at some point while I was down there.  I’m not 100% on that but I think it’s mostly the truth.

Audrey:  Jesse thought of it because we tend to write about the nature of things.  I think we stick to that pretty well.

Brad: Jesse’s memory is sound. The name resonated with me from the get-go. We seem to spend a fair amount of space-time pondering the nature of this reality we’re collectively floating through. It has a tendency to make its way into the music. Also, in this corporate age, we need to collectively be thinking about good stewardship of nature, itself, and how it relates to our survival; and not just slack-jawed-ly nodding-along with Al Gore.

Mike: I first heard the name from Jesse and Brad. To me personally it is us taking a stand in favor of mother nature, of our basic collective conscious fighting back via musical energy against the greed driven, money hungry corporate world we’ve all become a part of. The music is our weapon and our life source at the same time you see.

AFRESH: What instrument do you play now? (If applicable)

Audrey: Keyboard, i like messing around on the drums, and occasionally guitar, but I’m not any good.

Brad: I channel the rhythm; the instrument is immaterial. If I were to list every percussive thing I’ve ever banged on, you’d find me annoying. Lately I’ve been devoting a lot of time to Udu, Bodhran/frame drum, along with the full kit. I sing, here and there.

Mike: I pick up the groove on the five string bass. Occasionally I’ll play some guitar and sing. I’d kill to play the piano though. Seriously where the hell is Paris Hilton these days?

Jesse:  I play guitar, and I’m dabbling with synths right now.  I’m making it a lot harder than it should be.

AFRESH: What (who) does your act/art consist of?

Audrey: Well, I tend to jump around, dance and just enjoy making music.

Brad: Polyrhythm. Sticking. I like to focus on fundamentals.

Mike: I have a tendency to treat the bass like a guitar which makes for some interesting moments. More or less I try to dance around the guitar when it calls for it,  and I spend a lot of time grooving in the rhythm section. And sometimes I tease Audrey but I can’t tell you what about. She’s too modest.

Jesse:  I make noise on a few guitars which triggers some sort of hallucination of dragons and sasquatches attacking me.  I counter this by jumping and dodging around them in a tribal-like dance.

AFRESH: How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

Audrey: It may be a new kind of sound people haven’t really heard before, but new music is always good for the ears, and people should venture out of their house more and listen to local music.

Brad: I find it to be a blend of the familiar and the foreign. We like to explore.

Mike: This is a hard question to answer, but I can give you one word to describe. Versatility. We live in a world of many dimensions, shouldn’t our music be similar in that regard?

Jesse:  I’d describe it as a clash of the influences from every dimension while maintaining originality.  I could also describe it as ‘an adventure of sound which brings to mind visions of a mysterious, unfathomable species interacting and surviving on a young, dangerous earth’.  Sounds cool.

AFRESH: Give me some details about the group/act/art?

Audrey:  We all have a similar goal, though it may look a little different.  We all enjoy making music and sharing it with other people, maybe to help them say something or feel something they haven’t before.

Brad: We say the weirdest crap to each other imaginable; simply for the sake of it.

Mike: We are a family, and we play music. Music is a beautiful thing to share with ANYONE, and for this I am truly blessed to be where I am in this group. And Brad’s right, shock value is a beautiful thing. Like his hand on my ass.

Jesse:  There’s a lot that can be said, especially with a group that consists of a female and three man-like boys.  We all bleed music daily, but things get really weird when that’s all said and done.  We don’t seem to believe in boundaries.  Not just the band but everyone involved with ‘Nature VS’ seems to get a kick out of challenging the comfort levels of people.  I think that mentality is deeply rooted in how we construct music and perform on stage.

AFRESH: How long have you been performing live or making art?

Audrey: I don’t ever remember NOT singing at the top of my lungs, or just making up songs to myself. I’ve been playing for almost 18 years.

Brad: I’ve been singing and banging on stuff since I was old enough to do so. I’ve been formally and informally studying drums for 14 years.

Mike: I bought my first guitar at age 11 I think? I’ve always been a musician even before I ever touched an instrument. But I’ve been playing music now for close to 13 years I believe.

Jesse:  Back in 6th grade I auditioned for the junior high drum line for the next year and made it.  My parents were supportive enough to buy me my first drum kit at the age of 11 or 12.  After making noise on that for a few months they moved me up to a three-piece Yamaha kit.  Then just before Freshmen year I bought a bass guitar and learned every Blink and Deftones song in existence.  That winter I bought a ‘First Act’ guitar from Wal-Mart and a Peavey amp from a local guitar shop.  I take pride in never having a guitar lesson but tend not to brag about it since I don’t know any technical terms, let alone chords.  Sorry if that’s disappointing.

AFRESH: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

Audrey: I’ve been playing with Brad and Jesse for almost a year, and we’ve been playing with Mike for about 5 months now.

Mike: I’ve known Jesse for close to two years now I think and Brad and I became friends just a few months before we started Nature Vs. The first time the four of us played any music together was the first time I met Audrey about five months ago. So I became friends with her through the music. And that is fucking pimp.

Brad: I met Jesse completely randomly through a mutual friend outside of any musical context. When we finally jammed together, we had a palpable musical connection that lasted through the formation and break-up of Dimwit Syndicate and on into Nature VS. Audrey was invited to jam with Dimwit, and we were so impressed with her that we sort-of formed what was to become NVS around her. Coincidentally, I knew Mike through that same mutual friend, and we had been meaning to jam with him for a long time.

Jesse:  They pretty much told it like it is.  I had hoped I’d find a drummer with the chops Brad has, Mike’s impressed me with his never-ending quest to be the most absurd, and the first time I heard Audrey I knew there could be no better person to share this music with.

AFRESH: What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

Mike: This is my first real band, so imagine transferring over a decade’s experience in many instruments played just by myself to playing with a whole group of incredibly talented folks. Its been a challenge but one I met with open arms.

Jesse:  Doing everything ourselves.  From booking the shows to recording our own material, we strive to keep it as professional as possible while trying to stay sane.  I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say we’re learning a lot about the little aspects and sacrifices you have to accept when being in an band that is not endorsed by anyone whatsoever.

AFRESH: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Brad: I’ve modeled my life on the starving-artist cliche. One sort-of just has to develop the mentality that those obstacles are going to be inherent. There are a lot of boulders in nature to scale.

Mike: I stay true to myself and the music and the powers that be. And having a girlfriend steal you sandwiches from work never hurts either.

Jesse:  I fit the stereotype of eating mac n cheese and occasionally a sandwich in my day to day.  I deal with it by not being a pussy and accepting that it’s what I choose to do to make a living.

AFRESH: Everyone loves a celebrity so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

Audrey: UMM…Your choices make you who you are and pave your way, but remember consequences and conflict.  And sucking some dick doesn’t hurt sometimes.

Brad: I read an article recently along the lines of “Eff the Karate Kid for its montage-ed depictions of how easy it is to get good.” It reasonably takes something like between 10,000 to 100,000 man-hours to get to a professional level at just about anything. Pick your passion based on what you want to spend that much time doing. You won’t get good if you’re not absolutely in-love with what you’re doing.

Mike: Don’t believe anything the government tells you. Fuck money its a horrible way to keep score. Have a passion and for god’s sake seduce a stranger every now and again. When you do this, you’ll know why.

Jesse:  To follow a dream and make it happen you need to keep in mind three things: unconditional belief in yourself, accepting failure, and perseverance.  Put that on a poster with a kitten stuck in a tree and stick it in a classroom to inspire students.

AFRESH: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

Audrey: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Stayed tuned for: I’m going to hell because I play music in a non-godly organization that promotes alcohol, the high life, and sex before marraige.

Brad: My mother got me started and imparted that my empire would have to be built with my own hands. She ain’t payin’ for it, but she’s behind me 110%. My dad has that “music doesn’t pay the bills” mentality. To which I say, “Well, not with that attitude.”

Mike: I am blessed to have my family’s support in a myriad of ways. I think there’s a mutual realization that if not for music, I’d be…………….. that is to say, in a bad place.

Jesse:  My parents have always been involved in everything I do.  Without them, I wouldn’t have the chance to be doing this.  Their support is unyielding to my determination.

AFRESH: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Audrey: My parents met in college band, my grandfather loved music almost as much as Jesus, and my grandmother studied to be a concert pianist.  But none of my family, never really pursued music as their career, they just left it to the side, and that’s one reason I want to pursue this.

Brad: My dad has no aptitude for music whatsoever. My mom matches-pitch like a champ – so, she sings well – and used it to self-teach the guitar. It was a perfect object lesson in the concept that the only thing standing between you and being good at what you love is time and devotion.

Mike: My mom was an amazing clarinetist but some dirt-bag piece of shit stole her clarinet when I was just a year old and so now she doesn’t play. Music seems to be rather vacant in my family except for my cousin Abby who can do a lot of wonderful things in music.

Jesse:  The only musician I can think of in my family is my Aunt Dee who helps with play productions in Lawrence.  She plays the piano extraordinarily.  Other than that, I think the only musical talent in my family is drunken karaoke.

AFRESH: Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

Audrey: I love our type of music, I really like hip hop and instrumental rock.

Brad: I follow the virtuoso circuit (Marco Minnemann, Virgil Donati, etc.), and any musicians I’ve found that can both push the technical proficiency envelope and still grab me in an emotional catharsis. It’s different from what I contribute rhythmically in the sense that my “role-models” are the living paragon, and I’m still honing my craft. Also, if by “type” you mean “genre,” I find that that applies to me less as the drummer; but, I believe the future of music will be less genre-fication and more fusion of style.

Mike: I have SOOOOOOO many different influences and inspirations and interests. From Tool, to Zeppelin, Emerson Lake and Palmer. Shit there’s a lot. If there is love in it, chances are I’ll dig it.

Jesse:  Call me narcissistic but I’ve always enjoyed the music I create the most because it is obviously what I want to hear.  I can force an answer out and say that I’ve always been inspired by bands like Primus, Beastie Boys, and Faith No More for pushing the boundaries as far as they could.  That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy listening to some Weezer, Pinkerton is amazing.  Though I’m on a current kick of HORSE The Band and I love everything they do, and they have to be on the total opposite spectrum of music then we are.  Did I mention I’m a huge advocate of hip-hop?

AFRESH: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Audrey: I’m a dancer, and I like to record my own music.  When I’m inspired, I can write sometimes too.

Brad: I’m a jack-of-all-trades. When I’m not drumming I’m editing video, dabbling in graphic arts, or just reading psychology, philosophy, neurology, and anything “fringe”. What’s the point of having sentience, if not to ponder the nature of sentience? Or having hands, if not to crate something with them?

Mike: I’m an artist, with music, with visual art, with lyrical art, and especially the sarcastic art. And I know sign language. I just think its strange to be a musician and have spent days of my life immersed in the deaf world, not having heard or spoken a single sound.

Jesse:  I like recording music a whole lot.  I’m just an all around music kind of guy.  I like to talk shop about instruments with anyone, I’m all about talking about other bands and artists, and I love seeing musicians pour their heart and soul into music.  I’m also interested in art of common sense and opening you’re mind.  Not a lot of people seem to be digging that whole ‘think-for-yourself’ mentality anymore.

AFRESH: What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

Audrey: The color GREEN.  Fucking everything because music is it just is.

Brad: To me, it’s just a compulsion. I cannot help but to create and share my creation(s).

Mike: Exactly what Brad said. I also reflect on the horrible taste in talent portrayed by our lovingly corrupt media. Someone’s gotta shut American Idol up. Why can’t it be us?

Jesse: To be able to say that I’m a performer and do it well.  I’m not saying I don’t have any other talents but I don’t have any talents that lead to me being on a stage strumming a guitar and rapidly moving to an amazing song.

AFRESH: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Audrey: Alicia Keys, my grandfather.

Brad: The badasses who have come before. Mostly, in my direct interaction, the people who have influenced me the most to strive and stay driven have been the naysayers. Mostly my drive is to be what I feel is missing from music, nowadays.

Mike: Tool. Maynard James Keenan. Jimmy Paige, scratch that all of Zeppelin. Brandon Boyd from Incubus. He’s good. The rest of this band influences me.

Jesse:  It’s sappy but all of the band inspires me.  If it weren’t for Audrey I don’t know what musical direction I might have drifted off into.

AFRESH: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?

Audrey: Jesse, our friend Landon, and me.

Brad: We tend to split off into little sub-units to brainstorm. Jesse and I jam on ideas a lot, letting the idea-seeds grow organically into something that we’ll then nurture and prune more with Audrey and Mike. Or, we’ll do the same with things Audrey has written. We try not to over-think it; we just do what feels and sounds “right.”

Mike: As far as whats written now, most of them are either Jesse’s or Audrey’s work. Jesse is really good at getting with Brad and showing him what he’s got going in his head and compounding on that with the percussive elements. At the moment there’s a few songs that Audrey and I are working on, as well as Jesse and I are working on. We write all the time even when we sleep.

Jesse:  We all have interchangeable ideas that we mix together in a boiling pot called “inspiration”, mix it well for 45 minutes and see how delicious it comes out tasting.  Sometimes we mix all the right things in one and it’s so good. Other times there’s a little too much pepper, or sugar, and we have to throw that shit out.  Either way it’s a collaborative effort.

AFRESH: If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

Audrey: Punch everyone in the face.

Brad: We would live in a magical utopia where the only demand for our time is to be continuously honing our skills. Our heads and hearts are in the right place; the system-at-large, on the other hand…

Mike: Get rid of the jew. (ahem Audrey) I should point out that this is a long withstanding game we play. See I holler out anti-Semitic remarks(in good taste, of course) and she might punch me but she laughs at the same time. You know what let me start over. What Brad said.

Jesse:  I can’t compete with those answers.  I would agree with Brad, and to have Tim Currey manage the band.

AFRESH: Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?

Audrey: I have personally….eww.

Brad: Nope… And that’s worse… to want a stalker and to be ignored. Heh, sorry, that’s a Sean Rouse joke.

Mike: I have not personally…. eww.

Jesse:  I hope so.

AFRESH: While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?

Audrey: We aren’t even known as significant human beings yet.

Brad: Luckily, the only crashers have been invited.

Mike: Does my brother count as a fan? I don’t think I have fans, just friends with muchos pity.

AFRESH: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment if you care to share it with us?

Audrey: I’m perfect.

Brad: Embarrassment is for Teen Magazine… We’re insufferable perfectionists, though; so, to-date it has just been the post-show glad-handing.

Mike: For starters, Audrey’s full of it. And shouldn’t we perhaps have some dinner and/or a movie first before I go a-spilling all my dirty little secrets. Cause I’ve actually been to band camp…

Jesse:  In February we played a show and I performed the last bit of our last song without my guitar plugged in and unaware of it.  I spent that 45 seconds or so continuing to jump around like a fool.  I also got an erection on stage once, but I thought that was pretty cool.

AFRESH: What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you? How did you react?

Audrey: A penis.

Brad: Audrey’s penis. It’s detachable, like Les Claypool’s.

Mike: A cathatyr. Bloody disgusting.

Jesse:  I would say Mike, that guy has issues that only a professional can help with.

AFRESH: What is your wildest story with the group?

Audrey: Group pooping.

Brad: (Sigh) We have ridiculous inside jokes, like the aforementioned “group poop” concept, or “getting ill.”

Mike: Whose reading this? I don’t think I’m at liberty to speak of that one. Sometimes some group pillow farting. But that’s a rainy day anecdote.

Jesse:  I’m not sure.  Though I will say when Audrey, Brad, and I were playing in Dimwit Syndicate our vocalist was given four hits of LSD before a show and performed fully while tripping.  That was pretty interesting to deal with.

AFRESH: What has been the worst nightmare for the group? How did you get through it all?

Audrey: When I died.

Brad: Group poop.

Mike: We have no restrooms at our place of practice. So I just got really good at writing my name in the snow. One time Jesse posted a picture of this on the internet. That’s right, Jesse’s urine wound up on the internet.

Jesse:  I’m tricky like that.

AFRESH: What are your up-to-date performance plans? New releases? Tours? News?

Audrey: Booking shows.

Mike: Booking shows. And writing music. Jesse and I are gonna ro-sham-bo at our next show. You should come check that shit out its gonna be ill.

Jesse:  Getting ourselves a little recognition and making friends at shows is the short term goal.  Long term will include a tour, new release, and of course news, silly.

AFRESH: If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Audrey: Alicia Keys. Rise Against. Fucking anyone who’s good at what they do.

Brad: I would love to provide the score for one of Steve Willner’s (Labyrinth of the Psychonaut) videos. Or collaborate with Grant Henry (Stemage) or Carl King (Sir Millard Mulch/Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk): DIY one-man-bands.

Mike: Well I’m gonna go with Maynard James Keenan via Tool. Then I’d go with Zeppelin, and perhaps Incubus to embrace the psychedelic a bit more.

Jesse:  I mentioned them before, HORSE The Band would be amazing but out of our genre.  Unless their not cliquey and are reading this!  Also Hendrix and The Doors would be pretty damn amazing to perform by, what ever happened to them?

AFRESH: What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

Audrey: Manhattan.

Mike: Kansas City. I suppose one could say Amarillo, Texas.

AFRESH: Have you been involved in any benefit performances? What was it and how did you become involved?

Audrey: Not as of yet.

Brad: We do regularly save orphans from bus/plane/train crashes and fires. That’s why we were late for this interview; I swear!

Mike: We put on a free show for the students at Kansas School for the deaf. They were not a very good audience though, especially for a free show…

AFRESH: Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

Mike: I have Jerry Garcia in a bottle. And he will kick your ass man!

Jesse:  We’re open to any business one has to offer for us.  Right now we are freelancers but could use a hand.

AFRESH: Is this your first interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?

Audrey: Pretty much.

Mike: You’ve busted my interview cherry. Now could you hand me a towel please? And some wet naps if you don’t mind.

AFRESH: Do you have any video links where people can see you?

Audrey: Coming soon on our website and youtube.  It will be splendid.

Jesse:  We’re shooting a video for our song ‘Rush’ in mid-March, then having our show in Kansas City recorded in HD at the end of the month.  There will be videos aplenty very soon.

AFRESH: Do you have a website of any type? (Name all options)

Audrey: myspace and

Brad: Audrey means, one of the several ways we can be reached for booking.

Mike: Well Audrey listed our commercial website, Brad told you how to find us on myspace. As far as booking goes is where the emails from venues come from.

Jesse:  Myspace has the most up to date info on the band but has more content. Feel free to contact us at any one of those to book us for an event or even just to say hey.  We enjoy meeting everyone possible whether you’re in a band or just a person who really loves music.  Don’t hesitate!

Thanks for the interview and your support of AFRESH ENTERTAINMENT ONLINE MAGAZINE!  We’re keepin’ it fresh, live, real & rockin’ …just for you.  All great things!!!

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