Verspers Nine is an up and coming original rock band out of south Florida. The talented five - member outfit got together to write and create original material. They shared influences of great classic artists such as Van Halen, Foreigner, Styx and many others. South Florida is a breeding ground for great music and the members of Vespers Nine paid their dues performing at the best rock clubs in the area. In the past year, they concentrated on creating a new album and they have created a great piece of work. The album is entitled "True Story" and it rocks from start to finish with a well-thought out and nicely executed collection of songs. The first single off the record is "Forever Yours" and they brought in local award-winning cinematographer David Liz to create an interesting concept video for it. I caught up with Gricel Julie Dosal and John Simon prior to their CD release show in Delray Beach and I followed up with them after the show.
R.V.B. - Hello Grisele?
G.J.D. - Yes
R.V.B. - How are you doing today? This is Robert von Bernewitz calling from Long Island New York.
G.J.D. - It's nice to meet you Rob. I'm here with my brother John
R.V.B. - I see, I noticed that... is the drummer your husband?
G.J.D. - Yes he is.
R.V.B. - Oh ok, I'm just trying to put two and two together here. Have you and your brother John been playing together since you were young?
G.J.D. - We've always been involved in music but not necessarily together. He had his own band that he had in south Florida and in L.A. California for a while because they had some work out there. I was involved in different bands here in south Florida. So we had our respective bands and situations going on... most of the time simultaneously but different groups.
John - Yeah
R.V.B. - That sounds like a natural tandem... drums and bass.
G.J.D - Well initially I was a lead singer myself. The prior projects that I have been in... I was always a lead singer and played some keyboards and acoustic guitar. I just started taking up the bass a few years ago. So back then he was a drummer and I was a lead singer. He was just a couple of years older than me so he had his own things going on before I actually got into the whole scene.
R.V.B. - So why did you choose bass?
G.J.D. - I just always loved that instrument. I love the bass guitar. I was always a fan of many different bass players from Paul McCartney to Chris Squire and on and on. It's an interesting instrument. John has always been a great singer. I always wanted to hear him singing lead. We had a George our current drummer and I worked very hard to get John to sing for us because he had such an exceptional voice.
R.V.B. - Well I'll say because I watched the video and I was very, very impressed. Strong vocals John.
G.J.D. - Thanks. We're glad to hear that.
R.V.B. - So how did you guys hook up together down there. Were you in various local bands and did you just meet on the scene?
G.J.D. - I met George (Dosel) on the scene starting out many, many years ago. The current players we have now as far as guitar players through the grapevine and as friends. We had played with Jesse Revis in the past. He has a rhythm guitarist and so we had a working relationship with him. James (Martinez)... we met several years ago through George. He was playing with him in other situations and we just brought it together as a project. The current Vespers Nine project.
R.V.B. - Right. Now how long did it take you to come up with all the material for the album. Was it a culmination that you had for a while?
J.S. - No... I would say close to a year. We came up with three songs fairly quickly in the beginning of last year. We just started laying down some tracks and as we were in the studio, other ideas came up... Between writing and recording i would say it took about a year.
R.V.B. - Right. That sounds like a fun project.
J.S. - It was great.
G.J.D. - Yeah it was.
J.S. - Basically, we started doing that for fun and not for money. We did it to get to know one another musically. You gotta feel each other out... see where each other is musically. That's what we initially started doing. You know, jamming to an old Van Halen song and Foreigner and stuff like that. Once we developed that musical relationship, we just started reaching out and writing. It was coming natural to us.
R.V.B. - Are you ready to tour to support the album?
G.J.D. - Yeah, absolutely. We're ready to go... We're all set and have all our ducks in a row as they say. We've been working on this for a while. Once we elected to start writing the original music... it just took off from there. We no longer do covers. That was just a fun thing, as John said. We familiarized our self with our influences and our style of music and everything. We are ready for anything.
R.V.B. - Where out of south Florida are you based out of?
G.J.D. - We're based out of Davie which is to be considered west Fort Lauderdale.
R.V.B. - My nephew lived by Nova University.
J.S. - We're very close to there.
R.V.B. - Let's talk about the P.B.S. show called "The Gig" that you did. How did that come about?
J.S. - It came about through a friend of a friend.
R.V.B. - Did they come down and film you in the studio?
J.S. - Yeah.
R.V.B. - Did it hinder your recording session that night or was it welcome?
J.S. - It didn't at all. Hal the engineer... the guy who produced us... he wasn't too thrilled about it. We felt it was a good time at that point with what we were doing to get that footage because it's not something you can get all the time. The timing was right. They weren't there that long.
R.V.B. - Now that was for a web cast?
J.S. - No, actually it was for a show. It was a pilot show
G.J.D. - They used to be web-a-sodes and it developed into an actual show that continues to this day. We were the first featured artist on the pilot episode that they selected as sort of a jumping point.
R.V.B. - Well that had to be exciting.
G.J.D. - Yeah, it was a lot of fun with it. We enjoyed it very much and it. It gave us an opportunity to put a couple of songs out there and get known here locally. We did enjoy it, yeah.
J.S. - We're having a CD release launch next Saturday
G.J.D. - Yes Saturday September 27th. It's a big event and concert we are putting on at a beautiful theater in Delray Beach Florida.
J.S. - Great White is gonna be there and opening for us. We have another artist Phil Kenzie who has toured and recorded with the Beatles, The Eagles and Rod Stewart. He's gonna come up and jam with us. It's gonna be a great night. Jack Russell will also be sitting in with the band.
R.V.B. - That sounds like a lot of fun.
G.J.D. - Yeah, we're really looking forward to that. As I said it's a theater not a club. It's a beautiful theater in an old historic area of downtown Delray Beach.
R.V.B. - So you're gonna have like a captive audience.
G.J.D. - Yes and we've got a meet and greet after so that people can come up and meet the artists that are gonna be performing. It's got a beautiful stage... it's gonna be great.
J.S. - We're expecting it to sell out. We are also tying it in with a foundation. All the proceeds will be going to the Bicol Clinic Foundation.
G.J.D. - It's a great cause. They help a lot of kids all over the world in need. We're very proud to be associated with them.
J.S. - That's what it's all about man. You gotta give back
R.V.B. - So what do you envision in the future?
J.S. - We are gonna weigh out all our options and take whatever comes our way and see what's best for us.
G.J.D. - Yeah, all options are on the table. We are ready for any situation.
R.V.B. - The video that you made for the song "Forever yours"... You guys are doing some acting parts in it correct?
G.J.D. - Yes we are. The "Forever Yours", which is kind of our first single if you will, has a conceptual video and it's on our website.
R.V.B. - I watched it a few times and I was impressed with the acting.
G.J.D. - Thank you. We loved how it came out. We are featuring that one here in the United States and all over the world. We also have an alternate video that is available on Youtube for overseas promotion. It's very similar. We are very proud of both of them.
G.J.D. - Hahaha yeh
J.S. - If we told you... we would have to kill you.
R.V.B. - Hahaha
G.J.D. - Yeah, it's an ancient Chinese secret. It's a beautiful local park here in Davie. It was beautiful cinematography in open equestrian pastures. Our film maker David Liz... he's an excellent award winning film maker down here. He helped select some of those locations and we loved it. It fit the song very well.
R.V.B. - Yeah, it was nice to have the outside feel.
G.J.D. - Yeah, it was a beautiful day that day.
R.V.B. - Well congratulations and I wished you the best of luck and tell the other guys the same thing. May you go on to bigger and better pastures.
Vespers Nine held their CD release party at the elegant Crest Theater in Delray Beach. The show was sold out and the atmosphere was electric. John, Gricel and the rest of the group kicked out an rockin' set that was over an hour long. It featured the ten songs off their new album. As Gricel put it, "It was wonderful". Vespers Nine was joined by special guest Phil Kenzie who has worked with The Beatles, Rod Stewart, Al Stewart and more. Together they played smokin' versions of 'Lady Madonna" and "Oh Darlin'". The packed house called out the group for an encore, and Vespers Nine obliged with a brand new song called "Sweet Little Angel". After the show, the band held a meet and greet and everyone was happy to meet the band. The entire event was documented and filmed by multiple cameras. Vespers Nine will be hitting the road and supporting the new album, so don't miss the show when they come to your town.
Interview and story written by Robert von Bernewitz
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