Be careful of the questions you ask up and coming bands. The answers you get may leaving you laughing or somewhat more curious and wanting.

VIA, a four-piece out of Minneapolis, Minnesota is currently made up of Jay (vocals), Evo (guitar), Ben (drums), and Sam (bass). These good ‘ole boys of dirty, hard rock, are coming for your beer, her boobs, and maybe more beer. After signing a new deal with Pavement Entertainment, Inc., the boys in VIA aren’t wasting any time. Their new album, Sanitize This, will drop Aug 21, 2015. You can read the National Rock Review write-up on it, here.

The guys took a few minutes and answered some questions in their own special way. Much like trying to herd cats, you never know where an answer may take you. Going out on tour for the new album, growing the mystery of “Closets,” and cocaine is a hell of a drug, you’ll understand if you read down far enough AND a Chappelle fan. Enjoy the ride.

NRR: Thanks for taking a few minutes to talk to National Rock Review. You guys are getting ready for some big things. What’s been going on with the band in the last six to twelve months?
Evo: We finished recording the album, we’ve been doing small tours in the Midwest all year, played some big festivals with some big names, and now preparing to tour.
NRR: You are getting ready to release a new album, Sanitize This. What on it makes the record special for VIA?
Jay: Personally this is my first album that has been done professionally and I can honestly say that I am fan of the end product.
Sam: It’s the best representation of the band/live show being that we’ve held the same lineup for over a year now and plan to continue the streak.
NRR: The album is a long EP or a really short LP. Was that intentional or is there a plan for a deluxe or maybe even vinyl version of the record with an additional song or two in the future?
Evo: A lot of bands lately have been making a shorter album and maybe, subconsciously, we’re following the rule.
Ben: It’s an LP, we had two tracks that didn’t make it on the album but we’re either going to put them on the next album or we’ll release a deluxe like you mentioned.
Jay: We love to keep people guessing.
Sam: Trust me, those tracks will be on something.
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NRR: How was the experience of signing with the new record label and what happened to lead up to that deal that you liked them enough to sign?
Ben: We sent them our tracks after we had asked for permission to submit for label representation. We truthfully, forgot we even sent it because a couple months went by without reply but they gave us the go and within a day we we’re in contact with Tim King of Pavement Entertainment who was ready to make a deal.
NRR: What is a typical writing session like for you guys, is it one person does the lion’s share and everyone else fills in or is it a group project from start to finish?
Jay: I had most of the songs written beforehand or at least the bones of the song and then we all gave our feedback/input and the song went from there.
Ben: Our writing has evolved since putting together Sanitize This, nowadays, we just come to the group with an idea and structure around it.
NRR: Being from the Twin Cities area with the local music scene as great as it is must be good and bad. Do you agree with that being so close to winning a lot of local band awards?
Sam: It’s never bad. Friendly competition [really] thrives in our scene. There are a handful of bands that are now getting away from the area and moving on to bigger and better things then just local awards.
NRR: The band came together in 2013 if my memory isn’t too bad. In that time, your roster has already seen some changes. What’s been the hardest issue(s) to deal with as a band since starting out?
Sam: Financial stress.
Ben: Keeping everyone out of jail.
Jay: Keeping the peace during turmoil.
Evo: Remembering my set, joking.
NRR: With the album coming out, are there plans to hit the road in support of it, and if so have anyone in mind to go out with?
Jay: Yes, we’re hitting the road with Full Devil Jacket, childhood favorite just saying, and Bridge To Grace, who also badass, this September. It’ll be all over social media within the week.
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NRR: Was there anyone in particular for the track, “Closets,” in mind or was that just directed at all of the loose women that get in the way of your drinking of delicious beer?
Jay: Well, she’ll remain nameless but yes there is, and I say is because she is still this way, a person whom I am referencing.
NRR: You’ve been around the block a few times by now, is there a moment that even now, when it gets brought up, you can’t help but laugh about it unabashed? A Spinal Tap moment if you will that you’d be willing to share with us?
Evo: Oh God! So we’re playing a local dive bar in Minneapolis, MN and both recent Ex’s show up and become friends, needless to say my anger at the time has turned into a good laugh for all four of us later on.
NRR: I’m sure you’ve been asked this before but, what’s the story with the name of the band and what’s it mean for you?
Sam: Dark, wild, evil, transference of energy.
Jay: Band names are honestly stupid and almost all the time mean nothing, so I made a symbol/ambigram out of three letters that sort of mean by, (mysterious, sagely smile).
NRR: You’re self described as a rock band, but that really doesn’t do your vibe justice. What’s your best way to get the new fan an idea of your sound and what influences helped to get it there musically?
Sam: You know, those nights when you sneak out doing blow ’til the sun comes up and…
Jay: Wait, that’s too outrageous…
Sam: Well, that’s what our shows and sound is like! They’re full of energy and brash!
NRR: Beer, an electric guitar, or a woman? You can have one forever on a deserted island, one goes away after a day, and one never makes it to the island. How does it go down?
Jay: Beer forever, Woman for a day, but no guitar, (sad musician face).
Sam: You’ve seen Lost, right? There will be women, guitars, beer, and heroin on a plane, (laughing).
Eric: Well I can make a guitar on the island, I can find a way to get fucked up somehow, so I’m gonna choose a woman.
Ben: Guitar forever, women for a day, and since I don’t drink I can easily live without beer.

VIA
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Pavement Entertainment, Inc.
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About The Author

After getting the photo bug in the far, past days of black and white film, Erich continued to develop his eye for photography which lead to stops in the sporting, art, wedding, and eventually concert music worlds. Now, doing more writing for National Rock Review, he has entered into the journey of getting to know the artists and the industry, not just the faces on the other side of the lens.

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