Interview with Brian Vander Ark with questions from Pipeings Members and Fans on the BBS.
October 17th, 2003
Chris Bentley

VP: Being that "Villains" "The Verve Pipe" and "Underneath" were recorded when The Verve Pipe was with RCA records, and now being an independent band...  have you ever thought about going into the studio and re-recording or re-arranging some of those songs and release some of them independently to let some of that material have a bit more life than RCA gave it?

BVA: i would love to go and rerecord every record -- but that would be poisonous.  i've learned to let things that bother me go.  (like the sound of my voice on "out like a lamb" -- yuk.) the albums under rca i think are fine as they are - - except the drum sounds on froggy.

VP: I consider every song recorded by The Verve Pipe to be of classic nature but some are certainly better than others. Since you have long been the principle songwriter are there any songs in your library that you would classify as "throwaway" and wish had never seen the light of day?
PS- I will still love the song and your fine handiwork even if you deem it unworthy.

BVA: wanna be is silly.  means nothing.  i don't regret writing it, because i need to know that there are some songs that i've written that are complete shit -- it keeps the ego in check!

VP: How do you want yourself to be remembered in music and how do you want The Verve Pipe to be remembered in music history.

BVA: i don't really care how we are remembered - -just that we're remembered.  i think we'll always be known as a one hit wonder for the freshmen -- it gets more obvious to me over time.  and that's okay.

VP: Can we expect a new TVP album? If so, when will production start?

BVA: god, i hope so -- i've heard some of donny's new ideas, and we talked about it.  we'll see - -it's tough to get the minds together, you know?

VP: How has the touring for "Resurrection" been going? Would you have expected more or are you happy with it’s results?

BVA: the touring as a solo act has not been great -- people who write and say "play my town" are the only ones coming to the shows...god bless 'em.  but the fact is is that i have to play as much as possible to keep fans interested.  and i love it!

VP: Describe the feeling and your take on the whole concept of "making it big" - Has this view changed from your experience of doing-it-yourself to major label - and now back to do-it-yourself? 
(You can also let Brian know that the Verve Pipe will always be dear to us loyal Michigan fans, despite the fact that many of us don't live there anymore... but there is something very special about hearing Brian’s voice that reminds us of where we came from and all those good memories!! Also, tell Brian that Geoff from "Figurehead" says hello from LA...)

BVA: making it big has a whole new meaning - - back in the 90's, all anyone cared about was a major label deal.  i think more people are finding out that they can do it on their own, and that's a good thing.  ani defranco has been leading that charge for years.  i would say that i'm proud of our time with a major, but am more proud that i have been able to sustain without them. i send out the discs, i answer the emails, i book the shows, etc. i know where all the money is and why.  that's a good feeling!

VP: My ex-husband is a HUGE KISS fan and recently discovered that TVP had toured with them. He is too shy to ask himself but would like to know: What were your impressions of the band? Any stories you can relate about touring with them? What was it like touring in Europe as opposed to the U.S.?

BVA: kiss was awesome.  the u.s. was better than europe, only because the germans were assholes.  i would tour with them again, though.  what a bunch of good guys.  one quick story - -paul and i got into an argument over something i said in the press about him ( i said that gene was responsible for us being there -- and apparantly he had something to do with it)  anyway, so he confronted me and i explained that we didn't really know that he
had anything to do with it, and he said "well, i did." and he started to go into the bathroom, and i said "paul, you might not want to go in there, i just took a big verve poop. "  it cracked him up.  all was fine.

"for those of you who don't realize... i hate playing the guitar. i play because i feel i have to to complete songs. other than that--you will rarely see me with a guitar in hand. hate it. hate the different colors and styles, hate the different knobs, and pickups, etc.., etc.. "

VP: I would like to know if Brian plays/composes on any other instruments, and does he do his own arrangements and orchestrations?

BVA: on occasion, i play on the keyboard.  but i wrote one song on the keyboard (history) and it never really came to fruition.

VP: What is the one song (tvp or bva) that we will never, ever hear live again because you just can't stand it so much?

BVA: wanna be.  senator speak.  that's about it.

VP: What was the coolest band you guys ever toured with and why?

BVA: kiss!

VP: We are all aware of the difficult recording process of “froggie”.  Can you share most humorous/nightmare story about those recording sessions?

BVA: just waiting, waiting, waiting.  the first day, i was excited about playing and went in a little early and askd where michael was and the asst engineer said - -we got the day off, their setting up the tent in the control room (!?)  so i looked in there and sure enough -- michael had told them to set up this military tent, taking up the entire control room.  he was the general, guns and all.  we were the privates.

VP: When performing live, what makes a great crowd?  Is it seeing them singing along, staring attentively, jumping up and down, etc?

BVA: great crowds shut the hell up during the ballads and rock during the rockers.  simple as that.  oh, and they clap alot.

VP: What CD has spent the most time in your player recently?

BVA: rufus wainright -- poses.  awesome.

VP: If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for and why?

BVA: financial stability, true love, the best steak meal every night.

VP: How do you feel about the current state of file sharing and the actions the RIAA is taking to stop it?

BVA: share away when it comes to major label bands.  but, dammit, don't burn indi records.  they need your support.

VP: If you were to create your own “fantasy band”, who would be in it and why?

BVA: david lee roth on rhythm guitar, neil pert on bass, john paul jones on lead guitar,  eddie van halen on vocals.  i'd call them:  the frustrators.

VP: I heard a video was shot for Happiness Is… Is there any chance of that seeing the light of day?

BVA: that's up to j.p. i think -- they just told me to show up. i did.  it's cool.

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