How did the guys meet and form the band?
In the late 80's Donny and AJ were in the Saginaw, MI, Mick Furlo Band. Donny went on to join another band from Saginaw called Water for the Pool, where Brian Stoudt was the guitarist. Around the same time, the Vander Ark brothers were members of Johnny with an Eye. Brian and Donny met while their respective bands were playing the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/East Lansing club scene. They decided to merge and form the original Verve Pipe of Stoudt, Brown and Vander Arks. In 1992, Stoudt left the band. AJ auditioned and replaced him on guitars. Meanwhile, Pop Smear was in the works. Although technically not part of TVP at the time, Doug appeared on Pop Smear. (He and Donny had met at a college Jazz Festival when Doug was part of the CMU Percussionist Ensemble and Donny played in the MSU Jazz Band). Doug officially joined the band in August, 1994.
Who is that little kid pictured sitting in the bass drum on the back of the Villains cd?
It is none other than keyboardist/percussionist Doug Corella; age 3!
What's the subject of Villains cover art? Is that a bird?
It's an antique toy bird on the cover of Villains, similar to those bobbing headed birds. Thanks go out to Jeff Vander Ark for sending the following information: ...after Villains was completed, but before it's release, I traveled to Palm Beach, FL to meet with Brian and Brad. I dragged this toy all the way down there in a little box, to give to Brian. I think it was going to their publisher at EMI.
Besides "Pop Smear" and "Villains" are there any other CDs?
Yes, "I Suffered a Head Injury" the band's first independent label release in 1992. However, the CD sold today does not include 3 of the original tracks.
Why not? Brian's Song and Monterrey, were written by Stoudt and went with him. The original version of Freshmen was omitted on repress when they decided to re-record it for the release of Villains.
What is "The Freshmen" about? 
It was written by Brian Vander Ark. It told the story of a guy whose girlfriend had committed suicide. At the height of the The Freshman success, Vander Ark told reporters that the song was based on bits and pieces of a conversation he'd overheard at a party. Now he admits that the song was more personal than he previously led the public to believe, and that his actions in covering the truth were cowardly. "It happened to me," he said, "but I didn't want to expose myself in that way, especially without a safety net. It's funny because The Freshmen was written about a situation that had happened to me and I said it was about somebody else," Vander Ark says."I was feeling guilty about the success of The Freshman, because it came from  exploiting a girlfriend who committed suicide. So, I thought, Okay, I'm successful now because I wrote a song about this. That's basically exploitation.Then I thought, screw it. Because I wrote this song, I made so many people happy and so many people could identify. It was therapy for those people. So, I thought, I'm a jerk but I want to be a hero."
So Hero, the only single from self titled, expands on this? 
"Deep down I knew i was a jerk. I thought, Well, I'll write a song about that," and so the tune Hero was born. The song is written from the viewpoint of a rock star onstage, singing to his audience. It hits upon the issues Vander Ark has struggled with and confronts his guilt from the Freshman. Although the song was painful for Vander Ark to write, he talks wistfully about the power of free form expression. Its a stream of consciousness, he says."I can sit down at night and just come up with one idea and it just takes off. I'm not even thinking about it. But, by the time I finish, I go back and read it the next day and go, What the f**k was that? What am I thinking here?"
The Verve Pipe and Wrestlemania?
 Yes!  Click:  to get their take on The Verve Pipe.

Brian has been in MOVIES????
Brian had roles in a two  independent films.  He made his debut in Roadkill.
His second film is titled This Space Between Us; Both films were written and directed by San Francisco Bay area filmmaker Matthew Leutwyler.  If you go to the web sites listed above, you'll find a few reviews of both films and lists of festivals where both have been (or will be) playing.
His third film is Mergers and Acquisitions, directed by Mitchell Bard.  Mergers and Acquisitions is a low budget independent film in which he plays the character Larry.  It won an award for best feature film at the Long Island International Film Expo! Get more information from the filmmaker at: Click here for a Newday review of Mergers and Acquisitions
What about Rock Star?
I can't seem to find any of TVP's earlier releases in my local record stores...where can I get them?
"Pop Smear" and "I Suffered a Head Injury" can be ordered direct online via CD Now. Other merchandise such as posters, t-shirts, etc. can be ordered through the band's office. You can either email LMNO Pop! or call the Pipeline at  243.988.PIPE for ordering information.
Who is the little boy pictured on the cover and inside of ISAHI?
It is Joshua Vander Ark, Brian's son.
How old are they? When are their birthdays?
They never seem to give us a straight answer to either of these! ;-)
Are any of them married or have girlfriends?
The personal lives of the band members are just that - personal.
...and about Verve Pipeings...
Can I link to the Verve Pipeings site and download some of the pictures?
If you want to borrow scans from our "Photographs" page, or any other page on this site, we don't have a problem with that. All we ask is that you give credit where it is due and say: A.) that you got the image from the Verve Pipeings site - and - B.) Credit the original photographer.
If you're going to link to this site from another Web page somewhere, we'd appreciate it if you linked only to and not any of the pages within the site. If you have a site you would like us to consider linking to "Links", please email with the URL and a brief description of your site.
When and how did Verve Pipeings start? 
Back in July of 1996, Karen started a small email discussion forum that consisted of about 30 people. The topic of discussion was her newly found favorite band, The Verve Pipe.  More fans started turning on to TVP and emailing her  ideas and input.  In November, 1996, she released the first Verve Pipeings Newsletter.  In January 1997, TVP released their number 1 smash "The Freshmen" and the rest, as they say, is history.  Now, with the band's second major label cd, "The Verve Pipe",  1800 Pipeings subscribers are spread across 4 continents.

Who is Karen?  Karen Mulhern is the mailing list administrator.  If there is a piece of information, no matter how small, out there on the world wide web - Karen can find it.

Who is Sue?  Sue Vail is the webmaster. Click here for a vacation shot.  She hosts the Pipeings list using Mailman on a Linux/Apache server.  She designs and maintains web sites, and fixes computers. is a private server run by Johnathan and Sue Vail.

Where is the baby? 
 Baby Emily Vail?  Click here for updated photos.

Image courtesy of the

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