The Velveteers - lead singer/guitarist Demi Demitro and dual drummers Baby Pottersmith and Jonny Fig - have fast been making a name for themselves with their riotous live performances. In fact, online clips of their shows have travelled so far and wide that the rock'n'roll trio were scouted by noted producer Dan Auerbach, who summoned them to his Nashville studio to work on their just-released debut album, 'Nightmare Daydream'. This is only just the beginning for a band set to take 2022 by storm.
When did you first realise you wanted to make music?
Demi: I think when I first picked up the guitar, I sort of realised how much I loved music and wanted to pursue it. I started listening to bands like The Stooges, Rose Hill Drive, and Nirvana and was very drawn to the heaviness of rock n roll. All those bands made me want to make music.
Baby: I was in a hospital for some months when I was younger, and music was the only thing that got me through that. Obsessing over bands and albums during that time is the only thing I really remember. I knew for sure that I wanted to find a way to be a part of that world in any way I could after that experience.
Does songwriting come easily to you?
Demi: For me, songwriting was always just something that felt very natural. I started doing it sort of unknowingly when I was like 14, without any intentions of it going anywhere. Just writing poems and songs for fun. It just felt like a way to make sense of so many feelings I was not able to put into words.
How did you meet and decide to form a band?
Baby: Demi and I met at a local show when we were like 15. Demi tapped me on the shoulder to say hi and then watched 5 minutes of the show with me, and then we both escaped to a dark corner of the venue and talked the whole night about music. Demi was the first person I met who was my age, liked the same music as me and wanted to be in a rock band that practised every day. Demi was doing online school, and I didn't go to school; we were each other's only friends and kind of became obsessed with one another and being in a band together.
What's been the highlight of your time in the band so far?
Demi: I would say getting to record 'Nightmare Daydream' has been a really big highlight for me. It's felt like so many things have been leading up to this moment, and so many different songs had been written to get us to this point. It has been cool to see the process and growth over the year.
Baby: I think the process of being so close with one another as a band and being able to dedicate every day to playing music together as a unit is sort of a rare thing to have and has been a highlight for sure.
When did you start working on your debut album? What was your starting point?
Demi: It's sort of a mixed bag. I hunkered down back in 2019 and would force myself to write songs every single day through almost all of 2020. So some of the songs you hear on the album originate from little pieces of riffs I was in love with but hadn't found a home for yet, but then once the moment was right, I ended up turning some of those riffs into a full song. In May 2020, Baby, me, and Jonny started making full demos every day, just sort of going insane over getting the forms and sonic sounds just right.
Did you have fun in the studio? Any particularly memorable stories?
Demi: We had a blast. Dan had a dog named Lou (named after Lou Reed), and she was so cute. We'd be in the middle of writing a song, and she would start chewing on my leg, and she had the sharpest little teeth.
How did you approach curating the album's tracklisting?
Baby: We had ideas of how we wanted it to be before we recorded the album, but once everything was recorded, nothing felt like the right thing. We went through a ton of different variations but struggled. It was really hard choosing what songs we were to cut from the record; we wanted to make sure that as a listener, you wanted to replay the record once it was over. Dan ended up sending us an idea for a sequence, and it felt perfect. We were getting pretty disillusioned with everything after listening to so many different variations of the album every day that having Dan send his viewpoint of the tracklist was a gift.
What makes a good debut album, do you think?
Demi: Something that feels genuine. It doesn't really matter what anybody else thinks, as long as you are making art you feel in love with.
Baby: Something that sounds nice.
What else are you working on at the moment?
Demi: We've been so busy getting ready for tour and making music videos, but we are hoping we can start writing the next album once we get some free time.
Are there any other new acts around at the moment that you're particularly excited by?
Baby: There's so many. An act that is more specifically new to me that I'm really excited by is Lowertown. Everything about them is really cool. Also, she's not a new artist, but if you don't know who Scout Niblett is, she's a legend and is amazing.
Taken from the November issue of Upset. The Velveteers' album 'Nightmare Daydream' is out now.
Featuring Wage War, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, Tom Morello and more.