Exclusive interview with Versailles.
By Gabrielle Pantera
“The newer songs I am working on are very dark a mix of tribal and ethereal,” says alternative rock singer Versailles. “I’m delving more into the psyche.” Her genre is Darkwave or Dark Pop and some of it carries into Synth Pop.
“My music simply is emotion,” says Versailles. “While some people sing about dancing in clubs and getting naked with DJ’s or having sex with themselves in mirrors, I sing about raw emotion. The pain, the sadness, anger and happiness, enlightenment…everything.”
Versailles is a solo artist who finds musicians to play live with her. “In the past I have had band members,” says Versailles. “Marie Ilene played drums for me along with David MacMiller, and Rod Arias, on bass I have had Stephanie Rose, Anna Perez, and on guitar I have had Andy Bettis, Shaun Richards, & Trinity. There is no current band I have gone solo because keeping a band together is difficult and I prefer to place my energies elsewhere.”
Versailles plays piano, keytar and sings. She also program drums and backing instrumentation.
“My music comes from my influences, who are Tori Amos & The Cure,” says Versailles. “Tori is a strong person, she is innovative and has power in her voice and her lyrics. She is an amazing piano player which I can only admire. Robert Smith has written some of the most beautiful parts I have ever heard in my life in his songs. In the same genre there is a band called Strawberry Switchblade. I never knew who they were but after hearing their music I understood the comparison.”
“I would still love to perform with Tori Amos, Robert Smith, Depeche Mode, M83, Lykki Li,” says Versailles. “I admire these peoples’ work and I would love to not just perform with them but collaborate and be friends. Isn’t that what being an artist is all about? Experiences.”
“I write all my songs,” says Versailles. “I generally will write the music first and then based on the emotion that song gives me I will then write my lyrical content. When I write songs sometimes I have dreams and those melodies stay with me when I wake up and that becomes a song. Other times I start with nothing and work my way to a melody I like.”
“Sacrifice is a song about the transcendence of the human soul,” says Versailles. “Not necessarily in relation to dying but in relation to understanding the challenges we face in life and decisions we make, how they effect our outcome and the universe.”
Pages, a story about Vampires, is about the abuse and suffering of one who had watched her family destroyed and killed by vampires, only to become one herself. Cold is a song that simply states, what would you do without me? “It’s how love can go so wrong when you show love to another and they refuse to accept it,” says Versailles. “Because they do not love themselves. Anything you say is a criticism or taken out of context, and everything you do makes you harder for them to deal with.”
Versailles latest release Pages
Versailles has played all over the US including Lubbock, Nashville, Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, Detroit, Joplin, Fayetteville, Phoenix, and Vegas. “My favorite place to go is of course NOLA,” says Versailles.
“The most amazing thing as of recent was having Francis D. Gonzalez do the art for my stage,” says Versailles. “It was incredible and the audience loved it. The most amazing performance I remember doing was in the hospital when my grandmother was in a coma. I’m not saying that everyone should start brining instruments into the hospital but I felt it to be very soothing.”
Versailles has played with New Model Army, Voltaire, Ego Likeness, Bella Morte, Native Fauna, P4P, Emily O’ Neary Band, Kim Fowley, Demonika & The Darklings, and TV. “My first show on the last tour was at a old Free Mason Temple in Michigan,” says Versailles. “I don’t remember the city but we were the first band to play that night. It was a Vampire Ball. Sadly the board was so old and the connects were so old it blew out the power on our first song. That was my first experience on the road with Ego Likeness, Bella Morte, Voltaire and Hellblinki.”
The name Versailles sprang from an obsession. “I was in history class in school and I was obsessed with the history of the palace of Versailles and King Louis,” says Versailles. “He in my eyes, was a very interesting character in his creation of favorites and social death.”
Versailles has many compilation CDs on Cleopatra Records. Her independent releases include:
- Live Your Life
- Broken Dolls
- Wendy’s Razorblades
Versailles’ current album Pages released in October. “I did the CD release at KKBB,” says Versailles. “Had a great turn out. The current album is about again emotions. Raw emotions and how they effect and change us and how we develop as humans over time.”
Versailles’ CDs are available internationally through CD Baby.
“My label is Evileye Records,” says Versailles. “I don’t have a manager yes I do this all myself, always have. I deal directly with press, booking, distribution, PR…Also I have an album on BFM Digital who distributes Sacrifice the EP for me currently.”
“I will be performing at an art show for artist Francis D. Gonzalez, but not sure of the date,” says Versailles. “I also may be doing a show on KCRW with Monique Reymond.”
Versailles is based in Hollywood, California. She was born in Modesto, but moved when she was nine years old to Albuquerque,New Mexico, where she grew up. She also spent part of that time in Leesburgh, Virgina