Brian Vander Ark is one of the most talented, down to earth musicians around. After hitting big in the mid 90's with Verve Pipe, he is now a solo touring artist and started appearing in films, in 1999, including 'Rock Star' with Mark Wahlberg. Recently, he has gotten involved in the genre film-making process. He composed the original score for and appeared in 'Dead and Breakfast' which Rue Morgue Magazine called 2005's Best Independent Horror Film of the Year. I was lucky enough to catch up with him and do a quick online interview with him this past September.


  Brian K: I think that you are one of the best songwriters around. Do you write from a more personal or universal perspective - or a combination of the two?

Brian V: -- Definitely universal. I take people's stories and try to create songs around them.

Brian K: You've worked with some great producers - Jerry Harrison, Adam Schlesinger.... Do you have any favorite studio stories?

Brian V: -- Only those times that we caught Jerry Harrison sleeping while we were recording. The first time we played 'The Freshmen' for him, he fell asleep!

Brian K: This is probably an oft-asked question, but I gotta do it!!! I know that the song originated long before Verve Pipe, but was there a specific incident or inspiration for 'The Freshman'? It is one of the greatest rock ballads of the 90s. Classic!

Brian V: -- There's an archive of the meaning of the freshmen bulletin board. It has all of the answers.

Brian K: Do you have a favorite Verve Pipe (full length) recording? (I think my favorite is "Underneath" - Love it!!!)

Brian V: -- "Underneath" is my favorite as well. It was the best recording experience (due to Adam Schlesinger) and the record sounds great. It's some of our best work.

Brian K: How did your involvement in 'Rock Star' come about? Was acting something that you had been interested in for a while or did you just fall into it?

Brian V -- I was asked to write the song for the movie, so they sent me a script and I went to work. I had done a little acting, so I asked to audition as well. I got the part, and they used the song.

Brian K: How did you get involved with 'Dead and Breakfast'?

Brian V: -- The director is a fan of mine, and asked me to do it...for free! I'm getting repaid by doing his newest one though, called "Unearthed".

Brian K: Do you have any interesting stories from the filming of that bar sequence? What a hoot! Plus - how cool is Gina Phillips? I've thought that she is one of the best actresses around ever since her kick-ass performance in 'Jeepers Creepers'!

Brian V: -- I liked Gina. People thought that she was a little spoiled, but she was seeing my friend Devon (Gummersol) at the time, and she was just a sweetheart to me. Plus she's great at what she does.

Brian K: Finally- Are there any tours, upcoming c.d. releases.... that we should be aware of?

Brian V: -- I have an album in the works that will be out early next year...check out ! Later!