Feel all the feels

Fountain Square’s Jen Roberts wants rock band Veseria to create unforgettable experiences with the release of its new album, RLTVTY

From left, Corey Lusk, Kyle Perkon, Patrick and Jen Roberts. *Submitted photos.

Jen Roberts, of Fountain Square, simply couldn’t go without music in her life. She found a way to continue following her passion when she pieced together the band, Veseria, in 2010. While nothing has played out as planned, it’s gone better.

Veseria released its third full-length album, RLTVTY, on July 29. They will celebrate with an album release party at the HiFi, 1043 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square on Aug. 12. In October, the band will take its first overseas trip together to perform in the United Kingdom.

“It definitely feels like the correct progression,” Jen said. “We’ve always been known for not sticking to a certain genre. In this album, we really show that off in a good way. It showcases a lot of different sides of all of us as musicians, all of our strengths as individuals, as well as a band. It kind of takes you on a journey, not necessarily a story, but in terms of connection, understanding and feeling like someone else understands you.”

Since she can remember, all Jen wanted to do was sing. She has written music since she was 13 and eagerly participated in all of the choirs and bands she could fit into her Ben Davis High School schedule. After high school, Jen met her husband, Patrick, a Roncalli graduate who also writes songs. Together, they began to perform duet sets. 

“We had some really good experiences, but I had never been in a band,” Jen said. “I wanted to push myself and grow musically. The band was a way to make something happen.”

Jen chose the initial members of the band at random – the first drummer was a customer at Starbucks where she and Patrick worked. The bass player was the friend of a friend. The band started rehearsing in April 2010 and played its first show, Patrick and Jen’s wedding reception, on May 14, 2010 with four songs.

Patrick and Jen Roberts.

“It continues to be super random,” Jen laughed.

Veseria was named after the original town that Frankenstein terrorized. Come to find out, they didn’t spell it correctly (Vasaria), but the idea was there: a Frankenstein-like band which creates its own sound. Veseria writes and performs their own songs, with influences of rock, folk, punk and blues.

The band began performing at open mic events in dive bars. They earned their first “legit gig” at the Vollrath Tavern, no longer in business, in Fountain Square. From there, they booked bigger and bigger events, such as opening for Leonard Skinner and Bad Company four years ago at Klipsch Music Center, opening for Panic at the Disco at the INDYpendence Day festival three years ago and more.

The band now consists of Jen as vocals/guitar, Patrick on guitar/vocals, Corey Lusk on bass and Kyle Perkon on drums.

Jen describes this third album, “a beautiful piece of art in vinyl format,” by Romanas Records, as empathetic.

“Every song that we write, whether it’s super happy or really depressed, every song comes with a lot of human truth,” Jen said. “We’re very much about the human connection and experiencing that with our audience, via album or right on stage with them in front of us. The whole point is to experience it together. Our live shows, we like to make them events, give people a reason to come and for it to be a memorable experience. You want them to have a joyous or even emotional experience, feel all the feels. I feel like we achieve that, to some extent, fairly consistently.”

The release party on Aug. 12 will also feature live music from bands such as the Knot Brothers, Brother O’ Brother and Fame and Fiction. Veseria will have nine guest musicians in its set.

“It’s going to be madness,” Jen said. “I’m so excited.”

In September, the band will aim to get the album on the road as much as they can. They keep it close to home, typically Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Wisconsin. Each band member works through the week, allowing them to play on the weekends. Jen works part time at Square Cat Vinyl and spends the rest of her time at home with their two children, Patrick works at Fountain Square Brewery, Kyle at Angie’s List and Corey in construction.

Indie Invasion, an organization which started this year, chooses U.S. bands to send to the UK, partnering with a UK band. That band will return to the U.S. to perform here. Indie Invasion covers traveling expenses. Veseria was schedule to go in August, but it was reschedule for October which allows them to perform more gigs.

As for the future, Jen said they all have different goals in mind to some extent.

“It consistently to create unforgettable experiences for both of us as well as our audience,” she said. “For me, what’s gratifying, is the connections I’ve been able to make, not only in my hometown. We have buddies and bands all over the place.We have these awesome opportunities to create those experiences and because of that, people want to connect with us even closer.”

RLTVTY: Album Release Party

What: Veseria celebrates its new album.

When: Aug. 12, 8 – 11 p.m.

Where: Hi Fi, 1043 Virginia Ave. #4, Fountain Square