Posted On 11 Jun 2019
LA’s Forever X2 – the moniker of accomplished songwriter & musician Peter Verdell recently released its debut self-titled EP on May 22nd. It is now available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and all DSPs worldwide.
Forever X2 is fresh of its April residency at The Satellite in Los Angeles, presented by KROQ Locals Only. The residency featured other rising bands (Mermaed, Trapdoor Social), guest DJs (Kevin Bronson of Buzzbands LA, Nate Lotz of Halsey), as well as special guests including Lauren Ruth Ward and Gabby Bianco. The project also just landed a sync for the single “Keep the Devil Waiting” on CBS’ Seal Team in May.
“The EP is special to me for a lot of reasons,” Verdell explains. “I wrote all these songs on a guitar, alone in my apartment, and then I recorded all the instruments in a garage a few miles away. I got to play all the drums and guitars and synths and do all the singing. It was about as DIY as it could get, and I needed it to be that way. I needed this new band to be fun and fresh and for there to be as few barriers between my brain and the recordings as possible. I worked with 2 talented dudes on the producing and mixing (Ari Berl and Yianni EP from a band called Pink Skies), and they did a great job. I wanted the songs to feel new but also to feel like they could’ve been on rock radio in 1997. I don’t know how close I got to that, but I’m in love with how the songs turned out. I think they feel fresh and new but also kind of familiar.”
Connect with Forever X2 Here:
Learn more about Forever X2 in the following All Access interview:
Now that we are well into the 6th month of the new year, how has 2019 been treating you so far? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
I have such a devil’s-advocate brain that it’s hard to me to be openly optimistic, ha, but 2019 has been great so far. My first Forever X2 EP just came out, we played an amazing Monday-night residency at The Satellite for April (a dream of mine), and so far the music has been really well received in the community, especially for our song “Walk the Ocean.” I have a lot of goals for this year–most of them revolve around getting a great team together to help me stretch and grow this band. I meditate on this stuff every morning, but god only knows how close I am to reaching them. Some days they feel close and other days they seem really far.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music was THE most important thing in my life. I moved from CA to WA when I was 10, and it was very rainy and grey and I felt very lonely a lot of the time. The songs that were played on Seattle’s 107.7 The End became my best friends. But nobody I knew in Olympia, WA thought that being a musician was a viable career or lifestyle, so I played drums in high school rock bands and learned to play guitar, but it was all for myself and my friends. It wasn’t until I moved back to LA and started meeting other musicians down here that I started to dream it was a possibility. I wish it was a 1-time, easy choice to make. But it’s sometimes a daily or monthly choice I make. Everyone knows it’s a hard path, and if I didn’t love it, I would 100% go back to school and do something else.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
My sister and brother-in-law are both nurses and have a great life. I have close friends who are professors and architects or who work in tech, and they have great lives. I think about the perks of their lives often…stability, houses, vacations. I’m not a dummy. I could be making good money doing lots of other things. So yeah, I think about it sometimes. But I also know what I feel driven to do, as Peter Verdell, and that’s play and write music. I don’t know if I could feel fulfilled doing something else.
Why did you decide to go by something other then your own name? How did you come with your artist name?
I was never into solo artists when I was growing up–I was into bands. Weezer, Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins, Blink 182, et al…I’ve just always thought band names were cooler! Apologies to Bob Dylan. I came up with Forever X2 from this awesome art installment at the Geffen Contemporary Museum in Little Tokyo. There was a piece titled something like “Forever XVii.” It was so redundant and beautiful that it kind of hurt my brain.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The biggest, or best surprise, has been meeting so many great people. From artists to people working in the industry, there are so many passionate people working hard for projects they believe in. Yes, there’s a lot of bullshit too, and people who suck, but it’s gotten easier and easier to weed them out. I think an unexpected challenge has been needing to get good at so many different things. I wish I could just write songs and have the rest taken care of for me. For better or worse, I’ve gotta practice guitar, and singing, and piano, and drums, and work on my production, and mixing, and my image, and social media…and the list goes on.
Congratulations on releasing your debut EP! What did that feel like? Can you describe what the process was like for you putting this collection together? How did you celebrate the release of it?
It feels great! It feels exciting! I had taken about a year-long break from writing music, and when I came back to it, these are the songs that came out. I knew I wanted a new band that was more influenced by my favorite bands growing up–and also blending some of my favorite current bands–and these songs were shaped by that mindset. I celebrated by seeing a daytime movie (a rare treat): John Wick 3 at the Arclight in Hollywood! My birthday was also the night before release day, so, the celebrations blended together a bit.
How was your residency at The Satellite in LA?
The residency was incredible. The reception to the band and the songs was better than anything I’ve experienced. It was a ton of work to curate the shows (4 bands, a DJ, and a special guest every single night), but it felt amazing to have that ownership. KROQ and The Satellite gave me this awesome opportunity and I ran with it.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I love The National. I love Blur. I love Phoebe Bridgers. There are too many that come to mind, and most of them would probably not fit for a Forever X2 collab. I’ve always dreamed of having Billy Corgan do a guitar solo on one of my songs, and I’ve always dreamed of writing verses with Stephen Jenkins.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
It would look exactly like Hole’s music video for “Malibu”! I love everything about that video. So, someone please give me 1 million dollars.
What was it like hearing “Walk The Ocean” on the radio and TV? Do you remember where you were the first time you heard it on either? What did that feel like?
It’s the best, and I make a point to tune in whenever I think they might be playing it. Until I’m too busy or successful, I’ll continue to. I don’t take it for granted. There are a thousand genuinely awesome bands in LA (and probably 10,000 awful or mediocre bands). And of those 1,000 awesome bands, maybe 20 can make it onto KROQ Locals Only per week? So yeah, I freak out and I tune in and I am very grateful. The same goes with BuzzBands LA’s radio show on 88.5 FM. I tune in and I freak out and I’m inspired.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope it rings true. I don’t know if I can even fully explain that. But there’s so much music that’s written by 5 people in 3 hours and recorded in 3 more hours and then turned in that night to someone who’s gonna try and make money with it. I want to make money too! And I love it when inspiration strikes and I write a song in a day. But. I hope that my true-ness comes across, and I hope that makes people feel their true-ness when they listen to it. Did I just make up an awkward new word, true-ness? Whatever. Let’s go with that.