Why aren’t you in college?’, ‘Why don’t you have a real job?’, ‘How’s your little band doing?’… There’s only so much condescending crap you can take from small-minded folk before you make the decision to show them why , according to Brittany Harrell. For her band Veara, the answer came in the form of album What We Left Behind – a big ‘fuck you’ to the Debbie-downers of her hometown of Augusta, Georgia.


“Everything on this record has to do with what we were going through as a band over the course of the last few years,” reflects Harrell. “We hit some pretty bad roads on the way to here. We were going through so much shit on so many different levels – personally and band-wise. We lost some members along the way, people couldn’t make up their mind whether they were coming or going. That was frustrating enough.


“At the same time we pretty much had everybody saying ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you’ll never get out of here’, which was a major bring-down. Probably the worst was having people from the town coming up to us and being smart-asses and asking things like, ‘how’s your little band doing?’ So we took all that shit and we put it into our record. This is a ‘fuck you’ to all of them, it’s basically our response to what we can do.”


And they do it real well. Produced by A Day To Remember frontman Jeremy McKinnon and engineered by Andrew Wade, What We Left Behind is a little bit New Found Glory and a little bit Blink 182, making Veara officially the most exciting pop-punk newcomers of 2010. In 2011, however, it’s time to take it to a whole new level, as Harrell states.


“We’ve got so many plans for this band and we’ve got some good people behind us to help us make it happen. At this stage we really feel that we’re going to prove a lot of people wrong, especially those who tried to bring us down back at home.


“Personally, we got so sick of parents’ friends and other people making our parents feel like shit by asking stupid questions and making dumb statements. That kind of crap really makes you feel like you disappointed for your parents, even if your parents don’t agree with what’s being said. It just makes you feel like ‘your kid sucks’.


“Right now we feel like last year was a real starting point, but this year is going to be even bigger. We’re touring with Millencolin in Europe, which is going to be super fun. We’re hoping to do the Warped Tour, we’re hoping to see a lot of the world and it’s looking good. We’re doing Soundwave in Australia which just blows my mind, and we’re actually hoping to do a proper tour of Australia if everything goes well.”


Thanks to their pop-punk catchiness and occasional bursts of heavy riffs thrown in for good measure, chances are Veara will be back real soon after this year’s Soundwave Festival.

“We’ve been fiddling around with guitars and coming up with some great new ideas for another album,” reveals Harrell. “We want to take all the good things we’ve done on What We Left Behind and take it all a step further.


“We’re never going to be a ‘baby girl, ooh-la-la’ kind of band, and we’re never going to be a mosh/breakdowns kind of band either. We’re somewhere in between, I guess. We’re happy with where we stand in the scheme of things because when you look out into the crowd you see such a variety of people all loving it equally. I really believe that’s pretty much what every band really wants in the back of their mind.”


If all goes to plan, Harrell claims Veara just might team up with McKinnon and Wade on the band’s next offering. It’s more about friendship, as Harrell points out, rather than a working partnership.


“We’ve known A Day To Remember for a long time,” she explains. “They played in Augusta somewhere around 2005 and got a huge following there. We ended up playing a show with them and kept in touch. That’s how we met Andrew Wade as well, because he saw us play with them and he wanted to record us.


“When Jeremy and Andrew came to us with an offer to do the album for us, we were pretty speechless because it was kind of a dream come true. We were like, ‘fuck yeah!’ because we were friends with them and they’d always helped us out and that’s the perfect combination to make a good record.


“The coolest thing about working with Jeremy in the studio was that when we discussed ideas for a song, he knew exactly what was going through our heads because he’s in a band as well. We know of a lot of bands who are not always in agreement with their producer because the producer is coming form a different mindset, but Jeremy totally understood what we were talking about.


“There was nothing forced or compromised about this album and that’s something we want to repeat.”


VEARA play the SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL at Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday February 4 – along with Iron Maiden, Slayer, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Slash, Rob Zombie, The Bronx, Sum 41, One Day As A Lion, 30 Seconds To Mars, Stone Sour, Social Distortion, Gang Of Four and roughly a million other kickarse bands. SOUNDWAVE is sold out, but VEARA also play SIDEWAVE with Sum 41, The Blackout and There For Tomorrow at Billboard The Venue on Wednesday March 2 – tickets from billboardthevenue.com.au, ticketek.com.au and 132 849. Their album What We Left Behind is out now through Epitaph/Shock.