Winners of the 2015 NBC Sound Diego Best New Artist Award, the Verigolds released their debut album in March, titled “For Margaret.” Consisting of guitarists Jenna Cotton and Eliot Ross, keyboardist Ben Smedley and drummer Craig Schreiber, it’s a testament to the group’s talents and growing popularity that they were chosen to perform at this year’s KAABOO festival 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 on the Tourmaline Stage.
The band was formed in 2014, though Ross and Smedley have been making music together since childhood. “Eliot and Ben grew up in Ocean Beach and the band formed behind Noodle House, so we consider ourselves more a part of the OB community than the other boroughs of San Diego,” said Schreiber. “OB has got a trippy personality that I think all of us somewhat connect with. (It’s) this relaxed, mostly-positive, friendly vibe that keeps us both grounded and soaring through the clouds of creativity when the time is ripe. We play at Winston’s and The Holding Company (THC), which is the former Gallagher's spot, often.”
According to Schreiber, there is no clear reason the band is called The Verigolds. “The genesis of the name is a bit of a mystery to all of us,” he said “I surmise it comes from the cosmic kinship between Eliot and Ben. It rhymes with ‘marigolds’ and we are all sorta flower children so that makes us want to dance, smile and spread the love!”
The group’s focus is solely on their original music. “We had an unspoken rule since the early formation of the band that we would not play covers and instead focus on creating something more personal and original to us,” Schreiber said. “Our songs are a group effort and often result from the four of us finding a groove or energy that feels right and then we let it develop.”
Schreiber is looking forward to his band’s festival debut. “KAABOO is a massive deal to us,” he said. “We really owe (local live music app) GigTown and their Discovery Tour for giving us the opportunity to perform among giants in music,” Schreiber remarked. While this is Schreiber’s first time performing at KAABOO, he did make an indirect appearance at last year’s edition.
“One time, while playing at The Template in OB,” Schreiber recalled. “I sliced my forehead open during the set and played through the songs as a rouge waterfall was cascading over my eyes. People we're staring in shock, I finished the last song, got bandaged up and our visual siren Celeste Byers painted it (celestebyers.com/CRAIG) and it was showcased at last year's KAABOO. Full circle, I guess,” he said.
The band is planning on taking things to the next level with increased touring and recording. “We are in talks with management at the moment to help with the business side so that we can focus even more energy on the music,” Schreiber said. “Focusing on the songs and vibrations that we are creating together and experiencing them collectively with our fans is what keeps our mojo rising in the obstacles that come when music and business are mixed together.”
While Schreiber is pleased that The Verigolds are doing well, he’s happy just to be making music with friends. “(It’s great) having an excuse to get into a groovy garage twice a week, create new sounds with best friends and then share the energy with our audience,” he said.