Vancouver, Canada-based hard rock quartet the Veer Union came on the national scene in 2009, when their track ‘Seasons’ shot to the upper echelon of the active rock chart. Now, the lads are wrapping up their latest touring cycle in support of 2012’s ‘Divide the Blackened Sky’ with a gig at Dirt Fest Aug. 11 in Birch Run, Mich., that also features Clutch, In This Moment and more.

I caught up with Crispin Earl to chat about why he’s stoked to play the festival right around his birthday (“It’ll be like a big birthday party!” he says) and what’s new with the rockers.

Is this the Veer Union’s first time playing Dirt Fest?

Yes! I’m looking forward to partying there and, of course, playing. It’s been a while since we’ve been back to Flint, so I’m looking forward to coming back. I’m really excited to get back.

A little bird told me -- ie. Tony LaBrie! -- that your birthday is right around Dirt Fest. True?

Yeah! August 10th!

My birthday is August 10th, too.

No way! That is totally crazy! Well, my birthday is usually a pretty chill time. It seems like most of the time, it lands on a Monday or Tuesday or early in the week, but it’s crazy that it’s landing on a Friday, and we’re going to be in Flint on that day, and then there’s Dirt Fest the next day, so it’s going to be an exciting weekend for me.

Who are you most excited to see on the Dirt Fest bill?

My Darkest Days have been management friends of ours, and we’ve toured with them a lot, and those guys are always fun to hang out with. I recently started getting into In This Moment, and they have a really, really cool new record. It’s really heavy and different and refreshing. There are lots of bands, though. I’m a fan of music, first and foremost, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the bands.

You released your sophomore LP, ‘Divide the Blackened Sky,’ in March. I really dig the title of the album.

Well, the title speaks to the fact that it’s been dark times for us, personally, and dark times for a lot of new rock bands that are trying to make it right now. With downloads, people think music is free. Unfortunately, it’s making it 10 times harder for any new band to survive. We wanted to say that times are tough, but we love doing music, and we want to do it for as long as we can.

The Veer Union self-produced most of this record. Is that a new venture for you guys?

For our first record, ‘Time to Break the Spell,’ we produced ourselves. We only printed 1,000 copies, and it was our first indie record ever. Later on, we worked with a producer, but we were really hands-on, so not very much of the production really changed. For most part, always been a self-produced kind of band.

Do you have a favorite track on the album?

It changes from day to day! I would say right now, it’s “Buried in the Ground.” It’s heavier and has some unique textures that we’ve never used before.

Who are some of your musical idols who made you want to get into the music business?

Def Leppard kicked it off for me. They were a huge inspiration. As far as artists or bands still around today, Soundgarden is way up there for me. I’m a huge Pantera fan. There are lots of bands that are super underground that I’m a fan of, like Rival Schools. There are so many great artists out there, and not enough of them get as much recognition as they should.

What’s next for the Veer Union after this summer?

We’re going to start working on a new album. It’s just in writing stages, but we’re excited to try some new things. It took a long time for us to actually get our current record out, so it’s already old for us and we want to get back in studio and write a new record. We’re excited to get going on it and get it out next year!

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