You may not have heard of the band Vernon Potts yet, but if you are at all familiar with the local music scene, you most definitely know the man heading up the group.
Ryne Clarke has been making music since his high school days and has been busy recently helping other bands record in his home studio. He has also been working on The Ryne Experience, which features collaborations with multiple musicians.
Now, however, he is ready for a change.
“I wanted to make more complex songs,” he says. To do that, he needed to work with the same group of musicians consistently. And so, Vernon Potts was born.
Band Combines Experienced Musicians with New Talent
To create Vernon Potts, Clarke turned to some old bandmates and also recruited some new faces. The members include the following:
- Ryne Clarke: Guitar and vocals, also plays keyboard on the band’s album.
- Jeremy Kargl: Guitar and also plays bass on the album. Previously was a part of The Preservers, a band that included Clarke and his brother Patrick, and he has collaborated on The Ryne Experience.
- Parick Kargl: Drums. Previously was part of The Preservers with Clarke and his brother Jeremy and has collaborated on The Ryne Experience. Also plays in the band The Nuance.
- Joe Schimmelmann: Saxophone and keyboard. Also plays in the funk/rock band Short Panic and is the bassist for a new black metal group, Heavyweight Slugfest.
- Dan Christmann: Bass
Vernon Potts is the first band for Christmann. He works with Clarke, who asked him to consider joining. “I was like, yes, please,” Christmann recalls.
As for the name of the band, it comes from a 1973 slasher flick: Horror High. The main character is named Vernon Potts, and when Clarke and some friends watched the movie once, it just seemed like it should be the name of a band.
Summer Shows for Vernon Potts
The band currently has ten performances scheduled for this summer, starting with a debut performance at Speciation Cellars in Grand Rapids on May 19, 2023. After that, you can catch them at venues in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Montague, Belding and Grand Haven. The group will close out the season with an album release show planned for August 17 at a location still to be determined.
That album will have 13 tracks and is expected to run about 35 minutes. Vernon Potts also has a single, Nuther Day, which has already been released and is available for purchase or streaming.
When asked about the style of music, Clarke notes his musical influences include groups such as the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and Minute Men. He describes the Vernon Potts music as “short, high-energy songs” and adds: “It’s not necessarily light listening music.”
As for the band’s aspirations, Clarke says Vernon Potts is a passion project, and his bandmates agree that they aren’t in it for fame or fortune.
“If you’re in music for the money, you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” Jeremy Kargl says.