A local Marshalltown musician is currently hard at work preparing for a slate of opportunities.
Eric Verdulla will perform the National Anthem at Wells Fargo Arena in November before auditioning for NBC’s singing competition show “The Voice” in December and releasing his solo album in January.
Having played in front of audiences of five people, the chance to sing for the Wells Fargo Arena crowd summoned goosebumps and brought tears to Verdulla’s eyes, he said. With a friend’s band unable to play, Verdulla was offered the chance to do a duo performance at an Iowa Wild game on Nov. 13.
“I needed it at that time,” Verdulla said. “I was really starting to get down on myself about where I was at.”
A couple weeks prior to receiving the opportunity, he and his girlfriend were driving by the arena.
“We drive by that and I’m like, ‘that’s my dream.’ My dream is to play at Wells Fargo,” Verdulla said.
Last year, Verdulla auditioned for “The Voice” and made it to the second round. He received an invitation to audition again this year with his goal just to make it further.
“It gave me a goal,” he said. “It gave me something to reach out to and really put my focus on.”
During the audition, he plans to show off his diversity of vocal abilities. Verdulla currently fronts one of Marshalltown’s most well-known heavy metal acts, Agony of Defeat, but his upcoming solo album will feature a different tone in the realm of soft rock and country.
“I was scared, because I was in a rock band for the longest time, to show I loved country music, soft rock music and R&B music. But then eventually I was like, ‘Man, this is me. This is me, and I’m not changing,’” Verdulla said. “I just want to be the best that I can be all the time. I want to be the best rock musician that I can be, the best R&B musician that I can be, the best country musician that I can be.”
While Verdulla feels very strong about his rock music vocals with Agony of Defeat, he feels his country and soft-rock voice comes more naturally to him. As to what he enjoys most, he says it’s dependent on where his life is- right now, it’s country.
“If I’m feeling a little jumpy and excited and want to tell you how it is, that’s an Agony of Defeat song,” Verdulla said. “If I want to talk about my emotions and love and caring, that side of me, I’ll do country and soft rock.”
Open-mindedness to music has been with him as long as he can remember: Verdulla’s mother playing in a band is one of his first memories of music. While many musicians might not let a small child play around with their instruments, Verdulla remembers the band members letting him bang away on their drum kits and guitars. His career in the studio began with singing R&B, and he recorded his first track when he was 14 years old.
Among his upcoming opportunities, the release of his new album, which has been in the works for two years and features 15 original songs, is the most important thing on Verdulla’s mind. He invites anyone to visit his Facebook page and provide feedback, which he takes seriously.
“I can guarantee you every single time you come see me, I’m going to give you a show,” Verdulla said. “I’m going to give you as much perfection as I can, and we’re going to have a good time.”
He said many people mistake his music for a hobby, but Verdulla views music as central to his identity.
“I bleed this,” Verdulla said. “This is who I am. It’s everything that I am.”
Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611
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