What’s a Viretta? For the better part of the 2010’s, Viretta has been somewhat of a cipher. Known throughout the scene for their hard-hitting live shows, and constantly changing lineup, the alt-rock act has a surprising number of accomplishments under their belt. Having headlined or played sold-out shows in nearly every venue in Denver, including a modest Bluebird headliner back in 2014, the group still seems to be one of the most well-known low-key bands in Denver, despite being literally in two places at once. “I think most people hear Viretta and think, ‘aren’t they that twin band..?’” laughs frontman Mike Moroni. He hears this all the time. Paired with identical twin brother Rob Moroni, the two are hard to miss walking down Broadway, and turn many the confused head. So… what’s a Viretta? And why are they releasing a 12-track rock record on CD in the Pop-dominated city of Denver? Although it may not seem like it, the answer has been a long time coming.
Tracking their time on the Denver Music Scene, Viretta are kind of hard to nail down. A smattering of EP’s here and there, the odd single, a music video with Bear masks, a strong focus on their live show, rather than their recordings. When it all comes together, we see a picture of a band led more by their impulses than their rationale. Take 2016’s Ready For Rock Vol. 1 , a compilation record of local rock acts the band put together themselves to benefit local music non-profit Youth On Record. During a year which also saw guitarist Rob Moroni doing double duty as bassist for Denver pop-act P O P F I L T E R, it’s hard to tell where VIRETTA’s going to show up next. Bombing the stage at last year’s Hometown For The Holidays with Bad Noise Bears? Or headlining Larimer Lounge as Radiohead with P O P F I L T E R as Phoenix and Valienta as The Killers? Whatever the rationale, they’re back again with their brand new album: THE FEAR.
“We’ve been recording this album for a long time,” Rob starts. He’s not wrong. Slow boiling since early 2016, Mike, Rob, and drummer Jon Cales self-recorded the album (a first for the band) twice; spending much of 2017 in their basement studio scrapping the first cut of the record. “It wasn’t right,” Mike says quickly. “We didn’t have it yet.” For the second iteration, the band turned to their friends. Recording drums with fellow UCD alum Kyle Smith at Side 3 Studios, and seeking out Brandon Whalen of My Body Sings Electric to craft the perfect bass tone, the record entered production yet again. Embracing their own quixotic energy, the band felt liberated to create and destroy at a moment’s notice. “We asked ourselves, what if we literally said yes to every single crazy idea we have? In the end, everything was game,” says Jon excitedly. This makes The Fear like nothing the group has produced before. With the foundation laid, the band finished recording guitars and vocals in their project studio at home. It took the rest of 2017 for Mike to mix the record (another first), a process he described as: “Hell.”