V-Factory | Not "Those Guys"

prof_v-factory_sm.jpgI have more determination than any of these guys. In the sense of fighting over Lady Gaga, I mean.







We all have our preconceptions about the typical boy band. Some of us recall forced, soulful vibrato that accentuated phrases such as, "Mmmm, girl" at least five times per minute. Others flashback to some attractive guys spending admirable amounts of energy on complex choreography. Earlier generations may even reminisce on four musicians who faked at playing their instruments on television. As each decade passes, considerable novelty is necessary to discern new acts from boy bands past. I sought out this distinction by speaking with Asher Brook, Broadway-seasoned actor and current lead singer for V-Factory.


What are you guys all about?

There are five guys. We sing, dance and we're heavily based upon live performance. We're very full-out and flippant onstage. For the last two years, we've been trying to create a new sound, just so people will really connect with us and know it's V-Factory. In the beginning, we were kind of going to the urban side and were like, "Oh, maybe that's it. Maybe because they've never seen five white guys who are really urban." But then we were like, "Well, that's not going to really relate to the public: five white guys trying to act all ghetto." We ended up going more into the pop/dance field. It's like in our song, "Lovestruck." If anything, it stands out. If you listen to the radio right now, there are mostly female artists and older rappers. We're just trying to do our own thing, put our own flavor out there.

With the name V-Factory, the most obvious association is the Roman numeral. How do you feel about a certain alternate insinuation?

It comes up a lot. It's funny because it is a mystery. I think we're just going to roll with it for a little while longer. Sooner or later, we'll probably come out with it, but I think it's funny for right now. We originated with The Factory, which is a very popular nightclub in New York. It was all about the music. I think our name originated from that, but we didn't want to deal with copyright issues and wanted our own spin on it.

What do you have to say to those who think that boy bands are corny and stupid?

You don't have to listen to our music then. We have an audience for what we do. We're definitely targeting the younger female audience. In a way, I think we're getting a lot of respect from the guys, too. I don't think they really get it until they actually see us live. I was just thinking about our last performance where we opened for Kelly Clarkson and Flo Rida. There was a mob of 18 and over people and it wasn't just our fans. By the end of it, I looked down at the crowd and saw all of these dudes shaking their heads like, "Oh okay, maybe they are pretty good." At the same time, I'm not really worried because there will always be haters out there.

Give me a quick rundown on your role in the remake of Fame.

It's not really a remake, but rather a reinvention. It's taking the concept of the original and putting a modern day spin on it. I play Marco, the main singer of the movie. Most of the kids are fresh new faces and it's mainly the teachers that you'd recognize, such as Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Megan Mullally, Charles S. Dutton and Debbie Allen [from the original Fame]. It comes out fall 2009.

Name a current female artist who V-Factory thinks is hot. Who would win her in a caveman-style death match?

I think we all like Lady Gaga a lot. I would definitely have to take the cake on that one. I have more determination than any of these guys. In the sense of fighting over Lady Gaga, I mean.

Is there something a female fan can do to win the band's undying love?

Keep requesting our song on the radio. Honestly, we like confidence; we like girls who aren't afraid to come up to us. We're very approachable and we try to be as friendly as we can. We love talking with our fans. We like when girls come up to us, introduce themselves and start-up a conversation.

What's your plan for higher education?

It's important. I was actually in my freshman year of college studying to be a businessman when I got a record deal. However, an opportunity like that doesn't come along everyday. So for now, I'll continue the acting and entertainment and I hope to go back to school in my late 20s. If you're an athlete and you get drafted early, I think, "Yeah, go do it." School will always be there. Also, I think that you should go to school for what you love. Well, unless you get your big break because that's what I was going to do. I was going to continue on and act on the side, even though that's pretty hard.

What's your opinion of "Those Guys?" You know, the ones who have an unnatural obsession with hair gel and self-tanner?

I think it's a totally different world and that the women who go after them are different. I think it's a little much. That's all I'm going to say. They go a little overboard with the gel and should calm down with it and be more natural.

Would you be willing to make an onstage statement pertaining to "Those Guys?"

Totally. I'd be the first one. They are not our followers and they are not our fans. We do not follow them, either.

What kind of longevity do you predict for V-Factory? Could you guys go on for a decade or two, or is this a springboard for five potential careers?

You never know the future of anything; we're just kind of taking it day by day. We hope that our group continues on and that we keep busting out great singles. You never really know until it actually happens. We never even knew how "Lovestruck" was going to be until it came out and broke Top 40. We're just working hard and all we can do is make great music, continue to up ourselves and get better. Hopefully, we will be together for the next few years and it will continue on. Who knows? | Lauren Beckerle

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