The Winning Prize is Not Delightful, Unless a Strong Battle was Fought

March 10, 2011
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Sierra Kusterbeck, to most people, is not one of those notable names that is easily recognized like Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, or more closely related, Brittney Spears, who coincidentally is one of her inspirations. That's simply because Sierra Kusterbeck is the lead singer of an Alternative Rock band from south Florida known as VersaEmerge. All members are from the same state-she is originally from St. Petersburg, while the founder of the band, Blake Harnage is from Port St. Lucie, and the bassist, Devin Ingelido, comes from Rockledge. One of the main reasons why I know and love this band is due to the fact that they hail from close to where I grew up and spent my childhood days. They are slowly gaining fame from playing Warped Tour during the summer, touring during the rest of the year, giving interviews, gladly completing an episode of the MTV series World of Jenks, and being promoted free of charge from their loyal followers.

When she first started her seeming endless touring, Sierra Kusterbeck understandably lost many of her friends. Putting all of her time and effort into her music and career leaves little time left for other people, and that's just a fact. Being part of a rock group definitely shaped Sierra's life. On her World of Jenks episode, she spills it all to Andrew Jenks, the documenter who spent time living with the band during a week of the summer on Warped Tour in 2010. She told Jenks that she doesn't really have anyone to call and talk to and tell about her day, how she doesn't have anyone to share herself with. Sierra has said that her band mates are like her family and friends, but at the same time, they already know everything that's going on in her life without her having to call them and say it. People need a separate outlet that excludes family; a more exclusive group that can be informed and socialized with, people to share stories and ideas with that won't judge or react in a negative manner, people that want to have fun and do crazy, memorable activities: friends. “But what's weird is like, here you are with hundreds of people every single day; you're never really, like, you're never literally alone, but you're always alone. You'll be surrounded by people, but you're always just alone,” Kusterbeck explained in her own words. She then proceeded to tell Jenks that she had told him more about herself than anyone else, and humorously, that they were now best friends.

Sierra told Andrew Jenks that she doesn't like to be seen as weak, and that's why she likes to be tough. Most people don't come to realize and see all the mountains that she climbs and all the volcanoes that she dances on, most people only think that she's living the wonderful and adventurous life of a rock star. Sierra Kusterbeck is very reserved, yet friendly, original, and inspiring all at the same time. Her strength is seen as she faces her demons head on: one of her demons being her own reclusive self. What she can't physically confess to people gets scratched down in her journal, and that becomes the deep and personal lyrics for VersaEmerge's albums-the key to why so many fans can hold onto each and every lyric so tightly, like a vulture clenching its safe perch. “I'm so alone, but I'm never alone” comes from the track entitled Fire (Aim Your Arrows High), which describes her own experiences of meeting her fans, day after day, and playing shows for hundreds of individuals, but still constantly feeling that sense of solitude and isolation, withdrawn from the chaotic scene surrounding her.

At only sixteen years of age, Sierra Kusterbeck auditioned and officially became the lead vocalist for VersaEmerge. With this lifestyle, she lost having a normal teenage life. However, now at age twenty, she can certainly be described as mature and experienced; she aims her arrows high. The fierce Sierra Kusterbeck doesn't let anything stand in the way of what she wants, not even the torturous and strangling self-seclusion that she is, without regret, entangled in. In the song Fixed at Zero, Sierra uses a vulture as a symbol for her struggles and what she is battling; what we learn from the song is that it's her against the powerful and dark vulture. “Though we're living our dreams, and having a great time, you have to make a lot of sacrifices,” says Kusterbeck. Obstacles like living days mentally alone on tour, separated from friends and family, are mere barriers that cannot stop Kusterbeck from living her dreams and loving the sense of support her music gives to people.

Sometimes a journey to your dreams can be a lonely path to walk down. The rockier the road, the better the rewarding feeling; and Sierra Kusterbeck's relative affairs show us just that.

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bamb00zled said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm
I'm a huuuge VersaEmerge fan and also think Sierra is an original, inspiring performer.  Good work, VersaVulture!
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