We’ve a nice slew of BotD articles coming up, and Villainous lead the charge all the way from the south coast…
We all met in Brighton, but seemed to have sprawled across the South since then.
How did you meet?
Neil and Callum were in a band previously for about 4 years, and Callum knew Sean’s partner Em for about the same time. Nick was a random auditionee.
How long have you been playing as a band?
As a full 4 piece – 10 months. Callum and Neil tried to keep going about 20 months ago when the old band split, and Sean joined a few months after that.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Yeah, not sure if this is just standard first band interview, or is our name weird? When Neil and Callum’s previous band split, our old singer’s partner and friends painted us in a very negative light because we were willing to confront him rather than coddle him. Being painted as villains for being truthful or confrontational, came up in one of Sean’s lyric ideas for one of our earliest songs, and I think the phrase “Villainous band of miscreants” came up in the pub as a joke, and that word just stuck with me, when we were ploughing through the big sheet of name ideas, and it stuck with the rest of the guys.
What are your influences?
Directly in our sound now – Mastodon, Deftones, Alice in Chains, Tool, APC, Red Fang, Baroness. It changes all the time but we all come back to those core bands.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I think it’s hard to pin us to one genre, the sound is a mashup of all of us. Sean has a huge vocal range with two other vocalists, totally different from each other and our songs can go from rock to metal to prog in less time than it takes to answer this question.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Sean: All my songs are based on characters, trying to give them a narrative. Sometimes they’re based direct on people I’ve met, like the prostitute I met in Vegas that “Obsolete” is based on, or they’re exaggerated, almost cartoon-ish visions of people I’ve met, or things I’ve seen in documentaries.
Nick: A lot of what I get from Sean’s lyrics are dark stories, but not always done with a sense of hope, just more matter of fact telling of the story, it’s more horror/thriller than soap opera.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Dripping in sweat, we try to make it as full of energy as possible. Stretching, alcohol and energy drinks make a good combo for losing your inhibitions all over the place. We’ve played around 10 shows so far, but we’re all experienced on stage, to the point our first ever gig in May, the headliners couldn’t believe it was our first show as a band, which has got to be a good thing.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Sean: I’ve seen Greg Puciato shit on stage so that’s definitely craziest thing I’ve seen. As for done, I accidentally ripped out my own bridge piercing by catching it on a mic, the headline band we supported then returned it during their set, even though my nose was just a gaping wound by then.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Neil uses Michael Kelly guitars, with Bare Knuckle pickups, in the studio one guitar is Nailbombs, the other Miracle Mans. This runs through a Blackstar Series one, the setup is very simple but the sound is huge.
Nick uses Warwick basses through a Mark bass head, Callum’s kit is a bit of a mish-mash, but he will only ever use Zildjan Dark K’s for his cymbals.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our debut eponymous EP. 3 tracks to give people a taste of what we’re about. We have shows in Brighton, Reading, Hastings, Canterbury and London in October to promote it.
What are your plans for 2018?
Try and get as many people to listen to this EP as possible, play a bunch of shows, then into 2019 concentrate on writing our first full length album, while releasing a single or two. And of course, playing as many different places as we can.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Tool, because they’re the best we’ve ever seen live, and we’d get to see them in Europe, which we haven’t seen since they toured their last album, I think 2005. Opening we’d get our friends Core of IO to open, as we keep missing them playing and they would nicely amp the crowd up.