The Atlanta, Georgia based Rock band The Villains are preparing to release their debut CD in February of 2010. The disc is a fantastic melding of good old Rock and Roll combined with both Pop and Country influences. Honestly, this is just a sweet disc with which to just kick back, crack open a cold one and hand out with your buddies. The music on this record easily lends itself to just about any occasion. The band plans to do quite a bit of touring in the next year in support of the disc. I was able to speak with Dan Call, bass player and vocalist to discuss the CD and their plans for the future.
Your debut CD is set for release in February, 2010. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Dan: Feel great about it! My only regret is that we didn’t record more tunes… that will be for the next record. It was the most satisfying record we’ve done because it is pure vibe and sounds even better than we thought it would.
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Dan: It’s funny, because we didn’t sit down one day and say “let’s write a record and record it.” I had a group of songs and wanted to track them for different song opportunities i.e. film, TV, artists, etc. Some were written with Jimmy (James Schmitt, acoustic and vocals) and Peter Stroud (guitarist for Sheryl Crow, Don Henley). We started recording and somewhere in the middle of it, it started sounding like a record. We weren’t surprised as we have played with each other for years but it sounded and felt so cool that we had to take it all the way.
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Dan: I would certainly label the sound as “Americana Pop Rock” and we’re all fans of artists in all three of these genres. What makes The Villains sound, is its individual members influences brought together and this record is what that sounds like. Magno loves 80’s pop, Jimmy is an old school country guy, Michael is a hard rock lover, Sean digs hip-hop and beats and I am living in the 50’s 60’s 70’s. You name it; it’s influenced us in some way.
How has MySpace and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?
Dan: Well, it’s certainly a great tool for getting your music out there. On the other hand, it saturates the music buyer and listener. Some of it is good and a lot of it is bad. However, just like before the internet, the cream always rises to the top. If it does not rise to the top, it means one of two things… either it wasn’t as good as you thought it was or you didn’t have the budget to get it out there. Same applies to downloading.
What can fans expect when they pick up a copy of your debut disc?
Dan: An honest, no bullshit, fun and reflective record. Good music and a good time… just like our live show. Oh, and a coupon for $10 dollars off at Denny’s… we’ll also bring‘em a six pack to their front door!
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Dan: That’s easy… no matter how good a player, songwriter, or performer you are, there is always someone better. If you think your hot shit, you will get knocked down. We have all gone through it. Figure out what you do well and keep doing it. There is room for everybody’s success. Most people say these things but few live by them. Self esteem will make you a success, not self absorption!
What song from that album is the most exciting for you to sing?
Dan: Well, “Let’s Forget About It Tonight” because it rocks and it’s the single. I personally enjoy “Just Another Saturday Night.”
Are there any songs on this disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Dan: All of them… they all (at least lyrically) are pulled from real life and at the same time can be related to by anyone. If I had to pick I would say “Going Deaf For A Living” as that is a picture in time of life in a band. The good and the bad.
How much roadwork do you expect to be doing this 2010?
Dan: A lot… we will get to every city and town that will have us in support of the record.
What does the future hold for you guys as a band?
Dan: Good times, good friends, and good beer.