Line-Up – James/Vocals, Guitar, Mark/Bass, Toby/Drums, Vocals
Formed – 2013
From – London, UK
Genre – Alt-Rock, Math-Rock, Something…
Latest Release – Fallow/Pale Horse Double A-Side Single
For Fans Of – At The Drive In, Incubus, Porcupine Tree
How do you like your music in the morning? If you like yours with a kiss, get out… This isn’t for you. Try being belted in the stomach with a indie/techy/early Biffy fucked up riffy punch followed with a smooth cuddle of beautiful toned guitars and complex beats. That’s what you get with Civil Villains! Their latest release Fallow/Pale Horse is a combination of gentle finger wizardry, angsty low-key shouting and an organ played by some dude called Josh (thank you BandCamp! You make research so easy!!). If you could never get into tech-metal or similar rocky styles, then consider Civil Villains presenting the introduction course to the genre. A great band with so much more room to grow. Check them out, grab the singles and hurt your head as they turn 4/4 into a lost memory.
With your mad time signature changes and schizophrenic riffs, how long do you typically take to write a song?
Mark: FOREVER. Or, at least we did in the early days. James: It’s getting a lot quicker these days, we smashed out a new track in an accumulative 6 hours over the last fortnight, although that’s not super common for us. These days we’re more ruthless in our decision making I think which speeds things up – but some songs have taken about a year to form and fully mature, and sometimes it’ll be the case that the structure and parts are finished but we haven’t found the mood or story of the song yet, so it’s pretty variable. Toby: We are far more selective in what we move forwards with these days too; we used to be so desperate to finish a song we’d accept sub-par parts, only to realise six months later we could do better. Many of our songs have been disemboweled and reimagined!
I noticed you guys like your FX pedals… Does anyone have that one piece of gear that never gets used but can’t get thrown out because it’s just too awesome?
James: I recently got an anti chorus/detune pedal which is smattered subtly around a few parts of our recorded songs but it’s not had its gig debut yet, it’s a tricky one to use without muddying up the live sound. Mark has an array of obscure and bargain distortions which we hang on to just in case it helps us get ‘dat tone’. Toby: Mark got me a bright green wood block for my birthday – I’m just waiting for that perfect moment to drop it in… Mark: The ungrateful bastard.
What next? Can we be expecting an EP/LP over the next 12 months?
James: We’re (hopefully) in the finals to play the Envol Et Macadam festival in Quebec this September, our EP will be out later this year, we’re expecting the mixes imminently. Hella load of gigs, and some swaggerful new songs. Mark: Yeah, at the moment we’re just trying to get shows outside London, as well as keep working on new material. Toby: We’ve got big dreams to play Hastings this year, celebrate the 950th anniversary of The Battle. Mark: Hastings 2K16, bitch!
words by Elliot Stubbings