About 2 months ago, I had the pleasure of discovering and writing about this wicked band Civil Villains. Since then, they’ve been booked to support the ridiculously talented Listener in London as well as releasing a brand spanking new single, Atone, with a killer video to boot. I caught up with the trio to talk releases, tours and mores!
So 2 months have gone by pretty quick right? What’ve you guys been up to?
It’s been a busy couple of months for us! We’ve been writing some new stuff which has a good groove and a nice bit of attitude to it, played a great show with Wild Throne at The Old Blue Last which was rad. We had a few cheeky holidays (everybody needs a break now and then!), and done a whole load of behind the scenes admin! Everything we’re doing right now feels like we’re making significant steps forward, though, so we’re all feeling positive; the late nights and sweat marks will be worth it!
I see you’ve been booked to support Listener! You psyched for it? What are you expecting?
This will probably be our biggest show so far, so we are of course very excited! Ever since we got together, The Borderline has been on our list of venues we’d love to play, so this will be ticking a nice big box for us. As for what we’re expecting, who knows! We’re the rowdiest band on the night, so we just hope people will be ready for our particular brand of onstage turmoil. We’ll be playing a new song which veers between some of our mathiest writing yet into an enormous catchy chorus, so we’re stoked to air that one for the first time.
Is Listener the kind of band you’ve always seen yourselves in a line-up with? Who’d be the dream support bands for you guys?
Interesting question. We’ve often discussed the fact that we don’t obviously sit that neatly with many other bands. There’s a lot of genre lineups we can fit well on, ranging from grunge through to math rock, and Listener, we feel we sit well with due to the slightly atypical vocal delivery. As for the dream support, I think that would differ for each of us, but I think a common dream support would be Queens of the Stone Age or the Foo Fighters – imagine that?!
You’ve been getting some good traction here in the UK. Are you planning to take your shows overseas anytime soon?
Funny you should say that – we’re actually about to embark somewhat wildly on a North American tour! It all started by winning the Planetrox competition in the UK, the prize for which is playing Envol et Macadam festival in Quebec City, headlined by Bad Religion and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. From there, we’re playing a handful of shows, taking in Toronto, Boston and New York, amongst a couple of other shows we’re still finalising.
So your new single. The video’s pretty bizarre to say the least. What’s it all about?
The new single Atone is a bit different from most of our other stuff, starting off a lot softer than our other tracks but working its way towards a frenetic ending. In collaboration with director Tobias Warren, we have created a narrative video that accompanies the track in feeling more than a story. The single will be part of a dual release with The Debt; a short film made up of the same footage, but with more of a narrative thread than you get from the more atmospheric Atone video. So it’s a pretty exciting and dare I say artistic project we’ve been working on for a while, and we’re psyched to get it out there!
It’s actually quite refreshing to see what could be considered an ‘ambient’ video for a single as opposed to the standard performance shot or paint by numbers story arc. Do you guys think it helps focus on the music more or do you think it separates music listeners who are more interested in a good looking band jumping around?
Well if fans are looking for a good looking band jumping around we’re going to have to hire some actors! (Self-deprecating jokes are the best.) I think an ambient video can sometimes help emphasise the music, but I think if the imagery is too far removed from the audio then the dissociation between the two can disengage the viewer. We feel this video is interesting enough to keep the audience interested until the end, though; at least, that’s what we hope!
W0rds by Elliott Stubbings