Listen to their newest, Problem Child:
Interview by: Skylar Cary
Photos by: Tanner Morris
Alright, I’m sitting here with the guys in Villains out of Chicago; Can you guys say your name and what you do in the band-
Devin: I’m Devin, I do vocals
Reese: I’m Reese, I play guitar
Cody: Cody, and drums
Andy: Andy, I play bass
Trevor: I’m Trevor, and I play guitar
Excellent. You guys are a fairly new band, how did you get started?
Devin: Aaaah, well me and this guy (points to Trevor) have been in a band forever, but we – I don’t, I don’t know how we got started – one day we were just like “I’ve been writing this music” and we were in this other band, and then we were like “oh this music’s way different, let’s change the band name” and it kinda just turned into Villains. And then we were stagnant for a while and didn’t do anything and, I don’t know, we released Extortion and things started picking up and then we started working on 10 Code and, um, after we put 10 Code out it was like “alright this is serious, let’s do it for real,” and we’ve kinda just been riding off of 10 Code since then.
There’ve been a few ways I’ve heard your music described; I’ve heard hatecore, down-tempo hardcore, Street Metal (from your Facebook page), and some people just call you deathcore. How would you guys describe your sound to someone who doesn’t know you?
Devin: Uhh, super weird. I don’t really know
Cody: Alternative metal, street metal
Reese: Alternative metal
Trevor: I like street metal
Devin: I don’t really like the idea of like – I don’t know, I’m not really into the whole “down-tempo” thing. Like I don’t really want to be a down-tempo band. So that’s why we’d say street metal instead.
Would you want to explain real quick what street metal is for people like me who don’t know what that is?
Devin: *chuckles* uh, I don’t really know what it is.
Cody: Hip-hop influenced.
Reese: Yeah we’re really influenced by hip-hop so it’s kind of just like a play on that. It’s not really anything to do with “the streets,” we’re not from the streets and we’re not saying that but it’s the hip-hop influence.
Got it. You have two releases out right now – Extortion and 10 Code – with a new album, “Freudian Slip” out November 11. Want to tell us a little bit about that?
Devin: Yeah! Well, like you said, it’s out November 11th. It’s 13 songs and I think it’s, like, a compilation of the 13 most heartfelt and best-written songs we’ve ever released, and I can say that whole-heartedly; I definitely believe that.
Cody: Also, might I add, it’s completely self-done; DIY release, we’re releasing it ourselves, we recorded it ourselves, produced it ourselves, every person in the band had their own input on the record so it’s very-
Devin: It’s personal.
Cody: It’s very personal.
How do you go about writing your music?
Devin: It’s mainly me that writes it. I’ll uh – I write with a program called Tab It, it’s kind of like a ’97, like a 1997 version of Guitar Pro essentially – and I usually write the music alone in my little sister’s room cuz it’s the only computer that we have that runs Tab It. *chuckles* and I’ll send it to the boys and I’ll be like, “what do you boys think?” and they’ll usually be like, “that was sweet,” or sometimes they’ll be like “that was cool, maybe try something like this?” and then I’ll try that and it usually sounds good. But for the most part, it’s mostly me. Alone in my sister’s room.
Cody: The main songs are written by Devin and then we all add our own thing as time goes on; our own ideas.
You have a pretty heavy collection of lyrics. What influences those and what do you hope people take away from them?
Devin: I think that – when I write them like I, I don’t know. I feel like most of our lyrics are very relatable, like they’re all like- they’re all feelings that everybody has I think, and has frequently and thinks about but nobody really ever talks about or knows how to say them without feeling like, I don’t know, like they’re embarrassed of them you know? So I want them to be as personal to me as they are to other people. That’s what I go for.
What do you guys like most about playing live?
Reese: Being noisy and loud. Obnoxious and loud.
Trevor: Being really loud.
Cody: No backtracks.
Andy: I like that each night is a little bit different.
Cody: Yeah. If we want to slow it down a little bit more, we can, and just feed off the crowd’s energy.
Andy: There’s so many, like, noise-scapes, you’re never going to be able to completely duplicate it, so each show is special and people who see it multiple times can walk away with something new each time, and that’s refreshing.
You come through Minnesota quite a bit. You’ve played here at The Garage a few times. What do you guys like about coming here?
Trevor: Really good sound. Great sound, the venue itself is really nice and-
Trevor: Dodgeball, that’s sweet.
Cody: Mall of America.
Trevor: Mall of America.
Devin: There’s a Subway close.
Trevor: All the shows here have been pretty energetic too. I don’t think we’ve really ever played to a dull crowd.
Shouts out to Tanner! Alright, we’re gonna wrap it here quick but do you guys have any weird or awesome tour stories you’d like to share?
Devin: I don’t even know!
Trevor: Weird tour stories…
Cody: Aaron from Black Tongue (slash Infant Annihilator) pretty much drank as much as he could every night, and one night he went to a bar and bought out the bar. He was like, “here is” –how much was it? Like, 200 bucks?
Reese: 200 bucks.
Cody: He was like “here’s 200 bucks, give me ALL of the beer.”
Devin: He walked in and he said, “All of the beer you have in six packs, that’s mine now.”
Cody: He was like, “I don’t want MOST of it, I want ALL of it.” And he just spent all of his money then, and they drank it all.
Devin: No they didn’t, the left it all at my house!
Andy: On that same tour, I ended up saving a dude’s life by accident. We were staying at a hotel for one night and the night rolled around, and the whole day there was this gentleman, older gentleman, sitting by the pool drinking excessively, and he was pretty belligerent and out of it. And then by the end of the night I was outside by myself smoking, and I heard this splash and I was like “Oh no I hope it wasn’t that guy.” And then I was waiting for him to resurface, and he didn’t, and I was just like “uhhh, I gotta go help!” So I ran over to the pool side and he was still under and then he got to the gate, and came up to the surface but he was, like, treading water and he was totally out of it, didn’t know what he was doing. So I went to the edge of the water, and he was close enough to where I could just grab his arms and pull him to the ladder and guide him up and uh… yeah, got him up and he was good to go. But he was super appreciative. That could have gone way worse.
Cody: What did he say the whole time? Like, “Beaver…?”
Devin: Oh yeah, while he was really drunk before he fell in the pool, he was just sitting there and we were all at a little table that was, like, 10 feet away from him and he was just like, “Gahhh you guys… you guys like badgers?!” And, like, nobody answered because nobody wanted to talk about badgers with that guy, but he was really funny. I don’t even think he remembered that he almost died last night.
Andy: He did though, because the next morning he thanked me again. But then he went back to the pool and started drinking again. I was like, “You gotta be kidding me!” Like, no lessons were learned from that experience.
Devin: And that’s that!
And that’s that. Well thanks guys for letting me sit down and talk with you, and I look forward to the show tonight!
Reese and Devin: Thank you!
*nods from Cody, Andy, and Trevor*
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