Hello! Welcome to An Interview With SOME VILLAINS. These guys blew my mind with the release of their EP Outliers back in March and well, it was cool to have a modern record bring back the nostalgic memories I had as a young boy getting into the sound of Kyuss and other Desert Rock staples. I’d like to thank Luke and Ed for giving some very nicely detailed answers, and also thank YOU for reading. Enjoy.
Hey Some Villains, how’s it going? Luke: “Hi Adam. Yeah, we’re pretty good thanks.”
What’s the story behind how you guys got together? Who influenced you enough into creating music of your own? Luke: “So Ed and I met after Ed moved from London to Somerset. Some Villains was the working name for his musical projects up to this point. A mutual friend suggested we meet and we realised we had a lot in common musically. Ed played me a few of his recordings, which I was impressed by. One of which was a demo of ‘The Skin’, which ended up being the lead single of the EP – we got the guitars out and had a bit of a jam. We must’ve got carried away because the next day I had a noise complaint from the neighbours!
“From there we got a band together with the most like-minded drummer we know (Stu) and another bass player. We self produced and released our debut EP ‘Lizard Teeth’, played a few gigs around the South West and even managed to get one track from the EP – ‘Heredity’ – played on BBC 6 Music!
“After a change of bass player we continued to gig, work on new material and teamed up with a talented local producer/engineer, Joe Marsh, to work on ‘Outliers’.”
Ed: “We decided we had too much musical common ground to not try getting in a band together, so we formed the definitive version of Some Villains – which is a moniker I had used for a couple of different projects while up in London. We all loved artists like The Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, The Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Sonic Youth etc, so our first few months playing together was trying to figure out what elements we wanted to distill from this music we loved and forming it in to something which was still wholly personal to us.”
You’ve very recently released your new EP Outliers which is very good. What can you tell us about it? Ed: “Cheers! It’s great to hear that people also like this thing that we love and spent hours and weeks refining.”
Luke: “Two of the songs are group compositions (Master Sun, Ghosts in the Field) and the other two (The Skin, Burn Me Down) were bought in by Ed which we then worked on together as a band. We wanted to make something that reflected the sonic qualities of the band in a live format. Something where the listener could connect the experience of seeing us live with the experience of listening to the record. We didn’t want one to be a million miles away from the other. I think it has quite an eerie quality that runs throughout. That wasn’t really intended but that’s how it came out.”
Ed: “It was really important to us that each song be trimmed of as much fat as possible while still retaining as much musicality as keeps it interesting on repeat listens.”
There seems to be quite a buzz surrounding the release, which has landed you a spot on Spotify’s Fresh Finds: Six Strings playlist. How cool is that? Do you guys prioritise reactions as an important part of being in a band? Luke: “Yeah it’s very cool! The Spotify thing was a bit of a surprise, to be honest. We didn’t expect to be on anyone’s radar. It was a great to see our music on an official Spotify playlist and it certainly gave us a spike in listens. Getting on playlists seems to be an incredibly difficult thing to do so it’s nice that whatever method they use to collate music sees value in what we’re doing.
“I think we just go with what we like and what motivates us and hopefully people respond positively. I think prioritising the audience’s reaction over your own voice and intuition is a quick way to failure! Everyone has different perceptions and influences and to second-guess those is an imperfect science. If we made music to satisfy this notion of an ‘audience’ that we may or may not have it wouldn’t sound authentic and people would see through that.
“Obviously we want people to like what we do and I think those that do find something in the music that resonates with them. If we can make something that we as a band like and believe that gives you best chance of others being into it too.”
What’s your favourite QOTSA record? Mine’s personally …Like Clockwork, but the rest are so good. Luke: “I like ’em all! For ages it was Songs for the Deaf – that was the first record that got me into Queens. When I first heard ‘No One Knows’ it kind of blew my mind a little bit. It’s got this great mix of hard rock, great hooks and that robotic rhythm. I think now my favourite record is ‘Era Vulgaris’ – I really like the raw approach and that fact that it is, in some ways, ugly. ‘Misfit Love’ is such a great track. I love their ‘anti guitar hero’ guitar playing.
Ed: “Fav QOTSA record is probably the first self titled record. It’s got that heaviness which we love from the band, but it’s all so angular it locks together like the gears of a swiss watch. The rhythms are all so tribal, but as Josh says ‘it’s heavy enough for the guys, and sweet enough for the girls’… which despite sounding a little old fashioned now, is true. The melody runs throughout all the pounding drums and krautrock guitars.”
How’s the rest of the year looking for you? What are your plans? Luke: “The biggest thing we’ve got coming up is the final of the Pilton Party Auditions. The Pilton party is a festival organised by Michael Eavis as a way of saying thanks to the locals for allowing the Glastonbury Festival to be held on their doorstep! Quite a lot of big-name bands have played it. We managed to qualify for the final after the organisers used up their wildcard choice on us after the first gig! So we’ll be in the final along the winners of the four heats playing for a place at the Pilton Party.
“We’ve got a couple of other gigs coming up in May including one at The Fleece in Bristol. We’re due to be in London at the 229 club on Friday 1st June. We’re appearing at the Sat in a Field festival on Sunday night alongside From The Jam, Gaz Brookfield and a load of others. That should be a good night.
“We’re currently working on a new song of which most of the main recording has been done. It represents something a little different for us and we’re quite excited about getting that out as soon as it’s ready. Other than that we’ll continue writing, recording and trying to get our music out to as many people as possible”
Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? Luke: “My final thought would be ‘I wonder what the worst answer to this question you’ve ever had is?’ Is this this one?’ (Yes it is)