Interview with Villains’ Matt Steane

Following the triumphant release of their first single, ‘The Fall’, Chelmsford rockers Villains are back to caress our ears with a new tune, ‘Wicked Ways’.  I managed to grab five minutes to interrogate guitarist Matt about the latest happenings in their world.

Villains group shot

Your new single, ‘Wicked Ways’, has had over 1,600 views so far and seems to be creating a buzz on social media.  How does it feel knowing that people are getting into your music?

It’s one of the best feelings in the world! We played a hometown show on Saturday and it was great to see so many people singing along. Wicked Ways is one my favourites from the album and was always seen as a potential single, so to see that people are picking up on that and enjoying it means the world to us.

Did you enjoy playing Ipfest and did you catch any new bands that you can recommend?

Ipfest was an awesome show. We’d actually shot a video during the day for our next single so we were all pretty shattered by the time we got to the show. But when we went on there were a fair few people down the front and that definitely gave us the boost needed to play. Because we got there a bit later we didn’t get to catch all of the bands, which was a shame, but I can safely say that people need to check out WHEN GIANTS FALL.  I don’t listen to much heavy music these days but I was well impressed with these guys. I think it can be difficult to make decent heavy music without being typecast as one thing or another so it was really refreshing to see them putting their own slant on it.

You’ve supported some pretty big names on tour like Soil, Blitz Kids and Fearless Vampire Killers; who has been the best band to tour with so far?

I think they’ve all been great for different reasons. The Soil/Fozzy tour was the first tour we did and it was a great opportunity to get out there and to play to a lot of people in different places around the UK. Playing with Blitz Kids was awesome as well; they’re good friends of ours and being asked to play their album release show was a really great moment for us. It coincided with our single release at the time as well which was perfect really. The guys in FVK are awesome too; some of the nicest guys in rock music to be honest. So I couldn’t really pick a favourite if I’m being honest. Every tour we’ve done has been great for different reasons.

Are you planning on doing any more dates this year?

We’re always keen to get out there and play to new people. We’re hoping that we might get the opportunity to hit up some more support tours later on this year and play in some new towns that we haven’t visited before.

If you had to pick one band to tour with, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

From a completely personal point view it would be The Who. In my eyes they are the greatest band in the world so it’s pretty self-explanatory as to why I’d want to tour with them! I can’t imagine the rest of the boys would necessarily agree with me on that one but hey, I’m doing the interview so I’m answering the questions!

Who or what inspires you when you’re writing songs?

When it comes to song writing I think the key for us has always been to write about things that you can relate to. We all listen to a variety of music and that blends well to create a sound that we would typify as ours. Renz writes the lyrics and a lot of what he writes is auto-biographical and is based on events that have happened directly to him or were close to him. He writes in quite an open-ended way though, which means that his lyrics are always open to interpretation. That still happens with me sometimes; I’ll ask him what a song is about and it will often be something very different to what I thought originally!

Might we expect an album any time soon?

We’re writing at the moment with a look to record a few more songs at the end of the summer. So we hope that they will be available for people to listen to in the not-too-distant future. That’s all I can say about that at the moment….

What’s your take on the state of the music industry right now?

That’s a good question. I think it’s very difficult to judge really. One minute you can be on the up and all of a sudden it is ripped from under your feet. I think British rock music in general is amazing at the moment. There are so many great bands out there that are absolutely smashing it, but how many bands have you seen come and go in the last few years? I think it’s very much a case of living for the moment when you’re in a band these days, because one minute you can have the world at your feet, and the next you’re back stacking shelves at Tesco.

What are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve been spinning the latest Canterbury album a fair bit recently. It’s unbelievably good. The new album from our friends in Verses is also incredible and well worth checking out.

What’s next for Villains?

As I mentioned, we’re writing and recording towards the end of the summer. We’re then hoping to get out on the road towards the end of the year on a support tour or two. We’ve also got another single coming out towards the end of the summer which we shot the video for the other week, so we’re all pretty excited about all of that.

We’re excited too!  You can check out the video for ‘Wicked Ways’ at the link below, as well as the band’s Facebook page.  Look out for some tour dates and some more music later this year!

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