Extra! Extra! Read all about it! SouthSide has been kidnapped!
Have no fear, readers of this blog, Lt Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard is on the case! He suspects the band, V Is For Villains, is responsible for dastardly deed of her disappearance after visiting Angels & Kings ...and now he's on the hunt for: Mr. Agitator, Fallon Flynn, Veronica Jade and The Pulse. When caught, he vows to bring these four criminal masterminds to justice!
Yeah, your precious SouthSide is safe ...for now. She's tied up as my prisoner by me, Eva Trix, criminal extraordinaire of all evil trickery with words, blogspot readers. Tonight, I'm taking her place to document the villainous ongoings at the House of Blues (Chicago) when other fashionably dressed villains like Thee Bluebeard and his lordship, Lord Baron, from points near and far of the Steampunk community converged to heed our fearless leader's call - Evolve or Die. This special mandate was put forth by Mr. Agitator and his villainous members of V Is For Villains as they prepared to take over this music establishment (and perhaps one day, the world) headlining the lineup that featured Pyschopathic Daze and Punch Cabbie. Yet, who are these V Is For Villains and what of plans to spread their villainy music to others as well as what is this steampunk that has suddenly made a strong presence in the music scene? Before getting herself kidnapped (that's what chickie bird gets for taking the short cut down the wrong alley at the wrong time of day, folks), your SouthSide was caught with a taped interview of Mr. Agitator.
For those not in the "know" about your villainous band, how would you describe V Is For Villains to them?
Mr. Agitator: I usually like to describe it visually as Steampunk Carnival Noir. Sound wise I think it blends elements of Electronic, rock and industrial. I feel like its a fun project because we can borrow elements from various genres and different forms of media all together. There is no form of media that is off limits.
In a brief nutshell, could you explain what is steampunk and how does this music genre and lifestyle relate to V Is For Villains?
Mr: Agitator: Steampunk is a modern neo victorian style. It is very interesting to me because, like the band, it isn't afraid to encompass all different forms of media. There are Steampunk bands, Steampunk clothes, Steampunk cons, books, toys, movies, etc. I have always loved the Victorian era style. I thought it was very sharp and classy. To be honest though I don't think I understood Steampunk until I started running in the circles. As far as Steampunk as a music style is concerned I never wanted to be bound to the label. I feel the same way about Industrial music. We borrow elements from all of these genres but it is hopefully in the pursuit of making something fresh and entertaining.
It has been over a year since your last interview with SouthSide and debut performance at Bottom Lounge, what has changed for you and the other villain members?
Mr. Agitator: A Lot of things have changed with us. We have two new members; Veronica Jade, who does live keys and backing vocals, and The Pulse who does the live drums. We obviously lost the other band members Ava Vice and Foster Von Trox. Sometimes you find as you move forward that you don't quite share the same vision and that's okay so it was an amicable split as far as I am concerned. I LOVE this group though. They are great friends. It's like getting to work with family. We laugh a lot during rehearsals and band meetings. That's a great dynamic to have. I feel like we are finally starting to understand this show and I feel like it has become pretty tight.
Ever since your debut within the local scene and now steampunk community, is Villains poised to take over the world?
Mr.Agitator: Unapologetically so!
Seriously, what's next for Villains in terms of spreading its music villainy to other steampunk/electronica rock fans beyond Chicago?
Mr.Agitator: We have been playing Anime, Comic book and Steampunk conventions all over the Country since April. It has been an extremely rewarding experience. You have so much time to get to know the communities who support these conventions and the staff who runs them. There is such a love for these ideas and we feel very lucky and privileged to be invited into their worlds. I feel like as far as music politics are concerned there is a change happening, a real shift that I am excited to embrace. It used to be you were a signed band or a local band and that was it. That's not the case anymore. We are independent entertainers and we are VERY proud to be independent and play Chicago as well as all the fantastic cities we have visited this year.
Recently Villains released its full-length CD, Evolve or Die, which song (or songs) would you personally recommend listening to and why?
Mr. Agitator: Personally I go back to the The Black Swan Love Song and The Disease a lot. It's hard for me to say. They are all my babies and I feel like I can't pick one kid over the other. I will just say what my Mom would say. I hate you all the same.
Lastly, any special announcements, shameless plugs or final words to your Villains fanatics out there you want to share?
Mr. Agitator: I wan't to say thanks to our Villain crew and Fans. Everyone believing in this project is the only thing that makes it worth while. Without that it is not real. I would also like to thank you Southside for all of the support through the years and coming to the shows. It is always a real pleasure to see you and chat. Spread to word, warn them all. The Villains are coming!
That's right, Lt Inspector Lestrade, The Villains are coming ...and they're here to stay!
If you are villain, this was THE one show you should have witnessed in person. However if you're like SouthSide, bound and gagged, no worries, Eva Trix was there enjoying the night's villainous festivities galore. It was a party of celebrating the arrival of the new Victorian age of villainy, my friends!. V Is For Villains did more than put on an amazingly instense performance on stage. They essentially united all factions of villainous ranks into one solid army. Through the use of blended sound of rock, electronica, and industrial music, this local band of villains stormed their way offering us a World Without Rules even though Playing The Villain will mean you have to Evolve or Die. There were no ifs, ands or buts about this mandate. The time seriously had come for all of us to chose sides - either be a villain or be an antivillain. Not one moment did our fearless leader, Mr. Agitator, or his villainous band hold back on the intensity or music. We along with them were allowed to do anything we wanted. This was OUR night to be had!
*more evil laughter*
And the glorious lighting fx that surrounded Villains most definitely highlighted the night's experience and fun. This performance had everything a villain could want. Villainous anthems (ie March of the Villians, Rise Above), steamy yet sensual tension between Mr. Agitator and Veronica Jade during Just Another Sinner ...so believable and quite romantic especially when he knelt before her. And yes, villains do feel the pains and aches of love, my friends as demonstrated during the ballad The Black Swan Love Song. Here we get to experience the heartfelt emotions from our leader's voice though not normally heard (somtimes) at Villains' previous shows but tonight, it made its strong presence known. And despite minor technical problems with Fallon's guitar, Mr. Agitator easily conveyed that we villains too have hearts that can break. Of course no Villains' performance wouldn't be without its fan favorite - the diabolical Disney cover from Dumbo - Pink Elephants. Fellow villainess, Poison D'Arte quiped that if Disney ever releases Dumbo again on video or Blu-Ray, they should consider adding the fiendish Villains' version as an extra to the movie's special features section.
Now, villains of the world unite once more when V Is For Villains takes over Hard Rock Cafe Oct 26 along with a special appearance by Digital Mindy!