Thursday, December 6, 2012

One On One with Villains Company

Mark Baker 2012

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide has recently found more Villains scowering the local music scene ...yet, they claim to be "...hanging out with the company of thieves... " according to JP of Villains Company and are the "...good villains..." according to Johnny (the oldest member of Villains Company and JP's father). This villainous band is quite different in band makeup as well as music style than from what this reviewer has covered over the year. This particular band doesn't come to the stage with any fancy costumes or industrial/hardcore rock music but each member does represent a vast variety of rock genres from Eric Clapton to Coldplay and Soundgarden within their sound and  music which truly makes Villains Company quite unique, blogspot readers. During the frantic frenziness of what's known here in the states Black Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), this reviewer not only got a chance to see this Southside band rock the Hard Rock Cafe stage as well as conduct a rather revealing interview with the members of Villains Company.

Mark Baker 2012

Describing the band to SouthSide as " workers having fun..." like ordinary Joes, she asked JP what made Villains Company "ordinary" compared to the other Villain(s) bands out on the scene. For one thing, blogspot readers, they're not rockin' the stage to make money. Perhaps when most of the members were kids, they did have aspirations of making money and traveling the world with their music. However, that was before getting married, starting a family and holding down regular day jobs ...and way before practicing once a week in a month's time with pieces of the band practicing together. Can't dispute, blogspot readers, when priorities and families come first (sometimes) while you are involved with a band.  JP told SouthSide a story about how their bass player (Jon) who works for UPS and resides in Gurnee, IL couldn't make it for their Double Door show at one time supportiing the night's headliner. According to him, "...any band would have let him go ...but with Villains Company, [we're] family..." also adding  "...we have priorities and families now that we're older..." So how did his father, Johnny, end up joining the band? "...we were looking for a guitar player and [him] join the band I know his work schedule and where he lives..." then jokingly adding "...he thinks he's all that but he is..." And if his dad ruins the show by missing and/or adding a riff or two, the rest of  Villains Company doesn't mind because Johnny has what they call "old man" clause on his side. Meaning, Johnny has classic rock credibility, blogspot readers. He may be the oldest member of this band but you should have seen him acting like a young twentysomething. Rumor has it, he does sometimes attracts the young ladies. " he has an 'I was out with your son' excuse [when] coming home late..." Also, on a sidenote, Johnny gives great hugs, ladies.

Oh, by the way at 11:46p, Julie left the interview.

Mark Baker 2012

While wanting to be known that they're " for fun...", blogspot readers, Villains Company also wants you to know that they're "...not try to be the most modern band out there..." either. What makes this band stand apart from the other Villains bands is their drive to bring back the crunchy blues with melodic rhythms and emotionally heartfelt vocals besides being the local "...sideshow..." (according to JP) that does "...all of the grunt work..." (according to Junior - he's the "straight to the point" answer man). Yet, musically they draw from many influences like from JP's father - there's Pink Floyd and Journey to Jeff (being the "baby" of the band who's a Taurus and into latex) and his love for the hardcore metal sound. Every member has their own particular taste and genre of music and by looking at each one, you wouldn't think they were members of the same band. (Now we're joined by Jeff's landlord - Augie). Also what makes this band make up even more unique is that each one have their own style while performing on stage. For example, with Jeff being the drummer, he goes for more of the wooly-haired, metal shirt wearing comfy attire compared to JP looking business-casual with a tie and his father, Johnny, going for the "old school" dapper look with his fedora hat. According to JP, if Jeff were to cut his hair and shave, it would be " a Samson and Deliah effect on the band..." In the past they did try to adhere to the suggestions given to them for a couple of shows yet it didn't work to the band's liking. Noting that it's hard to compete out there in the local scene, Villains Company aren't really competing. They like to keep it real for themselves and their fans.

Mark Baker 2012

During the course of the Villains Company interview, blogspot readers, (and believe, SouthSide it was sort of a wild backstage interview here with a photographer, disco ball and tubful of Pabst Blue Ribbon), she asked the band which songs said fans check out.  JP replied with three good selections - Feels Good, Momma and I Am You. Those particular songs were also fine examples of Villains Company musical style and sound. For example take Feels Good where JP not only was vocal expressive on the lyrics but his body language enhanced as well as convey the mood and tone of the song especially while becoming more dramatically heartfelt than dynamic under a falsetto range within a semi-downtempo rhythm. Meanwhile I Am You took a more melodic tone than most of Villains' songs while within an alternative/rock style because there's a sense of floetry that highlights JP's voice even though he did get a bit overshadowed by the rest of the band. Still, this reviewer particularly enjoyed how the song was reverently played so their fans and Hard Rock audience could enjoy the beauty and wonderment of all notes as well as the digital programming used. It was quite soothing to hear the vibrant electric wail down to melodic bass and percussion ...for a such a complex tune, there was simplicity to be found and enjoyed. Lastly, (definitely not least), Momma is a rather upbeat rhythmic tune in which JP did outshine the band, blogspot readers yet more than that. He was truly expressive on levels where the band had to keep up with him and his vocal powress to which SouthSide could honestly say Villains Company shined under the Hard Rock Cafe like rock stars before adding another heart-touching moment to their performance. Long story short version, blogspot readers, JP phoned a friend who was miraculously survived being shot 5 times after being robbed of his iPhone at the 47th Street CTA Red Line rail stop. SouthSide still gets teary-eyed thinking about this guy though missing the show was still determined to rock out with his friends soon. Check out the YouTube video done by photographer Mark Baker of Mark Baker Photography of JP calling the shooting victim

Mark Baker 2012

In between questions and learning about the band, SouthSide got a crash course about the American holiday, Thanksgiving (which was happening the next day) and the craziness of Black Friday to which it's described as " addiction ...[Americans] like rockin' the coupon..." that this reviewer may never understand why anyone would wait in the cold eating a turkey dinner waiting for the mall to open. Still, it's hard to get fans to come to shows especially the day before Thanksgiving aka Black Wednesday however tonight, she caught this band on a good night. Also, there was mention of the other crazy practice of saving parking spots with furniture to toys during the wintertime while covering all other subjects but religion. Political wise, Villains Company can be also considered as a "...uninionized company..." "...this is why I vote democratic..." says Jeff. Sadly it was getting late and the band wanted to see Out for Hours wrapping up this pre-holiday feast when SouthSide asked them if they had any final words or thoughts to say to their fans and blogspot readers. As you might imagine, they had plenty to say. From "...if we didn't have this good company, we wouldn't have smiles on our faces..." to "...still have a lot of possibilities in our music..." but JP did get the final word about Villains Company when saying "'s all about local scene and making it happen one gives the local band chance..." to which he and the band appreciates what SouthSide (and many others) do for the local music scene.

Mark Baker 2012

What a nice way to end this interview, blogspot readers.

For more information about Villains Company and where they will be doing the grunt work for the other company of thieves, visit or on Facebook.

Also, HUGE photo credit goes to Mark Baker of Mark Baker Photography who snapped the photogs of the band while on stage and during the interview! Visit him at

Until next time, support your local scene,

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