Actual Villains was created from the ashes of former band Close To Home. Since then, Actual Villains has been busy writing and recording for their debut Self-Titled EP, this new style blends pop punk with radio rock, with screams trailing throughout. That said, the band took some time to discuss this release, the future plans, and some insight into themselves as this new act begins to kick things off.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
We formed Actual Villains late 2015 after 10 years as the band Close to Home (Razor & tie records/ Artery recordings) and the departure of one of CTH's founding members. After almost a year hiatus JJ and I decided to get back into writing and we loved what we were coming up with. With no label pressure to go heavier we wrote music that we truly enjoyed and got back to into music with a new found seriousness. I took the time away from touring to start playing guitar again and got sober for the first time in years. Our first track "Wasted Youth" was an introspective look into my own life, realizing all the bridges I've burned, fans I've disappointed and people i hurt.
2. What's the origin of the band's name?
By the end of Close to home I started to feel like our mission and name wasn't genuine. Our songs were about being positive and I was a constantly negative person. We used to say we were family to our fans but if that was true I was the drunk uncle that crashed the party and ruined everything. I started to feel like we were more like villains than heroes, plus we love batman. The name actually came to me while binge watching Batman the animated series.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Actual Villains is from Cincinnati, OH. Our music scene is pretty good here. We have a few great venues and a multitude of great bands. You're probably familiar with some of our friends like Miss May I, Sea of Treachery, Foxy Shazam, and Walk the Moon, but there are several lesser known groups in the area and Ohio in general may be one of the greatest places to be a musician.
4. How would you describe your style?
Our style is a blend of many influences from 2000's post hardcore, pop punk, metal and alternative rock.
Some of our biggest influences were bands like The Starting Line, Blink 182, & A Day to Remember.
5. Why did you think that going the Self-Titled approach, was the right thing to do?
With a name change only a few months before the release we felt a self titled EP was the best way to get our name out there.
6. What is it about this EP release that should have the listeners out there picking it up for themselves?
When we were writing the EP I was going through a rough time in my relationship. The songs on our self titled EP are the most honest and real lyrics I've written and i think anyone going through a hard time can relate to these songs.
7. How about playing shows and touring, what do you have planned?
We've only played a handful of shows under the new name but have been well received in our local market. We are currently seeking a new booking agent to book us for 2017. In the mean time we are working on writing and recording more music.
8. What plans do you have for the future?
We are working on our first cover tune as well as a few new songs. We are also about to premier our first music video for out track "Stay Tonight" and shooting another video for "Lie to me"
9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Our music is currently available on Spotify, Pandora, Apple music, Amazon and Touchtunes digital jukeboxes and can be purchased on iTunes, amazon or our website www.actualvillains.com.
10. What is it you'd like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
More than anything I want the listener to connect to the emotional content of the songs. Our self titled EP covers dealing with addiction, unhealthy relationships, and overcoming adversary. It's our hope that these songs will provide comfort and hope for those hurting.