Villain of the Story have been busy writing and recording for their new album "Wrapped in Vines, Covered in Thorns", where they have released two songs off it already, "Promise Me" along with "GHC". Frontman vocalist Christian Grey (Not from the Ffity Shades book series) took some quick time, to discuss this new album, it's single's and plans for getting out on the road to promote the record.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Christian: Basically it all started when a few friends in our local scene wanted to start and manage a band. Sam Fassler and Andrew Bart (original Out Came The Wolves Drummer) reached out to me and told me the game plan was to have me front the project and that we’d be recording with ex Attack Attack! vocalist Johnny Franck. I was told to bring in my brother Logan Bartholomew to play bass and sing, and that Cody Pauly would be playing guitar. After recording a couple songs with Johnny we added Sam Bonati on drums, whom we later parted ways with. It didn’t take long for Logan to drop the bass in order to focus on singing, which is how Sean Wayne became our bassist. Cody decided to leave the band for personal reasons, which lead to us picking up Michael Ivers as our guitarist. After a year of grinding and playing some bigger shows we got the chance to play the Minnesota date of Warped Tour 2015, which was Nick Totton’s first show with us on drums. I actually found Nick on YouTube doing drum covers so when we were told we’d be playing Warped Tour, he flew up from his place in Tennessee to try out and everything fit perfectly. He later became an official member before we signed with Stay Sick Recordings.
After our set we met up with Fronz to discuss our ideas and direction, which was the beginning of our partnership with Stay Sick. The following year we went back into the studio with Johnny and recorded our first full length album. Once it was complete we sent it over to Fronz and he set up a meeting for us at the Stay Sick tent at the Minnesota stop of Warped Tour 2016. From there we signed, started the release cycle of the album, and went on our first tours.
2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?
Christian: The name actually comes from a line in ‘Smallville’ where Lex Luthor says “You were right about me all along Mr. Kent, I am the villain of this story”. Logan is really into comics and superheroes, so when we were coming up with names he really wanted something that could tie that into that.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Christian: The core of the band is from Minnesota, but Nick lives in Tennessee. Honestly the music scene here is pretty amazing, all sorts of genres with great artists. Focusing more on our genre, metalcore has a pretty good following here. Some great bands to check out would be In Search of Solace / ROYAL’Z / Nanashi / StillBreather and Glass Houses for heavier stuff, or for the more pop punk side Rally Cap and Pets with People Names are both fantastic!
4. How would you describe your style?
Christian: We feel it’s kind of hard to classify us as a singular sound because we pull from so many different influences, but collectively our songs go together just and give off a very energetic sound. Overall we’re a ‘metalcore’ band but with this new album there’s some really heavy stuff, sing along stuff, anthem sounding stuff, a bit of everything.
5. What can be said about your latest album, and why should people go check it out?
Christian: We went into this album knowing the overall sound we wanted, but we also didn’t want 11 songs that sounded the same. We wanted each song to mean something and be something for someone, we wanted every song to stand out from the rest of them. It needed to sound fresh so you could listen to the album in full multiple times in a row. From front to back you hear all the different styles and influences that went into making this record, and it definitely tells a story. We miss how metalcore was when we were getting into this style, and now a lot of the bigger bands don’t sound like that anymore so if you love the heavy breakdowns and the adrenaline rush, there are songs for you. If you enjoy more singing, there are songs for you. There’s songs with intense messages that’ll make you want to bang your head & throw down while at a red light because you’re feeling the energy, and then there are songs that can really resonate with you when listened to alone. We’re very proud of this record and excited to see what we can accomplish with it.
6. If you had to pick one song of yours, for someone to hear, to be introduced to you guys, which one would you pick and why?
Christian: To be honest, we believe there is a song or two for everyone on this record. For the heavier fans, “Promise Me” would be a great song to hear first. For the more rock/alt fans, “Powerless” might be more what you're looking for. Otherwise on the new album we have a song called “Grow” that we can see really inspiring and motivating people, which at the end of the day is something that can make an impact on someone’s life for the better. That’s a big part of writing music for us because it not only helps us, but it can help others as well. Grow is all about moving forward and making the decision to no longer settle, but to strive for what you want most in this life.
7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?
Christian: At the moment no tours are announced but we are working on getting some dates for March / April to support the album release.
8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
Christian: Our main goal is just to have this album reach and connect with as many people as possible. We want to write another record & tour the world to meet the people that have been supporting us for years and just make an impact. We’re excited to see how far this thing can go and it’s crazy to think we’re just getting started.
9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Christian: Our older material is on the band’s YouTube channel otherwise our new music has been releasing on Stay Sick Recording’s YouTube channel, we have music up on Spotify as well. You can buy our music on iTunes / Google Play / bandcamp / etc or we have merch on our website! villainofthestory.com
10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
Christian: That like any band we appreciate you taking the time to check us out and to listen to us with the volume UP! \m/