Many from the local underground scene are familiar with our relatives down south- Singaporean post-hardcore rockers Villes, and definitely for a good reason. Since their formation in 2011 and the consequent launch of their debut EP titled “I’ve Seen The World” in 2012- Villes has since then lived up to their name by touring extensively through Southeast Asia, Japan, and Australia!
“Villes’ repertoire centers on their personalized brand of post-hardcore music infused with pop sensibilities, evident in their signature blend of screams and clean catchy choruses that are supported by a commanding structure of complex guitar riffs forming groove linearity with the drums. The band strives to make their sound and stories unique yet able to resonate with listeners everywhere.”
From your humble beginnings in 2011, all the way to 2018 with a full-length EP under your name – what has changed for better or worse?
I think we’ve grown stronger and more mature over the years. We’ve faced our fair share of challenges especially with putting this album and I think we’ve learnt to deal with these blows more and more. Musically, we’ve learnt a ton from the tours and shows we’ve played at in terms of our live sound.
From the advice of your album’s producer Josh Schroeder – can you define the sort of boundaries you have pushed in terms of your genre and your overall sound?
The approach we had writing our first EP was really young and naive. At that point, we were just trying to be “brutal”
to be honest. With the new record, we focused way more on telling stories through the songs and made sure the instrumentation pushed that forward. I feel songs like “The Levy Pt. 2” and “Stage 4” sonically brings the listener through a bigger emotional journey.
Having toured extensively throughout South East Asia, Japan, and Australia – could you share your story about a very memorable gig you’ve played at?
I think the most memorable gig we’ve played it would be in Kuala Lumpur alongside I, Revival. Just before we were about to go on, we got news that the monitors and speakers blew so we had to play the show without vocals. What made it memorable was that the crowd actually sang and screamed with us throughout the whole set!
As of December 2017, you’ve played with I,revival at the farewell show – do you find any differences between the Malaysian and Singaporean hardcore scene?
It’s been a few years since we played in Malaysia and it’s so nice to finally come back. It’s always awesome to perform to new faces, I guess that’s the difference between playing in Malaysia (or overseas in general) and Singapore. Singapore’s so small that after a couple of shows you’d see pretty much the same faces and at that point it’s like playing a gig to friends.
If you could list 3 other South East Asian hardcore bands for our readers to check out – who would they be?
Patriots, In Vice Versa and False Plaintiff.
What are your plans for the future – more tours, an album or any festivals that you have in planning?
We’re working on some new songs currently and have a few shows and tours overseas in the works so expect to hear from us soon!
What makes hardcore music special in this day and age of Pop, R&B, and rap topping the charts?
As the hardcore genre is mostly non-commercial, I guess it means more when an underground band/artist makes the charts as it’s generally less well perceived as compared to the mainstream pop/rap artists we have out there.
If you could collaborate with any international or local artist/bands – who would they be and why?
While She Sleeps. We love how they sound and what they are about. It would be an honor to have a collaboration with them!
To all of the members, what are the fun things you guys like to do on a free day?
I imagine we collectively enjoy anywhere with good food and alcohol on a free day.
If you could shoot a music video at these 3 venues for your single “The Cure”, which would you choose?
An abandoned theme park, in the ruins of Stonehenge or in a limestone cave? I suppose an abandoned theme park makes for a good symbolic representation of one’s safe space and refuge, unknowingly realizing that this escape binds you away from greater actualization, similar to the different vices we get ourselves caught in. This is resonant to the message we are trying to express with “The Cure”. Fun fact, MJ was the brains and director of The Cure’s music video.