Interviews About Albums: Villains In Vain - Perfect City Built To Burn (2022)

In this new interview, we sat down with the American Metalcore band Villains In Vain to ask some questions about their new album "Perfect City Built To Burn"

1. What can you say about this new EP/CD?

With regard to what it sounds like... heavy, fast, and fun. Every song has its own big identity, really. There's absolutely something for everyone, even if they don't like the first thing they hear. Something I think a lot of people take for granted when they're consuming music, especially from small unsigned bands such as ourselves, is how difficult it is to record music. It is difficult to make music, or any art for that matter, that meets the compromises of four distinctly different minds. It was really collaborative, and it's kind of a miracle that we each agreed enough to make one final product come to life. It's hard to communicate all of that when it's so easy to just slap it on Spotify.

2. What is the meaning of the EP/CD name?

The name, Perfect City Built to Burn, comes from the chorus of the song "Look Who's Laughing Now." That song stuck with me over the course of writing the entire EP because it was the first song Cam (guitar) and I wrote together. It set the tone for us, and for me. This project is the first in which I've been a vocalist exclusively, and when I met Cam, I was leaving a band that really burned me out of money, and left me feeling bitter about the time I'd invested with them. I felt inspired by what I heard when I met Cam, and I thought it was time for a clean slate. It was time for me to start over with a new perspective. Sometimes when you start over, when you start something new, you burn bridges. Sometimes you burn a little more, hahaha.

3. Which one is the composer of the CD/EP?

Most of the big ideas were written by Cameron Octon, our guitar player/producer. He has this very unique way of writing that I just fell in love with the minute we started writing music together. Each time he sends me a demo or scratch track it's always good enough to be a solid, releasable track. But the way we work as a writing team is, Cam will fire off a simple idea to us in a group chat, and then everyone's juices just start flowing. What if it did this? Or that? We all fire off ideas and he brings them to life. One time I called Cam up and sang him a melody over the phone and told him I wanted to write a song about a ghost that lives at my parents' house, and that's just how it started that time. The bassist, Justin Eden, built his bass work off of the guitar. Sometimes it stays in the pocket and sometimes it's the star of the show. The drums were written by Trevor Richardson, who loves punishing his hands and feet. Watching a good drummer when they're ripping is definitely the coolest, and he's no exception.

4. If you had to pick one song, which one would you pick?

I would say "Trapped at the End." It's just a huge song and the riffs are killer (I wrote the main riff, haha). The hooks are fun to sing live, and when you hear the crowd sing along to the gang vocals, it's amazing. We were writing it during the COVID-19 lockdown. I was struggling with what felt like the world was changing overnight and I had no decision, I couldn't have an opinion, and was tired of feeling lost and alone. I felt like we, society, kept taking these steps that we thought were moving us forward but we just hit a brick wall, and I was thinking that we need to back it up a bit and try this again.

5. Is there a special message in this EP/CD? If there is, what is it?

There isn't one big message across all of the songs, and we weren't really trying to make one or prove a point. We wrote songs that we thought were fun and interesting. We wrote the instrumentals first, and when writing lyrics I tried to always fit the song and what the song was giving to me. I tried to never say the same thing twice, and I wanted them all to feel unique and powerful on their own. 

6. Are there some lyrics that you'd love to share?

In "Playing God," I say: "Is this a vengeance? Is this my mortal sin? You write my epilogue before my story ever ends." The song is about dealing with my anxiety and the negative thoughts in my head. I find it so bizarre that I have this thing in my head that has so much power over me, and so much power over my life, and I find myself wanting that power back. It's something I don't talk about much but I felt like it was something I needed to write, to try to come to terms with it

7. Which inspirations have been important for this album? Like musically or friends, family, someone you'd love to thank especially?

There was a lot of talk about having that old Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, All That Remains kind of sound. I'm also huge into bands with big catchy choruses like Black Veil Brides, Motionless In White, and Bad Wolves among others. I'd definitely love to thank my bandmates for helping us reach the level that we're at and for pushing me to be a better vocalist. Also, my girlfriend and my parents for all the support, haha.

8. Something to add?

Perfect City Built to Burn is out now. Make sure you check it out on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you get your music. If you live in Oregon and you like heavy metal come check us out, get loud with us, and let's make friends. We won't disappoint.

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