Thirteen months with no singer would make most remaining band members want to pack up and head off in separate directions.
Not so these dedicated Victoria, BC boys. They settled back with previous singer and guitarist, Sam Edmundson for a little while and then advertised for a new, better looking front man. What they got was a gorgeous front woman, what could be better?
Bassist, Ian Chisholm communicated to Headbangerwoman.com that there was, “No quit talk, no hanging up. Black Hat Villain was going to continue in some form.” So, a pub band it is then? “We were not sure a while ago on what level our devotion was, which route it would take. We just wanted to be out there playing again!”
Back, better and more Villainous than ever, there is even a whisper of being out there possibly including US dates in Washington State and Oregon. For now though, we eagerly await new music in hard form and local BC shows and while we continue that wait patiently, Headbangerwoman.com is proud to bring you an email interview completed by the unassuming and way too sharp; Abe Cox!
Q; There has recently been a new singer announcement, do you care to share?
A; Yup, our new front-WOMAN is Ashley November! She absolutely rips on vocals and iis a super cool chick! She fit right in from the first moment we all met her and her dedication to Black Hat Villain is fucking incredible. Sam, Tim, Ian and myself all live in Victoria and Ash lives in Vancouver, so with the ferry and shit, she commutes approximately four or five hours each way on weekends, just to sing in our crappy little band… ; )
Photograph by Whitney Bragagnolo
Q; On your website you mention new songs. When will they be recorded so we can all have a copy?
A; New songs galore! We’ve got about 8 or 9 brand spankin’ new tunes that almost no one has heard. We demo’d them prior to hooking up with Ashley and we’re super stoked on how they sound, especially after hearing her voice over them. Our plan is to hit the studio and hopefully have something to release for the fall. In the meantime, here’s a link where you can check out a sample of two songs we demo’d in our jam spot;
Q; You appear, as does Headbangerwoman, to have a serious disdain for auto tune and over produced music, be that a band with no musicians, boy bands, Black Eyed Peas and Justin Bieber etc. You do not exhibit overproduction or vocal messing in your music, how do you manage to keep it real?
A; Ok, here’s my daily rant; Yeah, that auto-tuned shit disgusts me. Blatant lip-syncing/backing tracks on all the live shows, also makes me barf in my mouth. Remember when Milli Vanilli tried that shit in the early nineties? They had their Grammy torn outta their grubby little mitts. All these lip syncing artists should be giving royalties to Milli Vanilli. Well one of them overdosed and died, so they can give his portion to me. Apparently they were ahead of their time.
We don’t do any studio trickery or overproduction at all. I’m a firm believer in being able to reproduce your recordings when you play live. To me, there’s nothing that feels like more of rip off than hearing a recording, totally loving it and then seeing the band and they can’t pull it off live. With our last recording, we used the exact same guitars and amps that we play with live, so what you hear on the recording, you hear it live too! Imagine that! We’ll probably do the same thing with this next recording. I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me after we play and are blown away that we sound exactly the same as the recording; what they say is, “…exactly the same…” but what I hear is, “…10 times better than anything I’ve never heard…” That’s the kind of shit that keeps me humble, keep it up guys!
Q; Who are your major influences and who really pisses you off musically? You can name other people who piss you off by all means.
A; My main influences are pretty much all metal bands. I got heavily into Iron Maiden when I was about eight or nine and that paved the way for the music I listen to today. Right now, I listen to a lot of Gojira, Mastodon & Divine Heresy.
As for the other guys that piss me off; William Hung, David Hasselhoff and traditional Swiss yodeling.
Q; How is the scene in Vancouver right now for rock bands following the emergence of Art of Dying, who are touring almost constantly?
A; Being from Victoria, I can’t really speak for the Vancouver scene. When we were actively playing Vancouver in 2010, Art of Dying was recording in LA, so we never really heard too much about them. These days, they’re touring constantly, playing huge shows and its rad to see them getting the recognition for all the hard work they’ve put into it.
Q; Are you still with Brian Thompson and Thorny Bleeder? How has that particular brand of management encouraged and helped you?
A; No, we’re not with Brian/Thorny Bleeder any longer. Brian was waaaay ahead of the game with the importance of the whole social media aspect, so that’s how he most influenced us. He had the foresight to see where the music industry was headed in relation to downloading and lack of album sales etc. He really preached about getting on board with the changes, instead of trying to fight a losing battle. Traditionally bands would tour to try to sell albums, he was a huge proponent of giving your music away for free, in order to get people to come to the shows. The whole industry has done a complete 180*.
Q; You have dates coming up in BC. What are you willing to offer the rest of the music listening types in Canada ?
A; We toured British Columbia and Alberta in September of 2010 and every single one of the venues called and begged us to stay away until they could finish the repairs after we blew their roofs and doors off! It’s definitely on our “to do” list again, hopefully before winter sets in (sounds like a line from “Game Of Thrones”). In the meantime, we want to start live streaming our shows and some of our jams, for the people who can’t possibly make it out to see us live. Most of our fan-base consists of hermits, shut-ins and inmates, so…..
Q; Why did it take so long after the retirement of Scotty Tuesday for you to re-collect?
A; After Scott left, there was no downtime, Sam just resumed vocal duties. Sam was the original BHV vocalist before we met Scott. We wrote eight or nine KILLER tunes. The nucleus of the band was still there in terms of the song writing; all the songs, vocal melodies and 99% of the lyrics that you heard Scott sing were already written before we even met him. When it came time to place an ad for a new singer, we uploaded three songs with no vocals, to this new thing they’re calling the internet (I honestly can’t see it catching on) so that anyone who wanted to try out could download the tunes, sing over top of them and send it back. That allowed us to really pinpoint the ones we wanted to have out for a live audition. We wanted to be sure that we found the right fit for the band, instead of just jumping at the first singer that came along. Fuck, am I ever glad we waited; otherwise we never would have met Ashley.
Q; Does the Vancouver weather fuck with your hair?
A; Does the Vancouver weather fuck with my hair? Do you mean does it ask my hair out on a date, light candles & pour wine, then slip it a roofy and raw dog it until the sun comes up? Then, yes, it has done that. Numerous times.
Q; Is ebullient how you would also describe yourself?
A; If by ebullient you mean dead sexy, then yes, ebullient is how I would describe myself, but if ebullient means painfully average, then yup, ebullient is how I would describe myself.
Q; What message would you specifically like to pass on to the fuck wits (Huh, two words) that read this article?
A; If there’s one piece of advice I can give, it’s this one that I just made up; Ok, so you know how when you go to a metal show, there’s always that one fuckin’ hero who yells, “SLAYER!” Well when you go to a Slayer show, DO NOT yell, “SLAYER!” instead, try yelling, “YOU GUYS!” It makes way more sense. Oh yeah, don’t throw rocks at a guy holding a slingshot. It just seems like a bad idea to me.
It was not discussed, but there is a possibly that Cox could be available with a bouncy castle for hire, at children’s parties in the Victoria region during the summer months, weather permitting. Fees may vary.
New Black Hat Villain live shows can be found HERE
by Karen Graham June 6th 2012