MUSIC INTERVIEW: Life On The Road With…Civil Villains
London-based alt-math-rock trio Civil Villains have released their debut EP Snake Oil, celebrating with a recent run of shows with Goldblume and Bisch Nadar, as well as support slots with Listener and Hawk Eyes. We caught up with the band after they spent time on the road to hear their top touring tips and stories.
Favourite thing about touring:
It’s great to hear how the songs change across a number of dates, you get more comfortable playing the tracks and can have a bit more fun and perform more as you settle in to the set. We like to try and fit some writing sessions in between destinations and it’s always fun to try and write somewhere new.
Least favourite thing about touring:
Bad beds, it’s always too easy to eat poorly.
Five essentials for the road:
– A decent playlist
– A sense of humour
– An eye mask
– More changes of clothes than you think you’ll need
Your favourite way to pass the time:
We can find endless ways to talk about music.
Our Vancouver show was one of the most memorable – we played in a pretty small record store and the audience were packed into every conceivable space, including inches from both Mark and my faces. The reaction from the crowd, moshing and all, was some of the best we’ve ever had, they just went mad for it.
We have shared too many hostel and hotel rooms that have had opaque or goddamn see-through toilet doors or walls.
We played a show in Leeds and the drum kit sort of came apart halfway through a song, so I played through the Jurassic Park theme and Mark took questions from the crowd whilst Toby tried bodging the kit back together.
We put on a Christmas show in support of Shelter a few years ago and stopped halfway through our set to perform an abridged three man retelling of everyone’s favourite Christmas movie, Die Hard, complete with costumes, props and terrible accents – we even did the famous ventilation shaft scene using a cardboard box, tin-foil, with Mark crawling through it in a bald cap, which we had to redraw hair on to when we realised Bruce Willis actually has hair in the film.
I don’t think there’s been a point where any of us have gotten truly trashed on tour or at a show, but we played Seattle on our second North American DIY tour, frequented a couple of craft breweries and I remember insisting that an Uber driver try some of my gum and tried to physically feed him my Big Reds, and then trying really hard to keep it together later when we went for dinner at a place that I felt was too posh for me to be that inebriated in it.
It’s probably the most typical and least surprising, but we feel most rewarded when people we’ve never met come and let us know that they’ve enjoyed our music – we write and play because we love it but it’s always nice to have it reinforced that you’re creating something ostensibly good. To think there’s people out there wearing our t-shirts and playing our tracks always warms our hearts.
Civil Villains‘ debut EP Snake Oil is due for release on 15th November via Megafauna Records, available to purchase HERE.