By Bailey, Landon, Tristan and Byron of A Villains Neverland
Hey everyone! We’re Bailey (Guitars/Bass), Landon (Guitars/Bass), Tristan (Vocals) and Byron (Drums) of A Villains Neverland. We’re from Saskatoon and we came to NSMZ to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and we’re all out of bubblegum!
When people ask us about our sound, we usually say it’s a blend of old school and new school metalcore. We’ve definitely got elements from “classic metalcore” bands like Miss May I or Parkway Drive but also have our own energy and dynamic that mends newer bands like I Prevail or Ice Nine Kills. Collectively, we’re influenced by bands like Fit For A King, Oceans Ate Alaska, Oh, Sleeper, Lamb Of God. Individually, our influences range from deathcore, pop punk, to hip hop or folk music, a little bit of everything brought together. I guess you can call us eclectic - to a degree.
When it comes to writing our music, we all contribute in one way or another. Most songs start with Bailey or Landon writing a riff or even a full instrumental version of a song, then Byron will map out his drums, and Tristan finishes by writing lyrics. We all do our own parts for the music side of things but we also give each other a hand when needed. We’re a cohesive unit with each member bringing in a fresh blend musicality and a unique skillset.
Most of the time Bailey starts most songs on his own and sends them to the rest of us to do our parts. We all tend to write best on our own but Bailey and Landon definitely have a very cool dynamic when they write together. Even after the November release of Above All Else, we’ve kept writing and have been trying to do more group writing sessions but COVID has limited us, so we’ve been going back and forth over Zoom. We're working on a follow-up already, it's been challenging with the "new normals" that COVID has thrown at us but we're getting used to it.
Anyways, on Above All Else, we recorded the bass, guitar and drums in Bailey’s home studio while the vocals are all done at Tristan’s home studio. Bailey does all of the rough mixes before sending it off to our producer. Daniel Gailey of Phineas and Fit For A King did all of the mixing/mastering on our instrumental EP Space & Time and our full length album Above All Else. Daniel found a way to make our sound even more dynamic by bringing out our strengths. He knew the direction we were headed in and he gave us a very polished and definitive sound.
The songs that collectively mean the most to all of us on Above All Else would have to be “Keep Me Alive” or “Insecure”. Both songs are about struggling with mental health and just trying to stay strong when the weight feels too heavy. The past couple years have been tough on everyone for different reasons and these songs sort of brought us together when we needed it the most.
All this aside, we feel that there are many underrated metal bands in Saskatoon and in the province of Saskatchewan. We’ve had the pleasure of playing with and meeting tons of amazing musicians from the area but it seems harder to “cut through the noise” in the prairies than elsewhere. Country music definitely overshadows the other genres in the province. We have many gifted hip-hop, indie, and alternative artists but people in Saskatchewan just don’t seem to have the interest in supporting them the way they support country artists from the area. Maybe it’s population based, maybe it’s location, but we’re all going to do what we can to make Saskatchewan LOUD.