When researching local venues for shows that might be of interest to myself, and Tattoo Artist Magazine’s readers –I came upon this ska band, The Supervillians. Now, ska comes in many forms and packages and people tend to have strong feelings one way or another about it.
I furthered my research by Googling, You-Tubing and e-mailing. I saw pictures and videos of the witty, tattooed lads, listened to some downloads but the deal to cover them was sealed when I heard the cover of Billy Joel’s “Moving Out.” How could I resist a band with that kind of attitude?
I got to the Masquerade on a cold wet December night –a night when most people were fulfilling seasonal social obligations at various holiday parties. When I saw a scarce amount of cars in the parking lot it left me curious as to how this show would be received .
However, some of the best shows have been for minuscule crowds. After all, the Supervillians had toured with The Whalers and Fishbone, plus they did that nifty Billy Joel cover. I was enthusiastic.
I knocked on the door of the tour bus, the door opened and I was acquainted with giggles and the silliness that I came to know as Dom (the drummer/singer). The guys were enjoying the company of some friends and some Adult Swim. I sat at the table with Dom, Skart (guitar) and Dan (bass) –I knew this was going to be an interesting interview at the very least…
Rose Riot: What was your first tattoo?
Dom: My “Mom” tattoo. I got it at 18 but my mom was mad. She made me call my dad; my dad told me I was an “asshole.” Ha-ha.
Skart: A fleur-de-lis –because half of my family is Cajun.
Would you ever cover it up?
Dom: Hell no! I might vibe it up, but that’s it.
What was your last tattoo?
Dom: I had color filled in on my belly, cruising on a bus! The driver said we had to roll and we did it anyway.
Skart: My orange blossom “pilsner” piece.
What are your future tattoo plans?
Skart: To get my whole arm done.
Is there anything you wouldn’t get?
Dom: I wouldn’t get a tramp stamp!
Skart: I would never get anything on my face.
Ok, let’s talk about your music. You guys have been together for about 12 years. You are about to tour with Less Than Jake. You’ve been on some impressive tours, what’s the most exciting band you’ve ever toured with?
“FISHBONE!” (Everyone in the room responded in unison.)
Do you have any good Fishbone stories?
Skart: Yeah. One day at a venue early before a show, we are all sitting near some train tracks and we see this guy hanging off a train. It’s Angelo from Fishbone, he’s hanging off the train. It’s going 35 mph and he’s hanging off! He jumps off, runs around the building and then jumps back on the caboose. The whole time his tour manager is chasing him down. That guy is crazy!
You have a new album coming out January 20th –tell me about it.
Dom: Dan is finally learning how to play his bass right, ha-ha. We have a sick producer, Brent Hessler.
Why the Billy Joel cover, I mean do you have an affinity for Billy Joel?
Dom: Why not Billy Joel?
Dan: We have a new cover, should we tell her?
Dom and Skart: Yeah, tell her.
Dan: “Careless Whisper” by George Michael.
Ha-ha, awesome! That’s a guilty pleasure of mine!
Dom: Guilty? Why do you feel guilty about George Michael? (Lot’s of snickers)
Because guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm! (The room bursts into laughter)
If you could work with anyone dead or alive who would you work with?
Skart: I would work with Jesus, because he was magical.
Now, if you had a time machine that was just for concerts, what concert would you go see?
Dom: I would love to see the Beatles or maybe Pink Floyd when they played the Pyramids.
Skart: I would see Robert Johnson when he sold his soul to Satan!
I ended this comical interview on that note and went back into the club to wait for their show to start.
The band seemed to take the laid back environment as an opportunity to have a casual show that was more like a jam session.They spoke openly to the audience about hanging out after the show and took requests. They made fun of one another and seemed to be having a really good time. If I had to describe their type of ska, I would have to call it “stoner-ska.”
Overall, The Supervillians are more laid back than frantic. Dom and Skart are incredibly talented. Dom’s voice is very clean and pure accompanied his controlled drumming. Skart plays guitar like someone who takes it very seriously and could play any genre. The band performed songs about girls, weed and Jager. And much to my delight, they played the Billy Joel cover. I was a happy lady…
(Rose Riot is a photographer in Atlanta and contributing blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine)