The sunshine state-based, Jagermeister-loving band, The Supervillains, have been blending the crashing drums and rebel lyrics of punk rock with the quick guitar riffs and walking bass lines of ska, while also keeping a steady reggae vibe within their tunes with pulsing keys and swaying horn sections, for about a decade. Rocking out venues from Ft. Lauderdale to Anaheim with acts such as The Wailers, Pennywise and Fishbone, the guys are relentlessly on the road and just started 2011’s winter tour with fellow-Floridians Less Than Jake to promote their new album. It’s been more than two years since The ‘Villains’ LAW Records release, Massive, and today fans of the ganja-supporting musicians will get another hit of that rude-boy-charm with their first self-release via Rah Rah Records, Postcards from Paradise.
The Pier caught up with lead singer and drummer, Dominic Maresco, who kindly took some time out to discuss the creation of Postcards From Paradise, what it was like working with producer Brett Hestla, his favorite places to play live, and why the heck there are no Florida dates on the Less Than Jake tour.
The Pier: Why did you guys decide on the album title, Postcards From Paradise?
DOM: It’s the last track on the record and includes a four bar opera performed by Brett Hestla and I. This record has a couple of meaningful tunes on it to Skart and me. As you grow older, you gain more friends, but you lose friends as well; this song is a letter to a friend and a reminder that you are only here for a little while. I think lyrically its one of my favorite songs that Skart has written.
The Pier: It’s been over two years since your last album release, Massive, how has the band changed or grown musically and/or creatively in that time and how do you think it is reflected on Postcards From Paradise?
DOM:We’ve grown exponentially in every aspect. Every member of the band has taken their instruments very seriously and even learned new ones to get this record done. There are a lot more keyboards on this record, which is only natural as a great deal of our songs are written on piano. I think Skart and I naturally try to out-write each other, which at the end of the day pays off for everyone. I think Dan played a huge role in this record as well as the one and only Brett Hestla.
The Pier: What was the creation process like for the new album?
DOM: This was the most extensive pre-production process (say that three times fast) I have ever went through. First, Skart or I would bring a general song to Dan and then we would record all the ideas as best as possible and record as many tracks on top as we wanted — when we went to the studio we knew exactly what we wanted to bring to Brett.
The Pier: What was the best part of making Postcards From Paradise? What was it like working with producer Brett Hestla?
DOM: The best part was working together with Dan and Skart and Brett and really coming together with a plan and execution. Brett was a blast!!! He had mind control over all of us the whole time. Musicians tend to get cranky when you start telling them, maybe we should do it like this or let’s use this instead, Brett knew exactly how to get the very best out of each one of us. It was a very mellow, funny and just an all around great time.
The Pier: How are fans reacting to the new music in the live setting? Are there any particular songs from PFP that fans are showing love for at the shows?
DOM: We started playing That’s The Way That I Like It (see MoBoogie video) and I’m Leaving on the last tour and I am so surprised with the amount of people singing the words already! The live videos, radio play and other forms of media are being very kind! Love to see people clap three times for “I’m Leaving.”
The Pier: As you guys are constantly playing live, what are your top 3 venues to play?
DOM: I mean, there are so many…just off the top of my head, I’d have to say, some of my favs would be The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Ca., The Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl and The House of Rock in Corpus Christi, Texas. Literally, I could name soooo many more. Tonight we played The Norva in Norfolk, Va. … so many great memories.
The Pier: You recently announced the addition of sax player Nathan Anderson, how did The Supervillains come to join musical forces with Anderson and how are things working out performing live together?
DOM: Nathan comes to us from one of our great friends Junkie Rush, which also includes Bobby Koelble, who plays a guitar solo on Massive and flamenco on PFP. We’ve played together for quite a while and have known each other for years. Nathan is a natural fit and will blow your mind with his abilities. He’s doing great so far and is doing very well on the road.
The Pier: I noticed there are no Florida dates on The Supervillains and Less Than Jake tour, could you please explain, as you are all Florida boys?
DOM: Just kind of the way the cookie crumbled. We’ve just mopped Florida with dates in pretty much every major city and many smaller beach town and that’s the beauty of Florida, you can play 12 days in a row if you want to — love and missing it right now.
The Pier: The Supervillains have been spreading reggae-rock inspired music around for more than a decade, what is your impression of the reggae-rock scene in 2011? Are there any bands within the genre that you really want to go on tour with?
DOM:: I always hate to talk about a genre…Who knows what’s going on anymore? Some shitty music out there but God bless ‘em! There has never been a better time than now to be a music lover. If you think other music sucks, you are literally a few clicks of a mouse and a few guitar strums away from recording your own. The Supervillains are blessed to have been around as long as we have and to have the great fans and friends that we have. I’ve met so many people who have inspired me over the years and I know the other guys couldn’t be more thankful. Bands I like to tour with…Looking forward to another Law Records’ tour at some point soon and I wouldn’t mind going out with the English Beats again.
The Pier: Any random final thing you would like to add about the new album or upcoming tour that fans should know about?
DOM: We’re all just ready for it to be out! I hope you guys all enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. It captures right where we are right now perfectly and we all think you’re in for a great record. Enjoy!!! Thanks to all the folks at the Pier!
The Supervillain Links:
The Supervillain Website
The Supervillain Facebook
The Supervillain Twitter
The Supervillain Myspace
Interview by: Amber McDonald
[Read Amber Mcdonald’s album review of Postcards From Paradise by clicking HERE]