Some time ago I was approached by Timmion Records, home to some of the best soul cuts of the last few years. They had recently discovered a band whom they claimed to be recording original and authentic sounding tittyshakers. Would I be interested in hearing a couple of sessions they'd cut with the band? A bit like asking Russ Meyer if he was a breast man! It being Timmion, there is a certain guarantee of quality that comes with a signing so I knew they wouldn't send some run of the mill, 'straight to library cd' instro's, but boy - I didn't expect what was to come. So sit back, relax... and let the Guest Villains tease you with their tales from the sleazy side that cut like a switchblade.
To celebrate the release of their first 45 I hooked up with the mystery band to find out a little more...
Who are the Guest Villains?
We are an instrumental combo with the following instrumentation: Saxophone, Organ, Drums, Percussions, Guitar, and Bass. We started playing together as "Guest Villains" about 1 year ago and have not played any live shows yet. We've been writing music to record. "Tornado" and "Forbidden Feelings" is the first 7" release from us. We had recording sessions at Timmion Records Studios where we recorded these songs - we hooked up with TImmion Records when they heard a demo take of "Tornado".
What are your inspirations for the band?
We are inspired by surf, garage, some novelty stuff, exotic sounds and raw Rock & roll - all strange and dirty stuff.
How long did it take you to get that authentic sound?
It was not a problem, it comes naturally. And we use authentic instrumentation and amplification and recording methods to get the real sound. It was very nice to record at Timmion Studios as theres plenty of good recording equipment to use, they even have their own cutting lathe to cut vinyl masters, so everything was cut to acetates directly from the session tapes for preview.
What kind of equipment was used in the recording process?
We played the songs live with the whole band in the Timmion Studios, I remember that all the instruments had very few mikes and all was wired to a mixing console, they used reverb and tape delays, it was recorded to a 1-Track reel to reel recorder. So we had the master tape ready at the same time. We had few takes from each song and that was it. Then they cut it to vinyl master discs direct from the mono tape.
This is a big change of direction for Timmion, are there plans for the label to explore the sleazy sound further?
They are known for their funk & soul stuff but they seemed to be very into this sound. They like everything that is raw and unpolished - I think they are good label for us, with a good reputation and contacts allover.
What's coming up next for the Guest Villains – are there any more gems in the vault?
We recorded many songs, there is certainly few more 7" coming, for album we still need to record some more material.
What records are on your turntable at the moment?
Here is a small list of ours. There is so many goodies out there, but here are a few that have inspired our sound.
1. Jan Davis "Watusi Zombie"
2. Mad Mike the Maniacs "The Hunch"
3. Eddie Kirk "Grunt"
4. Champs "Tequila"
5. Social outcasts " Mad"
6. Rockbusters "Tough Chick"
7. Phantoms "xl-3"
8. Bambinos "Algiers"
9. Viscounts "Harlem Nocturne"
10. Eden Ahbez "Tobago"
11. Pancho Villa and the Bandits "Progress"
Where can people see you live?
We have had no time to think about playing live yet, But if there is interest for this stuff we happy to play Live, we still need to write some more songs.
"Tornado" / "Forbidden Feelings" is released on February 15th by Timmion Records.