Bryan Crouch, of the Canadian rock band Hail the Villain, was nice enough to chat with me for a few minutes after their sound check at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit, MI. Due to the bitterly cold temperatures outside and our unwillingness to kick Finger Eleven out of their dressing room, we quickly tried to squeeze the interview in while the opening band was prepping for sound check. Bryan thoroughly answered questions about touring, interacting with fans and the overall Hail the Villain experience. His kind demeanor off stage belies the wild monster you see on stage during the show. The full interview is coming in a few. Stay tuned.
Hail the Villain put on yet another great performance, opening for Finger Eleven at the beginning of a new tour. Bryan’s commanding presence on stage sucks the crowd in, stirring up mosh pits and stage diving. They might appear to be a wild and out of control entity, with Bryan’s antics and Joe’s ubiquitous drink spitting, but their performance is tight. They sound even better live than on the record, a feature that is not often found these days.
During their set, they ripped through songs from their album, Population: Declining. They opened with “Try Hating the World,” which led into “Evil has a Name.” Bryan kept up a dialogue with the crowd, professing his love for the Red Wings and then breaking into the South Park song, “Blame Canada.”
They closed out their set with the singles “Take Back the Fear” and “Runaway,” the song that was used as the theme of a WWE Pay-Per-View event in 2010. The audience enthusiastically screamed along with the lyric “GO!”
Their album Population: Declining is in stores and on iTunes now. The videos for “Take Back the Fear,” a graphic animated short, and “Runaway,” the second installment in the Hail the Villain movie project can be seen on their YouTube channel. The second video for “Runaway” was a departure from the storyline, in order to make it friendlier for the mainstream, but the original is a must-see. Their website, www.hailthevillain.com, is a full immersion Flash site that follows their comic book storyline with plenty of hidden secrets and even fan participation via webcam.
Hail the Villain is a fantastic live band that is sure to gain more American fans as they spend this year on the road. Do not miss this band!