Hail the Villain

So what does a band whose singer has been called "a star" and an "enigmatic manic personality onstage" by the person who signed them have to do when they plan to release only animated music videos? The answer -- tour.

"This has been one of those things where [Warner Music Canada and Roadrunner] have been having a big huge battle with us as to how people are going to see us," admits Hail the Villain frontman Bryan Crouch.

"They obviously want to do videos with us playing, but we were so against it because it's the norm. It's just so boring. If you want to see us standing in a room, come to our band room and you'll get the same thrill. I think the days of the rock star are pretty much non-existent. There just hasn't been anyone so incredible since Kurt Cobain that has really drawn people in.

"So using the term rock star I think Ron [Burman, senior VP of A&R at Roadrunner] got really excited when he saw us and continued to come out and get more and more excited. I think that's what our fans do, because we like to have so much fun with them. We're very demanding onstage of how our crowd acts in front of us, and the show just keeps getting bigger all the time."

Hail the Villain -- Crouch, guitarist Joseph Stamp, bassist Chad Taylor and drummer Drew Dockrill -- have opened for and toured with many acts in Canada, including Drowning Pool, Lacuna Coil, Billy Talent, Finger Eleven and Thornley. They also did a telling tour of America, opening for CKY, this past summer, as a complete unknown with no music to even sell off the stage.

"CKY have the most dedicated fans I have ever seen," says Crouch. "Those people love CKY, and you will not beat the band when you open for them. It doesn't mater how bad they play or whether they even show up to play that well, their fans love them and you can make their fans love your band. It's a huge accomplishment and they're going to stick around with a CD or without. So for us, it was a great tour because we got some really great devoted fans by doing that.

"It's just a matter of letting people watch the live band and how we fare with all different types of music. That's one of the things that Burman is hard set on is the fact that we can tour with mainstream rock bands and we can also step on stage with hardcore metal bands, all the way to stuff as heavy as Threat Signal, and then come back and do a CKY show."

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