Having lived through the 80s, witnessed the birth of Wham!, the ascension of Kylie from Neighbours mechanic to pop princess and the rise and fall of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman (s)hit factory, intelligent, well-crafted synth-pop has had a tough (but not impossible) road to climb to redeem itself. It’s easier done now for those with little memory of the 80s, who can mine the decade of its untapped wealth and pull influences from The Human League or Gary Numan or even further back without being mocked, all the while creating something new and exciting. Having a rough guess at their ages, London’s Villa Cola could surely fill these shoes.
A band that seems more comfortable performing in the dark (as witnessed last week during a low-key zero-light show in London) Villa Cola needn’t hide behind the strength of their visuals. With the release of their second (self-released) EP, Villa Cola have created some first class swoon-worthy electro-pop. You only need look at “Lost Days” and the impressive accompanying video clip directed by Emmyland to understand their breezy new-wave appeal. For a band who’s name is an anagram of a pub where they all drink at, Webcuts were only too happy to make their acquaintance and throw our “getting to know you” questionnaire in their direction.
01. Who are you?
Villa Cola is Paul Bateman, Ranya Dubé, Alex Watson and were based in London. This line-up has been playing together for a year.
02. What do you sound like?
Explosive Garage Disco.
03. What do friends say you sound like?
Something their mum might have liked when she was younger.
04. Full-time musicians or wage slaves?
05. Current career highlight?
Each getting paid £1.79 minus postage for a gig we once played.
06. Favourite decade for music?
65-75 – bridging the decades!
07. Best mood for songwriting?
Drunk and happy or while having a shower.
08. The last song you/the band wrote?
It was the last song on the EP “Until The End Of Time” – we wrote the EP chronologically.
09. Which 3 musicians would you invite round for dinner?
David Bowie, Morrissey and Lou Reed.
10. Worst gig/venue ever played?
There was one in London with the old members of the band which redefined the phrase sloppy. We also happened to be opening for a Kiss Tribute band which didn’t help…
11. Favourite band anecdote?
Paul does a mean puppet show which he saves only for rehearsals. Can’t really explain it too much in case any children happen to read this.
12. Five favourite albums?
Just current ones because all time is too difficult to categorize:
The Cure – Seventeen Seconds
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
Motley Crue – Red, White & Crue
The Runaways: Best of the Runaways
13. Your biggest rock and roll fantasy?
The guys said some really stupid things that I prefer no one read…
14. Goals for the next 12 months?
Play as many gigs as possible.
15. First time listeners, where should they start?
Play the first EP on repeat until it’s sunk in and then naturally move on to the second one!