The Vilifiers on formation and sound

Photo by Junette Reyes/FIUSM 

Junette Reyes/Entertainment Director

Diego Saldaña-Rojas/Staff Writer 

In collaboration with WRGP Radiate FM’s program titled Local Radiation, FIUSM has had the chance to interview several up-and-coming as well as established acts on the Miami scene. Some of these artists include Panic Bomber, Smurphio from the local electronic funk band known as Afrobeta, Jean Jacket, The Cornerstoners, Flight Williams from the collective rap group known as Outta This World, Juan Turros and Michelle Forman of ¡Suénalo!, DJ and producer Jesse Perez, The Halfways, Millionyoung, Eagle Chief, Hunters of the Alps, and vocalist Juan Rozas from Tremends.

This time around, FIUSM got to sit down and interview lead vocalist Anthony of the local rock band named The Vilifiers. The Vilifiers is additionally made up of guitarist Nick, bassist Albert and drummer Arles.

How did The Vilifiers form?

Anthony: Actually, we started at the Vagabond. Our bassist Albert and I didn’t know each other at the time; we had a mutual friend. Basically how the story was that we got piss drunk one day and we were watching a band called Modernage. This was probably like three years ago.

So here I am, piss drunk and I walk up to this random dude and I say “Dude, you know I can sing better than this guy? I can do this.” Which I can’t, the guy is amazing. So he goes up to me and says, “Well, I play the bass. You wanna start a band?” I thought he was kidding and I was like “Yeah, sure let’s do it.”

Maybe a week later he calls me and tells me he has this guitarist that wants to join. And I’m like “What are you talking about?” And he’s like “Yeah, remember you wanted to start a band?” I said yeah but I didn’t know he was serious. So then we met with the guitarist, we got a drummer and there we made a band. There’s no secret story like we met at the Joshua tree where we’re all meditating and decided to do something.

Do you think the way you formed reflects the scene you’re involved in and your music?

Anthony: I think it goes well. The cool thing about our band is that it’s all about having fun. We all have day jobs, we don’t struggle or anything. We just do whatever we want to have fun. I think that reflects in our music and when we’re on stage having a good time. I think it’s perfect.

I see a lot of musicians out there that want to make it. They are concerned about playing this show and this show and this show and getting paid. No. You have to forget about the money, you have to forget about where you’re playing and you have to forget about if there’s a crowd or not because someone is going to hear you no matter what. And you have to stop worrying if you sound good because once you start worrying if this or that sounds good, you’re gonna suck.

Just have fun. If they like it, they like it. If you make ten songs, people are bound to like one. That’s our motto, so screw it.

What artists have influenced your music?

Anthony: The cool thing about our band is that everybody has different kinds of influences. For instance, our bassist Albert is really into that metal scene but our music is nothing like it. It’s really cool because he adds that certain attitude on his bass. He loves listening to Metallica and a lot of Megadeth and Pantera. That’s what he likes and he’s also into punk rock and everything.

Our guitarist is very into that old school blues, very very old school. Maybe some Albert King, B.B. King; he loves Led Zeppelin.

I’m more into indie rock. But our main influence, I’d say, is The White Stripes. We are very into The White Stripes, The Hives, and The Strokes. Music like that. The Doors have always been a great influence on us.

At first, we would do a song and people were like “Man, that sort of sounds like The White Stripes.” And we would get upset but you have to stop thinking about it. Something is going to sound like something. No matter what it is, The Beatles did it, Led Zeppelin did it, Pink Floyd did it. You just have to do your own thing and have fun with it.

How would you categorize your sound?

Anthony: I would say garage indie. I was like “I don’t know, it’s classic rock meets…,” but someone said, “Hey, you guys have a good garage-indie sound.” So yes, garage-indie. I don’t mind being put into a category. You hear some of these bands and they’re like “Our music, there’s no label, there’s no category.” At the end of the day it’s rock ’n’ roll. 

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