We’ve discovered something a little bit special with the emergence of brand new Los Angeles trio Antivillain. The band have honed a raucous, energetic, heavy rock sound that’s big on riffs, angsty vocals and generally rocks super-hard.
The band released their debut single Two Moons on Friday and it’s one hell of an introduction. It hooks you in from the start with a fuzzy, darting opening riff that kicks on under angsty vocals that begin “Have you ever had to change your name, Or make a choice between two ways.” More laid-back, higher-pitched vocals come in then a cool descending guitar filler gives way to a lively chorus.
An equally energetic second verse takes over, then high-pitched vocals “Loving my life, My second life, Second try” come in over palm-muted guitars before bursting into another big chorus. That’s followed by big booming guitar chords, which suddenly drop into a light melodic guitar lick followed by a huge guitar solo over a backdrop of booming chords as the song takes a bit of a dark turn.
More intense screamed versions of “Loving my life, My second life, Second try” bring us to a close alongside big heavy guitars. This is one seriously good track to announce Antivillain to the world. Give it a listen below.
We had a chat with bassist Rob Nagelhout to find out more about this exciting new band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Antivillain?
RN: Antivillain is a rock group based in Los Angeles, CA comprised of AJ Peacox (vocals and rhythm guitar), Rob Nagelhout (bass), and Yunus Iyriboz (guitar). I met AJ in college and we have played in bands together since then, and Yunus and I were in a group together for a few years. The group disbanded and Yunus and I decided to continue writing together, really leaning on our rock influences such as Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Royal Blood, etc… AJ was a perfect match to us for vocals and rhythm guitar, and we had him come in and write to the songs we had been composing and that’s how it all came together.”
GR: You just released Two Moons. What should people be expecting from the song?
RN: “Two Moons was born out of creative frustration. It has a bit of that pent up energy in the riffs and driving nature of the song. I just wanted to let it all hang out and make a song that just keeps coming at you with that energy. AJ’s lyrics exist in a similarly frustrated dichotomy with the concept of two moons being two conflicted life trajectories.”
GR: How would you describe the Antivillain sound to people?
RN: “We really aim to build a raw and unashamed rock sound. We’re not too concerned with fitting into any particular box other than the fact that we are a guitar-centric rock group that likes to get loud, but also has nuance and dynamics. We just want to write songs that make people think and maybe even challenge people both lyrically and compositionally, but also feel good and aren’t too contrived.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
RN: “We all have pretty wide and eclectic tastes in music. We’re all influenced by a number of genres and we definitely want that to come through in the music. I know for myself I’m very influenced by riff ideas and compositional concepts and really enjoy creating songs that take you on a journey.
“Yunus is both an incredible guitar player and has a great ear for harmonic motion, and can really make parts come to life. Lyrically AJ writes about all kinds of things, he’s a very prolific writer who can really tap into day to day thoughts and emotions that represent grander concepts that people can relate to.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
RN: “We are all very strongly influenced by different styles of rock music. Our influences range from heavier bands like Every Time I Die and Mastodon, to pop-punk groups like Saves The Day and Jawbreaker, to classic rock groups like Led Zeppelin and King Crimson. 90’s rock groups like Queens of the Stone Age and Nirvana are also big influences for us.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
RN: “Two Moons is the first of six songs that we currently have recorded. We self-compose, record, and mix all of our own stuff at this point and plan to continue to do so while we release these finished songs over the next 6-9 months or so.
“We will also be playing in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas. You can follow us on our Instagram to keep up with what we are doing. We are also looking to get some more content online including live recordings, music videos etc… so that would be the best way to keep up with all of that.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
RN: “I would love for people to come take this musical journey with us. Since we do all of our creation ourselves at this point we are not beholden to anyone other than our own standards and the people who enjoy and support what we do, so we will constantly be pushing to be the best group we can be and will promise to be reliable in that way, yet also constantly pushing our own boundaries creatively.”