Interview with Skart of The Supervillains

How’s the weather on tour — is it snowing?

It’s not quite snow. I think we’ll be experiencing a little bit of snow tomorrow. It’s just going to get worse as the days go by. It cramps our style. I’ve got to put away my flip-flops and short pants.

That’s no fun.

I’m not too happy about it. This is the first time since the last winter tour that I’ve had to wear shoes.

I’m sorry to hear that. I hope all the fans are making it out to the shows.

Yeah, everybody knows what they’re doing, and they get out here.

Awesome. You’re out on the road right now with Less Than Jake. Have you been on tour with them before?

It’s crazy. We grew up listening to these guys. The first time we played together was earlier last year — around Labor Day. We were thinking, “Man, how come we’ve never played on the same stage with you guys?” As soon as we were both off stage, we were like, “Let’s go on tour!” It’s been a good time.

Sweet. Did you get a chance to listen to Less Than Jake’s TV/EP?

[Laughs] I’ve heard some of it. The dudes are always funny and on their game.

Speaking of albums, you guys have a new one coming out called ‘Postcards From Paradise.’ Was it recorded in the same place as your last record, ‘Massive’?

No, this one was actually recorded in a different studio. We recorded in Brett Hestla’s studio. Brett Hestla produced Framing Hanley’s “Lollipop,” he’s played bass with Creed — he’s a really great engineer and producer. The new album is definitely more of a rock record. It has a bigger arena sound.

[Chuckles] You’ll be playing with Muse soon enough!

That would be rad [laughs].

If you were to play an arena show it would have to be on a nice summer day with beach balls flying around and the crowd in tank tops.

That sounds like a Jimmy Buffett concert [laughs].

[Laughs] We’ll figure out a way to set that up. So, tell us a bit about the new record.

It’s pretty personal. I think it’s a really personal record. There’s a lot more to write about now. I’ll go back and listen to our old albums and it seems like all we cared about then was going to the show and punching people and drinking and smoking. You get older and go through all the circumstances we’ve gone through and then you have a lot more to write about. So much stuff had happened to us during the last two years that I just had to write songs about it. You can’t make that stuff up.

Absolutely. These songs are a lot different than ones like “My Ex-Girlfriend Sucks.”

Yeah, I wrote that when I was like 17. Compared to our new album, it’s more like, “My Divorce Sucks.”

Where did the ideas for ‘Postcards From Paradise’ come from?

“Postcards From Paradise” is actually a song I wrote for my best friend who got killed a couple years back. It’s kind of like a letter to him. You just want to let them know that you’ll see them soon. It’s also a look at the world and how some people get out just in time.

That’s sad stuff.

It’s an uplifter though. It lifts me up every time I hear it. You write about it in a different way so that when you think about the situation you think about it in a positive way. It’s like the song “Don’t Be Afraid” where Dom’s singing about his ex-wife. Some of the lyrics are really heavy in that song. Every time I hear it I get goosebumps. Anyone can relate to the song and it’s such a bummer, but at the same time the song is beautiful. If you read the lyrics, it all reads like one long sentence. But, the album is so upbeat and happy.

Right. Even when you’re sad, there’s hope.

It’s us in a nutshell. That’s how you gotta be, man. Make good situations out of everything.

Which songs from the new album can be heard on your current tour?

From the new album we’ll be playing “Drinkin’ Tonight,” “The Way That I Like It,” and maybe one or two more. We’re sticking to a lot of the older, faster stuff. We don’t wanna bore the kids to death.

There’s definitely some fast tracks on the new record.

[Laughs] Yeah, we’re throwing a party every night. I just got off stage and there are confetti cannons you have to look out for.

That sounds crazy. You have another tour right after the Less Than Jake tour too, right?

Yeah, the day we get off tour with Less Than Jake we’re going to be starting a tour with Pepper. We’re doing an acoustic tour with them through California. After that, we’re headlining for three weeks up the Pacific Northwest and down through Texas and ending up on St. Patty’s Day at SXSW.

Nice. You’ve played SXSW before, I’m sure.

Actually, we’ve never played it. Never done the dirty. It’s gonna be a good time, and we’re headlining the big reggae event called ATX WildFire a day before SXSW. A bunch of badass acts will be playing there.

Great. Speaking of touring, you have a new sax player on the road with you, Nathan Anderson.

Nate is just a murderer on the saxophone. He’s played a few shows with us and kids are freaking out. The other day, he climbed up the speaker cabinet and went ballistic on his sax and a fight broke out right in front. That was some awesome energy.

Reminds me of Streetlight Manifesto antics. You guys played with them in the summer of last year I believe.

Yeah, it was cool. We made a lot of new fans on that tour. We plan on doing the same with this tour. We can tour with a lot of different acts. We’re pretty diverse. We have albums worth of material, so we usually have to sit there and figure out what we really wanna play and read the kids to see what’s kosher and what’s not. We’re pretty pumped. The direct support act is the funnest spot you can have. You go out on stage, hit the crowd with your hits and then go to the merch booth and look like a cool guy while watching Less Than Jake for the rest of the night.

Back to the album, how long did it take to work out the songs?

We’ve been doing pre-production for about a year and a half. We wrote the whole album in our bus. Dan [Grundorf], our bass player, is a programmer so once we got into the studio it was pretty cool because we put all the skeletons up and put live drums in and instruments in. It was pretty quick. We went in there knowing exactly what to do on every song. Our producer just cut some things out.

He helped to make the tracks completely solid?

Oh yeah, there’s definitely no room for your mind to wander on this album. It’s right to the next thing every second.

Any new music videos in the works?

Yeah, we’re working on the pre-production for a few videos. When we get back, we’re probably going to shoot them with Carl Verna, who did our last one for “Movin’ Out.” We were talking about a really awesome concept I can’t even talk about right now.

But you should tell us!

I have a concept for pretty much every song that we do. I have a funny funny funny one for “I Hate Everything” and I can’t wait. It’s gonna be awesome.

Well, we can only hope it’ll be in 3D.

[Laughs] Yeah, everybody’s doing 3D. I got a buddy down in Florida who just moved out to Hollywood who’s making so much money doing 3D porn. I started thinking about it — gross! Imagine the director’s possibilities with 3D porn.

We’ll have an epidemic on our hands soon enough! Are you trying things on the new record that you haven’t tried before?

Well, we really don’t like to write the same song twice. Our albums are snapshots of where our minds were at for a period of time. So, who knows where we’ll be in the future. There’s also a lot of different personalities in our band that come out at different times.

What else might we see from you musically in the near future?

My favorite music in the world is country music. I’m going to probably end up putting out a solo country album within the next two years.

Seriously?

I don’t know if I’m going to do it, but it’s an idea that I have. It’s in the back of my head. It would be stuff that I would never use with The Supervillains. Our fans would be like, “What the fuck?” [laughs]

What can the fans expect from you guys on tour now?

We’re gonna have a lot of fun. We’re probably going to get progressively more drunk throughout the set, we’re gonna cuss a lot and maybe offend a few people. I think we’re the funniest dudes in the world sometimes.

Pick up The Supervillains’ new album, Postcards From Paradise.

For upcoming tour dates, check out their Myspace page.