Villainy


Villainy spent the 2010s becoming a fixture on local rock radio. Their music was hard-hitting and heavy, but the vocals cut through, providing a connection point for listeners. It was contemporary rock without apologies, though with enough of an alternative edge that the band had sonic territory to explore.

The band’s genesis can be traced all the way back to the era of online message boards. While at high school, guitarist/singer Neill Fraser posted a message that he was looking for someone to jam with. He was contacted by guitarist Thom Watts and the pair put together a band, Inverse Order, to play Smokefreerockquest. Fraser then moved away for a while, and it wasn’t until he returned to Auckland that they rekindled the band with bassist James Dylan.

Villainy's Dave Johnston playing the support slot for Shihad at Auckland Town Hall.
Photo credit: Doug Peters
Villainy in 2015.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Villainy - Alligator Skin (2011)
Villainy supporting Shihad at Auckland Town Hall.
Photo credit: Doug Peters
Villainy - Safe Passage (2015)
Villainy's Thom Watts at Homegrown 2023, Wellington.
Photo credit: Chontelle Musson
Villainy in a publicity shot for The Launch. Left to right: Neill Fraser, James Dylan, Thom Watts, Dave Johnston.
Villainy's Thom Watts at the Powerstation, Auckland, 2021
Photo credit: Chontelle Musson
Villainy - IFXS (2018)
Neill Fraser at Homegrown, Wellington.
Photo credit: Chontelle Musson
Villainy in 2014. Left to right: Thom Watts, Neill Fraser, James Dylan, Dave Johnston.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Villainy's 2012 album Mode.Set.Clear. with a cover design by Storm Thorgerson. Thorgerson was part of the Hipgnosis graphic design company who created classic album covers including Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
Villainy's Neill Fraser at the Powerstation, Auckland, 2021
Photo credit: Chontelle Musson
Villainy - Dreams live at VNZMA, 2019
Villainy in 2020.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Villainy at Homegrown 2023, Wellington.
Photo credit: Chontelle Musson
Villainy at the Powerstation, Auckland, 2021.
Photo credit: Chontelle Musson
Villainy - DREAMS (2019)
Villainy in 2019
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Villainy in a photo shoot for 'Raised In the Dark' by Mike Braid.
Villainy - The Launch (2022)
Members:

Neill Fraser - vocals, guitar

Thom Watts - guitar

James Dylan - bass

Dave Johnston - drums, backing vocals

Labels:

Warner Music


Villain Music

Trivia:

Bass player James Dylan’s cousin is Matt Warman, bassist in Midnight Youth / Kaylee Bell. He played with the band at the VNZMA’s in 2019 after James severed a tendon in his hand.

‘Growing Pains’ has a riff that is a message written in Morse code.

Thom was born in a house that Dave Dobbyn used to live in.

Dave is a producer and mixed the Dead Sides EP and the Iso-coustic Sessions.

Thom is a video editor and made the CUT, Raised In The Dark, No Future, Syria and IFXS.

The ‘Raised In The Dark’ video was filmed in Neill’s old flat, but filming was called off when beer started to soak through the floorboards into one of the downstairs rooms.

IFXS was originally called ‘I Fucked A Snake’ which was then adjusted to make the song more palatable.

The IFXS video shoot involved 13kg of Gummy Worms with all leftover candy being given to the stallholders at the Food Court.

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