Practicing together is not necessarily essential for a band to be successful. These Are Villains members, Tyler Berg and Sadie Jones, live nearly 1,800 miles away from each other but are still making music together. Jones is living in Fargo attending school at MSUM while Berg lives in Hollywood, Calif.
After meeting their freshman year at MSUM, the two became good friends. Music was always a common interest between the two. However, after one year, Berg decided to move to the Twin Cities where he was in a band. He then moved to California where he worked on his music. Soon thereafter Jones decided to go visit him. On her visit, they would hang out and mess around with a few cover songs they use to play together.
“When I came back (from California) Tyler said, ‘So I have this song idea that I think you should sing on.’ Then we both thought that was really fun, and we’ve been writing songs that way since then,” Jones said.
Jones does the lead vocals for the band and Berg mostly plays guitar but will sometimes play the drums. Most of the time, he’ll have a friend help out with the percussion.
For about 10 months now, These Are Villains have been communicating, writing and recording their music long distance. Berg explained that they send the files back and forth and edit the songs using Garage Band.
“If I have an idea for her to sing, I’ll sing an embarrassing falsetto kind of track of the pitches and stuff that she should try to sing or if she has ideas for me she’ll send it,” Berg said.
So far, the duo has 15 songs that they have written together and some are posted on their website. Both agreed “Grave” is their favorite song.
“It has really soft harmonies in the beginning, but it’s also really loud and Sadie gets really loud and crazy singing in the middle,” Berg said. “It has a lot of contrasts, and I think when we finished that song, it was the first time I thought, ‘Yeah, we can do this.’”
The These Are Villains “sound” is really different from a lot of music that is being made today.
“It’s rockfish,” Berg said.
“We’ve been described as rock, alternative rock, dark blues, which I don’t really know about that one,” Jones said. “Both of us draw a lot of influence from blues-based music, especially our earlier stuff.”
Berg explained that as they keep writing more songs, they become less bluesy because they are writing songs that come more from them and less like they are trying to imitate anything.
This May, Jones is graduating and has plans to move to California with Berg in July. They are both looking forward to actually working on songs in the same room and already have a few show dates lined up.
Check out These Are Villains on Facebook or on their website at thesearevillains.bandcamp.com.
BY KRISTIN KIRTZ