EXCLUSIVE RELEASE: Bond Villain, “Break on Me”

If you cannot listen in color, then Bond Villain is not the artist for you.

Already in Bond Villain’s limited releases, he has released numerous songs with different facades. He’s a master of reinvention if you will, and his music is innovative. He takes a slice from nearly all-popular musical styles while still maintaining a distinct sound.

How is it innovative? The best way to describe his music is to rid yourself of all ideas of genre. His music doesn’t fit one mold, yet it takes on different shapes cinematically. From the vocals to the music’s orchestration, his music is constantly moving, morphing shapes, and changing colors. It simply doesn’t fit into a category.

Bond Villain’s newest release, “Break On Me,” is no exception. Beginning with melodious piano riffs, the song escalates into dramatic choruses mixed with everything from strings to keyboards. This song has balladesque tendencies mixed with musical warfare. The lyrics are equally perplexing wrapped in what should be simple concepts.

I recently spoke with Bond Villain about his new single “Break On Me,” its inspiration, and how it fits in his young, but varied musical catalog.


What is the overall meaning of “Break on Me?”

‘Break On Me’ is all about vulnerability. When you fall in love with someone, you don’t just experience a new depth of affection – you understand a whole new spectrum of fear, insecurity, and hardship that comes with it. Before love, you are working to protect yourself from hurt and heartbreak. After love, you learn that all things become more meaningful, pleasurable, and painful when you have someone to die for. The term “break on me” refers to this reciprocal vulnerability that occurs, and asking the other person to trust you as you trust them – to experience the good and terrible parts of life together.

This is a detour from Bond Villain’s recent releases.  What has returned you to the ballad piano style from your first EP’s, “Let Me Go?”

I absolutely love the sounds that ‘Blackguard’ and ‘What’s Wrong With Me’ bring to our set, and they seem to fill a wonderful space for people who listen to Bond Villain. With that said, the kind of sound from ‘Let Me Go’ and now ‘Break On Me’ is the core of what Bond Villain truly is – epic, conflicting emotions over a powerful range of instruments and sounds. I will always want that drama at the center of my music. It is those ballads that tend to transcend time and fashionable genres.

Who were the primary writers of the song and how did you reach the final conclusion together?

I initially brought the bare-bones idea of this song to my producer, Jean Christophe Santalis, and my co-writer/vocalist, Kimberley Locke, in the form of a piano line and a draft of the lyrics. Over time we fleshed it out into the ballad/pop/orchestral hybrid you hear today. It was fun in particular to collaborate with Kimberley on the vocals – Her ability and delivery is pretty much unparalleled, so having an opportunity for our voices to play off each other, line by line, was a great experience.

What’s next for Bond Villain after this release?

We have a music video and new song coming in October at Halloween – keep an eye out for ‘Die For You.’ Pretty much the most badass song Bond Villain has created so far. We have a few shows in the hopper for the East Coast that we will be announcing soon as well, so everyone should stick to our social media for upcoming news!


With this song, Bond Villain uses many of the techniques he has used previously, yet he still moves the needle forward. There’s always a new mold to be made, a new shape to conquer, more shades of color to discover.

Which made me wonder, what is the exact definition of color? Google states that color is “the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.”

That is the pinpoint of “Break On Me” and the epitaph of Bond Villain’s musical inventory.

Now stop reading and just listen to the damn song.


Purchase “Break On Me” on iTunes HERE
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INTERVIEW: Griffin Anthony, Finding Refuge

It is not often you find voices that change the way you listen to music.

When I first heard Griffin Anthony, I had just moved to New York from Oklahoma. I had completely new surroundings and didn’t know a soul, yet music was my pillar. Throughout my whole life, music has been a constant comforter and protector. This became very apparent when I dove into collecting vinyl, a hobby that kept me busy in my first lonely months here. Music became my refuge in a new world.

Music also took a new place in my life when I began to proactively write and blog about my favorite choices and artists. My writings have brought me into contact with some amazing musicians. That’s exactly how I got word of Griffin Anthony’s music.

Griffin’s voice is authentic. I believe it ranks with some of the greatest modernand classic country artists, from Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson to Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson. Griffin’s unique vocal interpretations mixed with his ingenious songwriting makes for a prolific adventure in song. He has created a new standard in how I consume music.

Refuge, Griffin Anthony’s latest album, follows this same tradition. The album picks up where he left off with 2015’s The Making of a ManRefuge shows the raw beauty and nuance of maturing both artistically and as a human being. I caught up with Anthony recently to gain his thoughts on the new album and to explore what he has accomplished with this new volume of songs.


What does the album title Refuge mean? How does it relate to the songs?

“The album’s title suggests a destination where safe-haven (or happiness) exists. And the tunes trace narratives of men and women on their quest to find that destination; together or alone, through failures and celebrations. The word ‘refuge’ also drums up a ‘rustic’ and ‘natural’ connotation- which ties into some of the lyrical themes, the style of production, and album artwork.”

What message or messages would you like listeners to take away from this album? Is there a central theme?

“I really tried to somehow capture the feeling of Hope with each tune. Jon Estes and I spoke at length about that during our pre-production pow-wows and tracking. From a songwriting perspective, no matter how much uncertainty the main character is dealing with, he or she still maintains that better days are ahead. There are tunes on celebrate oxytocin-drenched romance, the joys of parenting, and the beauty of nature- where the personal and the pastoral converge… On the other hand, the album wades into some murkier waters of escapism, separation, isolation, the construct of religion, and the horrors of war.”

This album was made purely analog. Why did you choose to go this route?

“Well, most of the music that moves me was recorded that way. ‘Refuge’ is intended to be a refreshing departure from the sterilized sounds of the digital age. It’s human. There’s nothing to hide behind and I think that translates through the music. Elements of the performances I may have once regarded as ‘mistakes’ become ‘moments”… There are more rough-ends on this project and I love that about it. With the convenience of digital recording, it’s way too easy to clean shit up and quite often, it results in white-washing all the emotion… Everything just becomes antiseptic and colorless. Plus, I don’t want to sound like a robot, ya know?”

Pick one song. What is the story behind the song and what is the inspiration?

” ‘1954’ is probably my favorite tune on the album for a couple reasons; one, because I feel the understated musical arrangement best supports the lyric, and two, because of what the song represents as a storyteller… On the ten-year anniversary of D-day, the subject reflects on his past and tries to cope with the meaning of war; balancing pride and ambition with humility and loss. During a time in US history that’s often celebrated for it’s economic prosperity and baby-boom, PTSD wasn’t ever discussed… The glory associated with that era overshadows what my grandfathers and hundreds of thousands of young men had to endure.”

How does this album pair with your previous album, The Making of A Man?

” ‘The Making of a Man’ has more overall melody and hooks for sure. And aside from the completely different production approaches of two very different producers and session bands, I wrote ‘The Making of a Man’ on the piano- whereas ‘Refuge’ was written predominantly on the acoustic. ‘Refuge’ has a greater focus on lyrics-first song construction and capturing a live performance. Plus, I’m five years older from when I wrote “The Making of a Man.” I’ve experienced some life-defining highs and lows in that period- I’d like to think that contributes to a sharper pen.”


 

“Refuge” listens like planks of an old oak tree. Each piece is distinctively different, but they all fit together. Anthony has woven an intricate placement of work that possesses universal truths in tandem with nature. This album serves as a vanguard to musical authenticity in a world of manufactured melodies.

As Griffin Anthony alluded in the answers above, this album suggests a destination in the proverbial journey of life, mixed with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. This album accomplishes its mission by providing a safe harbor, a refuge, for all those seeking a glimpse of truth with a glimmer of hope.

PURCHASE Refugee ON ITUNES HERE