Monday, May 16, 2011

Interview With Rob Villanueva From I Attack

Critical Mass: Hey Rob, thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass. Your band, I Attack, has been on the scene for a number of years now. Can you give us a little history on the band?

Rob Villanueva: I ATTACK started back in 2001 with Dan(Drummer) and Raul(Rhythm guitar) started jammin songs that they used the mess around with when they were teens in the late 80's. Both Dan and Raul grew up in the Pilsen neighborhood together and grew up listening to hardcore punk and metal. They started gettin a bit more serious about rehearsing and soon recruited Jose Crudo of the famous Los Crudos to play lead guitar. At that time Jose was band less and was wandering around like a vagabond in search of beer beer and more beer! HAHAHA! Well he had stumbled passed Dans building when they spent the day drinking brews and ask Crudo to jam with them. Jose was actually playing in a beat poetry jazz rock fusion called Sonido Inkieto. He had asked Juan Compean who played bass in Sonido Inkieto to jam with in this hardcore punk band which at the time had no name and no vocalist. They started off playing covers from bands like Battalion of Saints, Reagan Youth, Suicidal Tendencies and various other old school HC punk bands. Around that time I was living with Benny Jodido who was in the the group Los Jodidos that was active back then. Well Benny was gettin fed up with his band and wanted to get something else started. He had known Crudo from goin Los Crudos shows back in 90's at various DIY gigs around Pilsen and Lil Village. Crudo had asked him to come by and try out. Benny was practicing with the fellas for a few weeks when one day he had asked if I wanted to come along and hang out. During that practice they had asked if I wanted to sing a Minor Threat cover which I willingly obliged! I had never been in a band before and never sang live ever. Needless to say they wanted me back the following week and the rest is history.

CM: Being a hardcore band you must have had many major influences. What bands inspired you to start a band, and who still inspires you now?

RV: For me personally I take influence from urban decay, tragic beauty, color theory, graffiti...people who with ideas not agendas and skateboarding. I really get off on music that is from the gut and the heart. As a band our musical influences are all over the place. On any givin night drinkin beers you'll hear punk, house, metal, jazz, hip hop, Vincente Ferdnandez just to name a few! We just like honest music it doesn't matter the genre.

CM: A lot of people feel the hardcore scene died off back in the late 80's. But there are still some great HC bands out there. Some being of a political style. Is there any political influence in your bands music?

RV: There are tinges of a political nature but its more from an observational stance, overall we have no political agendas. We are interested in ideas. I cant stand soap box vocalists with their fist in the air thriving on being "oppressed" especially when the lyricism is a dry as sand. I'd rather listen to a vacuum cleaner and read stereo instructions and that isn't saying much.

CM: Are there any newer bands out there that get you guys excited? Bands that still carry the torch into a new generation of HC?

RV: As far as new bands go, I have been witness to a new generation of hardcore punk! A lot of bands had come and gone in the past 10yrs. I can honestly say that they weren't just bearing the torch but rather exploded like a damn volcano burning everything in its path! Lots of basement, backyard, warehouse and other various DIY gigs that were just mind blowing! One of my all time favorites was a short lived band called NON FICTION NOISE from the south side of Chicago. Oh and ESKE they rip it up!

CM: How many albums and or singles has the band recorded over the years?

RV: We sadly had only released two recordings in our lifetime. A full length self titled LP on Wrench In The Gears Records and an EP called American Dream on Criminal IQ Records. We are overdue.

CM: Any new material in the works?

RV: I ATTACK do have an albums worth of material to record and we are currently gettin ready to do such. We've had major ups and downs within the band. We are now on our 3rd and hopefully final bassist! Plus other self destructive and reckless behaviors have set us back a bit as well.

CM: Have you guy's ever toured outside of the Chicago area? And are there any upcoming shows?

RV: We've played around the Midwest, but it's hard to tour when you have a career job, kids to feed and or the state of Illinios wont let you leave the state!! HAHAHAHA! I ATTACK has a show with Verbal Abuse and Dayglo Abortions at the Cobra Lounge June 4th and with Silver Abuse and the Wanton Looks June 25th at Cobra Lounge.

CM: Is there a band website where people can check in for updates on shows, releases and merch?

RV: Nope just a Facebook and a MySpace.

CM: I wanna that you again for taking the time to talk with us at Squid Pro Quo, Rob. It's really cool to see HC is still alive and kicking in Chicago. I'm looking forward to seeing you guys live! Thanks again man.

RV: Chris thanx for the interview and thanx to Critical Mass (and our sister blog, Squid Pro Quo)  for allowing us to share our story and thoughts! Salud RobV I ATTACK

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