I was told by their manager to be at the “Villain house” at 9 o’clock. Professional yet cool–which is exactly what these guys are. When we arrived at the door, music was blasting out of the garage (the band’s practice space and sometimes recording studio) so loud they couldn’t hear the doorbell ring. Luckily their gracious roommate answered, and the door opened to people, action, and more music–louder than before. I caught the last bit of their rehearsal downstairs, and with the Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon posters on the wall as inspiration, it was clear I was seeing a new band truly motivated to become something great.
The Plastic Villains are a band of five members; guys who have come together through what sounds like fate. The band started with roommates Todd Andersen, a senior Media Studies major and Mike O’Donnell, a senior English major. One by one, they picked up Jerry Sypkens, a junior Media Studies major and Alex Lozano, a junior Sociology major. Chris Locs, on bass, is the only non-USF student and also plays in another band, Outlaws and Preachers. As Andersen said of them coming together: “These lovely gentleman just fell into our lap, and we’ve taken off from there.”
The Plastic Villains describe their diverse genre as “psychedelic garage rock blues hop,” which comes from their varying interests and talents as individuals. They all started playing instruments as children, and since have found their niche in the band with Todd as vocals and guitar, Mike on guitar, Alex on drums, Jerry on the keyboard and Chris on bass.
They all contribute to the song writing, with Todd and Mike writing a lot of the lyrics and structure with a heavy sense of collaboration by all the members. Just as they finish each other’s sentences, they’ll always be a few steps ahead with the next idea for a chord or line.
Roughly only two months old, the band has played a good few shows at local venues and has big plans for the future. “By next year, we’d like to be at Treasure Island,” says Andersen. “That’s the pie in the sky—but not even–if we work hard enough.” There seems to be no shortage of dedication or hard work within the group, and the feeling is overpowering. “It’s a level of determination,” Skypens begins, and O’Donnell finishes his thought: “people respond to that. You can tell that we are all very much pushing and enjoying what we are doing.”
Coming in hot off a win for The Deli’s Bay Area Band of the Month, the band marvels at their run at success: “Something good has literally happened every day for the past two weeks,” says Lozano with the others in agreement. Just last week, the band filmed a music video with friends from the Academy of Arts.
The guys admit to the difficulty of juggling being in a band with being a student, but agree that they owe a lot to USF for their support. “We always try and give USF a shout out at shows,” they say. “We owe our fan base to USF.” And their groupies, they add, are called “Villainettes.”
Sitting in the living room of the Villain house you can feel the very same high level of energy you do at one of their shows. These five guys bring the determination needed for a young band like theirs to succeed and the joking, loud, and comfortable friendship that luckily came with it. “There’s never a moment when we’re not having fun,” says O’Donnell: “we are a bunch of friends who just like to make music but beyond that, having the approach of ‘lets take it as serious as we can.’ That drives the music a lot.”
To USF Students and community: it is highly advisable to get involved in the Plastic Villains.
You can check them out on their Facebook Page: The Plastic Villains.