Villebillies VILL-BILL-EEZ is an American band from Louisville, Kentucky.
The Villebillies signature sound features a well choreographed vocal style with hard hitting rap verses, infectious hooks and soulful harmonies. Marked with beats drawn from a distinctive blend of urban and roots music, each of the three front men (Demi Demaree, Dustin "Tuck" Tucker, and Derek "Child" Monyhan) bring their own technique and personality to every track. Never confined to one genre or topic, each song reflects a different experience within the greater context of the Villebillies' story.
The group began in the early 2000s when a crew of loosely related musicians and MC's began to collaborate, and named themselves the Villebillies, an ironic nod to their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. By playing shows and handing out demos, the Villebillies quickly became a local sensation. The music industry began to take notice, and in 2006 the band was signed to Universal/Motown. They released their self-titled debut and went on tour, amassing small pockets of fans across the country. In 2008 the band parted ways with Universal but continued to write and perform independently, releasing several albums under their own imprint.
The band was formed in early 2001 through a collaboration between Demi Demaree, lead singer of the Louisville rock band Plan Of Man, and the hip hop production team of Dustin Tucker and William Young. The first demo recordings featured instrumental contributions from Demaree's Plan Of Man bandmates, Adam Goff, Ron Ping, Justin Reid, and Tim Bernauer.
By the time of their first live performance on February 16, 2002 the lineup had grown to include vocalists Derek Monyhan, Dylan O'Daniel, and David Mouser.
Villebillies performed as a five-man vocal act until late 2004 when the group officially merged with Demaree's other band, Plan Of Man. The group began showcasing for major labels and in August 2005 Universal Motown Records signed the ten man band.
The band hired producer Toby Wright to record their debut album. Disagreements between the band and producer caused delays and late in the process the band hired Bob Ezrin to produce the final track on the album.
Villebillies major label debut was released on September 26, 2006. The band toured in support of the record, headlining large clubs through the south and Midwest and opening for a variety of major acts ranging from hip hop stars like Nelly to country music icons like Hank Williams Jr.
In January 2007 after several months of on and off touring David Mouser decided to leave the group. His departure was sudden and unexpected but the band quickly recovered, performing shows with the remaining vocalists filling in on Mouser's parts.
In May they headed out on their first nationwide tour in support of Skratch 'N Sniff, a nationally syndicated radio program based in San Diego, California. The bill included four other acts, (həd) p.e., Authority Zero, Mower, and Danny Diablo, all affiliated with the indie label Suburban Noize. The tour visited over thirty cities across the U.S. and received heavy radio promotion.
At the end of the Scratch N Sniff tour the band experienced a series of setbacks that started with the record labels decision not to renew their contract and the subsequent departure of the band's management. The situation was further complicated when Dylan O'Daniel and William Young left the group to pursue other interests.
As rumors of a breakup began to circulate, the band responded by booking shows, posting a new song "Stranger" to the internet, and announcing their intention to release a new album sometime in 2008.
The band looked to put a positive spin on their situation. In a December 2007 interview vocalist Derek "Child" Monyhan stated "We're better than ever now, because we're smaller, tighter and smarter.". In the same article vocalist Demi Demaree hinted that the band was taking a more "rocked out" approach. A second new single "One Shot" was released to the internet in February 2008 as an example of the band's new direction. Seven months later the band released their second album, "From the Belly of the Beast".
Within weeks of the release of "From the Belly of the Beast" the group produced a music video for the first single, "Stranger". Three more singles, "No Seeds", "One Shot", and "Flask and a Gun" were given the video treatment. All of the videos were co-directed by Shaun Wilson and band members, Demi Demaree and Dustin Tucker. The collaboration marked the launch of Melted Clock Studios, a film production company that, in addition to creating music videos for the Villebillies, produces works for other artists, as well as comedy skits, and promotional videos.
In early 2010 the group went through an other change in lineup. The band contemplated a reunion of the complete original lineup. Dylan O'Daniel and David Mouser both expressed a desire to re-join the group. At the same time, however, Derek Monyhan was considering leaving the Villebillies to focus on his family and pursue his own creative direction. By spring of that year Monyhan had left and O'Daniel re-joined the band.
After the lineup change the Villebillies began writing music for a new album. The first new song "Talk To Me" was leaked to the internet as a live acoustic performance filmed back stage at the Hullabalou Music Festival. The studio version of the song and accompanying music video were released in late fall of 2010. Around the same time the Villebillies made available to the internet a collection of early unreleased material under the album title "Early Times". After nearly a year-long absence, Monyhan rejoined the band in early 2011. The Villebillies released their fourth full-length studio album "Appetite for Dysfunction" in the spring of 2012.
In 2013, the Villebillies released a video for the song "Love Is Kind Of Crazy" online. The video brought the band major label attention once again and they, via their indie label Island Earth Music, signed to Sony Music Entertainment with The Cherry Party/RED Associated Labels. The pop single "Love Is Kind Of Crazy" was released worldwide through RED Associated Labels in November 2013.
Currently, the Villebillies are working on their next album, and are enjoying a rare and much deserved second chance at mainstream success.
Villebillies' musical style is characterized by a mix of traditional live instruments and hip hop style beats and samples with layered rap verses and melodic hooks sung in a more rock and roll style. The band's music features elements of folk, country, blues, jazz, and classical styles.
The main instrumental lineup consists of drums, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass guitar, and an instant replay machine. Additional instruments that have been featured in Villebillies music include keyboard, banjo, harmonica, brass horn sections, and classical string sections.
The word "Villebillies" Vill-bill-eez came from a lyric written by vocalist Derek "Child" Monyhan shortly after joining the group. It is a combination of the words Louisville, the band's hometown and largest urban center in Kentucky, and Hillbilly in reference to Kentucky's rural mountain culture. The name references the cross genre nature of the band's music.
The Villebillies have received and been nominated for several LEO Readers Choice Awards in various categories as "Best Hip Hop Artist/Band" and "Best Local Rock Band". The group has also received local radio play on both rock and hip hop stations.
Villebillies have been involved in various local charitable organizations and events such as Kentucky Harvest as well as hosting many benefit concerts for individuals in need.
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