The Art of Villainy

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V Is For Villains are issuing a two-pronged assault. The new Murder in the Art will be coming out as an album and as a book. Mr. Agitator (aka Nick Santiago) answered a few questions for us.

Bands work as an ensemble, playing the different instruments. Writing tends to be a solitary art. How did co-authoring a novel work?

Mr. Agitator: My Father, Carlos Santiago (Colonel Gunn) and I are writing the novel together. He and I are best friends and are very much in sync. So many times we will complete each other’s thoughts. We are both very interested in the same media, while having our own opinions on things. We never agree with each other because we feel like we have to. As a co producer on my albums, he is a huge help on that end. Its great to have a non biased opinion you can trust. We are currently in the writing phase, and are just excited to bounce ideas off of each other. It’s going to be a hell of an ambitious novel.

How does Murder in the Art crossover with The Legend of Colonel Obadiah Gunn?

Mr. Agitator: Colonel Gunn’s story is the prequel Murder in the Art and to some respect, Evolve Or Die (The Album). He did a great job of setting up so many exciting threads, and with the introduction of our series Super Villain, Mr. Violator, we tie a lot of those threads together. The album and novels are very much about time travel and alternate realities, something that has ALWAYS interested me deeply. Colonel Gunn’s story sets the stage for the V Is For Villains world of lore; it starts in the 1800s, where Murder In The Art time jumps from the present, to the future and back to the past.

How do the album and book enhance each other?

Mr. Agitator: The Album has a strong, vivid, and ambitious narrative. It is VERY much a concept album. In the new age of Digital media and download singles being common, I loved the idea of going back to celebrating the album as an art form, a collection of short stories. The concept for the album is that in the future (the 22nd century) Art is deemed politically incorrect and too perverse. Art is outlawed and a totalitarian regime rules. Mr. Agitator, of the future, sends a message back in time to the listener. While you are listening to the album those plot points about the rise, fall and changes in the time line are conveyed. That is a very ambitious narrative for an album, so of course those points are loosely conveyed. In the novel we have a chance to flesh those characters and ideas out. We have the chance to go into the cracks of those ideas and convey to the reader what was meant in great detail. It is an exciting opportunity that most songwriters never get.

Will the album and novel be released concurrently?

Mr. Agitator: No. The album will be released fall of this year, and we have not announced a release date for the novel yet, but I am sure it won’t be too long after.

What other media will the Villains be conquering?

Mr. Agitator: We are currently working on another album Evolve or Die Deluxe which will be available in the coming month. It will contain the album Evolve Or Die (2012) along with various B-Sides, remixes and alternate versions. In the near future we will also release another album V Is For Villains: Digital Mindy which will contain redone and Villainized, versions in a “Best of” compilation from Digital Mindy’s catalogue. It will be a chance for Villains fans to catch up on Digital Mindy in a new and exciting way. We are currently working on concepts for a graphic novel as well as new music videos, merchandise and MUCH MUCH more. V Is For Villains went underground for a little while, but the Villains will rise above, in a VERY big way!

V Is For Villains will be playing at the House of Blues (329 N Dearborn, Chicago,  IL) on July 2, 2016. Visit the band at

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