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The Supervillians crash Park City pre-Sundance

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

For Orlando-based ska/punk/reggae band The Supervillians, hanging out in the back of a tour bus has become the norm.

But they’re not complaining. The eccentric foursome has embraced the touring lifestyle and they’re making the most out of it, whether that means staging all-out video-game battles or over-satisfying their urges for road munchies.

Although the group Dom (vocals/drums), Skart (vocals/guitars), Dan (bass) and Smally (saxophone) struggled to get through an interview without good-naturedly harassing one another, they managed to articulate what they’ve been up to for, oh, the past decade or so.

The two founding members of The Supervillains, Dom and Skart, started their version of a punk/ska band when they were about 16 years old. "Everybody was allowed in the band," says Skart. It started out with 13 members and began to take on the form of a small symphony.

"We were kids," says Dom. "We didn’t really think about paying everyone and stuff like that." That might explain why it wasn’t long before the duo found themselves without bandmates, but eventually they figured it out.

Smally, who met the original members while playing in his high school jazz band, joined The Supervillians in 2000, and, after stints with various fourth members, the group brought Dan on board in 2006.

Since then, the Villains have signed a contract with Law Records and have found themselves opening for the likes of Pepper and Slightly Stoopid. They’re currently wrapping up a tour with reggae legends The Wailers and on Tuesday, Jan. 19, they’ll kick off a headlining tour at The Star Bar in Park City.

It’s the band’s commitment to touring that has catapulted them from Orlando bar fixtures to a national force on the ska/reggae scene. They’ve been averaging more than 200 shows annually and spending eight or nine months of the year on tour. "It’s all about making friends and meeting bigger bands that can stand you and that will take you on the road," says Dom.

According to Dom, the group doesn’t really fall into one genre of music. They’ve played on punk tours, garnered a ska following and, on their latest venture, catered to reggae fan bases. "We’ve always just kept doing our thing," he says.

Dom equates their style to going fishing and catching three different types of fish. "You get the punk rock, you get the ska, and you get the reggae," he says. (The band members then launch into an impassioned argument of what the correct fishing term is for this situation.)

For a group that’s been together for more than 10 years, one would assume that their sound has evolved over time. "We play a lot slower than we used to when we were kids. The stuff we’re more into writing right now is slower reggae," says Dom. ("It’s makin’ baby music!" someone chimes in from the background.)

Instead of conforming to the current trends in music, the group always strives to stay true to its roots from covering songs from their favorite artists to bringing out the symphonic sounds that marked the band’s inception. "We’re just us," says Skart.

The group doesn’t buy into the so-called reggae resurgence, either. "Music is just music," Dom says. "I don’t know what’s going on or when it’s going on, it just kind of happens. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad."

As they traverse the country by tour bus, the guys keep themselves busy by writing and recording new material and "letting their hair down," as Dom puts it. After their show in Park City, they’ll continue on to the Pacific Northwest and down the West Coast before meeting back up with the Wailers in the Southeast.

Then they’ll have a short break at home in Orlando before heading out for a string of Spring Break shows. But if you think that the band members will be completely sick of each other by that point, you haven’t picked up on their family-like interactions.

"Not only are they my bandmates, but they’re my best friends," jokes Smally in a cartoonish voice. They guys will likely spend their off-time doing exactly what they’re doing now: hanging out, playing video games and eating munchies.

The Supervillians’ show starts at 10 p.m. Tuesday at The Star Bar. Doors open at 9 p.m. for ages 21 and over. Tickets are $5 and are available at http://www.smithtix.com or at the door. For more information about the band, visit http://www.myspace.com/therealsupervillains.


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