Happy Mondays Interview Series: The Villanelles


The Villanelles Are (Members of the Band): Frank Calabrese drums and vox. Chris LeCompte guitar and vox. Ricky P bass and vox.

We Formed In: Sometime a bit before 6-14-2014. That was our first show.

We’re Based Out Of: Asbury Park

Any Records Coming Out Soon? No date set just yet. Talking to Paul Ritchie from GODS about doing something.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: Johnny Cash, Bruce, and The White Stripes. Very flattering although I can’t say I agree.

Famous/Awesome Bands We’ve Performed With Before: The Vansaders and The Von Mons. Not exactly famous but I think they’re legends.

If you’re looking for some good old fashioned dirty, electric, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll then you need to check out Asbury’s own The Villanelles. Tonight, June 23rd, The Villanelles will be performing at The Wonder Bar’s Happy Mondays concert series along with Ron Santee from The Battery Electric and Ultraphinx. There’s no cover, 21 and up only plus there’s $3 PBRs, $4 well drinks and $4 happy shots.
We spoke with the band’s singer and guitarist Chris LeCompte about their sound, the Asbury scene and the band’s unique name.


Pop-Break: According to the always reliable Wikipedia, one of the meanings of the word “villanelle” is a simple ballad-like song with no fixed poetic form. The subject matter is often of a rustic or pastoral subject matter. How much of this definition applies to the sound of the band? Also, if you can talk about where you were when the name of the band was created?

Chris LeCompte: Frank is the man who basically shaped the band and organized the first few jams. He came up with the name and booked the first few gigs. I just threw songs around and Rick just showed up for work. Frank basically just told me that’s what were are called haha. Worked for me.

Pop-Break: What’s been the coolest thing that’s happened to this band in its run, so far?

Chris LeCompte:I can’t speak for Rick and Frank but for myself it was at a Philly show we played the Troc. Some girl told me that we restored her faith in rock n roll and she has not seen a three piece in years. Quite pleasing to hear!

Pop-Break: If someone is reading this and discovering you for the first time and wants to listen to a song of yours to truly get the essence of The Villanelles, which song would it be and why?

Chris LeCompte: “I Want It Now” because it’s just a great tune that always sounds big live and seems to always go over well. I kind of love all them though. Maybe “Drive Me Insane” too.

Pop-Break: What can the people coming out to Happy Monday expect to see from you guys in terms of a live experience?

Chris LeCompte: Good dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

Pop-Break: The Asbury scene has so many bands performing in it right now, so what makes The Villanelles stand out — from a musical standpoint? Lyrical wit perhaps? I can’t really tell you because I never saw The Villanelles haha kind of busy playing with ’em.

Pop-Break: What are your plans for the band for the rest of 2014?

Chris LeCompte: Record a record!

Pop-Break: Last question — what is it that you love about being in this band the most?

Chris LeCompte: I love writing a song a day or two before practice then seeing Frank and Rick so easily bring it to life. Playing good rock n roll with these two guys, there’s not much to not love about it. I’m very blessed to get to share the stage and create music with these dudes.

Bill Bodkin is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. He can be read weekly on Trailer Tuesday and Singles Party, weekly reviews on Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU and regular contributions throughout the week with reviews and interviews. His goal is to write 500 stories this year. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English and currently works in the world of political polling. He’s the reason there’s so much wrestling on the site and is beyond excited to be a Dad this coming December. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites