Q & A With Psycho Village

Q & A With Psycho Village

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows, or announcements?

Dani: We have been basically on the road since mid-2017 non-stop. I think the longest break we have had was maybe 6-7 weeks, so we have spent most of the last 3 years touring all over Europe and the UK while finishing up the new record UNSTOPPABLE, that is finally out in the US!

XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?

Dani: I founded Psycho Village when I was 15 years old, back in 2009.

In 2013 we released our first single, which was a big radio and chart success in Austria, reaching top10 on iTunes and the top40 on the Austrian single charts (Austria Top40). Our first EP Selfmade Fairytale – part 1, was released in 2014. We spent a good two years touring that album in Austria, and another year promoting and touring in Germany. In 2017 we got our first international tours, the biggest one being with Nothing More. 2018 and 2019 followed with lots of bigger tours including tours with PUDDLE OF MUDD, SICK PUPPIES, 10 YEARS, SAVING ABEL, OTEP, etc. In Sept 2019 we released UNSTOPPABLE in Europe and toured with tAKiDa, The Creepshow, and did a big headline run in Germany. In 2020 we played 52 shows in one run, the longest tour in Europe in 2020, alongside THE CALLING. We were going to start a big US tour with TRAPT, THE CALLING & SMILE EMPTY SOUL in April, unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus that had to be canceled.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?

Dani: Watching the Guns n Roses live from Japan DVD and seeing Slash on stage.

Later on, listening to Alter Bridge and Sixx AM.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?

Dani: I started with a lot of old school rock like Deep Purple and Pink Floyd. Then I listened to a lot of Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver, Backyard Babies, and a lot of Swedish Punkrock bands. In my early teens, I discovered Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, and Halestorm, which were the main inspiration to start Psycho Village.

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?

The main constant message the album has is that there is always a reason to push through and go forward no matter in what scenario in your life and that there is always hope. It´s about taking the strength out of negative experiences and emotions and coming out stronger than before.

XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?

Hopefully, we can reschedule the US tour, and at this point, I just hope we can tour in late 2020 again. I miss the road.

We are also working on the release of a live album. There will be another music video for a song called WHAT WAS THAT.

Also, we will release live videos from that Live from Europe album, filmed in Berlin, London, and Paris!

XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?

Definitely playing and performing live, there is no better feeling than that. I like coming up with an exciting idea and seeing it come to life at the end of the production process. But being in the studio and working on a song and sometimes trying to force yourself to come up with something great isn’t always that easy and quite nerve-racking.

So I prefer touring and playing on stage anytime.

XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

The main and core message of the record is to gain strength from any negative emotions, feelings, and using these negative experiences to overcome and turn it into something positive.

The song Unstoppable was inspired by all the bullshit that happened to us throughout the years of touring, leading up to the album release. Our tour bus caught on fire, we had a massive car crash on the German highway, where a car crashed into our tour bus and trailer, flopped the trailer over, the roof broke open all the gear spread on the highway and was totally blocked for hours. We still made and played the show that night, although we were hours away from the venue. We were robbed in the UK, the housekeeper stole thousands of pounds of touring money out of our hotel room.

We were shouted and spit at, the drummer of a band we toured with tried to beat me down over an argument (and was later fired from the said band).

We never let these negative experiences frighten us or turn us away from achieving our dream and goal.

XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?

We try to stay as close to our audience as possible. During shows, we take our time and talk to every single one after the show, have a laugh on stage, tell some tour stories, and try to connect with them. When we are not on tour we are in constant contact through our Facebook fan group “Psycho Village fans Europe (the unstoppables)”.

We always ask their opinion and try to make everyone happy.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.

I´ve told a few earlier. One other story that happened was during the recent tour was that the axis of our trailer broke and we had to stuff all the gear on the tourbus, so the only space free was our bunks, meaning that we hardly had space to walk. Luckily that was just for two days. We also had to swop busses early on because it started spilling oil.

We did 52 shows with The Calling, and luckily only the last show had to be canceled due to Corona, so we were very lucky, to end that tour cycle on a high and finished the whole tour (except that last show).

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?

This guy from Scotland messaged me and told me his wife was pregnant with another woman´s child, that she was carrying for her. He asked me to sign some things for their unborn child and also do a video message. I did that of course, but it was a very unusual request.

XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?

Yes, I could not do this without my family and parent´s support and would also not be where I am without their support. My mom and dad supported everything I did from the beginning when I was maybe 12 or 13 and started really practicing playing guitar and started playing in bands.

XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?

Do what you love and what you want to hear yourself. There will always be a lot of people that tell you what you do is shit, and that it does not fit the current state of music etc. It is good to get constructive feedback and think about what can be improved.

Anyways, the first benchmark should always be to make something you are proud of and love listening to it. Anything coming after that is a bonus. If you do something you love, you will never regret it, and you will always have a reason to keep going. It just takes time.

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?

I love playing Unstoppable and It´s Okay because we get the biggest and best fan reactions from these songs. People know the lyrics and sing them with us, that’s always amazing! I also enjoy playing What Was That and Shine on Us a lot, because they have so much energy and are just fun tunes to play.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?

Very early on, Guns n Roses was the main reason I wanted to do music. When I started the band in 2009, the main influences were Alter Bridge and Shinedown.

Another band that really inspired my songwriting and also our live performance was Nothing More, we had the pleasure to tour with them in 2017 all over Europe and the UK.

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?

We would love to tour with Shinedown, Starset, and Falling in Reverse. That would be a tough bill to play because these bands are so amazing and great live. But I am sure we would manage to stand out between those bands.

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?

We have had top10 and number 1 chart hits and big radio singles, but to be the biggest accomplishment is to have fans that actually care and show up to our shows which enables us to tour in countries and cities we never thought we would even visit as a tourist, but now we play a show there and have hundreds of people singing our songs.

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?

Next to my band career, I am a booking agent and organize tours and also tour manage for bands like Puddle of Mudd, The Calling, Saving Abel, and Otep to name a few. I am also a partner in a recording studio with multi-platinum selling producer Gwenael Damman. If I was not doing that I would probably have a job where I am traveling a lot.

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

I am endorsing Paul Reed Smith guitars, which was a childhood dream. I also work with Framus guitars and Warwick basses from Germany. Currently, I am using the Mark Tremonti signature Wah pedal, the Line 6 HX Stomp, and a line 6 wireless system. That is it.

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?

It is a tough time to be in the music business-wise. There are not many opportunities, getting on the radio is very hard and very expensive and hardly any media cover rock bands. On the other side, there are so many new bands on the scene like Badflower, Starset and many more, so that gives me hope.

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?

Psycho Village is from Vienna, Austria. My two band members live in Germany and we are always on tour, no matter if it is big or small.

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?

Please check out our new record UNSTOPPABLE and the new music video. If you like it please comment on the video and save it on Spotify or Apple Music. Support new bands and new music as much as you can.

XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!

Thank you very much for having me!
I hope to talk to you again soon!


Dani Wagner
||:Lead Vocals & Guitar:||