I love the lyricism on ‘Thirty Years’. What is the writing process like for you?
Villeman: Thanks for the compliment 🙂 That’s good to hear because as you know, I’m not a native speaker. I usually weigh every word carefully and spend hours on translator sites until I get a satisfying outcome. But first of all there’s two options on how a song comes into my mind. It starts either with a piece of lyrics, which hits me in the funniest and most uncomfortable situations writing-wise. That’s when you find me sitting at a bus stop frantically typing on my mobile phone and talking to myself like a crazy person. Sometimes the process also begins with a melody that I start to hum unconsciously or just during jamming on my guitar.
It may be a cliché to say, but I think the songs find me and then I have to work it out. That may also be a reason, why most of my lyrics are written about things that concern me directly or indirectly, it’s not like a mind driven process at first. Thirty Years for example I wrote around my 30th birthday, asking myself where am I standing right now and what’s to come
So you live in Bern, Switzerland – a very beautiful place. Do your surroundings often inspire you musically?
Villeman: Yes absolutely, but not as you might think. I’m working two jobs, three including the music, besides having a family, and thus the everyday life itself is more of an inspiration to me than just the beautiful places right on my doorstep.
On the other hand the calm and the beauty of nature to me are counterpoints to our hectic society, which is why I love being in the mountains.
What was it that first got you into music? When did you know it was a passion you wanted to pursue?
Villeman: I started drumming when I was 6 years old, and in addition to that I started playing Euphonium in a local brass orchestra two years later, because of my granddad. At age 15 I joined a rock band, where we’d play heavy sound. I loved the intensity and I practiced very hard. At that point I was sure that I would always want to have something to do with music in my life. After my apprenticeship as an electronic technician I became an audio engineer and I met my wife (on stage, how romantic). She taught me a little guitar and through that I was able to start writing. To sum it up, music has always played a main part in my life.
Do you think your songs fit a certain genre/genres or do you prefer to experiment with music and see where it takes you?
Villeman: Fellow musicians think of me as a grunger. I blame that to my drop-d tuned autodidactic signature technique on the guitar. Luckily I work with a producer (Luk Kipfer) who helps me transforming my songs into that fusion, which goes under Indie-Pop I guess. I think that the way I write songs is very unique and somehow every of my finished songs has that recognizable fingerprint on it.
What does your typical day/week look like?
Villeman: There is not enough space here to describe all that I’m doing in a normal week. As said I work an 8 to 5 job in IT and part time as an audio engineer on evenings and weekends, besides practising and playing gigs. I’m also a father of two school-aged kids, and I enjoy every second that I can spend exclusively with my family.
You started releasing singles on Spotify in 2021, coming up to a year now. What has your musical journey been like since then?
Villeman: It was very exciting to finally start off with my own project. I’ve learned a lot in the process since I do all the associated stuff by myself. It’s sometimes challenging, but it’s absolutely worth it because people get to listen to my music. And if they dig the feeling and connect with the songs it’s the greatest gift I can imagine.
If you can have your listeners remember one thing about you, what would it be?
Villeman: That through the power of music I’d like to tell them to look out for themselves and stay healthy in these chaotic times, because I care and I know that life is not always sunshine but it’s still gonna be okay at the end of the line.
You can listen to Villeman’s latest single ‘Thirty Years’: