Hail The Villain has emerged out of Oshawa, Ontario (the automobile epicenter of Canada), to unleash the band’s master plan on an unsuspecting population with the launch of one of the most creative and technologically advanced websites ever built for a band – www.hailthevillain.com.
The band isn’t satisfied with just writing songs, making an album and going out on tour. They want to create an entire Hail The Villain universe that includes not only the music, but a dynamic live show, animated videos, a comic book and their unique website.
Designed an built by RUNE Entertainment and GRAND Creative Studios, the website opens with family man and steel factory worker Drake Carter ending his affair with seductive co-worker Thea Landa. This sparks a chain of events that leads to Drake's murder at the hands of his former lover and secret Villain as she moves to claim his soul.
Freezing time in that brutal and savage moment, the website allows users to navigate through the scene to unlock character back-stories, clues and downloads, to participate in the story by becoming Villainized and to share messages with the band.
“This is one of the most interactive websites that we’ve ever seen,” enthuses Hail The Villain singer Bryan Crouch. “It truly brings our fans into our Universe and allows us to have direct communication with them through our video channels, and the Book of Souls. It’s a site where you can lose yourself for hours in the story that we created. I wish more bands were doing things like this.”
The concept for the website grew out of a series of sketches the band had created as a rough draft for a comic book inspired by the sounds of their new album, Population: Declining which will be released throughout North America on June 8, 2010. Armed with the band’s ideas, RUNE and GRAND set out to design a website with a difference, building a range of engaging features to plug into and enhance a story crafted to showcase the band’s music.
"When we met the group they told us that they were looking for an atypical band website and essentially gave us carte blanche to go off and create something unique," explains GRAND co-partner Luke Canning. Taking that brief as their starting point, the challenge for us was to build a site that would set Hail the Villain apart from the cacophony of acts populating the pages of MySpace and Facebook.
Taking the point-and-click concept to a whole new level, HailTheVillain.com presents a series of artfully illustrated environments to explore, with clues and hints, character bios and Easter eggs hidden at every turn. Numbers scrawled in matchbooks unlock audio content when punched into a phone booth, while a map hidden in the glove compartment foreshadows a darker plot twist that will be revealed in one of the upcoming comics.
To drive audience participation, users are invited to activate their webcam at the start of the experience. As they journey through the site, visitors will uncover various opportunities to upload and modify pictures of themselves, record and share videos with the band and other fans, and stumble across several other surprises.
Hail The Villain’s debut album, Population: Declining was produced by Darryl Romphf and will be released on June 8, 2010 by Warner Music Canada, while Roadrunner Records will be releasing the album on the same day in the United States. The album’s release is preceded by the album’s first single, “Take Back The Fear,” and its accompanying animated video, produced by RUNE Entertainment.