Villains

Album: Villains (1996)
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, there's "another villain on the cover of every major magazine." Verve Pipe frontman Brian Vander Ark wrote the song after the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, when Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people with a truck bomb at the Federal Building. McVeigh was all over the news and his face was on the cover of just about every news magazine. Vander Ark, who was in the Army from 1983-1987, had a day job at the time. "I'd get my coffee and pick up a magazine, but I'd have to get back to work before I could read it," he said in a Songfacts interview. "So my point was, when his face is on the cover of all of these magazines, we would get distracted and didn't have time to read about the victims and feel that empathy for the victims. So the villain usually wins this kind of popularity contest, and for me that was a very sad state we were in, and we're still in it. In fact, we're probably in it worse now than ever."
  • This was the follow-up single to The Verve Pipe's biggest hit, "The Freshman." It didn't make the Hot 100, nor did any subsequent Verve Pipe track. Their next album was a difficult one for the band - they blew a big budget weren't happy with the result. Their 2001 album was primed for success, but was thwarted by 9/11 (to that point, the Oklahoma City bombing was the worst act of terrorism on American soil). The band broke up that year and didn't re-form until 2009, when they added children's music to their repertoire.

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