Secret Villains is the moniker of all that encapsulates the artistic ventures of Dan Al and Kswiss.
Its purpose: to serve as a unifying namesake for the growing bodies of work that have taken the last decade to accumulate. It appears in the forms of home and studio recordings, live shows and performances, drawings, paintings, digital artwork, video, and photography; all of which has been produced from a desire for DIY entertainment with an unfiltered or unmitigated message.
The partnership of Secret Villains was formed far before the notions of business and art coexisting entered the brains of the duo. Born from a mutual resentment for sacred spirituals in the choir programs, Dan Al and Kswiss started focusing their efforts on creating music of their own. By the spring of 2004, they unified their efforts and began to take their songs to public stages. Strike! Feral Children (the proto-type for Secret Villains) was conceptual pop-prog rock. With a rigorous 9:30 am practice schedule, 5 days a week, and regular showings at the local all ages clubs, the quartet of forward thinking young adults with a love for DIY culture, began making waves on the local level. Soon, they had recorded a three song EP with Mark Michalik of Sentient Studios, and began to have their music played on various college radio stations, once appearing on Flint's Rock Radio Banana 101.5. At the head of all of this attention, the band was bludgeoned with the departure of guitarist and songwriter Rob Ford. In October of 2006, after attempting a gig as a trio, Strike! Feral Children came to an end.
Over the course of the next year, Kswiss shared lead roles in an experimental metal band called I Once Was... During this time, various solo recordings appeared from Dan Al as Sleep Celebration, and he began forming what would become The Blind Man's Dream. It was during this time that Dan Al had begun to venture deeper into home recording, and the true beginning of Secret Villains. Reunited with Kswiss, and recruiting the talents of Ryan Shanafelt on drums, the Blind Man's Dream found themselves back in the thick of things. With a persistent work ethic, and desire to succeed as a local act, they also became the rhythm section of sublime tribute band 40 oz. to Freedom, and played back to back sets to capacity crowds at the Machine Shop in Flint. Of course, without a proper business model, the band found itself struggling to continue financially and the departure of Ryan Shanafelt revealed to the duo what they had been missing.
Management. They returned to the drawing board with a fresh perspective, and a collected sense of the modern music scene. Under the guidance of the allusive Vile Venomous, Am I Arthur Lan? an epic story-album comprised of eclectic sounds and styles, was realized in entirety. The desire for live exhibitions was still evident, so Vile Venomous requested they recruit new bands to take their places. The Bleeding Dix, and Roach King and the Resinators are each now offering recorded efforts of their own thanks to the resources of SV, and have each appeared locally for select mid-Michigan events.