Please introduce yourself to our readers. Who are Venrez?
The band consists of lead singer Ven, backing vocalist & guitar player Jason Womack, formerly the basses for Julliette Lewis and The Licks, guitarist Alex Kane, formerly of LSD(Life, Sex & Death) front man for Anti Product, Bassist Michael Bradford, childhood friend of Womack, and drummer Ed Davis, formerly of Julliette Lewis and The Licks as well. Ven writes the lyrics, Jason writes the music and produces the albums.
What are you about as a band - what makes you guys tick?
Taking responsibility for delivering a message by lyrics that not only talk about life experience, stories to learn from but taking a shot at government and corporate greed. We live to be on the road and putting it out there live for the fans.
Please tell us about your latest album 'American Illusion'. It's interesting to read that this is very much a natural, organic album as opposed to thriving on technology. How was the recording process for you as individuals and as a band? Did you enjoy it?
Although we do use Pro Tools HD in our studio, we are a bit of a throw back to the 70's in regards to the fact we record our music live. There is no copy pasting going on and our live shows will back up our recordings. American Illusion was the first album we recorded with our own gear. We recorded it over a 4 month period at our leisure and it was a very relaxed and positive process.
I like the fact that you guys are hard rock but there's subtle grunge and stoner vibes going on. Was this deliberate or something that happened naturally?
Well Jason writes the music and was born in the late 70's. So there is a big influence there, along with The Jesus and Mary Chain and the bands where also influenced by them. The Venrez sound is all natural. We don't do anything that is not real. The fans seem to really get that, and I am convinced that is why we have been a band that has had the fortune to be successful in a world where it is next to impossible for a new rock band to make it.
You've recently played shows with Slash featuring Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy. How did those shows go for Venrez, did you have much time to hang out with Slash and Myles?
The Slash tour was amazing. The venues were all sold out for every show and we were received the best by his fans of any previous tour we have done. Slash hung out with us a bit after the Park City, Utah show. He is a very cool guy and amazed me at how fresh he is after a show when he just kills it up there for 2 hours night after night. We hung out a bit with Myles before the last show in Las Vegas. He is also an amazing artist and person. Before the last song of their set every show, he put a shout out to the opening bands. I have never seen that before ever. The gig was streamed live all over the world so the bands really took it up a few notches. We just went to another level that show and I just cannot wait to get back up on stage with the boys on this tour in November to continue what began on the last Slash show.
Unforeseen has been released as a music video. Are there any plans for new videos - Silver and Gold would be an interesting choice perhaps?
Well we did make two music videos from the album. "Sanctity" is the second video and it will release on October 25th. It was directed by Nicholas Cage's brother, Christopher Coppola. He is a dear friend of mine and when he first heard the record he really identified with the lyrics. I think our fans will love it. Silver & Gold is a song I wrote after I saw the film "300". It's about ancient wars, babies thrown over the cliff upon birth if they do not meet the warrior status and the horror of war in those times. It's one of the band's favourite songs and a music video of it would be very cool but also it would demand a very high budget to make the right video for the song.
Venrez heads out on a European tour with Buckcherry and Hardcore Superstar in November. Are there any places you're looking forward to playing and anywhere you haven't played yet?
We always look forward to returning to the UK and Italy where we have been a few times before, and are well received. We get to play Germany, Switzerland, Austria and N. Ireland for the first time.
Ven. You're quoted as being the Howard Stern of rock n' roll. How did this come about and have you and Howard met?
I look very similar to him with the curly hair and sunglasses i wear, due to extreme light sensitivity to my eyes. It's my look and has been my look for many years. I have never tried to look like him. But i have been mistaken for him for years now and since the TV show, its really ramped up quite a bit. I have gotten used to it, but clearly would prefer to be recognized for myself not him. We have never met but i do admire his talent, and the hard work for years he did to get to where he now is.
What does the future hold for Venrez, are there plans for future releases and new tours in 2014?
American Illusion just released on July 30th of this year. So we plan to tour well into 2014 behind the album. We have recorded several demos of new songs and will record another album sometime next year.