Impressive electro-rock band Ventenner, unleash their new album ‘Distorture’ on September 1th via Sonic Fire Records. So it was the right time to talk with the band’s front man Charlie Dawe e guitarist Jonno Lloyd.
‘Six Blood’ is the powerful track from their forthcoming album…”Take me away from this, just leave me somewhere else”…
First up can you introduce the band and tell us how you did come up with the name Ventenner.
CD: I’m Charlie, we’ve also got Jonno Lloyd on guitars, Ben Martin on the bass and Luke Jacobs on drum duties. Ventenner came from the word “vent”, just trying to sum up what I was using this project for. Like anyone creating it’s an artistic expression of yourself and your ideas. I just wrote it down and somehow the other letters came out too. Most importantly it looked cool on paper, I could see that on a gig poster someday. Plus it’s totally made up so we get dibs on the google search results. Loads of people ask me what they should call their band and I always reply with the same answer, that all band names seem dumb until you see them everywhere. Although some bands seem to just to want to sabotage themselves from the offset with some of the names I’ve come across.Can you tell us what we should know about your new album ‘Distorture’. What is the main idea behind it?
JL: Looking at Ventenner in a new way, maintaining the dark atmosphere and feel the band has always had but approaching each track with a real focus on the song. We’ve worked long and hard on making every part in each song the best it could possibly be with a real collaborative look at it’s melodies, harmonies, rhythms and sounds. We’ve really crammed a lot into these new songs.
CD: Totally. To me this is where I wanted Ventenner to be, but hadn’t hit the mark until now. This is the right mix of people doing the right things. Thematically, there’s not a solid concept running through the album, not like I’ve done previously, but I think lyrically and musically this is more focused, more pronounced. It’s confident and angry and does what exactly what we wanted it to.
Your sound is rather cinematic. Somebody described it as “Sitting in a dark place between a David Lynch and John Carpenter nightmare”. In which movies (from the past), would you see your music used as the soundtrack.
CD: I draw a lot of influence from film soundtracks and sound design, and I incorporate it a lot in Ventenner. Sometimes you won’t even know it’s there, but there will be a droning note hidden underneath and it just makes the whole thing take on a certain feel, or sometimes it’s very obvious. I don’t want to make records that you drink beer to and headbang. They’re fine, I own records like that, but I want Ventenner songs to be something you get lost in, you really absorb. I don’t want it to take you on a journey or some bullshit, but the effect that soundscapes can have and that approach to making music can be amazing. I like atmosphere and I want to create it.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
JL: Writing with Charlie on this new album we both really pushed each other to bring our best stuff to the table, and a lot of new sounds and ideas have come along with that. We learned our strengths and weaknesses and ironed it out to form Ventenner as it is now. When we looked at playing these songs live, bringing Ben in on bass just brought everything to life; everything started sounding bigger, more refined, and he just made us all raise our game to get up to his level, he’s a great musician.
CD: As far as the live production goes it’s been taken to a totally new level. Live drums and 4 people on stage, the sound is massive. Which is weird when I hear it on songs I wrote years ago in my bedroom, before I even knew these guys. In the studio we’ve all brought in new ideas and new life to the songs and the band as a whole seems to just gravitate towards the same outcome.
Tell us about your next show and why we should be there
JL: This is the best Ventenner has ever sounded, we feel we’re really at the top of our game right now and we fully intend to play our hearts out every single show.
What is your pre-show shuffle playlist?
JL: Killing Joke, Deftones,
CD: My playlist starts as soon as I wake up on the day. I have concert dvds on the tv back to back all day.
What has been the hardest part of being in the music industry for you?
CD: I don’t really think there are any hard parts. People complain to me a lot how labels never return their emails, or no one wants to book them for shows etc. Well, maybe you’re not very good? It’s an industry like any other. You work hard, you climb a little, you do something cool that gets you noticed, you climb a little higher, and on it goes. Sure no one likes being ignored or told to fuck off, but have you got anything that’s worth taking notice of? I never understand these people that think if they get a Soundcloud account then suddenly major labels are going to be banging at their front door. All that stuff about how the people that made it “were in the right place at the right time” is just totally made up by people who failed and can’t just admit it. Case in point, David Bowie took Placebo out on tour with him because he heard their demo. That’s not luck, if the demo was shit he wouldn’t have taken them. Anyone that gives up that easily is not really cut out for this job anyway.
If you had to listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?
JL: That’s an insane question! Surely you’ll end up hating them eventually. Seeing as I’ve been on a pretty serious Depeche Mode kick for the last couple of months let’s go with that.
CD: I’d be pretty with Nine Inch Nails’ back catalogue, there’s enough variety there to keep me occupied on a desert island.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
JL: Ken Andrews.
CD: Dillinger Escape Plan or Hans Zimmer.
What do you have planned next?
JL: Writing the next one, this time as a full band, taking the new songs out to the shows with us and just trying to get better and better.
CD: Personally as of next week I’m taking a couple of weeks off in the states before the album comes out. Then we start with the shows and see where it takes us.
By Fabrizio Belluschi ©FAMEMAGAZINE.co.uk
6th September – London, Electrowekz
18th October – London, Electrowerkz w/ Hanzel Und Gretyl
30th November – London, O2 Academy w/ Orgy