Old-School, but modern: An interview with VENUES

Find the German version here.

With their last album Solace they have not only found their place as Post-Hardcore band but they cemented it: I’m talking about VENUES! The band with singer Lela and shouter Robin recently came to Sawdust Recordings in Halle. Perfect opportunity to ask them some questions!

The pictures were again made by lightinmirror.de. Thanks a lot for that!

VENUES; Pic by lightinmirror.de; (c) 2022

Shieldmaiden’s Voice: What distinguishes VENUES from other bands?

Robin: I’d say that it’s the combination of my shouts, Lela’s clean vocals and various elements from Metal, Metalcore, Modern Metal and Hardrock. As far as I know, there is nothing else like it.

Lela: Especially the combination of Old-School riffs, modern sound and the change between our singing is something you rarely get to hear. 

SV: Are there songs, albums or bands that heavily influenced your musical style?

Lela: There are a lot! It enhances our style that each one of us has different musical influences which they can incorporate. We’re a democratic band which means that everyone can voice their opinions and you can hear that in the songs in a way. Costa contributes the Old-School riffs, the blues-like sounding vocals are my doing and Robin is more keen on the modern Core sound. Due to the spectrum being that big, we can’t really name one or two specific bands.

Robin: It really is a colorful mix of genres that we play. Vale likes to venture in the Tech or Djent area and Dennis only listens to bad music [everyone laughs, including Dennis]. SEVENDUST or BREAKING BENJAMIN are his main influences. We really have a crazy mix.

SV: What is the most important aspect in your music for you personally?

Lela: That’s where we come to the democratic aspect I was talking about earlier: It’s important to us that you can hear the individual influences and that nothing gets lost the songwriting process. On stage, we want to play songs that everyone of us 100% can get behind. 

Robin: Generally, it’s important t have a cool song that every band member is happy with and that all of us look forward to releasing it.

SV: You emphasized the democratic aspect quite a bit. What is the songwriting process like under that aspect?

Lela: In general, at least in the last two years, everyone worked on the songs at home because we couldn’t meet up in the rehearsal room to work on them during the lockdown. Due to that, we have established that Costa or Vale, the guitarists, will write the main structure of the songs and will then upload into our cloud. I then take them and add some clean vocals and when everyone likes them, Robin will add shouts. In the end, Dennis will make everything better by adding drums to it.

Naturally, this is a very simplified description. In reality, we have different ideas at different point which will be incorporated. Everyone will write their part and perfect it until all of us are happy with it.

SV: What inspires you the most in this process?

Lela: I’d say that it’s the view into the future coupled with the hope that soon everything will be happening as planned. The hope for live concerts is a big motivation.

Robin: The thought of going into the studio is a big motivator as well! Within the band, you’ve gotten everything out of the song you possibly could’ve gotten and then you come into the studio where the fine tuning is happening and where the last bit of potential will be uncovered. That is always a huge motivation because you’re excited for the end result which is professionally produced. It’s always a a captivating moment to listen to the final product.

SV: The keyword being „studio“: You released an album last year and now you’re back in the studio. How do you manage that?

Lela: Since the songwriting is happening online, we were able to save a lot of time by not having to drive to the rehearsal space. I’m living in Munich which means that I have to drive 3h one way to be able to rehearse. If we didn’t have the possibility to record something and send it around, then we probably wouldn’t be in the studio.

Robin: We need to add though that we originally wanted to go into the studio even earlier, but, as it is sometimes, things happens and we’re happy that we got to do it now. It’s also due to the modern times: Once an album is released, you quickly vanish from the surface which is why it was important to us to release something new and provide new content.

VENUES; Pic by lightinmirror.de; (c) 2022

SV: What about the new songs is innovative for you as a band?

Lela: They are all a notch harder than the last album.

Robin: Taking into consideration what these songs are and what they contain, I think that they are also more modern. Everything is a bit faster and pushes further.

Lela: Everything else will be clear once they’re finished. Right now, the songs are still a work in progress and some already are completely different from the original idea. Everything develops and the innovative part will be revealed once it’s done.

SV: What is something that your fans can be most excited about with these new songs?

Lela: It’s what Robin already talked about which is that they push forward and they for sure are catchy and will stay in your head until the end of the day. They are also quite hook-heavy if you can say that. 

Robin: Exactly! Especially the refrains are very catchy and I think that everyone got better at playing their instruments since the last time we were in the studio. You can hear that and the vocals have also raised the bar significantly. 

Lela: Everything is more grown up.

SV: In other words: Due to the lockdown you were forced to concern yourself more with your instruments?

Lela: You can say that!

Robin: When you can’t go on tour, you’re not left with many alternatives besides songwriting, rehearsals and practice. We were practically forced to get better.

SV: What goals are you hoping to achieve with these songs if nothing intervenes?

Lela: Naturally, we pursue the same goals as we did with the first albums: Generate a following, going on tour, to generally be traveling a lot, reaching more people than before. We want to go forward as much as possible.

Robin: Right! Even though we need to add that we don’t have any album planned yet, it’s just a couple of songs. We plan to release them as  stand alone singles without wanting to announce an album. For us, it’s an important sign of life. The last album was some time ago which is why this is  an important comeback.

SV: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Lela: We actually have booked some awesome festivals ins the summer which we hope will take place. That is also the answer I think I gave in interviews two years ago and you can’t really say anything about this since nobody know what will happen and be possible in the end. 

Robin: The festival summer looks quite hopeful and if everything works out, we’ll play some festivals, even two big ones here in Germany and one in the Czech Republic. Russia was on our plan as well, but this is done for. Towards the end of the year, we’re looking at touring and that we maybe be going on a bigger tour with another band. Besides that, we have the video shoots for the singles that we recorded. Those are our plans so far!

SV: What is the best way to support you in this?

Lela: Stay tuned, follow us on social media and soak up the available information and also come to our concerts once we’re able to play them!

Robin: And, also very important…

Lela: … buy our merch! [everyone laughs]. That is even more important now that we don’t have the revenue from our live-concerts. It’s worth it to check out our merch store from time to time. And, of course, listen to the music.

Robin: Yes! Go to Spotify, follow us there and let our music play on repeat!

SV: If you had one last message for your fans, which would it be?

Lela: Nowadays, I think it’s important to learn and know the value of solidarity and to stick to it and not let any bad news, of which we a lot recently, destroy that. Instead, you should practice compassion and pass that on to others. There should not be any space for negativity, like racism, and we should keep an eye on each other since we’re all worth the same.

Robin: These are crazy times. Take care of your friends and family and have good time because that helps getting through the bad times.

Lela: And never lose hope! It will be better!

Robin: Yes! We’ll see each other on better days at many festivals and shows!

There you have it! Check out the band’s social media channels to find out where you can see them next. You can also find their merch store here.

VENUES; Pic by lightinmirror.de; (c) 2022

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