Hailing from, London, Ventenner is a band that truly hits the full spectrum of music and metal. Ventenner's distinct sound originates from mastermind, Charlie Dawe. I was able to catch up with, Charlie to get his thoughts on, Ventenner's sound, their plans for the future and insight on their most recent album, "Distorture." Before we get into the fantastic interview I think it is important to get the 411 on "Distorture." So, I thought I would open this feature with a review of the album.
My man, Charlie describes, Ventenner's sound as, falling in the alt rock spectrum and I think that is a nice broad description. However, its my job to dig a little deeper.
After listening multiple times to Ventenner's album, "Distorture", I would describe it using one of Charlie's own words, spectrum. Spectrum is defined as: used to classify something, or suggest that it can be classified, in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme or opposite points. "Distorture," truly encompasses the full spectrum of music and metal. With elements of metal, industrial, doom and more, Ventenner has found a perfectly unique and amazing combination of musical stylings that utilize the full spectrum of music and creativity. With tracks such as, 'Skin Ritual,' Metacell' and my personal favorite, 'Unaffected,' you will find songs that all sound different but are uniquely, Ventenner. By that I mean, the songs all run the full spectrum in their differences but create a cohesive over all sound that is, Ventenner, that is, "Distorture." Pretty colorful description, huh? Well, "Distorture" is truly a full spectrum of sound, and for that reason (and because it is an amazing album), I give it a Bro-Metal rating of, 9/10. -Bro
Now, it is time for the interview and it is a good one!
Bro: I am a huge fan of Ventenner! I really dig the industrial intensity of your music. How would you describe your sound?
Charlie: It's a tough one. There's a lot going on, from metal right through to trip hop, with doomy riffs, hardcore beatdowns and dark electronica and atmospheric drone. I would probably categorize us somewhere on the alt rock spectrum.
Bro: I have to admit that I found out about Ventenner flipping through, Metal Hammer (and I am so happy I did). How was it being mentioned in the pages of the greatest metal magazine in the world?
Charlie: It's always amazing seeing, Ventenner in a major magazine. Not only is it incredibly flattering that the industry is paying attention to what we're doing but it's great exposure for gaining new fans. It's quite incredible for me to see a project that I started in my bedroom, by myself, with no one knowing it existed or even cared, to become this whole living-breathing thing. I used to read that magazine when I was younger and think "I'm gonna be in there one day."
Bro: I am jamming to your album, “Distorture,” as we speak. It is such a diverse album with so many different elements. What was the writing and recording process like?
Charlie: Well it was a lot more collaborative this time around. The first two albums were done solely by me so were very insular. Jonno (Lloyd, guitarist) had come over to check out some of the new demos I'd been writing. He had some ideas, plus some demos of his own, and seeing as he had recently left his last band we decided to get to work on writing an album together.
The emphasis was more on a guitar driven sound this time around. Seeing as I had done a chunk of the initial demos they had that signature, Ventenner sound, which was an easy template to build on. There was a pretty clear goal of where the album was going from the offset, although I can't really explain what that goal was. We just knew where it was going.
We hit the studio, with live drums for the first time on a, Ventenner album. Our producer, Fuzz, had some great insight too so it changed a lot as we went. By the time, Ben joined the band on bass and we went back in the studio to do some retakes the whole thing just sounded like this weird dark hybrid of loads of different things, but we managed to keep the cohesive theme running through it. That initial feeling we wanted to capture remained strongly no matter what we added or subtracted. By the time the title and artwork came together I knew it had ended up being what it was supposed to be.
Bro: Is there a new Ventenner album on the horizon?
Charlie: There is, we already have final demo tracks recorded. I'm not going to give much away on this yet, but we've got some cool people lined up to work on this album. I like to have a strong theme on albums, where the lyrical ideas, music, artwork, merch, title, everything all ties together and runs through it. I can tell you it's going to be yet another step in a different direction for Ventenner, and a strong one at that.
Bro: Cheesy interview question time, who are your influences?
Charlie: I wouldn't necessarily pick bands, but I would definitely say the 90's is where it's at for me musically. That whole scene was just fantastic and I consider it a creative high point. I tend to write very visually, in the sense that I write music to fit the image or scene I'm thinking of. Film is also a big influence, and film soundtracks. On that front I can definitely name names; Angelo Badalamenti, is right up there, along with, John Carpenter and Hans Zimmer. I often sit with my guitar and write music to films on mute.
Bro: What does the future hold for Ventenner and world domination?
Charlie: Well the new album will be the next project. There's a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment.
One thing I personally would love to do is re-release our back catalogue physically as a lot of it never made it to CD, I'd also love to see vinyl editions of, “Distorture” and, “This Is The Reason.”
As for the future, I always saw, Ventenner, ending up as a band that would be taken seriously and capable of big things. I always saw us playing big venues and releasing albums that we're proud of. I think we're starting to show people that it is actually going to happen.