Some bands grow by leaps and bounds right before your eyes and ears; Venrez is one of those bands. The last time I spoke with singer Steven Berez, (click here Feb. 2012) the band was just really starting to take flight with the members in place and the album ‘Sell The Lie’ newly minted.
I called it sort of ‘acid rock’; The Doors meet Velvet Revolver with hints of early Stone Temple Pilots. On the new album “American Illusion”, the band has found their identity and groove and it shows in the music. As Steven explains in our interview below, this was really the bands first chance to truly work together and do it the way they wanted it.
The band has a cool story along with some wickedly delicious rock and roll; the kind you slap into the CD player and just let roll from song to song, the kind that has you rocking right along with them. Steven takes his swipes at the establishment as he is want to do and the music is prefect.
So go get yourself "American Illusion” by Venrez today. Take a look and get to know more about them below.
- Venrez – Lead Vocal, All Words
- Jason Womack – Guitar, Vocals
- Alex Kane – Guitar
- Michael Bradford – Bass
- Ed Davis – Drums
American Illusion track list:
- · Unforeseen
- · Sanctity
- · Hot Air
- · Free Will
- · Silver and Gold
- · Intellectual Drool
- · Vultures
- · Hunger
- · The Beat Goes On
- · Temptress Of The Moon
Interview with Steven of Venrez
You guys had a busy year last year with the release of your first album ‘Sell The Lie’; let’s start with a little catching up on all that first, how was the last year?
Wow, last year was really an awesome experience. We got to do our first US tour ever with Fuel in January and February; we got to play at the 2012 Super Bowl in the Super Bowl village in front of around 53,000 people that was really cool. And of course the last show in Biloxi, MS at The Hardrock Café was a packed house. Jason Womack, my song writing partner who also produces the Venrez sound, and his childhood friend Michael Bradford our bass player, they grew up together and are both from there so all their family and friends were there. We followed that up by opening for Alice Cooper in June so 2012 was just an amazing year for us.
You and I stay in touch on social media and such, what were some of the stand out moments for you?
The Super Bowl show, the Alice Cooper show in Burlington, Iowa at the riverboat festival for 20,000 people. The thing you need to understand is we had toured Europe twice before we ever toured the U.S. with Fuel in 2012 for the first time and I had never really played for more than about 1,200 people.
You know Jason Womack on guitar, Alex Kane from LSD on guitar, and Ed Davis my drummer; Jason and Eddie played with Juliette Lewis and the Licks for three and a half years, toured the world with her. You know, those guys have been around a long time and they have played before between 10k and 40k people dozens of times. That’s why the Super Bowl show stood out for me (laughs) because I didn’t go from 10 to 1,500, I went right to 53,000 so that will always stand out for me.
And now the band has a new CD ‘American Illusion’, can you talk about the making and writing of this one?
I’m real proud of this body of work. We’ve been together 3 years now. “Sell The Lie” was recorded kind of in a rush so we had merch to sell at the shows, when we recorded it we were fairly new together; Jason and I are the only original members left. So “American Illusion” is our first record as a band. Although I think “Sell The Lie” is a great record and represents Venrez really well; I think our fans are hearing the difference between great players in a cohesive band.
Listening to some of the music, it definitely has a tighter sound and the band has grown without a doubt, what is the band doing as far as promotions for the album?
We had a few contests, we got a lot of people to join our mailing lists, we gave them Sell The Lie free and signed them when they bought the new one so they were getting two for one. We did another contest where we did a video for the winner talking about whatever he wanted us to talk about and the winner wanted us to talk about Miller High Life, he’s not a Bud man (laughs). Then Leslie Morrison won the local contest in Los Angeles for us to play for them; her boss is fairly wealthy and has a huge mansion so he threw a catered party and we went and played unplugged for about 50 people, it was awesome.
Knowing you and chatting from time to time since our last interview, I know you dig the gigs, so what’s in store for the band for touring?
We are set to go to Europe on November 3rd with Buck Cherry and Hardcore Superstar. We have a lot of fans over there so we are really excited for it. It’s The Gray Tour so it’s all the biggest and best theatrical venues throughout Europe and we are real excited about that. We get to play a couple of countries we haven’t played like Germany and Austria. And we get to go back to Ireland, Scotland, England, France, and returning to Belgium.
The song ‘Hot Air’ comes right at you from the first note and then your signature style kicks in, you guys have a chance at being huge in my opinion, I see there is a video off the album coming for the awesome tune ‘Sanctity’, can you tell me about the video?
Actually, Sanctity was supposed to be the first single off the album; I wanted my dear friend Christopher Coppola, Nick Cage’s brother and Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew, to direct it but he is so busy that we couldn’t get it shot and the video done in time, so we went with Unforeseen our ‘rockiest tune’. I think Sanctity is our most commercial tune. I am very excited about the Sanctity video, Mr. Coppola is a feature film and music video director and he came up with a real art piece that I’m really happy about. The lyrics are really deep about how we are being controlled and taking the futures away from our children by government. My usual one or two shots per album political statements. And of course Intellectual Drool which I wrote the day after they supposedly killed Bin Laden, it’s my disdain for our governments corporate greed for blood and money, that whole thing.
I had to laugh at that bit on your website about the whole ‘Howard Stern’ thing; you guys definitely need to meet just because.
Yeah, I’m not trying to look like him, I’m six feet tall and he’s six feet seven; he’s 59 and I’m younger. We do tend to wear the same kind of tinted glasses and we kind of have that same kind of curly haired style but that’s always been my look (laughs) I do get bothered quite a bit on a daily basis by it. Hopefully it will turn into something good, I haven’t met him. The day someone goes up to him and asks him if he’s Venrez will be a good day for me (laughs).
What else should people know about Venrez that we don’t? Any hidden gems?
That’s really a hard question to answer, I think we are a new band on the rise and are very approachable like many other bands. We have over 400,000 fans on Facebook and I respond personally to every person that contacts me. I think our fans are really happy that they can do that, although I’m no Mick Jagger, but we are considered to be, to them, some sort of rockstar although not on any level like a Foo Fighter or a Chris Cornel from Soundgarden, but when we respond they are very happy. Venrez, we are all professional and earn the fans one at a time.
Famous last question, what would you like to say to the readers and fans?
I always say the same thing! Thank you and we love you and we are grateful for your support! We understand that without you there is no music and there is no career for us. I’ll stand out there for 24 hours signing autographs for you, ain’t too proud to beg!
You can find Venrez at these links: