VENOM Guitarist RAGE On Band's Current Line-up - "We All Want The Same Thing"

January 28, 2019, 3 years ago

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VENOM Guitarist RAGE On Band's Current Line-up - "We All Want The Same Thing"

In a new feature by music writer Joel Gausten, Venom guitarist Rage discusses the band's new album (Storm The Gates) and the strength of its current lineup. An excerpt from the story appears below:

Coming of age as a music fan in the late ’70s/early ’80s, Rage drew early inspiration from Venom, Raven and other bands that were developing in his home city at the time.  

“All of these bands were starting to come out that were really local to where I was… There was a little group of bands that were from Newcastle. That was awesome for me and my mates, because we weren’t in London but we had a chance to see these bands locally, walking around town and stuff like that. I had a group of mates; we all wanted to play music, and there was fresh, new music coming out. I remember Black Metal coming out."

“We had this English teacher (at school) who was like this hippie; she was absolutely awesome,” he continues. “She used to say, ‘Bring music in!’ We would listen to music in the classroom. My mates brought in (Venom’s) ‘Fuck Off And Die’ (laughs). I think it was the b-side of ‘Nightmare,’ the 12-inch. The local priest’s son was in our class, and he hadn’t brought a record in. We said, ‘Oh, put on this one! It’s brilliant! It’s like Christian music.’ He was like, ‘Oh, thanks for helping! I was going to get into trouble because I didn’t have any music.’ He put it on…and we were just shitting and pissing ourselves laughing! I still see (the priest’s son) over 30 years later; he still goes, ‘You bastard!’(laughs)."

A solid unit that grows stronger with each album it unleashes, the current incarnation of Venom has actually been together longer than the band’s classic lineup. While some diehard fans of any band will never accept the introduction of new faces along the way, Rage takes it in stride.  

“I’ve been in the band for 12 years, and some people still call me the ‘new’ guitarist! (laughs). In 25 years’ time, they’ll go. ‘Oh, you’re the new guitarist in Venom!’ I’ll be like, ‘No! I’ve been in it 37 years!’”

From growing up a fan of Venom to spending more than a decade in the group itself, Rage is proud of his experiences with one of the scene’s most important and influential acts. Unsurprisingly, he sees this version of the Newcastle Metal machine running long into the future.

“We all want the same thing. We’re all individuals, but we all have the same sort of goal. Not many bands last a long time, do they? There have always been lineup changes, but for the past 10 years, it’s just been fucking easy (laughs). We don’t have arguments about the usual bullshit. Individually, we all want to write songs that Venom fans are going to be proud of. We want Venom to carry on.”

The complete feature is available at this location.

Venom, the unholy trinity of Cronos, Rage, and Dante, celebrate a massive 10 years together with new studio album, Storm The Gates - a 13-track outing for blasphemers, fornicators, and the forever cursed  - released via Spinefarm Records on December 14th. The CD/digital versions of the record will be available from this date, with a deluxe double vinyl package following early in 2019.

Storm The Gates is a classic call-to-arms from a legendary band who can legitimately be classed as both original and genre-defining.

There is nothing like Venom. Just Venom.

Since 2009, this latest incarnation of the group has had a clear vision of who they are and where they want to go. They steadfastly refuse to compromise or waiver in their beliefs, building on the signature style and sound established by Cronos back in 1979. As both artist and producer, this iconic frontman - and Venom's beating black heart - effectively opened the gates (of hell) for a whole new brand of metal, genuinely changing the game with an intensity never before seen or heard.

Mixing the caustic energy and serrated edge of punk with the volume and bombast of metal, adding a life-threatening amount of pyro, then brutally dragging the whole thing through a tangled hedge of thorns, Venom has been responsible for some of the guitar world’s most revered – and feared – compositions. Titles to be whispered in darkened, cob-webbed rooms.

There was metal and then there was black metal. Venom metal.

Now approaching the band's 40th anniversary, Venom have matured into a true force of nature - louder, faster, nastier and ready to unleash the hounds of hell with Storm The Gates, studio album No. 15. Produced by Cronos himself, this is the raw sound of a band who don't need tricks of technology to make their point. The titles tell it all: "Bring Out Your Dead" (the lead single/video), "100 Miles To Hell," "Destroyer," "Beaten To A Pulp," "Dark Night (Of The Soul)" - simply, there is no mellowing in spirit, nothing less than un-tempered rage and roar.

As Cronos launches into album opener "Bring Out Your Dead," spitting out the lyrics like a demon-summoning incantation, one thing is abundantly clear; this could be no other band. We're walking through a different landscape here, a world of dark intent underpinned by a selection of songs designed to have heads bangin' and spinnin' (The Exorcist- style) in equal measure...

"We always say that a song has to find itself, has to develop," exclaims Cronos. "We've had nearly three years with these compositions, speeding some up, slowing some down, changing the lyrics, adding breaks, moving verses… that's how songs grow, and that's how you end up writing a better album. That's why I don't believe in releasing a record every year – you can't possibly have let those songs develop to their full potential. These albums are going to be around a lot longer than I am, so they need to be able to stand up for themselves. With an album every year, I think you end up with two or three good songs and then a load of shit, and I certainly dont want to release that sort of album!"

In 2018, Venom stand, as always, atop a pile of crushed skulls, wielding blood-stained sonic weapons designed to repel all that is weak and watered-down. There is real integrity here, a defined set of values, plus of course the ongoing ability to create music so worshipped by their Legions of followers worldwide.

The songs themselves are drawn from such passion, based on audience chants, insane mosh-pits of excitement, and that feeling of being part of something enduring and special.

No other line-up of the band has come close to what Cronos, Rage and Dante can deliver. F**k the pretenders, Venom rule the night!

Order Storm The Gates here.


“Bring Out Your Dead”
“I Dark Lord”
“100 Miles To Hell”
“Dark Night (Of The Soul)”
“Beaten To A Pulp”
“The Mighty Have Fallen”
“Over My Dead Body”
“Suffering Dictates”
“We The Loud”
“Storm The Gates”

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