Interview with Venomous Maximus
Hailing from Houston, the four-piece known as Venomous Maximus deals out occult-flavored heavy metal that blends Sabbathian riffs with chugging NWOBHM energy. Their debut LP “Beg Upon The Light” follows up on the promise of their 2011 EP “The Mission.” Blasting onto the scene and supporting venerable acts like Saint Vitus and Pentagram, the cult of Venemous Maximus promises to grow stronger into 2013. Occult Rock sat down with vocalist and guitarist Gregg Higgins and guitarist Christian Larson to discuss the history and creativity behind this heavy-hitting Texas crew. Let me congratulate you and the rest of Venomous Maximus on the release of your first full-length album, “Beg Upon The Light”. Did you celebrate this event with your bandmates? Gregg Higgins: Yes of course! It’s always a celebration when it comes to this band. We still live everyday normal lives and are constantly trapped in time. Every chance we get to experience the other side of life, we get lost. “Beg Upon The Light” is a solid and professional work—can you introduce the other members of your crew? Christian Larson: Our crew is Bongo on drums, Trevi Biles on Bass and Gregg Higgins on guitar and vocals. How much time did the whole process of composing, recording and producing “Beg Upon The Light” take? And how did you connect with Cutthroat Records? CL: The album took us about three or four months of recording, all long days and nights. We wanted to try out new things and experimented with different sounds and ideas. It was important to push our limits and see where we could go with the record! Venomous Maximus is a new band but you don’t look like youngsters! How long ago did you start your way onto the metal scene? GH: I am the youngest member of the band and I’m 30. I was in my first band when I was 17. Trevi is the oldest in the band and he has been playing music even longer than me! Christian and Bongo have been playing in bands forever too. I have jammed with friends all over Texas and New Orleans so we have all been around for a little while. I was doing an interview with another great Doom band from the Southern US, and that guy told me that one of main influences that drove him to play heavy music was the insane propaganda of the Baptist Church. What turned your feet onto the crooked path of Doom? GH: Starts when you’re a child. Your mind isn't shaped and you don't have a point of view about anything. You’re free to be! That’s the great part about being a child. Naturally you’re going to like the music that moves you the most. I think that it’s all predetermined--what kind of person you’re going to be and the life that you live. All my favorite music is a soundtrack to my life. They should match! The songs of Venomous Maximus sound fresh and strong, yet they combine elements of genres like NWOBHM and Doom Metal. Which trends of the classic and modern metal scenes do you like and which ones do you refuse to use in your songs? GH: It’s not a big secret a lot of the bands we like. We have our own underground 70's rock bands we love. Captain Beyond and Uriah Heep are two of the names we started talking about a lot when we started the band. But a lot of it is us listening to classics like Blue Öyster Cult and Judas Priest. Not just jamming the songs you know and love, but listening to the deep cuts. I tell people all the time that the Scorpions is one of my favorite bands but a lot of people don't get into the earlier records. As for new bands, the goal seems to be capturing the essence of the old instead of going for something original; that was the 90's. The Entrance Band and Convict Guilt are two good modern bands. It’s all about keeping going what was started.