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.
I must admit that “Beg Upon The Light” is very well produced and it has a bunch of surefire hits like “Path of Doom”, “Give Up The Witch” and “Hell’s Heroes.” What makes you personally proud of the album? GH: I’m proud we managed to have a good balance. Not too heavy, not too soft, the right amount of songs, titles and all the details down to the artwork and colors. We are very picky and this record went very smoothly for me. The main thing about the music is that we want it to last and I think that this record will hold up over time, but we also try to focus on the future, I am already over it. What were your main priorities when you worked on these songs? GH: Our main priorities were making sure it sounded like an album; looking at it like we were making a movie and that every scene flowed together. You have a song called "Hell's Heroes"-- what is it about? Who were your heroes when you were a schoolboy? GH: “Hell's Heroes” are the men, women and children that died for their beliefs. The mentally insane, Christians, drug addicts, Buddhists, and so on. We are all focused on walking our chosen paths. It’s hard enough without assholes trying to burn you for it. My heroes as a child were Beetlejuice, Evel Knievel, Beethoven, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Conan” and “Total Recall” especially). What kinds of topics did you use for other songs? GH: Enlightenment, Reincarnation, Dreams and so on… Nowadays it’s hard for a band to be recognized if they have no Facebook or Bandcamp profile, yet that “social networked” way of living is also like a cancer, exhausting your normal life. I see that the band has become quite popular; what methods do you use to promote the band? CL: We slave for this band. At times it can be overwhelming. The social media sites may be a curse but this is the first time in history that anyone can hear your music by just sitting at home on the computer or searching for it on their phone. The best thing to do is get your music out there. If people are inclined to like it then hopefully it catches on. It may be time consuming but we put everything into what we do so it doesn't bother us. I know that Gregg runs tattoo shop; do you offer discounts for those who buy Venomous Maximus CDs? GH: Nah I give them a CD if they get a tattoo! What does playing in the band give you? Does it make you feel harmony, does it help to find some balance or just push out some stress? GH: It gives me freedom. This balance saved my life. I was buried down before the band started and it helped bring me back up. That’s where a lot of the inspiration comes from. It’s like my second heart. Well, then I hope the band continues to find success! Let’s finish the interview with a question about Venomous Maximus’ plans for next year. CL: This year will involve more touring for us. We are going out with Down for a little bit at the beginning of the year and hopefully over to Europe this summer and we’re planning on starting to record the next album in the fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...