Reviews

Venomous Rose – Interview


This week it’s the turn of bassist Sam Fuller from up-and-coming glamsters Venomous Rose.   They party hard, put on a great live show and take us all back to the sleazy roots we came from if you’re anywhere near me in age.   Based in Nottingham and Derby, they are making their mark with a debut album on the way and a whole bunch of performances lined up for 2023.   Let’s find out more, shall we?

 

VL:  How would you describe your band?

SF: If you had to come up with a name or subgenre to define us, I’d call us 21st Century British Sleaze. We love everything to do with 80’s glam/sleaze! We listen to lots of other types of music – basically anything that rocks! But for us, the kind of sleazy rock that makes you want to throw a party with your mates that you won’t remember after you’ve come to, will always rule our hearts. We grew up on the likes of Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, Firehouse etc…, so if you’re a fan of any of those bands there’s a good chance we’re right up your alley!

 

VL: Tell us a bit about your background – where you’re from and how you came to start making music

SF: We officially formed back in 2019.  Dan Griffiths (Guitar) and Josh Grainger (Drums) have been friends since school. Dan later discovered Sam Fuller on bass and Matteo Di Marco’s Italian frontman swagger on one of our many crazy drunken nights out in Nottingham. We had all been in local bands before and knew each other within the scene. We played our first show at the Old Salutation Inn in Nottingham back in July 2021, supporting the Needful Things, and since then we’ve seen more and more people coming to our shows. We played Derby and Nottingham in November back-to-back, and both shows were packed! Our friends and families always do their best to be at our shows and they’re very supportive. They all have merch and wear it proudly!

 

VL: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

SF: Inspiration can come from anywhere and take any form. Some of our songs stem from a set of lyrics, some are born from an awesome riff one of us has come up with.  If someone has an idea, whether it’s lyrics or the music side of things, we work together from that starting point to make it the best song we can! In terms of lyrical content, our songs cover a broad spectrum. We’ve written about letting out your inner demon and letting go; rock ‘n’ roll and the current music scene; heartbreak and relationship breakdowns; being in love and just generally having a good, good time!

 

VL: What are your aspirations as an artist/band?

SF: The sky is the limit! Who doesn’t want to headline Download Festival or travel in a private plane with its own in-built fireplace like Led Zeppelin did in the 70s? We really want to take this as far as we can! We were first booked to play with Stop Stop just under a year ago which was a huge deal for us; three months after that we’re opening for Crazy Lixx and Chez Kane at the legendary KK’s Steel Mill! If you’d told us we’d do either of those things a year ago, we’d have all laughed! We just want to keep playing awesome shows with awesome bands, performing for as many people as we can. It’s in our blood and it’s literally what keeps us alive!

 

VL: What has been the proudest moment in your music career so far?

SF: There’s been numerous times when we’ve all felt exceptionally proud of what we’ve achieved. Our debut EP Raise the Flame was completely self-produced, with all recording, mixing and mastering being done from Dan’s garage.  In future we’re moving away from recording in that fashion in favour of better quality resources and more experienced producers and engineers – we are all extremely proud of what we managed to achieve on our own with no prior experience or outside help.

Being able to open for Crazy Lixx – a band we’ve been fans of for years – in a venue holding 2,000 people and owned by a legendary member of Judas Priest has got to be our proudest show so far. It got us to step up our game as performers, condensing as many songs as we could into 30 minutes and planning down to the wire everything we were going to say and do. From that point we became a much tighter band and shed a lot of the amateur attributes we’d still somewhat carried.

Performing with Collateral in Glasgow on the closing night of FiendFest was another huge moment for us, with Dan getting to do the solos in both songs we played together. The crowd was absolutely mental, and the venue was packed front to back. We sold almost all the merch we brought up with us and had a truly unforgettable night! To think that all three of these events happened within the space of a year is crazy and I can’t wait to see where we are one year from now!

 

VL: Promoting music can be a real challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

SF: Self-promotion is fucking HARD! There are so many bands across such a broad spectrum all competing for airplay, coverage, opportunities and ticket sales. We all use social media as best we can to promote our shows, sharing any upcoming shows we have across the widest platform we can. We love making our own posters and flyers for shows too. We recently had a batch of posters for our upcoming show in Sheffield printed off and put up across Sheffield Hallam University where Sam studies as a way of reaching a wider audience.

In terms of management, we’ve pretty much always done everything ourselves, with help from some good friends along the way. We would certainly love to work with PR agencies and touring companies, but sadly none of us really have the finances to cover something of that expense. We’re currently sitting on a newly finished music video and two new singles, and once these have been released, we want to start looking for record labels to help get the Venomous Rose brand farther and wider than ever before! All we need is the right investment, but sadly such things are hard to come across these days.

 

VL: Any performances coming up?

Sat 14/01 – Yorkshireman, Sheffield
FREE ENTRY – https://fb.me/e/2xmG3CQM8

Fri 03/02 – Tap N Tumbler, Nottingham
FREE ENTRY – https://fb.me/e/39nc60UnT

Sat 25/03 – Old Salutation Inn, Nottingham
https://fb.me/e/3yGgyqbJ0

More shows tba

 

VL: What are you working on at the moment?

SF: We have two new singles recorded and ready to go, with a music video complete for the first. The first single Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll is due out Saturday 28 January, with a second date yet to be confirmed for the second single. We hired Will Lacey as the video director for Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll, as he’s previously worked with Bullets and Octane and the Mercury Riots and has produced some great work for both bands. We’ve been filming since April as we wanted loads of footage from different shows of various sizes so you can really get a feel of how much the band has evolved and the breadth of our audience.

Going forward, we want the two upcoming singles to form part of our debut album, alongside a couple of tracks from Raise the Flame that we may decide to put on the album. We always have lots of ideas in the works musically and we’re getting close to having a full album’s worth of unreleased music ready to go. We also want to continue playing alongside more and more awesome bands, play some fantastic venues up and down the country and make more friends along the way! We love how much our fanbase has grown in the last year and we are eager to see it develop.

Venoumous Rose – Mr Rock N’ Roll

 

VL: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

SH: That’s a very tough question! I guarantee whatever each member of the band picked individually would not be what the others had picked. I think one we could probably all agree on would be Youth Gone Wild by Skid Row as it’s such as feel-good hard rock anthem. It’s a story of struggle and survival coming from absolutely nothing, but about standing tall together and uniting in that struggle. I think a lot of people can easily relate to feeling downtrodden by life, society or both and that song has a lot more depth than most give it credit for. It’s a song that can easily get you pumped and make you get up and dance whenever you hear it played. The chorus is extremely catchy, the song has a strong and solid beat and the vocals give such a raw and powerful edge to the music.

 

VL: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, that you would change if you could?

SH: The absolute dishonesty of so many people within it. That can include people in the media, promoters, other bands or anyone else who tries to use others for their own ends. We’ve had so many promises broken, had promoters and journalists do a runner with our money after we’d either played shows or paid for services, individuals stealing merchandise etc…, and that’s just what we’ve experienced on the small-scale. You can also look at the corrupt local authorities – such as Derby City Council – trying to shut down local venues like the Hairy Dog or Dubrek Studios because investors want to turn the land into luxury apartments or more student accommodation.

Overall, the biggest issue is that it is almost completely impossible to make any kind of living in music, period. There are bands getting millions of streams on Spotify and similar platforms but see little or no revenue whatsoever. There are venues and festivals that demand bands travel halfway across the country, pay to be able to play at their events, whilst also taking huge cuts from merchandise. Most labels of practically any size own the rights to the music their artists produce, have significant control over the artistic license of these artists, whilst giving very little to them in terms of earnings. If you look back 40 or 50 years ago, bands of similar size to us could earn a survivable income and had the means to express themselves properly and be authentic. The reason you don’t see rock ‘n’ roll in the mainstream anymore isn’t because people don’t enjoy it or care for it anymore, it’s because it’s so unrepresented and shunned by the major music industry. I guarantee if a band like us was given the same investment record labels had given to the likes of Van Halen back in the late 70s, they would be able to flourish in the same way.

 

VL: What’s the most outrageous thing you/your band has ever done?

SF: We’ve done plenty of crazy things, although the majority of our answers could easily get one or multiple members of the band into trouble if printed! It’s fair to say that practically all of us have had our fair share of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll cliché at some point, from partying with other bands in an abandoned factory, drinking an event’s entire rider to ourselves, passing out in numerous venue toilets, running away after somebody got smashed and pissed up somebody’s radiator, building a healthy collection of stolen Wetherspoons glasses and mugs, blasting Van Halen at 4am on a Wednesday night in a terrace house, snogging married women, receiving favours in venue toilets and going onstage high on MDMA. If anyone wants to ask about this stuff off the record, come along to one of our shows and you can get all the juicy details you could want. Until then we’re going to leave it more or less up to your imagination, but we are certainly not as innocent as we look!

 

VL: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

We are on all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud. You can also buy merch from our website – https://venomousrose.com/ – or via Bandcamp or Facebook.

 

What do I think?

I love this interview.  Sam is hilarious, brutally honest, and tells it like it is – which reflects the band itself in fact.   I’ve yet to see them live which is annoying because I should have by now, but I do love a gig at the Ole Salutation so March looks good for me.   Sleaze glam has always been one of my favourite genres of rock and metal just for the sheer joy of it, and Venomous Rose do it every bit as outrageously as you’d want it.   I’m very much looking forward to the album coming out, it’s gonna be a winner.

Venomous Rose links:
Band/Artist location – Nottingham UK
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – 
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer
Check our page for Venomous Rose


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