In a brand new interview with Consequence Of Sound, Conrad “Cronos” Lant of black metal pioneers VENOM was asked about his band’s influence on subsequent extreme metal groups.
“I really like to think of VENOM as a catalyst rather than inventors,” he said. “Influence would probably be more like it. I’ve always been — from being young — a fan of what you’d call ‘rock music.’ From THE BEATLES to THE [ROLLING] STONES to THE WHO, through [LED] ZEPPELIN and [DEEP] PURPLE and everybody. So, I’ve always liked the idea of drums, guitar, this, that, and the other. My mum’s brother used to play guitar in a country-western band, so I’ve always been around instruments and music. I’ve never really gotten into any of the electronic stuff when it came along in the ’80s. I didn’t really see how that was working for me in any way — I just like a drum kit and a guitar.”
He continued: “When people used to ask back in the day, ‘How do you describe VENOM?’ I would say, ‘It’s all the best bits of the bands that I love.’ So, if JUDAS PRIEST wear leather jackets, then I’m going to wear a leather jacket and a pair of leather pants! And if KISS have three flashpots on the front of the stage, I’m going to have ten! And if Ozzy Osbourne is going to sing about the devil walking down the street, then I’m going to be the devil walking down the street! It was taking all of the great things that I loved, and all the crazy frontmen, like Gene Simmons, Ian Anderson, Rob Halford, and encompassing all of these ideas into a new thing. And then, adding that dash of punk. That’s why I always used to wear the big Doc Martens — that was my punk heritage.
“And just putting some aggression back into the music,” Cronos added. “I mean, heavy metal has always been ‘the devil’s music.’ They always say the devil has the best tunes, and I was bit frustrated at leaving school and being told that rock music was dead, and it had its day and everybody was finished with it. I had to absolutely disagree. So, when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal started in England — which became IRON MAIDEN, SAXON, SAMSON, and all these bands — I wanted to create something different from that. I appreciated that they were very heavily influenced by the ZEPPELINs, the PURPLEs, and the [BLACK] SABBATHs, and were trying to keep a hold of this ’70s vibe. I get all of that, but I wanted something that was kind of a cross between SABBATH and MOTÖRHEAD. Something more aggressive — with a bit of SEX PISTOLS in there, to get nasty.”
VENOM‘s 15th full-length studio album, “Storm The Gates”, was released on December 14 through Spinefarm Records. The follow-up to 2015’s “From The Very Depths” was made available on CD and digital formats, with vinyl and cassette versions to arrive in early 2019.
VENOM is not to be confused with VENOM INC., the band featuring original VENOM guitarist Jeff “Mantas” Dunn alongside ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan.
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