Ventenner are currently getting ready to enter the studio to record some new material – we caught up with singer and founding member Charlie to find out what we can expect from the new material!
Firstly, can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
I’m Charlie, singer and founding member of Ventenner. Ventenner started as a solo project around 2009. The early material was very loop based and industrial sounding, basically an easy canvas for me to put my first lyrical ideas on to. Eventually I left my hometown and moved to London to make Ventenner into something. It slowly grew person by person into what it is today. It is odd sometimes to see five people onstage playing a song that I wrote years ago by myself, when I didn’t know any of them. That said, this is where I always intended it to be.
So you’re going into the studio to work on the follow-up to Distorture. What can fans expect from the new material?
Indeed we are. The new album is an interesting new direction for us. After Distorture came out we started to play it in the rehearsal studio, and we found that a number of the songs just didn’t transpose to a live setting very well. It was weird for us, as they were songs that we liked, but looking back it had been a very studio based writing process, very insular. This time it was more about all of us in a room at the same time creating stuff from scratch. We weren’t purposely trying to write songs to sound great live, but that’s exactly how it’s come out. All the elements that fans like about us are still there though, it still sounds very much like us. But it’s heavier, faster and has a lot more energy.
Have you picked up where Distorture left off, or will this piece be completely different?
Distorture was a pretty dark and atmospheric album, which is exactly what it was meant to be. I’ve always tried to write in a way that someone can put on a Ventenner album and really get lost in it for a while. That’s what I get from my favourite albums and that’s what I wanted to give back. That cohesive element has always been important to me, from the early material to the bluesy, swampiness of This Is The Reason. This time we just seemed to write with a lot more aggression. The creative flow was coming from somewhere else altogether. Lyrically though, the words and overall concept is picking things up where it left off. It’s the next step.
With regards to the writing process, did you do anything different this time around?
We all threw in a lot of different ideas this time. A lot of the time Ben (bassist) was creating a lot of synth parts and beats, Jonno (guitarist) was playing bass lines and doing vocal melodies, we were really mixing it up. It only takes the tiniest spark of inspiration for us to build on and build quickly. Vocally I’m approaching the whole thing differently this time too. My voice has changed a lot. It’s like any instrument, you learn to use it better, you practice. You get the sound you want.
What are you most looking forward to about the recording process?
Hearing it all piece together on a studio desk is just great. Going from a small home studio to a full system sounds amazing every time. It all comes to life instantly. There’s going to be a lot more experimenting this time around too, there’s some totally unexpected curve balls in this album and some techniques and sounds we’ve never used before. I’m very excited about it to be honest and very excited to get it out there. Sometimes recording can seem daunting, almost like a huge piece of work you have to do, not this time.
When can fans expect their first teaser for new music?
Well we’ve been playing a couple of the new ones live already this year and we’ll have a video or two out in the summer, along with teasers and other bits and pieces along the way. But until then it’s all being kept under wraps, even the title isn’t being talked about. We’re going to make sure there’s a lot out there. Our fans have been great to us and we want to make sure we give plenty back.
Are there any plans for some live shows for fans to get a sneak preview of the music ahead of release?
We’re playing with Mortiis at The Garage on May 28th and at Electrowerkz with 3TEETH August 27th. We would be playing more but at this moment in time all focus is on getting the album finished. Plus we’ve always had a quality over to quantity ethos when it comes to live shows and touring.
And finally, what’s in store for Ventenner for the rest of the year?
We’ve got limited edition CD and vinyl re-issues of This Is The Reason and Distorture coming out soon, a remix CD is about to be released and a new line of merch. We’ll also be partnering with a new label. We’ve got a lot on, the album campaign alone is going to keep me busy for six months and increase my coffee intake to unknown quantities. But there’s more to come, so much more. Where we are now feels like the beginning of something.