TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This e-mail interview with the vocalist Kevin Sharpe of Venomous Concept was done by Chris Rohde in late July, 2004.
The hardcore / punk project Venomous Concept was formed in 2003 by musicians from well known bands such as Brutal Truth, Napalm Death and Melvins. Front man Kevin Sharpe took some time off to answer our questions.
Kevin, first of all thanks for taking time to answer some questions. Also I must say that “Retroactive Abortion” is a wicked album!!
Now being that I’m a huge fan of Napalm Death, I’ve known about Venomous Concept for quite awhile now. It was mentioned on the Napalm Death forum that you and Shane were talking about a side project. So speculations arose about what type of band you guys would put together, whether it would be grindcore, industrial, noise, ect. . . I have bought the album, and it is and it isn’t what I expected from the people involved with Venomous Concept. I expected balls-out speedy grind. Which I’m glad it isn’t. That would be too obvious. It’s hardcore punk/noise, or Outlaw Punk as you prefer to call it. How did you guys decide how the band should sound?? Also who was the brain behind this band originally??
Well the idea I guess originally started with Buzz and myself a few years back… We had talked about doing a true punk record… Then about a year ago Napalm had a fall out with a road crew dude and I jumped on and helped them out for the remainder of that Nile tour… The obvious late night talks – getting caught up and talking shit… Shane had some riffs and ideas… and I just put a call in and got the ball rolling… there is no brain behind this, everybody does their thing… I organize, write vocals and lyrics, and do all the art, Shane and Buzz write the riffs and Danny… well he drives the shit with the best Discharge beat this side of Discharge…
How did each one of you (Shane, Buzz, Danny) get together for this project??
Obviously, Shane and Danny play together in Napalm Death. You’ve known them for years, how does Buzz fit in?? Wasn’t former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris going to be the skin beater for Venomous Concept?? If so, what happened there??
Originally Mick ‘the human tornado” Harris was going to track the drums, but he scored a job teaching recording… He has a family and has struggled with the biz bullshit for a while… He opted for security with family… Fortunately Danny was in LA visiting family… and since Shane and Danny live in the same house in the UK… he knew all the shit and jumped in… I had toured with Danny before, so it was all straight… Besides these guys have been doing this shit for so long that there is no drama or novice attitudes we approach things professionally… This is what we do…
Whose idea was it to name the band “Venomous Concept”?? Is there any story behind the name??
Shane came up with that one… It was just a piss-take on Poison Idea…
Are there any touring possibilities?? One show in Chicago isn’t enough!!
Yeah, it is just a matter of organizing everyone’s schedule… Looks like I am gonna get the record out on vinyl first, then start this split series we are working on, then we will start up in the winter, Japan then Australia and New Zealand… Then we will work it out from there… I think there is talk of Melvins, Napalm, VC here in the spring… and Europe of course…
These days there are so many “Super-groups”, but they don’t normally sound any different than the other bands that each musician is from. That’s what I like most about Venomous Concept. It isn’t what people would expect from people that are/were in Brutal Truth or Napalm Death. “Retroactive Abortion” isn’t a new style or genre, but it’s different from what the collective people in the band already have done before. Do you have any comments about this?? Why is Venomous different?? Why did you guys chose to play punk rock, do you look at it as a step back in a way??
Of course it is stepping back, but most people into our bands or previous bands, never caught the front end of what we were trying to accomplish here… Of course there is nothing new going on here, we were just trying to do something good, something sincere… There would be no reason to do a grind Melvins record… that would have been predictable… I think that future recordings will be more involved as we develop, but this was a sweet ride…
Okay, shifting gears now if you don’t mind. What do you think of this comment: “Scott Lewis was the fastest drummer ever”?? I can think of many drummers who may be faster, I’m pretty sure the drummer for The Berzerker may have that title. But "Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses" is damn fucking fast. It’s incredible how fast he played for that album.
Scott was a really fast drummer, but his attack wasn’t so solid… I played with Damaged and Matt hit like a caveman… I’ll agree on the Australian drummers… tons with chops, but the speed barrier has been tapped…
What was the creative thought behind changing the sound of Brutal Truth from E.C.D.E.R. to Need to Control??
We had already done an extreme metal record, it was time to move on and do something different… We made a conscience effort to change… We knew we were never going to make any money, so at least we could throw a wrench into the game…
Now a little about you, have you always been a vocalist, or do you play any instruments??
Played drums in my first band.
What made you decide to become a grind/death metal vocalist?? Who were your influences, and who do you think are impressive these days??
I can’t really think of a death metal vocalist that inspired me, but there was a ton of hardcore stuff… really that was a long time ago, and I don’t really remember too much about how I got started…
What bands past and present influenced you??
On the record… Black Flag, Germs, Minor Threat, Anti-Cimex, Discharge, GISM, Gauze, SOB, Nightmare, Sick Of It All…
What’s lined up for the future?? Any new recordings for Venomous Concept, or any other bands that we may not know about??
Well we got 7 songs written and recorded for the next record… basically just getting started with the whole thing… They will originally come out on split releases throughout the year on the FETO label… Touring recording, it’s all the same, and yes we will be busy… I think both the Melvins and Napalm will release records this year… and Buzz told me yesterday that Jello was in town finishing that Melvins, Biafra record… I’ll update shit like that on my site…
Do you know who’s involved with Brujeria?? The complete line-up maybe??
Well you are asking because of the Shane thing obviously, but that is Dino’s trip and I will let him answer for that…
Okay, I’m going to list some names, could you write whatever comes to your mind first:
Just a fool like any other.
Slayer or Metallica:
Used to be valid.
Bobo the Clown:
Drunken alter ego with high sense of fashion.
Thanks for your time Kevin. Keep fucking shit up. Cheers.
Links of interest: