This Friday German post-hardcore outfit VENUES released the fourth entry in their comically gory Rock N’ Roll zombie saga with videographer Marius Milinski. The video is for “Mountains,” the fourth release off of the band’s upcoming sophomore effort, Solace, due out August 27th. Following the release of their 2018 debut, Aspire, Solace sees the band delving further into the realm of metal and doing away with some of the pop touches of their first album. The band has also gone through a few lineup changes. Lela Gruber has taken over clean vocal duties since Nyves left the band in 2019 and, most recently, Valentin Hahnemann has joined the fold on guitar. I recently got a chance to chat with Valentin about his first chapter in the band.
Izzy Cihak: Your second album, Solace, is hitting the shelves later this summer and I understand it’s notably heavier than your debut, both musically and thematically. What would you consider to be some of the album’s most significant influences?
Valentin Hahnemann: This is really hard to say… All the members of VENUES have a wildly different taste in music, we come from a whole bunch of places. But for me personally, the biggest influence in regard to Solace is probably Falling in Reverse´s first two records.
Izzy: Since this is your sophomore album, I have to ask, what are some of your favorite sophomore albums of music history? As far as the heavy stuff goes, Fun House by The Stooges and Paranoid by Black Sabbath are probably my favorites.
Valentin: Iowa by Slipknot… no contest! Brainwashed by While She Sleeps is another good one and Toxicity by System of A Down are the ones that come to mind.
Izzy: I really like your recent videos with Marius Milinski, so I’m curious about what influences the visual elements of your work. Are there any directors or films that you are an especially big fan of, or that you feel particularly inspired by?
Valentin: Thank you! But to be completely honest, we didn’t do much in regards to the videos… They are all Marius ideas and vision and it’s all the better for it! This is his profession and he totally nailed it!
Izzy: This is a really huge question, but I just realized that it hasn’t been that many years since your debut, Aspire, so I’m inclined to ask: What have been some of your personal highlights of the band so far? Any favorite experiences?
Valentin: For me it was the writing and recording of Solace. I’m the newest addition to the band so there are no crazy tour stories of me yet, haha.
Izzy: On a related note, what kinds of people seem to be most into your music? Have you noticed patterns in the fans who turn up to your shows and reach out to you online?
Valentin: Mostly pretty young people from the heavy music scene, I would say. Lots of coloured hair and tattoos, but I really don’t like to think in boxes. I try to see people as people as good as I can.
Izzy: Finally, and I realize a lot of this is still sort of up in the air, but what are you hoping and planning for 2021? Is there anything you’re especially excited about?
Valentin: We have the album release on 08/27/21, which I’m super exited for of course! Also, slowly but surely gigs start to come back. We play a festival called Rock For People in the Czech Republic which I’ve never been to, so that’s pretty damn exiting!