LEEDS FIVE PIECE ROCK BAND ‘VENUS’ RELEASED NEW SINGLE ‘DERANGED’,RECENTLY SIGNED TO MONOMYTH RECORDS AND I GET THE LOWDOWN ON IT ALL WITH THEM! READ IT HERE!
What are your names?
GK, Gracie, Jess, Hannah and Gabby.
What is your genre of music?
Rock with a spacey, astrological twist.
Give us a little bio about you as a band.
Venus are a 5-piece all girl rock band from Leeds, advocating women in alternative music, and a safer, diverse music scene. Aiming to bring a positive energy of feminism and activism through hard hitting rock and punk influenced music, they are bursting onto the Leeds music scene with more drive than ever. Performing alongside bands such as Stealing Sheep at Her Music PR & Brighter Sound’s Her Fest, Venus are consistently marking impressions on some of the most influential bands of the year.
With lead singer Grace Kelly being the voice of the band, she is joined with instrumentalists Jess Ayres (Guitar), Hannah Barraclough (Bass), Grace Stubbings (Synth) and Gabby Cooke (Drums). When these vividly independent personalities and musicianships come together, a refreshing and unique electro-rock sound is produced, which is then seamlessly combined with a classic punk attitude. More specifically, VENUS implement Riot Grrrl aesthetics and ideologies, with the intention of growing it into something new and refreshing in order to create more understanding of women’s rights on art platforms.
What made you go in to music?
There were many factors. I was always surrounded by music in my childhood. Both of my parents were punks and my dad used to be in bands. He constantly played the guitar around me. I started piano lessons at the age of 6 as I was influenced by my older sister who was getting lessons at the time. I was constantly influenced by my parents and sisters taste in music and it would constantly grow and change.
Are you signed?
Yes, we have recently just signed to an independent record label called Monomyth Records. They are super helpful and lovely. We keep all the control over the band but they help with all of the stressful procedures and help us out so much. We are very grateful for their support.
Your released your new single ‘Deranged’ tell us more about them.
Deranged is an embodiment of our anger toward the treatment of women not only in the music industry, but day to day life. Us girls, are NOT a novelty, trend OR object, and we’re often branded as ‘psychos’ or ‘angry feminists’, so I guess we’re playing on the word ‘Deranged’ in that sense. We had a lot of shit from people about being all women in a male dominated environment, people essentialising us and reducing our success down to our gender…’they only get gigs cos they’re girls’ or some shit. When you’re in a ‘girl band’ you want so badly just to be labelled as a ‘band’ like everybody else because music should not be gender restrictive, but you also want to shout it out to the world, that you’re you know, a girl, in a band. We also want people to become empowered when they hear the lyrics and the thrashy riffs, we tried to write it so it belonged in an area that made you angry but in a motivational and positively empowering way, you know? There’s a grey area somewhere there. All in all, it’s a big fuck you to anyone who told us we couldn’t do this, because we damn well are, and so can you
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
Deranged started off with a riff that Jess composed. It developed so much more when practicing and writing as a group. The original composition was so different to what it sounds like now but Jess’ riff is still the heart of the song. It developed a lot in the studio too as we were all individually recording our parts. I was able to develop and explore the synthesiser so much more when recording in a quiet studio.
What was the recording process like?
The recording process was a great and fun experience. We recorded the track twice as we weren’t super happy with the demo version. We decided it was best to have as many hours as possible in the studio. We recorded all of our parts separately and helped mix and master the final outcome. We worked with so many talented people to get the track sounding perfect. Jack Murray, our sole producer, was very understanding and an amazing guy to work with in the studio.
What is the message you want listeners to take from the single?
That women+ are NOT a novelty, trend OR object in the music industry.
Where can we buy the single from?
All streaming platforms, we will also have a limited amount of physical copies on bandcamps and at gigs!
Will we see an EP or album soon and if so what can we expect from that?
I think more singles are on the horizon first!
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
We have various shows lined up at the minute and it keeps on growing. We just recently played Head of Steam supporting Estrons in Newcastle. We are back in Leeds supporting Faux Pas on February the 26th.
Another tour is definitely on the cards.
If so where will you be heading?
We definitely want to play Manchester, we are so close but haven’t played there yet! The music and art scene is amazing there. We also want to play Bristol and Glasgow. But we are open to wherever.
What can we expect in 2019?
Many more gigs and festivals. We hope to build a bigger and stronger music community were we can share and support each other’s work.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up-coming artists?
We constantly collaborate with independent artists. We have recently worked with Doz who has made an amazing music video for Deranged and she also created the artwork. Her instagram Handle
Megan Watson who is based at Goldsmiths University too. Shes created some amazing artwork for the CD and for our social media posts! Her instagram handle
We are also hoping to collaborate with a local band called Purple Thread, we have played with them a couple of times in the past and they’re just amazing people. Hopefully a joint tour?!
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
We would love to work with other musicians in the future. The best way to contact us is through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, I play synthesiser but i’m a classically trained pianist. I also mingle with other instruments such as bass, guitar and sometimes violin…
Who are your influences?
I have a variety of influences. Whether its cross disciplinary or music. I adore the work of Daphne Oram and Pauline Oliveros. I love Bjork. And through my teenage life I listened to a variety of bands from Fear of Men to Twin Atlantic to Arcade fire. My taste is constantly evolving.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I get a lot of my inspiration from crossing disciplines. I’ve found that I find a lot of inspiration from collaborating with people in different fields or from reading about different subjects especially art and philosophy.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Hopefully on tour with VENUS!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Travelling, I’m constantly in a different place visiting different friends.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
I think it would have to be Arcade fire – We Used to Wait. I remember discovering the band from this song when it first came out. This developed my music taste as a teenager. As a child I’d probably say any track from Atomic Kitten though.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
To not give up practicing the piano and to go with what I want to do, no what other people want of me.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Keep true to yourself, explore and experiment as much as possible. Never be afraid to push boundaries and think outside of the box.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
I definitely recommend The Causeway. They always put live music on and they’re really supportive of local bands. It’s good for just some drinks as well as there is always a really nice atmosphere in there. If it’s somewhere to visit definitely the Headland for a walk around the beach.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?Home
2/ Who do you see first?My parents
3/What do you eat first?Probably pasta
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
My Synth, stand, jack cables, a power supply and some essential oils.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
All of the bands @s are venusgrrrls! You can find us on instagram, facebook, twitter, bandcamp etc.