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Venrez is an American rock band from Los Angeles, CA formed in 2009, comprising of Ven on lead vocals (as he is known to his friends), Jason Womack on guitar and backing vocals who has played with such acts as Fuel and Juliette Lewis and the Lick’s, Victor Singer on drums who brings a monstrous sound and Gabe Maska on bass who has become a fixture on the Sunset Strip playing many of The Sunset and Ultimate Jam shows.
The band has toured throughout the US and Europe headlining and opening for musical legends such as Alice Cooper and Slash as well as respected and established bands Buckcherry, Fuel, Hardcore Superstar, Michael Schenker, Enuff Z’Nuff, and punk legend Richie Ramone. They even played for the NFL performing as part of the Superbowl Village Show in Indianapolis, IN in 2012 for over 73,000 people.
After an absence from the music scene for a few years, due to personnel changes, intense writing/demo sessions and the world shutting down from the COVID epidemic, the band emerges stronger than ever with their new studio EP, Purgatory Awaits. Three years in the making, the release features six new songs, two of them performed by the band members and four of the songs, including the first single “Each And Every Day”, featuring guest drummer Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros fame. “Each And Every Day” was also mixed by Malcolm Springer (Tantric, Collective Soul, Matchbox Twenty). Ven describes the new album by stating “Simply some of the best songs Venrez has written and recorded yet. From the first single Each And Every Day taking no prisoners to the pretty ballad Gin Fizz”.
Prior to the release of this new album, Venrez has released 4 well-received, well-reviewed LPs. The band’s debut album, Sell The Lie, introduced them to the world and established their sound, which some have likened to the best of the Seattle scene of the 1990’s. Sometimes dark and brooding, Ven’s vocals are reminiscent to those of Layne Staley of Alice in Chains or the prince of darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. The album’s cover featured artwork from the famed graphic artist Michael Kaluta which captured the sentiment of the album’s title track and video “Sell The Lie”, a song about corporate greed, blood for oil that takes a shot at government control and senseless killing. When talking of the album, one reviewer wrote “The album is a blend of styles and influences with a classic rock vibe that all combine into something a little old and something very new.”
Venrez’s second album American Illusion, was released in 2013. The album features its first single ‘Silver And Gold’, as well as the biting track “Intellectual Drool”. Ven wrote the lyrics for the song the day after it was announced that they had supposedly killed Bin Laden. Ven explains “With each album I kind of take my shot at my being vehemently against murder for money. That’s what going on in the world today and I think it’s deplorable.”
Children Of The Drones hit the market in April of 2015 and was supported by tours with Michael Schenker, Enuff Znuff, LA Guns, and Richie Ramone. Press embraced the album and wrote about it with quotes including: “This album will not come as a surprise on how “epic” this album and band really is”, “Bottom line, Venrez is putting out some great music, it’s haunting, refreshing and very relevant” and “Given the right exposure “Children Of The Drones” has the choruses and the hooks to sell by the bucketload”.
Mid 2018, the band released their 4th album, Element 115. It was a release that contained some new material as well as tracks from Children Of The Drones recording sessions. It was a record for the fans, released to fill a void during a time the band was not able to tour with their usual fervor. The album included the single “Silver Eyes” and a tribute song dedicated to his next-door neighbor of four years, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, titled “One Way Ticket”. “I was in total shock and dismay when I learned of Chris passing in the early morning hours. I just sat down, and with tears flowing, wrote a tribute song to and for him”. Ultimately, the band ended up making some personnel changes, regrouping and creating the EP that is Purgatory Awaits.
CHILLED MAGAZINE – Chillin’ with Venrez
HOLLYWOOD NEW YEARS-A-GO-GO … Quiet Riot, Adler’s Appetite, Faster Pussycat, Julian Lennon & Danzig
Get Ready To Rock
Album review: VENREZ – Children Of The Drones
By David Wilson on June 6, 2015
‘Children Of The Drones’ is the third album release by Venrez following their critically acclaimed second album ‘American Illusion’ which found them supporting Slash and Alice Cooper amongst others. The band were formed back in 2011 by frontman Ven(hence the Venrez monicker) who met up with multi-instrumentalist Jason Womack and the pair formed a writing partnership almost immediately.
The guys are based on the west coast of America and have drawn their inspiration from the likes of Alice In Chains and the Doors to produce high quality Californian psychedelica. ‘Hang The Predator’ starts things off with a bang. This is a full on AIC like rocker right down to the twin vocals running throughout. Title track ‘Children Of The Drones’ follows and has a more straight forward approach, no nonsense rock with a big chorus.
The pair, together with Ed Davis on drums, seamlessly manage to flow from the faster, rockier tracks into more laid back and spaced out epics like ‘Mist Of Mercy’ with ease. The echoing guitar work of Womack is perfectly paced and pitched to carry you along on a rippling melodic wave.
Ven has a bit of a nasal drone to his vocal delivery which is ideal for this type of music and is put to good use on the track ‘Deep’. Apparently much has been made of Ven’s age as he only formed the band when he was in his fifties, but as the old saying goes, if it’s too loud, you’re too old, and listening to the album he sounds like he is in fine form.
‘Reflection’ is another slow paced track with a huge groove, whilst the second single from the album ‘Sacred Blood’ rounds things off in an almost hypnotic fashion containing a pulsating rhythm which is coupled with a chanting vocal from Ven, a very trippy track.
If you like your rock with a bit of a psychedelic tinge then this album is for you and following the success of ‘American Illusion’ I could see this moving Venrez to the next level. You’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll! ***1/2
Buffalo Summer, Heaven’s Basement, The Wild Lies, Monument, Rival State, Venrez, Buck & Evans, The Franklys, Dirty Thrills, Live At Camden Rocks, London
Album review: VENREZ – Children Of The Drones
By David Wilson on June 2, 2015
Venrez graced the stage of The Purple Turtle mid-afternoon and those that weren’t there missed out on something special. Having performed a run of 9 shows with Richie Ramone across the UK, the band were showing no signs of this, with singer Venrez putting on a performance that was both mesmerizing and energy fuelled in equal parts. With their hard rock sound and harmonies that sounded sublime throughout, ‘Karma’ kicked off the set in epic rock style as the guitar crunched along to a darker vocal. With Ven engaging with the crowd throughout the set, ‘Children Of The Drones’ was a force to be reckoned with live and the beat thumped out to make it a killer song. ‘Devil’s Due’ powered its way through the track and sounded immense in the venue as the vocals entwined with the heavy rhythm. ‘Yesterday Has Gone’ was one of those songs that you just had to rock out to, before ‘Hang The Predator’ with one of the most delicious-sounding melodies heard in a long time, made sure their set was going to be one to remember for a very long time. Venrez totally killed it with their powerful set.
The Front Row Report
Venrez: Children of the Drones Review
By Luke Ballengee on April 21, 2015
What do you get when you cross Nirvana, The Doors, Alice In Chains, and a former movie producer, Steven Berez? The correct answer is Venrez. Formed in 2011, the band has pushed out their third studio album, Children of the Drones, and set a new precedence for themselves in an album that balls up many facets of the rock spectrum to bring a new genre to the forefront as displayed on the groups Facebook page, Epic Alternative Rock.
The band, coming off touring with the likes of Alice Cooper, Buckcherry, Slash, and Hardcore Superstar, can add another notch to their belts. The first single released off the album, “Hang the Predator,” pulls you in with a small chant of “we must remember” coupled perfectly with a small electronic crescendo. With a grunge-styled guitar riff in the background, one that’s so solid that it can only help to compound the lyrical elegance over and over again of what the album is all about, “we must unite to hang the predator.” This is an album that is centered around a single predator, that of the government.
The band’s smooth, pacifying, unpretentious guitar riffs found throughout the album, mainly come to the forefront in songs like “Mist of Mercy” and “Reflection,” where they also mix flawlessly with lead singer Venrez’ voice. This unique album will leave the listener entrenched in a trance begging for more of the groups laid back, psychedelic style.
The album closes out with the most distinctive and captivating song on the album with “Sacred Blood,” a song that utilizes the guitar in a completely different manner than most rock songs and puts the drummer Ed Davis in the driver’s seat to show off his skills.
With a tribal ritual beat coming from the drums and the precise shaking of a tambourine in the lead this song helps the album conclude perfectly.
If you’ve been a Venrez fan since day one this album will not come as a surprise on how “epic” this album and band really is. But if you are listening to Children of the Drones or to Venrez for the first time there will always be a second, third, or fourth time listening to it guaranteed.
Sinister Angels Realm
Venrez – Children Of The Drones (2015)
April 25, 2015
L.A. based rockers, Venrez are back with their third release, ‘Children Of The Drones’. Ven – vocals Jason Womack – guitars Nico D’Arnese – bass Ed Davis – drums. This time around the band serves up a sonic rock sound that seems them really going for the throat.
The album opens up with the atmospheric and moody mid tempo Hang The Predator before bursting into life with the albums rocking title track. Devils Due manages to somehow combine elements of the two previous tracks, with the vocal effects and up tempo riffs. Salvation is yet another fine rocking track that maintains the album’s pace whilst twisting and turning through many tempo changes during its course.
Mist of Mercy slows things down a little with its acoustic driven intro and almost psychedelic feel. A great song that for some reason reminds me of US doom rockers Troubles more mellow moments.
Deep is up next and sees the guys return to the heavier groove of the Hang The Predator. Another great song.
20th reason follows, and this one is a rather nice mid-tempo melodic rocker. Reflection is up next, another great slow melodic rocker that twists and turns through tempo changes and various guitar atmospherics.
Spin The Top has more of a crunchy grinding riff, great song that really sets up the albums closer, Sacred Blood, which is great epic track in the style of the great rock albums of yesteryear.
The album’s production is awesome throughout and really allows the songs to shine.
With Children Of The Drones, Venrez serve up melodic songs that have a real substance to them, along with some real attitude and maturity. This is a truly great album that deserves plenty of exposure!
Rating – 10/10