Venia: True Faith and Hardcore Dancing

Venia presents some of the heaviest hardcore you will ever encounter, featuring faith based lyrics and beats that will make you want to dive headfirst into the nearest pit.  The band recently completed a tour with Call To Preserve and has just unleashed a new EP entitled I’ve Lost All Faith In Myself, now available from Blood & Ink Records.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with a few of the Venia members to find out more their new music, thrilling live shows, and just where they think the best hardcore pit in America is located at.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Venia, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Ben, I play guitar in the band, and we have been together for about four years. We have been a touring band for a little over two years now.
Hey, Im Chanse, I play Bass in Venia. “I’m new. I dont know what to do.” – Joe Dirt

Where is the band based out of and what is the music scene like there? Do you have any local bands you could recommend?
We are from the Minneapolis area of Minnesota. The local scene has been up and down for a long time. We have some really good young bands coming out right now, as well as some great bands that do not get the attention they deserve. I would suggest you give Relentless and Mourner a listen. They are both putting out some great music at the moment.

Where did you get the idea for the EP title I’ve Lost All Faith In Myself? That’s quite a statement!
Honestly, that is just the point of my life I was at while we were working on this record. I think we were all at that point. You try so hard to get things right in your life for so long, and in the end, I think we all ended up just screwing up and failing ourselves. As Christians, we believe we need to put our faith in God and not ourselves, which I know is not a popular belief in the hardcore scene, but it is a conviction I just can’t ignore.

Where did you get your ideas for some of the lyrics this time around? Please cite two songs from the EP and what the lyrics are about.
I think like any artist or musician, we get our ideas from personal experience and the things that are going on around us. The song “crux,” which has the lyrics “I’ve Lost All Faith In Myself” is about just that, losing faith in ourselves and the things we have always put our faith in, and putting that faith in God and his plan. The song “Numbers Game” was written about people that are in a place of authority or power and taking advantage of that and using it for your own personal gain. Some of it more specifically addresses some things we’ve seen in the Church that we disagree with.

How did your recent tour with Call To Preserve go and what were some of the highlights?
The tour with Call to Preserve and Dead Icons was a great. They are great friends of ours so being on the road with people you love and get along with is always great. The highlight of the tour for me was the show in Calgary, AB in Canada on Halloween. The kids there seemed to really appreciate bands from the states rolling through and came out and had a really good time. Ill Intent from Seattle was on the Canadian portion of the tour and they are a great band and great guys. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

What do you think of the Los Angeles area and your shows at the Cobalt Café?
The Cobalt Cafe has always been pretty hit or miss for us. I think that every time we roll through the area, there is some big show coming up soon, or a huge show the same night elsewhere in Los Angeles. The last time we were there I believe that Minus had their record release show coming up three days later at Cobalt with Cruel Hand and Backtrack. The turnout was alright, but I can imagine that that show pulled some kids away from the show. Either way, we always have a good time when we get a chance to come to Los Angeles.

What was it like playing with the legendary Merauder, and did you get to meet them at all?
We had a chance to play with Merauder in Las Vegas this past summer when our tour with Donnybrook! and Grave Maker met up with them and their tour with Ruckus. The show was great. Had a good vibe, and lots of grilling. Merauder played a ton of songs off of their album “Master Killer”, which I couldn’t be happier about. Met the dudes that night, and they were all really chill. It was great to be able to share the stage with those guys.

What could one expect from a live Venia show?
I hope that we bring an intense and heavy live performance. I have always been told that we come off a lot more raw live then we do on record, hopefully that is the case. I guess the best way to find out would be to come out to one of our shows.

Where did you get the band name Venia and what does it mean?
The word Venia is latin for “grace.”

Which city do you think has the best hardcore pits?
hahaha, uhm, for us? San Antonio.

Would you consider Venia to be a Christian band or ministry? Why or why not?
I feel like there is no difference between a “Christian band” or a “Ministry band”. Every single member of Venia is a christian and we speak from a place of our own personal experiences and believe that Jesus has had an incredible impact on our lives. Something that to us is undeniable. So we are obviously passionate about that and it comes across in our music. Alot of people, especially in hardcore, dont see eye to eye with us on that. And that is fine. We dont exist as a band to shove anything down your throat and make you uncomfortable. We just love hardcore and have something that we are passionate about and stand for. So everything that we do is shaped around that. Hardcore is a platform to share ideas and beliefs. And even if you dont agree with what we have to say, that common bond(hardcore) that we share alone sets us apart from everybody else.

What’s up next for Venia in the New Year?
We are going to be on the road in January and February with our good friends in Jawbone, The Mongoloids, Call to Preserve, Dead Icons, and Hardside. Doing about a week of dates with each band throughout the Midwest, East Coast, and Southeast. So be on the lookout for that. We have plans to be on the road for the first couple of weeks in April with our friends Advent. Other than that we plan to hit the road hard and be on tour for most of 2011. We’re also going to find time to start writing the next Venia record. We’re all very excited for the future.

Any final words of wisdom?
Listen to these bands: Advent, Bitter End, Donnybrook, The Mongoloids, Lionheart, Gravemaker, Call to Preserve, Dead Icons, Jawbone, Hardside, Focused Minds, Life Won’t Wait.

(Interview and Live Photos from the Cobalt Cafe November 2010 by Kenneth Morton)

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