If you thought UK psychobilly was on the decline or started and ended with The Meteors and Demented Are Go then you would be very wrong for now we have a new pretender to the throne of P. Paul Fenech and Sparky in the dark princely shape of Dick Venom. Leading an equally mischievous band of hell’s rejects in The Terrortones they are a fresh, sexy and insatiable addition to the garage/rockabilly/psychobilly freakshows of the UK. We have the pleasure to enter the lair of Mr Venom to find out much more about the unsavoury quartet.
Hello and a big welcome to The RingMaster Review.
Could we start with finding out the history of the man Dick Venom?
Awwww, me? Well I was born in the swamps of the moon’s lagoons and hitched a comet tail to earth. Guess I landed on my ass because my behind which stung like a beehive had been hangin out the back of it for about a month. I dusted myself down, sprayed off a load of space debris and here I am.
When and where did the Terrortones become involved?
They just kinda came outta nowhere. I’d been riding high on jungle janes and ‘gator tails for a while when all of a sudden they hit me. Hell only knows what they were doing in my neck of the woods but damn they sounded good. SugarBeats was pounding on something like a thundercrack jackhammer, Vicky Twist and Wrex St.Clair just seemed to jump out at me with guns and guitars blazin’, they caught me unawares and all the hairs on my unmentionables seemed to jump up to attention.
Your music throws a mix of rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, psychobilly, and garage punk into a swamp of dirty mischief, what are the strongest influences to your sound musically and personally?
Musically? Anything that’s got a lil bit of something raw and a little bit of life to it, stick a little of the Devil there too and you got yourself a mix – from Raw Power era Stooges to N.Y Dolls to Batmobile to Standells hell… let’s throw some Patsy Cline and Wanda Jackson in there for good measure too.
Personally? A lil carpet burn and heat rash and some rubber marks and whiplash and I reckons I just might be entertained
Nottingham is your home, how do you find it for you as an artist and band for opportunities and for finding fans for your insatiable wickedness?
Y’know it’s pretty good. It’s where we started playing and started getting support. And there are always plenty of people to satisfy my appetites. Though I might have to leave when the spate of quiffed up moonchild newborns all come tumblin’ out. Oops.
The band line-up has an uncanny look and feel of The Cramps, intentional or sheer fortune?
Now that can’t ever be a bad thing cannit? I mighta got some fashion tips from a few folk that I like and the Cramps might have been one of them but as for the rest of the ‘Tones – they’re the ones who make the music and they aint never come across the Cramps before getting told they play like them.
Awww. Yes. Yes it was. It was every kinda fuckphonic filth that you mighta guessed it would be. Having four sets of jigglies spelling ‘We heart Dick!’ is something I won’t forget. Some people wanna see their name in lights? Seein’ mine on ladylumps will satisfy me fine.
The three track release is a dark beast of gratuitous pleasure, are the songs ones that have riled up audiences at live shows for a while or brand new for the single?
Hmmmm, a lil mix of both. ‘RockinRollin’ VampireMan’ is a pretty old one. ‘StickyPants Trance’, that just had to go on, hell when we first played that song some folk got so wet you coulda drowned toddlers in their pantyhose. ‘Lilly & the Killers’, well that was just a nice lil closer. None were written specifically for it but we try to record just as often as we can so there’s never much delay.
Though your songs often have a horror/movie fuelled theme one gets the sense from the passion you deliver them even in your own inimitable way that there are personal inspirations at play too?
Well I do like to bite.
Well with that being the very first song on the very first single then I reckoned I better had set myself up. Aint nutin like an honest introduction.
The tracks sound actually reminds of the first split release the Meteors were involved with but also in a way of very early The Fall. Are these bands that you have a liking for?
Now the Fall I like – but… Really? The Fall? I might have to dig the old stuff out and compare.
(Note from us to Dick..check out How I Wrote Elastic Man).
Included on the single is the track Sticky Pants Trance. We have all had some of that in our lives but what inspired the song itself?
Once I got stuck in a crater of a hiphole and then I got thinkin’ how I got there. Now it can’t all be my fault that chicklets get transfixed in my stickypants trance can it? Guess it’s a curse I have to bare.
The CD comes with a great comic book sleeve, the artwork is excellent, who drew and wrote that?
You can find here in the video for StickyPants Trance, she’s the nurse that gets carted away at the end. She’s called Nurse Catatonic.
Once the dust for the single has settled what comes next and how long before the next release?
Gigs, leather, latex, shows, caber tossing, goat blowing, olive oil, friction burns, corsets, tattoos, tattoos of corsets, pictures of tattoos of corsets, burlesque queens and the odd dream of Dana Scully. Got a bunji clunge jump all lined up too – that’s a bunji jump and target practice all rolled up in one. Next release? Shall we say end of the year? Thinkin’ it might be a new song we’ve written that we so sensitively called ‘Get Fucked Up Good’. It’s a sweet little ditty ‘bout the pitfalls of lovin.
Many bands now seem to be disregarding releasing an album to instead bring a steadier stream of singles or EPs, is that something you may consider?
I think that might be the case. Every time we get a set of dynamite songs we’re gonna get them down and get ‘em out to the masses. If there’s demand for an album then hells yes we’ll do one. Plus this way our comic strip will get longer with every release.
With your diverse sound which fights being tagged how easy is it to find bills and bands to fit easy with your distinct show?
It’s working pretty well, ‘cus we got bits of rockabilly, bits of punk, bits of garage, psychobilly, gothabilly we get tied into a load of different scenes. I reckon people don’t just wanna see one thing at a gig so having a mix up does us some favours.
Is it harder to find gigs further afield than Nottingham with venues that do not know the band or is it the opposite and places you have spoilt that are then more resistant haha?
Can’t say we ever had much problem getting out and about – the more places and people we sweat on the better. I’m a sociable lil critter so I like t’ hound promoters and venues wherever I can. I’d say we play a different city every two weeks at the moment and I reckon I wanna do more. And I aint never trashed a stage or venue too bad to not get an invite to go back.
I can imagine many bands would stay away from sharing stages with you for fear of being blown away from your performances.
Well maybe, guess folks in the audience can only get so wet.
The single launch was something unforgettable and every time we play at 12Bar in Soho it’s like the best sticky hotbox homecoming you could ever imagine. Got a nice big break at Rescue Rooms, Nottingham about a year back too.
And the best forgotten?
It is hard to believe your gigs are just another show for people, you make sure one way or another they are unforgettable one imagines?
Well now that’s just me all over– unforgettable. And without any show then you may as well be sat at home with a record in your ears. You want something to get caught up in right?
Are there any boundaries or limits that have not been or you will not push in your shows?
Hmmmmmm… I mighta knocked my tooth out twice on a mike, split my lip so bad that I went to a vets right after the gig (I didn’t wanna wait all night at A&E). Think I broke a rib somehow too but I’d never do nuthin to hurt myself on purpose.
Thanks very much for sharing your time to talk with us, do you have any last thoughts you would like to share?
Yeah – I’m all outta whisky and my mouth is bone dry. But you probably had enough of me an mine – why don’t ya get down to a gig and share yours? Maybe check out our video too… www.dickvenom.com.
Finally Gillian Anderson? I know you would and will you share?
Will I share Gillian Anderson?! Oh Heeeeeeellllllllllllls No! That ET bustin buxom she queen is aaaall mine. Hands off ya hear me?
The RockinRollin’ VampireMan is available now, for more information go to https://www.facebook.com/DickVenomandtheTerrortones or http://www.dickvenom.com/