Having been seduced and hooked on the dark and creative world of Irish singer/songwriter/artist….Venus de Vilo upon the release of the Edgar Allan Ho EP back in 2012, featuring her unique and compelling sounds on live radio shows and podcasts among other shouts, it was with real pleasure that we read of her link up with the excellent horror punk/rock scented German label Undead Artists recently. Even more exciting was news of a special 5th anniversary Edition of that very EP with a horde of extras to tease and tempt. It was time to go call on the lady and explore the world of Venus de Vilo….
Hey Venus, many thanks for sharing your time with us.
For those readers yet to feel your dark embrace, could you introduce Venus de Vilo?
The Voice of Horror: Venus de Vilo is a theatrical Irish musician specialising in the vaudeville, macabre and bloody side of dark horror music. An internationally published and acclaimed comic book artist and Gothic-horror illustrator, Venus has recently been signed to German Horror Punk record label Undead Artists. Vile mother of three EPs, a Frightmas album, three rotten rhymes poetry albums and one thirteen track musical monstrosity, Venus is currently working on a twenty-six track deluxe double album entitled Cadaverotica. If you like your humour black, and your live shows bloody then Venus de Vilo is the glitter-encrusted weirdo for you.
You have numerous strings to your dark bow but would you call yourself a musician first, poet, artist or…?
Venus de Vilo is number one forever and always a musician. Music is very much the main love in my life and is completely rooted in what’s left of my soul. Music is the only thing that I live for. Even when I write fiction, non-fiction, bad tweeny-goth poetry and draw very strange things that shouldn’t be, it’s entirely rooted in my music. I only started drawing because of my music. Everything I do creatively is entirely wrapped up in Venus de Vilo.
When did your fascination with the dark side begin?
I was born, therefore I am.
How about the beginnings of your songwriting and performing?
Again, I was born, therefore Venus de Vilo am!
What and who would you say are your biggest inspirations?
Death, the dying, and the damned.
You have blessed nightmares with numerous releases and are about to give us the 5th anniversary Edition of the Edgar Allan Ho EP. What new delights will it embrace compared to the original?
I am obscenely excited about this project! It’s not been the year I planned family/health-wise so all new projects, albums, EPs that I was working on and planning at the end of 2016 had to be stalled, which I was heartbroken about as this was the year I got signed to a record label at long last! Not the most convenient time to have things go tits up!
However, as this Halloween was organically going to be the 5th anniversary since my first debut EP Edgar Allan Ho, and this was a very “let’s think back on my career and life” orientated year doing something special to commemorate the last five years seemed fitting. I wasn’t in the zone to do new things, so why not utilise material already at my disposal? Have an auld nostalgia buzz with the old fans and hopefully introduce some poor wee innocents to the warped world of Venus de Vilo.
So along with all the bonus tracks, remixes and unheard material on Edgar Allan Ho: The 5th Anniversary Re-Release album there is also a free download of my new album Scarental Advisory: The greatest Frights Hellection 2012 – 2017 AND also Edgar Allan Ho: Behind the Screams, a free PDF collaborative autobiography, photo-gallery, art book and horror-story about the back story of Venus de Vilo’s origins featuring artwork and stories by some of Europe’s finest freaks.
By coincidence (or not?) our favourite track within it is RingMaster. What was the spark to its creation?
If you want to know the back story behind the Ringmaster anthem download the Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Re-Release album from the Venus de Vilo Bandcamp page and ALL back stories and creative process for the rest of the album will be included in the Behind the Screams free PDF book.
Could you also touch on the EP’s other tracks and themes?
Heartbreak. Revenge. Insanity. Horror.
For more information, once a salesman – always a salesman! go buy the album and get the free book with it! It comes with some dirty pictures in them too! * winks *
The EP is being released on the great independent label, Undead Artists. How did the link up with Johnny Rose and co come about?
Ah, I’m so happy about this! This was a miracle match-up. Myself and Johnny had been in touch with each other on/off for a few years now thanks to my Horror Radio DJ friend McPatches from Underground Horror Radio who’d been pushing my music in Johnny’s direction for some time. I’ve been a fan of Johnny’s musical projects for a while and admired what he’d been doing for the Horror Punk scene.
So, in February 2017 when I was doing my routine run of emails off to various media types and record labels I was totally gob-smacked to get a message back from Johnny who turned out to be the head of the main record label I’d applied to that I thought looked most up my street and also one I thought wouldn’t touch Venus de Vilo because maybe Venus wasn’t as high-calibre as some of the kick-arse bands this label had signed to them?! I was wrong, apparently. Johnny was willing to take a chance on little old Venus de Vilo, the brave, brave fool…! * winks *
So, various chit-chat and miscellaneous negotiations happened and voila! Happiest day of my Venus de Vilo life, signed not only to a record label, but possibly THE most perfect label for Venus de Vilo to be signed to! I am very grateful to Johnny for taking the chance and hopefully with Edgar Allan Ho and Scarental Advisory this can be the start of a tremendously successful and long-running partnership.
When creating songs do words inspire the sounds more often than not or the music breed the tales?
Ah, I always start with a story. Story comes first and foremost in Venus de Vilo. Storytelling in songs is sadly something that has completely fallen by the wayside in modern commercial music. Storytelling and its craft is something I always try and completely uphold and respect in my music. While the lyrics and ideas of Edgar Allan Ho were quite basic, and why not, and yes – it was a low budget affair, it was my early stages of songwriting, I still think it’s more structured and thematic than some of the bollix you hear on the radio today. So when creating songs, I create a STORY first. I’m shite at guitar and can’t play piano so music is always braved last! I fit the music around the words and the story.
A bit of a silly question knowing the general themes of your songs but what especially inspires your lyrical side?
Death, the dying and the damned.
You have also lit up the Irish nightlife and creative landscape with your live-performances within the Burlesque/Goth scene alongside your MC exploits and the literature/art scene with your gore-drenched comic books. What does Venus de Vilo do in her spare time, if there is any, to relax?
There is no off-button with Venus de Vilo, unfortunately! Or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it! Venus de Vilo is a 24/7 job/lifestyle/curse. If I’m not rehearsing for a gig or hounding bookers for more gigs, I’m working on a new comic book or sketching out ideas for a new one…Planning events and albums…Applying for tables and panels at comic-book conventions and markets, attending them and roping poor new people into my sick little fandom…Annoying poor other musicians and artists to do collaborations…Spamming promoters and reviewers to get my music and art out there…The endless social media promotion of links and websites. I’ve also recently started facilitating and teaching my own songwriting classes in Dublin so there’s always that to plan for and organise – they are an absolute joy though, I adore those. And of course, all this must be done while trying to keep up with the latest music and horror movies for further inspiration and idea-stealing!
Tell us about your appearance at Ireland’s first ever horror convention, Screamvention last year where you performed before the likes of horror legends Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, and several original Cenobites.
Oh my goth, I loved that, I loved that so much. That was unreal. I performed on both days of the event and my audience was composed almost entirely of Hollywood horror royalty. It was like a magnificent nightmare! It was great fun, getting to do the Venus de Vilo thing for a massive convention of horror fans, that’s so rare for me. Ireland is still very twee and repressed and our horror scene is TINY but VERY STRONG, so to have direct access those little weirdos who “got” Venus was a lovely change from the grumpy old men and sneery young normies I usually embarrass myself in front of at local pubs and what-not!
Back to the Edgar Allan Ho EP, when will it be unveiled and will there be shows and events supporting its well-deserved reboot?
I’ve decided against an “official” Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary live event as to be honest I’m doing so many Halloween shows in October anyway for other promoters and bookers (plus I am CURSED when I run my own events, honest to god cursed, it’s hilarious) I might as well utilise the opportunity to promote the album at the gigs I’m already gigging at without the pressure of being responsible for any of them! However, every public appearance this autumn and winter will be very much Edgar Allan Ho orientated, I will be reviving old classics from the crypt to introduce a new audience to them and will make sure each performance is blood and glitter soaked.
What comes next musically and creatively once it the EP is out there evil doing?
Once my self-indulgent nostalgia trip has ended I will be, hell or high water, back to focusing on NEW material and doing whatever I can to get the new EPs and albums into some form of structure. Also got some interesting collaborations with other musicians planned as well, some weird little projects bubbling away there on the back-burner, as well as a new legacy of horror art. Crazy For You 3, the comic book is finally ready to be embraced and after the roaring success of my first ever J-Horror inspired manga Bento Boy – I am DEFINITELY working on another manga. I have it all planned out. It’s very strange and hopefully tremendous fun! And possibly scary. That would be beneficial also as it’s meant to be a horror…!
Our biggest darkest thanks once again Venus, any last words you would like to share?
Nitwit. Blubber. Oddment. Tweak.
Read our review of Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/venus-de-vilo-edgar-allan-ho-5th-anniversary-edition/
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