By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, January 14th, 2013
Even though VON have been kicking around since ’87, are pretty much responsible for Watain’s existence (their name, at least), they only managed to get their shit together and release debut LP, Satanic Blood, in October of last year.
There are mitigating circumstances and all, what with the band splitting and going into what appeared to be an indefinite hiatus between 1992 and 2010. But still, 25 years is long time. Before Satanic Blood‘s release, VON’s recorded output was available only on lo-fi demos and bootlegs; enough for the band’s name to grow in legend but more a half-realized vision than something that is fully representative of what VON are/were all about. As Satanic Blood was about to be released, finally, officially, we caught up with the Jason “Venien” Ventura, to find out what’s changed behind the scenes in America’s first black metal band.
When you approached the release of Satanic Blood, did you want to rearrange it or did you want to keep the songs as they were?
Venien: “All the material that everybody knows of as far as VON is concerned, from 1987 ‘til now, was all recorded as demos or as works-in-progress, cassette tapes and whatnot, and now at this point I re-recorded all the old material that was never recorded properly. All the tones and all the set-up, as far as what the songs sound like, was all from the original material; there were really no new arrangements or anything that changes the material from when VON started. Everything that you heard on the Satanic Blood album is from all the works from the incubation period, the first years of VON, and all the stuff you know of was demo material; those were not proper albums, so now you’ve got proper recordings of all that material as a proper album.”
How has VON changed for you as a creative outlet—does the material still have the same emotional pay-off for you as it did when you were a kid?
Venien: “When I started VON in ’87, there was a lot of energy, a lot of life injected into the music, rage, just pure aggression; I’ve never changed, I still have all that. I’m 41 years old. I still have all the original stuff inside me, all the dark aspects of it, feelings and belief, and it’s all reflected in the new album, the final album . . . It’s all still there; nothing’s really changed as far as I am concerned.”