Saul Treno: How has 2021 kicked off for you? Is the music path looking clearer?
Ben Jewell: It's been great! We were fortunate enough to go up to the midwest and play some shows in Missouri and Kansas! Not to mention the release of our single "Talladega". The reception has been great. The future is looking bright and it has been a while since I've been able to say that.
ST: Introduce us to each band member:
Ben Jewell: Vocals
Shawn Saizan: Guitar
Jesse Newman: Guitar/Vocals
BJ Davidson: Drums
ST: What are some of the goals you have set forth for you and your music this year?
Shawn: We have some more exciting releases on the way, so showcasing those through both promotion and more shows (hopefully). Growing our fanbase and spreading our music even farther is what is on our minds.
ST: Last year was tough without shows and touring how has the band managed to keep their sanity and passion going for music through everything going on?
Jesse: Oh Jesus. It felt like an eternity. However, we have written the best music this band has ever written through the pandemic. And in my opinion, that's what kept us sane. Having an outlet to let out all of our insanity. It was difficult. It still is. Sometimes it feels like this has been forever, and even looking back on all of the shows we played and the places went was just so.. heartbreaking. We miss our lives.
ST: Thinking of playing live... Do you have a personal favorite track you like to play live? Is it different sounding from the studio, or do you all keep true to both sides?
BJ: It goes without saying "Talladega". The energy is just as raw and heavy as it is on record. Definitely going to be a staple from here on out.
ST: Talk to us about the recent release "Talladega".
Ben: We had the entire structure of the song within a week. You could say the song wrote itself. The riff reminded us of a start of a race, so "Talladega" was the working title. It eventually just stuck and we couldn't think of naming the song anything else. Lyrically, it is about insecurities and self-doubt and how they can hold you back from reaching your full potential. From being ahead to dead last, it all ties in and honestly, the name "Talladega" just fits. Life is a race. You could be way ahead but in an instant, you can fall behind.
ST: The song is full of fast car visions. Talk about how you went about making the video for it.
Ben: We shot the video at NOLA Motorsports Park which is the biggest go-kart track in the United States. We worked with Dreamseeker Productions and they had the whole place shut off like a movie set. I drove a 2014 beautiful red Mustang, which was super sick. It was nerve-racking, though. Driving an expensive sports car that is not yours can make you anxious for sure (laughs).
ST: How did you all go about recording during this time and what about creating the video?
Jesse: We went back to Eric Woolard of Warlord Studios, who we worked with for our 2019 Self Titled EP, once again. Recording "Talladega" was something special. It had been almost two years since we were last at the studio and the energy was just on fire. We were two months into the pandemic and it was the most time that we had spent with each other in quite a while. That session was definitely one of my favorites.
ST: How do you and the band approach writing and recording? Is it a joint effort or a one-person job?
Shawn: We all have a part in writing and critiquing in the writing process. Jesse and I hash out ideas back and forth and we usually start out with a foundation. Then comes BJ to lay down the backbone. Once all that is secure, Ben will come behind and construct a vocal melody. From there we tweak it out until we have the exact sound we want.
ST: Which bands would you say are relative in sound to Ventruss?
BJ: Gojira, Bullet for my Valentine, and Trivium are the first bands that come to mind whenever someone asks us what do we compare our sound to. We always focus on sounding as original as possible, but of course, your influences will come out while writing. Influences are invisible teachers.
ST: Can you tell us what Ventruss has planned?
Ben: We plan to get back on the road as soon as possible. As well as continuously putting out something new. Be on the lookout for another single in the coming weeks!