In 2014, alumni of veteran UK metal institution Venom, Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn, Anthony “Abaddon” Bray and Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, broke off from founding vocalist and figurehead Conrad “Cronos” Lant to form their own offshoot, Venom Inc., to get back to the band’s raw and stripped down ideals. After pounding the pavement with worldwide live shows since their inception, Venom Inc. have recently released their first LP. Currently embarking on a full scale US invasion with fellow blackened royalty Goatwhore and thrash masters Toxic Holocaust, Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan took the time from his busy schedule to chat with us about all things Venom Inc.:
Riot Nerd: What’s it like to have finally released your first official record as the mighty Venom Inc., “Avé”?
Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan: Yes, well it’s kind of crazy as we never intended to make and album at all, but the whole thing is driven by the fans so because of that reason it is the most special album for me. To have the support of our management, Jon, Marsha ,Zazula and Chuck Billy, and to have the superb Nuclear Blast family with us is just incredible. So it is all so very exciting and humbling..
RN: You put out two singles for this record, “Dein Fleisch” and “Avé Satanas”, do you think these tracks represent “Avé” and what’s to come for Venom Inc.?
DM: Somewhat yes and somewhat no. They kind of suggest it, but out of context of course. If you hear the whole album I think you’ll understand what I mean. I wanted to get people curious, a kind of social experiment and it worked, I could see what fans were looking for and what they were wanting from us, not that we just try and please each individual as that is impossible, but, as it is their album, I was aware of what we were gonna be delivering soI kind of teased a little instead of being just obvious.
RN: What is like to share the stage with Goatwhore and Toxic Holocaust on the “Blood Stained Earth” tour?
DM: That is great. I love both bands for a start and they are such great bunches of dudes too which is a complete bonus and I am happy they wanted to be with us, not forgetting The Convalescence too who are also great as people and as a band. It is a great joy and I feel lucky to have them all with us.
RN: What kind of comparisons would you make between Venom and Venom Inc., besides having members from both bands?
DM: Comparisons? Venom is now more like the Cronos’ solo work I guess. Venom Inc. are more like the original concept: dark, chaos, heavy themed and powerful… with 100% attitude, the way it was and should have stayed. One wants to cash in on fans and we just wanna be part of them. I suppose as THEY are the whole reason, not just their bank accounts…
RN: My personal favorite off of this album is “Forged In Hell” what was the writing process like for that song?
DM: Ah, (laughing), you and many others. Well, simply, Mantas came up with the riffage and noted some lyrical ideas, he sent it to me for a listen and I said “I love it, change nothing”, and so he delivered. Sometimes it is one of us or both of us, or one song we both finish or compose from nowhere together. But with this album we had time restrictions and Mantas has his studio in Portugal so it was good that he worked on pulling riffs together while I could do writing, artworks, layouts and live dates etc. It was rich and perfect..
RN: You guys just began a relationship with Nuclear Blast, are you enjoying that so far?
DM: Yes! They are the best!
RN: Do you think Satan would approve of Avé?
DM: (Laughing) Lucifer is on the cover, so that is his blessing. I have actually had messages, so yes, He approves (laughing).
RN: Lastly, Tacos or Nachos?
DM: What!? That’s so unfair! Can I not have both? I have to say, after I spent 5 months living in Mexico doing the Russell Crowe movie, I got hooked on the best Fish Tacos, so damn, okay, Tacos. But as long as I have a real nice Tequila over crushed ice to go with it!