When getting to speak to all three band members of Venom Inc back in August about the release of their debut album ‘Avé’ (read Part One of the three part interview HERE!), there were talks on the card about an Australian tour hopefully being on the cards before too long; thankfully Australian fans only had to wait until November for these hopes to become reality!

Vocalist/Bassist Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan was kind enough to take some time out his preparation for the upcoming Blood Stained Earth tour of Japan and Australia/NZ, which kicks off on Feb 15th in Tokyo and hits Australian shores February 22nd; the first topic of conversation was about the upcoming Australian shows, which kick off in Canberra and the reasons to how it came to eventuate:

“We’re so fucking excited about the whole thing! When ‘Avé’ was released, we didn’t plan an album but it happened anyway and Nuclear Blast wanted it; they wanted us to go to Europe first because they’re based in Germany. After Europe, the obvious choice was to go to the USA but there were so many other territories that people tend to forget; I managed to get the band into China and Taiwan for fuck sake! I then said ‘we have to get to Australia and New Zealand’ and the response was ‘that is so far away and we don’t know what the market will be like.’ My biggest thing is if there is one Venom fan in one town, in one place on this planet who has invested money on the band because it has meant something to them and I can get us there, I’m fucking taking us there! It’s not about the money, but the connection with the music; giving every fan the opportunity to meet the band and hear those songs live.”

Venom Inc. released a lyrical video for War on the same day as the interview took place; when asked how War came to be the song of choice, Dolan mentioned how “what we found that playing the songs live, War became a standout track because of its message” before going into further detail:

“When we played Warhead which was a massive moment in the set, we decided to follow up with War. There was a discussion of between Jon Zazula and myself which led to us thinking that we could do something a bit different and release some live material; after all we’ve already released one album and tour, but there are already so many bootlegs available” before concluding with a small chuckle about the situation.

When asked to give a small insight into what Australian and New Zealand fans can expect on these upcoming shows, Dolan pointed out that “we’re going to be playing classics that people were raised with and are dying to hear live; in the true spirit of these songs, I can promise you it will be everything you ever wanted and more! Getting to come and play new material as well just ultra-special. Mantas put the set together and it’s chock full of great material; if you sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down what songs you wanted to hear, I think you’re most likely going to end up with our setlist. We’ve based it on what people have said to us about what they want to hear and how they want to hear it!”

Adding further insight into how much the fans have shaped the setlist for the band, Dolan quickly pointed out how “when we first started, we were only intending to play five songs for around 2000 friends at the Keep It True festival as a favour and have some fun before going home” before going into greater detail about how this clearly didn’t eventuate:

“The fans wanted us to tour and we got offered a chance to tour; what do you do when you have no new material? I thought that since the fans want to see this as a band, it’s up to them what they want to hear; it was like asking them to make us a mixtape of what the favourite songs they wanted to hear if we played for an hour. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the legacy of Venom is that there are so many great songs that you can’t play everything, but over the last three years I’ve tried to introduce varying requests. On the recent American tour, people were requesting Manitou; we thought ‘why the fuck not?’, which shocked a few people…you never know what rabbits we will pull out of the hat!”

When asked if there were any last words that he wanted to pass on to Australian fans, Dolan delivered a couple of very touching and mind opening sentences:

“For anybody thinking of coming; come get down the front and let yourself go, forget everything else and just listen to the music. If we do not affect you, that’s fair enough because some people like apples and some people like oranges; but don’t not give yourself that experience, because you think a certain way. Forget all that shit and just come and live it, this is your opportunity! I can guarantee that you will go away with something, if not everything.”