I had the chance to speak with the legendary Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan of Venom Inc. Check out the in depth interview below.
Greetings Tony. Thanks for doing this. How have you been doing?
A: Pleasure…always…Been real good…tired but hey….all fantastic…and exciting..
Since coming back in 2015 to play live again, Venom Inc has been hitting it hard. How has the return back been for you? What truly drove you to get the band together and starting going at it again?
A: We have been none stop and it’s been truly amazing..We 8yrs or so ago myself, Mantas and Antton (Cronos brother) decided we should do something together and we started M:PIRE of EVIL, just because why not, we wanted to pay together…that didn’t work for so long so when Antton left and continued to do his album with Def Con One, mantas and I continued and toured the planet basically including releasing several albums on small labels then I was asked to make a booking for the Keep It True festival and invite Abaddon to join at the end of our set to do a few Venom classics for fans exclusively…which we did and from that day our world turned upside down…in a very great way and so here we are today..we had no plan…to continue as we are today…we just got so many offers we all said, why not…fuck it…ok…and that was that.
With two versions of Venom being out there right now how do you feel about that situation? Does it make you feel any better however in the situation that your version is looked upon as the superior one?
A: To be truly honest…I do not care…I am focused on what WE do and only that…if there is MORE Venom out there then that is great for fans….you can see and hear what you like, some of it, all of it or none of it…but you cannot stop it…WE are hard working and honest and full of spirit and that is who we are as people and what we are as a band…if that is good for you then that is all we care about…The Music is for the fans and they decide not us…it is a legacy they now own..
It is no hidden secret about your relationship, or lack of, with ex member Cronos. How do you feel about him and the situation of everything over the years that has happened? If given a change of heart on his end would you ever consider an attempt to fix the relationship?
A: It is and always has been HIS way of thinking not mine or the others…how do I feel personally about him? I don’t. he means nothing to me….I admired his work or I would not have been a fan beyond that I have no interest….if he had a what? Ahahahahahahaha…..fix the relationship? NO…he’s said too much..he has made his bed he can lie in it…we are just going to continue on our own path as he has..
How is the current chemistry with everyone in Venom Inc, both on and off stage?
A: We are different people…but know each other and how we are and we are adults so we support each other and are there for each other…but onstage…we are a monster…a real monster…and that is just how we are together..real, honest and unbridled..
Since forming the band the demand around the world has been huge, was that shocking to you in any way? What can fans look forward to live for the band in 2017?
A: All three of us, were and are still in shock, it seems that the more we do the more we are asked to do…and it is stunning…we are so humbled and thankful. 2017? A NEW album as we have just signed with Nuclear Blast, videos and some huge shows and touring everywhere we can in this world, EU, UK, North and South America, Asia and Australia are all planned…
Compared to 30+ years ago, how has the metal scene changed? What have you watched happen for better or worse with the music industry as well?
A: Well digital of course, however Vinyl has made a comeback and is growing very fast, but just the way people get music has changed of course…digital recording makes things easier closing distances between artists for recording but still more and more bands are going back to playing as a band in the studio as well as live. The new generation do not even know what VHS or Cassettes were…and even DVD has been replaced somewhat by Netflix and YouTube…the advantages are band can find ways to be exposed without labels deciding on who is heard and who is not which was the main theme back then but that also means there is a deluge of music and bands each day and you just can’t hear everyone so some get missed…and sometimes the quality suffers…still…any creativity I feel is valid as it is the hardest thing to do…platform yourself and what you have created for criticism by others…
Widely looked at as the grandfather of the Black Metal sound, whom without you might wildly sound different; how does that sit with you? Is it a great feeling to sit back and know that you have left one of the biggest marks in the scene possible.
A: It is something that the guys and myself can never quite take in…the grandfather part perhaps yes…lol…but of the sound…difficult, as they and me too…were just young guys, taking something we liked and making it out own…..just as what followed…it is a true honor when a fan or band feels they must tell you…It is always something that makes you feel very humble to hear..and not something you realized would ever happen at the time..
What were the bands that helped shape you musically?
A: Me? I was raised listening to Rock n Roll but my main 2 that just had me shaking every time I heard them…The Dickies…that frantic speed and we are taking 1978…I’d never heard anything that fast…Eve of Destruction….Paranoid…wow.!! Then I head THAT BASS and THAT MAN and Motorhead just changed my life….I wondered if I mashed The Dickies Speed with the power and sound of Motorhead, what the fuck would that be like????Lol….well…now I know for sure..hahaha
Are there any modern metal bands you’re a fan of that you’d like to name drop?
A: I just wouldn’t do that…because there are just too many I love, and so many I like then there are ones that impress me and ones I admire and ones I champion for even existing…I would leave too many out by mentioning a thousand….I will always love Motorhead and Sabbath and Slayer…and Rammstein and on and on and on…lol. Modern Metal is not something I distinguish….I don’t categorize anything…I just like or not..
Off the topic of music, you had small roles in a few films including Judge Dredd. What was the story behind that? Do you think you’ll ever get in front of the camera for a role again?
A: Yes….I did some TV and some quite big voice overs on tv ads, some directing, some stage acting for the Royal Shakespeare Company and some movies yes…Master and Commander with Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany and yes Dredd with Stallone..I pan a few things; a documentary and a book and some US tv things but….you just cannot do everything and I live life by the moment so…right now…the band is my all…the future, who knows…
I’d just like to wish you the best of luck with everything in 2017, before I let you go is there anything you’d like to throw out there?
A: Thank you so much for a fun interview…and the best to you also Alex..I’d just like to than the fans for their support everywhere on this planet and we will see you soon…and for those yet to witness us…don’t believe the bullshit by the handful ..you have your own mind, just use that….like or hate…let it be YOU decision…no one else’s…but either way, remember…PASSION is being alive so do all you do with Passion!! ALL HAIL
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