The way that Los Angeles-based hard rockers Venrez got their name is a pretty straight-ahead tale - it's the last syllables of the first and last name of the group's singer, Steven Berez. But how they met was anything but ordinary. "The band formed while helping me with some work on my house," explains Berez. "Several of the guys working, including Jason Womack, were musicians and the building sessions quickly turned to jams, then the formation of the band."
Fans of modern day rock music should be familiar with the musicians who back Berez in Venrez - both guitarist Womack and drummer Ed Davis played with Juliette Lewis and the Licks, while guitarist Alex Kane is a former member of both Life Sex and Death (LSD) and Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. Bassist Michael Bradford (a childhood friend of Womack's) rounds out the group.
As evidenced by the group's debut full-length, Sell The Lie, it didn't take long for the group's chemistry to kick into gear, as the album's sound/approach brings to mind the classic rock of the 1970's and the grunge movement of the 1990's – both genres that stressed the importance of keeping studio recordings live-sounding and not over-produced.
"My deep vocal has some comparisons to Audioslave," says Berez, "And the two-part harmonies with me and Jason to Alice in Chains. But I get some comments of slight comparisons to Jim Morrison of the Doors. Jason writes the music, and grew up in the 70's. He is influenced by Jesus And Mary Chain, along with all the bands influenced by them. I consider our music to be a 70's beat that has been made 2012-fresh. It sounds like something you have heard but then it's clear you have not. Sick, in-your-face, dark rock music, combined with powerful lyrics."
And according to the singer, it is no accident that Sell The Lie has a very live and raw sound to it. "The album was recorded live, as we wanted to give it that raw sound. I sang the vocals to the music, as if performing in concert. Therefore, we accomplished that 'on-stage sound' and feeling, which was exactly what we intended and wanted to do."
Heavy and rocking from front to back, Sell The Lie proves to be an impressively consistent listen, although Berez does have a few standout tracks of the bunch. "I am passionate about all the songs I write, but my favorite songs would be 'Karma,' which was written about a former business partner who tried to hurt me. Also, 'Insanity,' which is my tribute to the goddesses of this world, and the title track, which allows me to release my pain of senseless killing."
And Venrez plans on backing up Sell The Lie with kick-ass live performances, which should see the band touring from coast to coast throughout 2012. "Venrez live is a very special rock show. All the members are amazing players and showmen. We go on feel a lot, and every live show is slightly different than the other - much like a Rolling Stones or Aerosmith concert. It's big, captivating, and sexy as fuck!"
Lastly, Venrez plan on sticking around for quite some time. "We are already in pre-production on the next record. We plan to tour as much as possible, and continue to put out quality albums for our fans, for years to come." As proven by Sell The Lie, Venrez is off to one heck of a start.