Scorching the metal-earth and raging into the core comes Ventruss and their new single “TALLADEGA”. Working with MVK Music Group this metalcore band blends their background influences and twists them just enough to give their sound a branding that sells this as Ventruss’s sound. “Talladega” revs the engine, shifts into a growling low gear soars with rifts, and brings multiple core parts together to make the listener hit the metal-paced speedway and say we want more!
Baton Rouge, Louisiana Metalcore outfit Ventruss stops at nothing to push their hard-hitting sound into various directions while staying true to their southern charm. Their blend of Melodic Metalcore, Nu Metal, and even taking influences from Hard Rock comes with influences ranging from Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Killswitch Engage, and more. Formed in 2012 by vocalist Ben Jewell, the band has cut its teeth sharing the stage with contemporaries like HELLYEAH, All That Remains, Cannibal Corpse, Tetrarch, and Superjoint. Since 2018, the lineup has consisted of vocalist Ben Jewell, guitarists Shawn Saizan and Jesse Newman, and drummer BJ Davidson. Before landing a management deal with MVK Music Group, the band has released two independent extended plays with Come Alive (2014) and Ventruss (2019) having been critically acclaimed and opening avenues for their independent success. The 4 piece metalcore outfit has entered the studio 2020 looking for a dual EP, issuing their first release under MVK Music Group.
We got some great answers from BJ, Ben, Shawn, and Jesse from Ventruss!
- Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band. Ben– Ventruss has been a band for nearly 8 years! There have been various lineup and member changes in this time, but the current lineup has been together for 3-4 years now. Current members are BJ Davidson on drums, Ben Jewell as vocalist, Jesse Newman as rhythm guitarists and backup vocalist, and Shawn Saizan as Lead guitarist
- What is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos? Jesse– We have lots of “Nu” stuff currently happening! Last year right after the shutdown happened, we signed with MVK Music Group as our management label. That was the catalyst that started a lot of the happenings now with us. We have just finished recording our 3rd EP, and released our first new single, “Talladega” in early March. We have 2 more singles currently play. Ed to be released in the upcoming months with accompanying lyric and music videos. And the full EP drop will be later in Summer! We also just launched our own Website! Purchase Link: https://smarturl.it/zov16j
- With all this madness going on with the virus…What do you think the music scene will be like in the future…and how are you prepared to make your music heard if there will not be any concerts or festivals for the year 2020? Shawn‐ It has been a whole lot of madness the past year. Touring and live music being shut down, has everyone itching to experience any form of live music. So I expect more people to come out to live shows in the future. And our live shows are always high energy. So the more people there the more we can share these moments together again. I think people will be more cautious of their surroundings and their health risks. And I can see venues implementing more practical ways to ensure safety for bands and their patrons. If touring or shows still is a no-go, we plan to continually push our digital content. We have been working on more music videos and different types of content that we upload to our YouTube and our website. So you can still experience our music digitally.
- What got you into music and what is your earliest memory of when you told yourself… “THIS IS WHAT I WANT”? BJ– Music has run in my family, so it wasn’t a surprise for me to get into it. But my earliest memories are of me watching my dad play his 73′ Les Paul. I credit him and my mom both, for getting me into music as a child. I grew up on the classics like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Foghat. So as I got older I learned guitar from my dad and learned all these songs from the bands they showed me. I started learning drums and percussion in middle school band class. I have seen a friend of mine play a drumset at a school event, and that day told my parents I wanted a kit. Well, i finally got one when I was about 14. And ever since then I have dedicated many hours to learning the instrument and making it a priority for me. It was just something I was naturally drawn to and good at. That day I sat behind my own kit, a light switch just turned on
- Who was your first concert and what is your best memory? BJ– my very first concert was probably Grand Funk Railroad in New Orleans. I was about 5 or so. They were a big southern rock band who my parents liked. That is one of my earliest concert memories, but I would say one of my best memories is seeing Kiss live in concert with my dad. He and I have shared many concerts together, but that one was always a favorite
- If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now? Jesse– It’s hard to imagine me not being a musician, but I could see myself being a chef. I have worked in different restaurants and I love to create food and to explore flavors.
- On a scale of 1 to 2593, How good is your newest single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer) Shawn – I would say our new single “Talladega” is over 9000! (That’s a Dragon Ball Z reference and our attempt at a humorous retort) It is definitely our most aggressive and in-your-face song to date.
- What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why? Ben– Our latest release “Talladega” is our best song thus far, hands down. As a composition, it is our best writing as far as structure and individual performance. Everyone brings it in this track. The catchy vocal melodies will have you singing it to yourself later, the tasty guitar riffs throughout make you want to repeat the song over and over, and the powerful driving drums just go off from start to finish. We all pushed ourselves with this track and the result was epic
- Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, how would you achieve that? Jesse, Shawn ben, BJ– We ALWAYS grow as people and musicians. We all feel there is never a cap or limit to what we do, and we don’t ever want to stop learning or set boundaries for ourselves. We plan to continue the growth of this band and ourselves through writing more music together. We will work with a producer in the future to help us in writing. Ben has and will continue to take vocal lessons with Elijah, vocalist of Cane Hill and BJ has his own practice routine and regimen and he also has started new practices with an online course called “Bass Drum Mastery” created by drummer Marthyn Jovanovich. We all have our own practice routines we stick to keep our chops and performance at their best
- If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be? Ben– not very random, but I am asked CONSTANTLY by fans how tall I am. I am 6’7. And no I do not play basketball! Though in the past, I have played jokes on strangers and convinced them I was on the Orlando Magic basketball team. We were in Florida for a music festival, and this guy kept asking me if I was in the NBA so I just went with it lol
- You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Jesse– I would say a combo of red and blue. So maybe some shade of purple? Idk. I just like those 2 colors together
- Who are you inspired by Musically or in life in general? BJ – I am inspired a lot by many things in life. I recently have gotten into martial arts. It is a very good way, for me, to connect and understand myself. I have been reading a lot of Bruce Lee’s philosophy books and I really resonate with his approach to the balance of life. And the practice of self-actualization. I try to stay grounded and focused on myself, as this is where I find my strength to be the best I can be for my son, family, partners, and my bandmates. Musically my influences are all over. Some off the top would be John Bonham and Jimmy Page from LZ, Todd Suchermann is a phenomenal drummer and musician, Mario Duplantier from Gojira as a Korean modern influence, and Trivium as a while for inspiration for Ventruss
- What’s an average day like one tour? and what about these days? Shawn– An average day on tour with Ventruss is usually filled with lots of laughs and shenanigans. We are a family and it feels like a road trip for us. Packing us and our gear into a trailer or van and traveling for hours. We try to take it on every tour to do activities as a fun band. We got to enjoy some sites if the city and some really good BBQ in Kansas City a few weeks ago. Food is definitely something we all love and always find ourselves bonding over. These days it’s the same, just the opportunity is fewer and far between with COVID
- Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans? Ben– We are very active on all our social media. We usually respond to all our messages and interactions on our posts. And it is really us responding, not someone we pay to run our socials. We just launched our new website ventrussmusic.com where you can find all our latest news and happenings. The best ways and the way we all enjoy most, Is seeing us live and hanging out with us at shows! We LOVE meeting our fans and chatting. We consider them part of our family. You can always expect us to be hanging out at the bar drinking and getting to know our fans
- Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety before, during, or after a show? BJ– I have in the past but I usually don’t have any issues there anymore. I guess years of performing I’ve gotten an iron stomach. Now, the only time I get anxious or nervous is if we are performing for a band or musician I look up to. Like w years ago we got to perform with HellYeah and All That Remains. Both those shows, I was anxious cause I am huge fans of Vinnie Paul and Jason Costa! So the pressure was on for me to perform my best in hopes they would notice lol
- If you could collaborate musically or artistically in any way who would it be and why? Jesse– I would love to collaborate with John Petrucci of Dream theater. They are a huge inspiration to me as a guitarist and musician. So to work and create music with them would be a dream come true
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps? Shawn– I would say to always be yourself and original. In anything in life, be authentic. That will give you more satisfaction and accomplishment than trying to be the next trend or following another’s success. And always be willing to work and out in the time and commitment. The old saying is true, hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.
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