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Venus Fly Trap Interview – “Do the leg work, have a Plan B”

After twenty years in the business, Venus Fly Trap sat down with us to talk about the changing tides of how bands get their music out there, the importance of engaging with fans, and having a Plan B.

Any new projects going ahead in 2020?

Well, just out is a retrospective spanning a compilation of bands and projects I have been involved with called Venus Fly Trap/Alex Novak-Mercurial. It features Isaws, Religious Overdose, Tempest, among others, and, of course, Venus Fly Trap. Hopefully it’ll be out in September. Later in the year, we plan on releasing some re-issues and remixes too.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

Everybody is influenced by somebody else, the trick is to take these elements and arrange them into something original. I’ve never wanted to sound exactly like another band, I’m always striving to do something unique.

Favourite albums?

A very difficult question, as I have a very eclectic taste. Alongside the band, I also DJ various nights and have been running Spiral Archive Records for twenty years, so I get to hear a lot of music.

Have there been any major changes to the music scene in the time your band has been performing?

There are a lot more media outlets for music than there first was, but you have to work a lot harder to get noticed and I’m sure as a writer you overwhelmed with material. How do you stay on top of the tidal wave of new releases? Not all of it is relevant to your particular outlet.

Advice for new musicians looking to survive?

Get out and play, hone your craft on the stage. Engage with new audiences with decent support slots and built a rapport with potential fans. Utilise the media, come up with strong ideas and images for the band visually and lyrically, sort your own merchandise and have material on multiple formats so you have stuff at your merch table. Do the leg work and be persistent. Have a Plan B.

Anybody you would like to collaborate with in the future?

I’m always open to collaborations, going to work on some remixes of old and new material using outside producers would be great.

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Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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