No doubt you’ve seen larrikin Adelaide band Venice Queens’ latest music video for their punchy tune ‘Bad Heart’ on your feeds, produced by Harry Nelli Media. Georgia sat down with lead singer Sam and bass guitarist Jay for a chat about the vid and their upcoming shows.
You just released your first EP – what was that process like?
Sam: it’s been a process over the last 10 months because we’ve been releasing singles for a while. We did the EP package as a body of work that we can send to people.
Jay: the new single is the only fresh bit of material on the EP, but it was definitely still exciting. Having it on all the different platforms – Spotify, iTunes, all that – it’s a proud thing to look at.
Did you have a vision of how you wanted the ‘Bad Heart’ video to be?
Sam: it was Mark initially. Even before we had the song, he always wanted to do this video that was like an underground shady-game sort of thing. The ‘Forget Your Mind’ video was really cool, but for this one we wanted to pull out all the stops. We’re all reasonably silly and creative so it all fell into place nicely. Then ‘Bad Heart’ came along and it really fit this idea.
Jay: it definitely just developed in the process of planning. We have Harry Nelli who’s been working around Adelaide for other bands, and Dylan Minchenberg has always been taking photos with us and has been our creative system.
Sam: We’re really lucky to have those boys on board, and they’re always there for any advice we need.
Jay: the costumes and the walk-through and us having these characters – that just developed overtime. Since it was our first big project, I think so much excitement went into one day of shooting that all our personalities came out at once.
Sam: we shot it in one day, from 8am to about 10:30 at night. It was a fantastic day.
Where are your heads at with your upcoming shows in Melbourne and Sydney?
Jay: This was my first time organising shows outside of Adelaide, and the community that bands have is amazing. Compared to emailing venues and organising a gig that way – it took so long and nothing much happened from that because they weren’t definitive. But then we got in touch with bands and with a snap of the fingers they were like ‘no worries, we’ll sort that out’. I feel like all the bands we’ve messaged would have listened to us on Spotify and thought ‘heck, I would like to play with these guys’.
Sam: it was stressful putting it together because we were told we need six months to sort these out and we thought we’d left it a bit late, but I think two shows in each city is pretty great for our first time. One of the reasons we’re making such a big deal about it is because we’re so excited. Since it’s been locked in, I’ve been so excited to just drive with my five best mates.
Jay: playing to strangers is real feedback and love – I adore having my mates there, but it’s a different experience. So if in Melbourne or Sydney someone comes up to me and says good job, it would mean a lot. I’m keen for that stranger experience.
Sam: something a little bit foreign and a little bit new – that’s what we’re most excited about. A lot of it is the unknown, and even though we love playing here we want to try new things.
Jay: we recently got a keys player, too – David Ascoli. He’s so talented, and it’s been so much fun having him. He’s playing at the Melbourne and Adelaide shows.
Sam: we’re also going to live-track a bunch of songs in Melbourne at Aviary Studios.
So tell me a bit about these new songs.
Jay: we haven’t played in Adelaide for a while, and the last time we played I was like ‘let’s just write for a while’, so that the next set is refreshed – which is definitely what we’ve produced. I’m so excited to play in Adelaide again.
Sam: yeah, we wanted to come up with fresh content and give everyone a chance to express themselves. The stuff we’ve done has been pretty cohesive, but we really want everyone to have a real part in what we’re doing.
Jay: when we first came together, we hadn’t really played together before, so I was sort of worried how we’d go writing music. But then we wrote 11 songs in two days. Lately we’ve gotten into the habit of pulling songs apart and making sure everyone has their own little bit. It’s made our songs more dynamic than just start to finish. I’m hoping people are a little surprised of what they hear.
And the new keys guy works well in that dynamic?
Sam: oh my God, he’s incredible. We never really realised it, but there has definitely been limits of what we can do musically. Bringing those keys in really fills out the sound and takes the pressure off the other guys slightly. It’s a good foundation.
Jay: bringing David in has been unreal. The other day we were jamming and he’s like ‘man I was feeling a keys solo after that song’, and I’m just like ‘yeah man, go for it!’ He takes the initiative.
What’s been your best experience this past year?
Sam: that’s such a tough question. We bicker about the smallest things – we’re like five dudes in a marriage. I think my favourite thing is we’ll be fighting and then we’ll play a song, and after we’ll just look at each other and say ‘what were we doing?’
Jay: yeah, when we started we said it’d be unreal to play at Fats in the next two years, and now we’re about to do it for the fourth time. The overall thing for me is every time we talk ourselves down or are really critical of ourselves, we just have these awesome conversations about it and tell ourselves we’re doing really well.
Sam: it’s a double-edged sword because we’re never satisfied, and so we’re always pushing ourselves to do better. But I still think the best individual moment was our first show at the Ed, where Mark gave us a pep-talk – it was like we were two goals down at the end of the grand final. Then we came out to ‘I’m Coming Out’ by Dianna Ross and we walked through the crowd – I will remember that for the rest of my life. The music video was also really fun.
The boys want to thank Ella Davis and Dana Parisotto for vocal tracking, Arabella for the ‘Bad Heart’ video, Mossy’s girlfriend Genie for consistently driving equipment around, Harry and Dylan for their constant guidance and help, the girls who do their artwork, and Emma and Joel from Music SA.