Having only been together for barely two months, alternative rock band Venice Queens have a promising sound Adelaide’s music scene has been craving.
The group of five, with Sam Little on vocals, Anthony Parisotto and Mark Troncone on guitar, Jay Garland on bass and Mitch Moss on drums, have produced an incredibly impressive list of original songs in a very short time, and were excited to release their debut single, ‘The Strut’, this past Friday (recorded/mixed/produced by Reid Jones and mastered by Steve Smart).
The Adelaidian got together with the band to talk about how things are going so far, and were lucky enough to experience a little preview of what to expect at their upcoming shows.
The Adelaidian: What’s the journey been like so far whilst playing together?
Anthony: Jay and I had this plan of getting together while we were overseas, and we were talking about music and stuff and what we’d like to do with it. We said ‘why don’t we take all these guys who we’ve been in bands with in the past and just see what happens’. We all spoke while in India and then came back and wrote four songs in one day. Sam came along and wrote some more with us.
Jay: Anthony and I were pretty excited about it overseas. We’re all pretty different guys – we didn’t know how it would all go down and what would come out of this in terms of sound, but it’s worked really well. I’d say we’re all a little bit weird, so together we’re really weird.
Why have you chosen to be a band of this music genre? Who has influenced you?
Sam: the thing we’ve really worked on is we’ve tried not to pigeon hole our sound. We’ve tried to explore every possible option, especially at this early stage. The single we’ve got coming out Friday is probably ‘us’, but we’ve got so many different facets. Mitch with his heavy metal, Anthony and Jay being Chilli Pepper freaks, I’m Sticky Fingers, Mark likes hip-hop and R&B… but we all just meet in the middle. We’re not going for a ‘particular sound’; we’re going for our sound.
How would you describe your group dynamic?
Sam: fucked up.
Anthony: make sure you put that in there… anyway, we’ve all known each other for so long. The first day we got together there was no weirdness, and we’ve all got completely different personalities. I think that works really well for us. In terms of music, it was bang on from day one; we all just jelled really well.
Sam: with me being overseas when these guys started playing I didn’t know how it would turn out, but it’s insane how well this has happened. We know what’s going on, the music’s flowing, we can write 10 or 11 original songs in six weeks of playing together for the first time.
Jay: I think we’ve all been playing long enough [in previous bands] to know you’ve got to serve the band when you’re trying to write a song. Even though we like different music, each time we write a song we’re not [strict to our personal influences].
Sam: we feed off each other really well.
Where did you draw inspiration for your new single ‘The Strut’, and why did you pick this to be your debut?
Anthony: Jay came to me a few months ago saying he’s got this really cool bass line, and when he played it I was like ‘shit… it’s pretty good’. So we sat down and worked out the guitar and bass, which is all we had for ages. It’s about a night out on Hindley, specifically Supermild, which is our favourite Adelaide joint.
Sam: it’s a down-the-rabbit-hole kind of song. I worked pretty hard on the melody, especially for the chorus.
Jay: what’s great about it is the instrumental and lyrics all match and make the song work well.
Anthony: It only finished getting mastered today, and we were listening to it in the car dissecting it, and I was just sitting there thinking, ‘this is the perfect way to introduce Venice Queens’. The song matches us really well.
Any plans for touring?
Sam: we’ve got four gigs lined up at the moment [in Adelaide]. We know a couple of interstate bands and we’re trying to build a network, so we’re hoping maybe sometime in the new year we’ll venture over to Melbourne and do an east coast tour. We’re pretty keen to go wherever it takes us, really.
Anthony: I think we’re all really keen to get out there and show what we’re proud of.
Sam: I think the big thing about this band compared to other bands I’ve played in is that I can honestly say ‘wow, I am so proud of what we’ve written’. I just want people to remember these songs.
Where do you see yourself in one year’s time?
Jay: 10 times better than what we are now, and to just have some fans who really like our music.
Sam: I’d love to do a lunchtime set at Laneway 2019 or something like that. That’s probably a mid-range goal.
Mark: I think what we’re missing here [in Adelaide] is a good rock band.
Anthony: Our goal is to bring back a bit of rock and roll.
Sam: a lot of our friends in bands are into that surf-punk movement, and we love it, but we want to bring something different to the table for the people who aren’t really into that quick, distorted stuff and do our own thing, go our own way.
If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
Jay: I reckon DZ Deathrays would be fun, and we’ve got other friends in bands that we’d love to do Melbourne shows with.
Mark: maybe Hockey Dad, they seem like really cool dudes.
Sam: I’d love to tour with Foals and Royal Blood.
Mark: yeah fuck it, Arctic Monkeys – the sky’s the limit here.
Venice Queens are playing at The Edinburgh Castle on Saturday October 21st, with opening sets from The Craves and The Yardsharks. With free entry, $6 drinks and a fresh band who’ll be making a name for themselves very soon, you’ve gotta come. See these guys in their early days before they start touring with the big names.
Photography by Dylan Minchenberg