REVENTURE (from l-r): Max Pasel (vocals/electronics), James Thomas (guitar/vocals), Rob Janke (drums/electronics/vocals), Andy Munro (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Reventure are a band that like to push their creative boundaries.
Formed in 2010, the Hampshire four-piece have impressed fans and critics alike with energetic live sets and a unique DIY fusion of electronic music and heavy metal, which has been described as “amazing” by BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac, and “crushing” by Skindred guitarist Mikey Demus.
2017 mainly saw the outfit in the studio, writing and recording their self-produced debut album, ‘Those Who Seek’, the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to 2014’s acclaimed EP, ‘Dread God’.
With a fortnight to go until the new release comes out, the quartet gave me an insight into its recording process, what can be expected from it, as well as a host of other things concerning them.
How did the band form?
Reventure formed when all the members were at school. We wanted something to do at the weekends, as playing football didn’t interest us. We all shared a love of heavy music and going to gigs, so it didn’t take long for the first practice to start.
How did the name Reventure come about?
We struggled for a while to find a name that was unique and represented our cross-genre sound. The word is entirely made up and is certainly not in the English dictionary! There is also the advantage that there won’t be another band called Reventure.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
Definitely collaborative. Our drummer, Rob, lives in London, so it’s key that we can share ideas online, ahead of physical practices. Usually, one of us leads with a great riff or hook, and then we upload our respective ideas, until we have a solid demo.
Learning the song can then take some time. However, there have been a couple of songs which were written in their entirety by one member, thanks to virtual instruments. We always joke that any member is easily replaceable by virtual musicians!
In those cases, we like the song so much, it requires very little tweaking. Lyrics are then always the last step, and key themes come quite naturally, based on the overall vibe of the song.
What inspires the band lyrically?
We pride ourselves on lyrics that are interesting and remain open to interpretation, and typically turn to movies and “big ideas” for inspiration. We definitely don’t do love songs.
One song off the album, entitled ‘Dread God’, is inspired by the grandeur of the movie ‘300’, mixed with questions of religion, while another track, ‘Thy Wilderness’, looks at how as humans in a western liberal democracy, we think we’re at the peak of civility and order, when in fact, some people’s behaviours are more like Neanderthals!
Later this month, you will be bringing out a new single, ‘Maverick’, and your first album, ‘Those Who Seek’. How has the recording process been for them?
Long…we essentially stopped playing gigs last July and locked ourselves away until December.
Most of the songs had been written months before, but we were determined to demo and self-produce our own sound relentlessly before going into the studio, so we knew exactly where and how every section of the album should fit and sound.
Recording itself was therefore very straightforward, with drums and vocals being recorded in a local studio and guitar and bass self-recorded at home. Plenty of lessons were learnt for next time, but we’ve created an album that we’re all very proud of.
What can be expected from the forthcoming release?
We’re very keen to keep pushing ourselves creatively, and to not fall into the trap of making repetitive or predictable music. We’ve certainly made a conscious effort on this album to make the material more structured, in terms of verses and choruses, and that’s a direction we think we’ll stick with.
We’re also sure that we will write the heaviest material we’ve ever created, but then there is a desire to showcase our more melodic side too. Either way, any new releases will continue to be exciting, always bearing the live show in mind.
Over the last couple of years, the band have forged a reputation for energetic, unforgettable live sets. How is the experience of playing live for you all?
Reventure thrive during live gigs. This album’s writing process has been very long, and we’re all itching to get back on the road. Thankfully, we have regular gigs from this month onwards.
While we are told our appearance and demeanour off-stage is very unassuming, we always make an effort to put on an energetic live performance. We love the element of surprise our “image” brings and seeing the crowd’s reaction close-up in sweaty venues.
The intensity of our songs is always magnified on an amplified stage, and that really works to our advantage.
What are your plans for after the single and album comes out?
Gigging and promoting ‘Those Who Seek’ as much as possible. We’re playing the Facebar in Reading tonight, Fiddler’s Elbow in London on 18 February, and Suburbia in Southampton on 19 March, but many more dates will soon be posted on our website – www.reventure.co.uk
‘THOSE WHO SEEK’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM REVENTURE, AS WELL AS THEIR NEW SINGLE, ‘MAVERICK’, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, SOUNDCLOUD & THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE FROM FEBRUARY 23.
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