Venia Chats with TPM

Check out the little chat Ben from Venia had with yours truly…

Hey guys… just to start off, I am quite the fan of your stuff. Let’s start with the who’s who…

My name is Ben Kocinski, I play guitar in the band. I will be the one answering all the questions for this interview.

Like I said, I love your sound, what would you say are your main influences musically?

That means a lot, I am really glad you are into what we are doing. I would say we have a lot of different influences. We love to be able to pull song structure influences from certain bands, and stylistic influences from others. We are kind of all over the place. If I had to state our main influences though, it would have to go to bands such as Figure Four, Buried Alive, Madball, Another Victim, Merauder, and a little Trial here or there. Mainly heavier hardcore bands that have a metallic edge to them. I guess anything that comes out of the NYHC scene has influenced us as well.

So, let get right into some of the nitty gritty. You guys love Jesus, as do I. Talk to me a little bit about how you became Christians and what it’s meant in your lives.

I guess we all come from different situations. Some of us grew up in Christian homes, others found Christ along the way. I personally grew up in a Christian household and have always been surrounded by the Christian lifestyle. It wasn’t until later in my life, however, that I really came to understand what it really is to walk the way Christ did. I would also say I am not nearly there yet.

What’s it like being on a label like Blood & Ink, where you are working with a lot of like minded folks?

Working with Blood & Ink Records has been great for us. They picked us up a while back and have now released one full length and a 7″ for us. Besides having recording, distribution, and advertisement covered by them, they are also fun guys to hang out with. We are not only in a business relationship with them, but we are also friends. I think that is the best part about working together.

Do you think there’s a downside to being on a Christian label?

I guess there may be a downside to a Christian label. I think a lot of the hardcore scene is very turned off to the label “Christian” and, in turn, will not give a band with that label a real chance. That can be very frustrating, but at the same time, I can understand it on a level. I have seen many “Christians” be very judgmental of the people around the country we would call our best friends. We could spend a lot of time complaining about how people don’t give us a real chance half the time, but it’s not worth it. All we can do is go out and treat everyone with respect, and hope that we get the same treatment in return.

So often the Christian labels and bands get accused of ripping off mainstream fads, often it’s a fair accusation. I feel like Blood & Ink is a cutting edge hardcore label, who are your favorite bands from the label?

Blood & Ink Records has been picking up a lot of promising young bands recently, which is exciting to see. One of these bands they have recently picked up is Jawbone from Evansville, Indiana. They are probably my favorite band on the label right now. We had the pleasure of taking them out on the road for a week. The band is full of some of the best dudes, and their music is top notch. Very technical, dark, heavy hardcore. Very in the vein of bands such as Turmoil and Rise and Fall. I think that they have the potential to turn some heads. I believe they are dropping a new 7″ within the next few months. Be sure to get your hands on that.

Oh, I will. So, outside of B&I, what other music coming out today are you into?

There are a lot of great bands coming out right now, especially in thehardcore scene. I am really into Foundation‘s sound, and couldn’t be more excited for them to release their new record in a few months. Another great band that just showed up out of nowhere is FocusedxMinds from Milwaukee. Their new demo has been in constant rotation since they dropped it a few months back. If you are into youth crew with a harder edge, you need to give that band some attention.

Switching gears for a moment, one of the other things besides music I spend my time writing about is beer. Alcohol is always in interesting subject among Christian circles. What is your take?

Well, haha, four of the five members of our band are straight edge, including myself. Here is my take on alcohol as a believer. Scripturally speaking, there is nothing wrong with the consumption of alcohol, unless it brings you to intoxication. So I have no problem with someone having a casual beer, however, as believers, when it comes to getting drunk, that is a different story. For myself though, I don’t want to give the enemy any foothold in my life, and alcoholism runs in my family. So straight edge was a choice I saw as a perfect fit for my life. I have seen alcohol do severe damage to many of my close friends. So naturally I chose to obstain, but I am not going to look down on someone for drinking.

I was a straight edge in my younger years, so I can relate…. well, thanks… I truly appreciate the insight and love what you guys are doing. Let me know when you are coming through PA, I hope to come see you.

Thank you for the questions. Looking at some of the rough routing of some of the tours we have in the works, it looks like we will be in PA in a few months. Hopefully that pans out and we will be able to spend some time together then!

Definitely, let me know. Got any final thoughts for the readers?

Support touring bands that make the effort to come to your area, without that support, bands wouldn’t be able to stay out on the road doing what they love.


~ by thepaintedman on January 25, 2011.

One Response to “Venia Chats with TPM”

  1. […] the killer closing track “Calloused”, there isn’t a weak moment on the EP. In the words of Ben, guitarist for the band, influences include: Figure Four, Buried Alive, Madball, Another Victim, Merauder, and a little […]

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