VENOM’s CRONOS: “Heavy Metal Has Always Been ‘the Devil’s Music'”

In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Venom’s eternal frontman Cronos talked about many things on Venom’s career and the way he sees music. Take a look:

“We have a lot of fans who like to dissect the lyrics and work out what certain meanings are and things. I’m not going to take that away from them.

“You never see a novelist who releases a novel then release a second book to explain the novel. It just doesn’t happen. That’s for your interpretation.

“I always write songs that have a few different meanings, so you can read into them depending on what kind of standpoint you want to come from. I mean, I can do a three-hour interview on one song alone. I’m not going to be able to sum it up for you in a minute.”

Asked about Venom’s influence on the metal genre, Cronos replied:

“I really like to think of Venom as a catalyst rather than inventors. Influence would probably be more like it. I’ve always been – from being young – a fan of what you’d call ‘rock music.’ From the Beatles to the Stones to the Who, through Zeppelin and Purple and everybody.

“So, I’ve always liked the idea of drums, guitar, this, that, and the other. My mum’s brother used to play guitar in a country-western band, so I’ve always been around instruments and music.

“I’ve never really gotten into any of the electronic stuff when it came along in the ’80s. I didn’t really see how that was working for me in any way – I just like a drum kit and a guitar.

“When people used to ask back in the day, ‘How do you describe Venom?’, I would say, ‘It’s all the best bits of the bands that I love.’ So, if Judas Priest wear leather jackets, then I’m going to wear a leather jacket and a pair of leather pants!

“And if KISS have three flashpots on the front of the stage, I’m going to have ten! And if Ozzy Osbourne is going to sing about the devil walking down the street, then I’m going to be the devil walking down the street!

“It was taking all of the great things that I loved, and all the crazy frontmen, like Gene Simmons, [Jethro Tull frontman] Ian Anderson, Rob Halford, and encompassing all of these ideas into a new thing. And then, adding that dash of punk. That’s why I always used to wear the big Doc Martens – that was my punk heritage.

“And just putting some aggression back into the music. I mean, heavy metal has always been ‘the devil’s music.’ They always say the devil has the best tunes, and I was a bit frustrated at leaving school and being told that rock music was dead, and it had its day and everybody was finished with it.

“I had to absolutely disagree. So, when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal started in England – which became Iron Maiden, Saxon, Samson, and all these bands – I wanted to create something different from that.

“I appreciated that they were very heavily influenced by the Zeppelins, the Purples, and the Sabbaths, and were trying to keep a hold of this ’70s vibe. I get all of that, but I wanted something that was kind of a cross between Sabbath and Motörhead. Something more aggressive – with a bit of Sex Pistols in there, to get nasty.”

Cronos also said:

“I’ve never wanted to appeal to the greater masses in that respect. I’ve always said it was discerning crowds that Venom attracted. I’ve never wanted to be No. 1 on Top of the Pops.

“I’m quite happy to be different, and even hover around the underground a bit. It’s a better place to be because you have more control of what you’re doing.

“I think if you end up becoming a mainstream artist, it would be a team of label people all pushing and pulling you in all various directions, to keep an eye on your career. That would be too much for me – I wouldn’t want to do it.

“I think the idea of being able to feel your way through the game and through the industry and making decisions on a whim. Like, ‘I’m going to do this… I’m not going to do this.’ You’re more in control of your destiny, I believe.”