August 2007

Face to face with Riotmiloo, Slideling and Caveman Machine under the stage of Sun City in Marotta

THE DEATHLY BITE OF THE CHINESE SNAKES - Adrenaline and poison behind the sexy mask of The Venom Seeds

by Geordie Echo

The Venom Seeds represent a crazy and fantastic Chinese universe, in which live dragons, skulls and dangerous killer-girls. Let the venom spread into your ears and be prepared for some good Rawk' n' crawl. This is to say a rock 'n' roll as raw as shreds of human flesh and crawling as a rattle snake. This is what Riotmiloo - leader of this band coming out from a dirty garage in Soho full of bones, cobwebs and alchemical flasks filled with acid and adrenaline - says. Seeing them onstage means being sucked into a whirl of minimal and corrosive decibels that rotates at supersonic speed. And also meeting with bad masters such as Lux Interior or Poison Ivy from the famous Cramps or the supersexy teddy-girl, heroines in the 60's blue light b-movies of the great maestro Russ Meyer. We met the London-based trio - two girls and a boy that sold their souls to the good devil of Rock' n 'roll - last April, during the two special gigs in the Marche region (in Marotta at Sun City, and in Sassoferrato at Freedom) of their Italian tour. It wasn't the first time for them to play in the nearby of Ancona, and surely it won't be the last. Is a new twinning between London and Ancona born? Surely a shake up has been given to the situation, thanks to the birth of booking agencies such as "for music's sake", Coffebreaktape, and the independent webradios like Radiotlt.

How did you get in contact with us/the radio?

Riotmiloo (vocals): Well if I remember well, Geordie from TLT and Coffee Break Tape found us on myspace ( As I spend let's say 85% of my spare time on it, we rapidly got to exchange words and ideas, we MSNed each other and she decided to organise a couple of gigs for us. Of course we could not resist, we came to Italy, and here we are now getting interviewed by two lovely ladies… ;-P

How long have you been playing together?

Riotmiloo: The actual set up did its first rehearsal on Halloween 2004!!! Before the Cave man Machine, we tried with a lady drummer, but we wanted it rawer and she wanted it softer, she left and we auditioned a couple of people. The Cave man Machine really impressed us, he got the job straight away!!!

Caveman Machine (drums): I did have to dress up like a lady for a while, but we're beyond that now!

Slideling (guitar) It doesn't feel long at all as The Venom Seeds are constantly changing. It seems that we always have a new venue or country to play. We've also been lucky so far in that each song we come up with is so much fun to create and seems (to us anyway!) completely different from the last.

What are your influences?

R: Waow, I am interested in so many musical genres that it is going to be hard to resume everything!!! Well first of all I used to listen to hardcore music (eg Minor Threat from the US label Dischord), I just loved the energy that came from it and straight edge people used to fascinate me… Then I discovered the riot grrrl scene and really got into bands like Bikini Kill, The Hagard, and digged the Kill Rock Stars label!!! But it was not enough so I started becoming more interested in electronics, I discovered Atari Teenage Riot and the lady singer called Hanin Elias just blew me away! I also like electro sounds like Cobra Killer, early industrial sounds like Einsturzende Neubauten, actual industrial mayhem too, and so many more… I could talk about it for hours and days…

CMM: My influence that made me start playing the drums was Keith Moon from the Who- doing everything you shouldn't do and making the drums into much more than just a rhythmic pulse- almost a lead instrument- I saw footage of him play and instantly connected with the showmanship, excitement and skill in his playing. Musically I tend to veer towards the wonkier side of things like Sebadoh, Pavement and Scout Niblett- I think we all have different influences and we bring that mixture to our practices and come up with something that we all like- None of us is scared of noise or broken things.

S: I love Captain Beefheart! He's created so much weird and wonderful music and each album is packed to the brim with brillant ideas, lyrics, rhythms and discordant noises. I started playing slide guitar because of playing on Beefheart records. The sound just really got me. Around the same time I also discovered Son House, a Delta bluesman, who plays slide guitar in a really unique, percusive way so he has influenced me too. Though I hate their last album, I'm a really big fan of The White Stripes. Jack White is one hell of a performer and their music has guts, passion, and energy and always sorts me out if I'm feeling low! I also love the first Jon Spencer Blues album, grindcore stuff like Godflesh and Carcass, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and like the rest of the band, love Shellac and Melt Banana. The superb bands we have in our local music scene also figure too – Monkey Island, Gin Palace, Skull Disko and The Cesarians I salute you!

How do you manage to contstantly tour and have your jobs and everyday life?

R: We are not always on tour although we play very regularly. I'd say you have to be passionate about your band and sometimes not moan about having only a couple of hours to sleep!!! Luckily I have got a lot of holidays so it really helps to have time to do music!!! Getting gigs and promoting the band also consumes a lot of time, but when you are a geek (like me), well it does not matter!!! Ha and I don't watch TV (so I can spend the time doing other more interesting things)!

CMM: None of us seems to mind using all of our Holiday time from work playing music- as long as its in such great places as Italy and France. And we tend to play a lot of gigs after work- running to the venue with my cymbals under my arm, or the girls getting changed in the pub toilets moments before we are meant to play! The fact that we all love it means that we all would rather do band stuff than anything else: Riotmiloo with the promotion, Slideling with our web presence and me doing the visuals.

S: Strong drugs. Ha, ha, not really!! We all love doing the band so much, and sometimes it's frustrating there are not more hours in the days to do stuff like updating the website and emailing people, but we get there! In terms of touring, I've just started freelancing (I'm a programmer by day) so that frees my time up a bit.

Do you have other bands?

R: Yes I do. I do sing some songs for industrial composer Eva|3. If you want to listen to some of its tracks, check out these links: and It is very different from Venom Seeds, his forthcoming album is really minimal and ambient, it will take you on a deep introspective journey. And the song we did together called "Sweet Abuse" , you can hear the sweetest vocals I have ever made!!! When we do shows together, then it is another story. As I can't help being myself and scream and shout, we slightly change the songs I am involved in to take the audience on a rawer journey, I also use a megaphone to distort my voice. It is quite exciting I must say!!!

CMM: I have a couple of things I do beside the Venomseeds; I have just joined the Garage Punk band Monkey Island who have been going for ages- and have visited Italy in the past- they have just reformed and I have volunteered for the drumming duties, its very early on but already really good. We can't wait to play live soon. Also I am in a band called Rudd with a friend of mine in which we both play guitar, bass, keyboard, ukelele, drums, melodica, autoharp, ocarina, etc. and we both sing and write the stuff- it very very different from the venomseeds! ( and I also write music for animations and stuff- some of which I make and some of which my brother makes.

S: No. I thinks its cool that Riotmiloo and Caveman Machine do – I just don't know how they find the time!!

How do your songs come into being?

R: Slideling usually brings a couple of guitar riffs. From there we build up something, we all bring bits and bobs (The Cave Man Machine with his dislocated rhythms and me with my voice). We generally turn the song upside down, rip it up, add stops and shouts without really knowing where we go. Once we're happy with it, then we can let the song out for live shows! We've got a 7" vinyl out at the moment, feel free to buy it from our US label Flotation Records

CMM: We are really democratic- we seem to never argue and we all seem to want to push the music we play into dark, stranger more disorienting directions. So when we write a song we all bring things along; Slideling brings loads of riffs, Riotmiloo brings themes and lyrical ideas, and I try to bring as much as I can- strange rhythms I have spend all day working out at work- then we throw them all together and EDIT! Sometimes we'll demo a song that lasts 4 minutes at 80 bpm and by the time we have finished smacking it with hammers, pulling it apart and re-assembling it, spinning it around with a blindfold on, and playing it again and again we end up with something that's a minute long and is at 180 bpm speed!

S: A riff, yelp and a wonky rhythm to start with and then from there f*ck knows!! We have a song called the Baroque Song and we have put that baby through a lot of surgery!! If a song starts to become vaguely normal we can be very evil to it you know ;)

Why should people listen to The Venom Seeds?

R: Thanks for asking that question because it will enable me to get things clear (be prepared for a rant). We've noticed that some people only come to our gigs to look at girls wearing Chinese dresses. So to all the ones who turn up only for that and to make physical comments on who is sexy or whatever other stupid and inappropriate comment, stay for the song "get out right now" and then leave please. You're not welcome. Venom seeds is a whole crazy universe which takes place in a fantasy Chinese world habited by dragons and skulls and dangerous killer ladies. The graphics and the artwork (made by our lovely drummer) is very important to set the scenery. As much as the Chinese dresses. So Venom Seeds may be visual because it shows madness mixed other extreme emotions but not only. Venom Seeds is first music. More interesting people gave us feedback on our what we play, qualified it as some "mad evil grinning rock'n'roll". I much prefer that then physical sexist comments. So let the venom spread to your ears and be ready for rawk'n'crawl ladies and gents (end of the rant)!!!

CMM: people should listen to the Venomseeds to witness the sound of everything colliding together, dragging you with it and waking you up to the possibility of enjoying music from another world. People should listen to the Venomseeds because they need everything clarified by our own rules of music. Animals should listen to the Venomseeds because it will remind them of home and their primal urges… Robots should listen to the Venomseeds to loosen up!

S: For a shot of adrenalin and a slap round the ears! The Venom Seeds are very good for you and once we've finished with you you'll be disorientated but smiling.

How long will Venom Seeds last?

R: The seed will get swallowed by a dragon, will grow inside him, destroy him from the inside and something worse will come out!!! How long for all that? MMmmmhhhh, how long for all that??? Many Chinese New Years shall be seen and experienced before the venom runs out… ;-P

CMM: hopefully lots of people will come along for the ride and enjoy getting terrorised by the fallout from our musical battles!

S: Feed us enough pizza and borghetti and we will play forever!!

What do you like about Italy?

R: Everything but first and foremost, the people. Everybody has been so nice to us!!! We're looking forward to coming back!!! I also love the cheese…

CMM: There hasn't been a single thing about Italy that we dislike I think. The food (Pizza, Pasta, Bruschetta etc) the drink (Borghetti and wine) the people, the music its all been great. We love to come to Ancona because in many ways the music scene there is comparable to the one in London, well Stoke Newington where we play a lot- there are a group of passionate bands who all support each other and make great noise- we feel at home and people are great to us there. Basically we like Italy because people seem to want us to play our music there!

S: The extremely friendly people, their unending hospitality, the great pizza and the exciting music scene with bands like Lush Rimbaud and Butcher Mind Collapse.