VENOM guitarist Rage, a.k.a. Stuart Dixon, was recently interviewed by United Rock Nations. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.
Speaking about VENOM's longevity, Dixon said: "I think it's because when VENOM started, metal was quite safe. We had just got rid of the punk era, and metal bands were coming out, and they were… You had IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST and they were talking about sci-fi stuff or different stuff like that. And then the thrash bands were more social — talking about Armageddon and that sort of stuff. And I think VENOM really tapped into something unique with this dark side and the Satan side, pushing it to the extremes. And I think that's what got a lot of fans into it — because it was so extreme. They'd never heard anything like it before — it was raw, it was music to annoy your parents with and kill your neighbors with. And that sort of ethos has never changed. I think a lot of the Norwegian [black metal] bands got into it because of the atmosphere — obviously, with Norway being in darkness half of the time of the year, it was great for them 'cause it's got really a dark, dark atmosphere. And that's what we tried to push through on [the new VENOM] album ['Storm The Gates']. I think this album is a darker album than the last few albums. I think it's just the attitude — the way the world is going.
"Not many bands put atmosphere into the music," he continued. "With thrash bands, it was all about speed and stuff like that. But with VENOM, you also had the other side of it. You hear the 'Black Metal' album and you've got 'Don't Burn The Witch' and 'Black Metal' and all the fast songs, but then you've got the tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Teacher's Pet', which has a little bit of humor in it as well.
"VENOM's never been stuck into a sort of, 'You can't do this and you can't do that,'" he added. "We can do the songs about longhaired punks going out and getting drunk and we can do the thrashier songs, we can do the 'Warhead'-type songs, 'Destroyer'-type songs. So we're never really just stuck to doing one type of music. We can do little things and surprise people and get away with it."
VENOM's 15th full-length studio album, "Storm The Gates", wasreleased on December 14 through Spinefarm Records. The follow-up to 2015's "From The Very Depths" was made available on CD and digital formats, with vinyl and cassette versions to arrive in early 2019.
VENOM's current lineup features frontman Conrad "Cronos" Lant alongside Rage on guitar and Danté (a.k.a. Danny Needham) on drums.
VENOM is not to be confused with VENOM INC., the band featuring original VENOM guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn alongside ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan.