Getting To Know Message To Venus
Hailing from Puerto Rico, Message to Venus just wrapped up their first full continental U.S. tour dubbed the “Pushing The Envelope Tour”. TWRY spent a few minutes with Message to Venus bassist Edgar Ramos to find out a little about the band, the new disc they are working on and their 2011 EP The Envelope. So take a little time and get to know Message to Venus!
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Message To Venus is the first ever Rock n Roll band I have ever interviewed that hails from Puerto Rico. How long has the band been together and who thought of the name of the group?
The project started in 2008. We have been friends for many years now and have worked together in past projects. The name of the band was originally supposed to be the name of a song. At the time it was just words on a page but the name of that song soon became an idea that we went with for the group. It just felt natural and we stuck with it.
The band is currently out on their first full US tour. Are you playing on larger bills as a support act or are you headlining smaller clubs on our own?
We are playing smaller clubs on our own. We are an independent band playing clubs up and down the east coast right now.
If you’re playing clubs that are 21+ do you think that this may limit your exposure to a potentially younger audience?
Of course and that’s a risk. It sucks on some levels but at the same time we are hitting as many areas as possible to build some momentum. We have had some shows where the clubs have made it an 18+ and that’s been great.
It must be a huge challenge for any newer bands to play live and travel without major label support. Is this tour fully financed by the band themselves?
Yes. Actually we had started a jump on the bus with Message to Venus Indiegogo.com account where we raised over $10,000 to assist in those touring costs. Basically the fans are rewarded based on their individual contributions to this account. It can be as simple as a twitter shout out for $5.00 to a private acoustic show for $1000.00.
Do you think that social media is an absolute must for newer bands to be able to survive in this industry in 2013?
No question. The reality is for us without it we would not be able to reach as many new fans as we have. How could we reach out to fans in the US, Brazil or Russia without facebook for instance. We have never toured in South America or Europe so having fans there now has been solely because of social networking. It’s our only current weapon of choice!
The band’s initial EP The Envelope from 2011 contains all original and one Depeche Mode cover “Stripped”. Is there a story associated with how that song came to end up on this EP?
We are really big fans of 80’s music and Depeche Mode is one of our favorite bands. So we really just agreed on this one song and went for it. At the same time the song was a challenge for us so we were trying to reach to a new level for us. “Stripped” is actually our newest single right now. It is a real honor for us to record it and pay some long overdue respect for those guys at the same time.
With a lack of recorded original material what type of set list are you guys going with night in and night out? Are there more covers in the set? Is it different from night to night? Are you playing some brand new material that maybe recorded for the next release?
Right now we are performing the entire EP. We are playing one new song “Cold and Grey” which will be on our next album. Also a Bruno Mars song “Locked Out of Heaven”.
Are you working on a full length album and when can fans expect to hear any new music?
The new album hopefully will be out by the summer of 2014. Right now we are in the process of mixing it and in post production. That is our main goal right now.
Would you say that the overall tone of the new music is very similar to what fans heard on The Envelope?
Not much of change really musically but lyrically it may be a bit darker. The melodies will have some changes throughout with the rock side of our sound much different than and the softer side of Message to Venus. The next record will continue the story from where The Envelope left off. Those tracks were meant to paint a picture and tell a story at the same time. The new stuff will be a direct link to the EP.
Is any of the material on this new record leftover from past incarnations of the band or left over from The Envelope?
All of the new material is from scratch. There are no songs on this new record leftover from older sessions.
If you had to describe the bands main musical influences would it be different for each band member or on the whole would they all be very similar?
Our influences are really quite diverse. We like bands like 311, Incubus, Tool, Deftones, A Perfect Circle, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears. Making new music is our gift back to those bands that made each one of us want to pick up an instrument to begin with.
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