Original VENOM Guitarist MANTAS Clarifies Comments On ‘Black Metal’ 40th Anniversary Celebration

Earlier VENIN and current VENOM INC. guitarist Jeff “Mantas” Dunno has clarified his earlier comment that he would like to see the classic VENIN lineup celebrates the band’s 40th anniversary “Black metal” album.

Released in 1982, “Black metal” is considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general. VENIN‘s second album proved so influential that the title was used as the name of the extreme metal subgenre of black metal. The band’s classic lineup trio of Dunnsinger/bassist Conrad “Chronos” Lanto and drummer Anthony “Abaddon” Bray recorded two more studio LPs, “At War With Satan” (1984) and “possessed” (1985), and live album, “A Little Night Music” (1986). Often quoted by bands like METALLIC, BEHEMOTH, CELTIC FROST and BEND as major influences they are one of the most respected bands of their generation. VENIN is still led by chronos and headliner at festivals around the world and continues to release new music while Dunn and former VENIN bassist/singer Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan have joined forces in the eponymous VENOM INC.

Dunn talked about a hypothetical VENIN celebration during a new interview with Artists On Record starring ADIKA Live! He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “When you think about impact and the influence this band has had and our place, our place in music history is secure. When people talk about heavy metal and influential bands in heavy metal, VENINwill always be up there somewhere. We may not be at the top of the list, but we’ll be there somewhere. And to have had such an impact and so much respect from your colleagues; everyone knows the name’VENIN.’ And every anniversary of this band has passed and it has never been celebrated. And that is one of the reasons that we, as VENOM INC. now we do the 40th anniversary; we do the ‘Black metal’ show.

“There was a point…I’m doing this Facebook Live thing twice a week – Monday and Friday. It has become a bit of fun to do and just hang out with people. That’s all; it’s nothing important. And people ask about the 40th anniversary of ‘Black metal’ and just the band’s birthdays in general; that was just one of those things. And it even caused a bit of conflict within the… VENOM INC. also ranks, because things were taken out of context. And the only big thing that was taken out of context was when… gossip decided to put only one cup. I was like, ‘Oh, come on, man.’ And the headline was: ‘Stuff want the original VENIN to get back together.’ [Editor’s note: The actual headline was ‘Original VENOM Guitarist MANTAS Wants Band’s Classic Lineup To Reunite For ‘Black Metal’ 40th-Anniversary Celebration’.] And I was like, ‘That’s not what I said, for God’s sake. Watch the video to see what I said.” What I actually said was – and myself and… Tony from VENOM INC.we had a chat about this the day before and said it’s sad that all the members who have ever been part of this shit show circus can’t get together – not just the originals but everybody; everyone’s period of that band — and do a party festival just dedicated to VENIN and bring guest players or whatever. But every era of the band is represented. And then chronos does now; he plays a few hits with his band. What VENOM INC. is doing; we play a few songs. Then you have the ‘First Evil’ era, when it was me and Tony and abaddonand then Al Barnes [rhythm guitar] was also involved. And then you would ‘Silence before the storm’ era where Mike Hickey and Jim Clare were involved as guitarists. And of course it would culminate if the original lineup got on stage and played some classic songs. And that was an idea that just got thrown out there. But I basically said, ‘If anyone sees this, get in touch. You won’t get an apology from me because what I said is true.'”

Stuff added: “I’ve heard so much bullshit on the internet and in interviews [with other VENOM members] and so, and I thought, ‘On what planet did this happen? What dimension were you in when this happened?'”

According to Stuffnone of the former members of VENIN contacted him about a possible 40th anniversary celebration after his original comments were published by BLABBERMOUTH.NET. “There was nothing,” he said. “There was no reach. There was nothing at all. And I mean, the original lineup did come [back] together in ’95, ’96, and it lasted for a few years, and then it just went back to normal. But it’s very sad to think that a band that has made such an impact cannot be celebrated. So that’s why if VENOM INC., we celebrate it.”

During the above Facebook Live chat, which took place at the end of February, Dunn requested Lant and beams to get together with him for some kind of a VENIN celebration, saying, “I’ll never retract anything I’ve said, ’cause I’m sorry, but it’s true. No matter what he or he thinks, it’s true; it’s just as simple as that. I’m not going out there and blatantly talk nonsense like one of us did. What I’ve said is absolutely true, and I’ve put it in print – also in the book. It’s there. It’s absolutely true. But we’re at that age now – I’m 60; beams‘s, like, 61; Conradis what – 58, 59? We just went through a massive pandemic where nobody did anything. We currently have a war in Europe. [All the issues we’ve had with each other], it’s fucking insignificant; it’s fucking bullshit.

“Like I said, I’ll never fucking say ‘sorry’; I’ll never turn around and say, ‘Yeah, I didn’t fucking mean that,'” he continued. “What I said was damn true. But we missed the 25th anniversary. We didn’t celebrate the 30th anniversary. And it’s, like, for a band that had such a fucking impact… And again, my friends, i still find it hard to take in myself, people say…

“When I did the interviews for the 40th anniversary of ‘Welcome to Hell’ – there’s another anniversary we fucking missed; did nothing about it; it’s just over’ Dunn added. “But the point was, I got these interviews in and people said to me, ‘You just don’t realize how important what you’ve done.’ Not me, because I suppose we were that close I’ve said it a million times – I was just a fucking kid writing tunes in my fucking bedroom, living with my mom, and I was lucky, people fucking love them .

“But it’s, like, can’t we just celebrate this once? I mean, damn hell – I’ve already died once. And damn you don’t have long, and you don’t have long, ’cause I know what you got yourself damn hurt.”

Addressing the fact that VENOM INC. went to commemorate “Black metal”40th anniversary by performing it in its entirety on October 2 in the keep it true festival at Posthalle in Würzburg, Germany, Dunn said: “If the keep it true thing came along, I thought, ‘Yeah! Yes! I’m gonna fucking do it.’ Because no one else is. No one else goes out to celebrate this damn album – a monumental damn album. It should be fucking celebrated.”

Dunn, beams and dolan three albums released as VENIN between 1989 and 1992 — “First Evil” (1989),“Temples of Ice” (1991) and “The Wild Grounds” (1992).

VENOM INC. is not to be confused with the above chronos-fronted version of VENINwho continues to tour and make albums under the VENIN name. Participate chronos be in that group Fury (also known as Stuart Dixon) on guitar and dante (also known as Danny Needham) on drums.

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