Interview Tony Dolan (Venom Inc)

Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan is a busy bee in metalland. Working his ass of for bands like Venom inc , Atomkraft , Mpire of Evil. Doing solostuff etc etc..
With Venom inc he headlines Pitfest ‘s Friday in Erica Netherlands. A good reason to ask the man some questions.

Tony Dolan

Hi Tony, How are you doing? You just hit South-America with Venom Inc. Can you tell us about this experience?

Hi there Ronald. Yes we just completed almost two months in South America…including Guatemala and El Salvador in Central America and ending in Mexico with several shows, we hit, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia. Everywhere except Venezuela, where I tried through the consulate and government to get an allowance to perform for free but was told it would be not possible, which was a great shame.

It was amazing. The food, culturally of course, the scenery and then the people, but the fans and the shows were on another level, rammed, crazy and just a great pleasure…a great great success. It truly leaves one humbled and grateful that I get to tour the world doing what I love.

You will headline Pitfest on Friday in the Netherlands. Are you looking forward to this gig and what’s your connection with the Dutch?

My connection with Holland and the Dutch goes back to the early 1980’s and ATOMKRAFT. Best shows were always in Amsterdam or Tilburg and of course the famous SCUM club…too. We were on the mighty Roadrunner and have so many very great Dutch friends. Still to this day from then and added a few more along the way…the best people. In one of the most fantastic countries I have been connected with in my life. My bass company are Dutch– Bo El and the best I have ever experienced both people and instruments. Pitfest? Well apart from being very excited I am looking forward to seeing the great bands there and meeting old and new friends. It is always the best of times in Holland and this festival is a great one and growing each year so for me and for VENOM INC it is a great honor to be invited but to headline? We cannot wait on en mass..and have a new great show for all.

It will be fucking mayhem as it should be…Perfect!!

Pitfest headline show

Speaking bout Dutch. Winston Arntz just started with you guys The Official fanpage Warheads Inc. You got an open relationship with the fans. Are you guys going to be active there to?

Yes that’s correct, he just began the official fan pages…I am already digging out collectable stuff I have gathered over the time to give away and auction there and once a month a band member will be there to chat to fans directly. And we only employ one real rule, no slagging off any members of any connective tissue and no bullying fans like on some of the older pages…seems to be a habit on social media sites and we all feel that should be left to a blabbermouth or something. It’s a fan page for the band VENOM INC so if it’s not what you like, just don’t show up or troll…go stay with what you do like…simple. Let those that enjoy it, do exactly that and you go have your fun where you prefer it.

(check fanpage here)

Ave was released in 2017 and still is a strong record. Rumor goes you already are on a second one. Can you tell us a bit bout it?

Yes, oh thank you, well WE liked it..lol. We have been writing so much, myself and Jeff separately and will narrow our field down to the best choices. Like AVE, it simply isn’t one mans vision of who we are or what we do, it’s a joint effort and team, like we always were and are…we push ourselves to be the best. It is just how we are. We think this is better than AVE and it’s getting very exciting. I hoped to be ready for March but tours go in the way, then summer but looking at your current crazy bust schedule it looks like end of 2019 for it to be completed.

We are fortunate to be so very busy that I am having to turn down so much to push it to 2020 and that is so amazing because when I began this whole idea, I though a year or two of live shows only then off we go back to M:PIRE of EVIL and what we were doing, it has outgrown that idea and it is quite incredible.

It was quite a shock when Jeff ( Mantas) had a severe heart-attack last year! He seems to go strong now. How did this affect you and the band to have such an dreadfull experience?

It was just shocking, we’d just been chatting and then minutes later he was in the back of an ambulance dead, fighting for himself and the ambulance paramedics fighting to save him. And he did it, but it left a mark and a toll. Physically he is in much better condition as it was a gene thing and hereditary condition that hadn’t been spotted but now fixed, however when you die and then come back, knowing you died, is something the mind must figure out and I think he feels a little bit of him didn’t return so that in itself is difficult and something he is struggling with, but it would be I guess. But his strength and determination is so great that…well….here we are!!

Besides Pitfest , there are some more impressive giglist :USA 4/24 – Colorado Springs, CO Zodiac 4/25 Kansas City, MO The Riot Room 4/26 Minneapolis, MN Lee’s Liqour Lounge 4/27 Chicago interstate stadium Misfits 4/28 Lakewood, OH The Foundry 4/29 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups 4/30 Toronto, ON The Rockpile 5/01 Ottawa, ON Mavericks 5/02 Quebec City, QC L’Anti 5/03 Hartford, CT Webster Underground 5/04 Brooklyn, NY The Kingsland 5/24 – Erica (NLD) “PitFest” 6/8 Kutno (Poland) “Rock & Rose Festival” 6/20 Gardelegen (GER) “Metal Frenzy fest” 6/21 Clisson (Fra) “HELLFEST” 6/22 – FLY TO JAPAN 6/23 Tokyo Japan 6/24 – DAY OFF JAPAN 6/25 – FLY TO AUSTRALIA 6/26 Canberra Australia 6/27 Brisbane Australia 6/28 Sydney Australia 6/29 Melbourne Australia 6/30 Hobart Australia 7/02 New Zealand 7/11 Balingen (GER) “BANG YOUR HEAD Fest” 7/12 Dunaújváros (Hun) “ROCK MARATON Fest” 8/3 WACKEN (Germany)

How the hell do you keep up this steady ongoing touring?

Yes and that’s without Europe in yet…hahaha. I think it is who you are and more a question of what you do as your work. I mean, write, record, release and play….that’s what a band does isn’t it. Isn’t that the point of music..write some, record it, release so people can hear and (especially with Metal) get out and play it live!I mean…sure you are ‘promoting’ the new record but beyond that, you are playing music live which is at the end of the day the most important thing for me anyway.. You can connect with the music and fans in the purest way and share the connection.

You could do five festivals a year or something, charge as much as they will concede to pay, release half arsed music for quick cash, re release over and over again your old more successful catalogue, but that leave me cold. Fuck that total bullshit, just get out there and give back to the fans that by buying anything from you are supporting you, they deserve to be able to see you.

The “new kid “ Mr Kling, does an steady job sofar! How is it to have him onboard?

Ah The Warmachine. Not only is he one of the easiest and coolest guys to be around. He is attentive to what the music VENOM Inc does requires. Style wise he is on a different level but his own band is where he can be that comfortably. But he is studious and respectful to the legacy and what we are doing and just performs with so much power and his timing is great hahaha. We know when he does a four could that will be the actual tempo for example..hahaha. That’s not a bitchslap to any one. By the way. Just a fact. Jeff is a stickler for it live and so. Mr.Kling nails it, every show, no matter what and that is such a fucking joy live to play against.

Mantas, Demolition Man, Warmachine

Besides Venom inc, you are al so working on Atomkraft, Mpire of Evil etc etc. Can you tell us how it’s going with them?

Well, we were closing in on the final stages of the next M:PIRE of EVIL record. When I started the VENOM INC thing. and we want to finish it coz it was sounding so good and is our baby. But it’s time really, same for the ATOMKRAFT album I re did. So close to finishing but not enough time. The focus was on VENOM INC and so many live shows that it took preference over all else. We are now moving into the phase three so 2020 we will have more time and those recordings will be completed. Along with that I will be doing a blues album with some Japanese artists in Japan and releasing on a new label which I am part of, which is so fucking exciting.

Another Dutch connection is your bass guitar. Can you tell us about about your Bo-El guitar and your gear?

Yes as I mentioned before my sponsor is BO-EL a Dutch company who make the best fucking basses I have ever played and I’ve played a lot lol.

I play the Big Generator and I have three, just another level, jazz tones with deep end humbucked to a devastating level and the playability for me? Second to none, great for studio and there is so much dynamic control and roundness to the output but live, becomes a freaking monster and I kick the shit out of my stuff too, but they are formidable instruments.

Bo-El Guitar

My actual first introduction to them was in Holland where we played a show and a friend, Ramon Van Hengel, brought along a guy Eelco Slont who brought this bass, showed me it and said I could try it out live if `I was interested…it was such a nice bass I said no, I’m the Demolition man for a reason and you may not get all of it back hahaha…but he insisted. So I went on with it, pulled the switch to buck the pickup and the first note I hit on the bottom E blew the amp, an Ampg SVT pro 700 watt…hahahaha. I switched to my old bass and at the end Eelco said, you took it off? You didn’t like it? I said man it blew my amp first strike, put it in the case I’ll take it, I LOVE IT, I just need a BIGGER BOAT!!! hahahaha.

At last do you have an Spinal Tap moment to share with us?

Yep, trying to play the title track of a tour onstage in front of a packed house. On the first show in the USA, 3 attempts, then the drummer says “just play another one” hahahahaha. There had been a two minute intro about music and fans, the state of the world, the name of the tour…blah blah blah…as embarrassing, nothing like rehearsing for two days and being prepared…hahahaha…as dumb as that bit where. Nigel realizes his insides aren’t actually GREEN!! FFS

Cheers Thanks and AVE

Thankyou so much..AVE

Interviewer: Ronald van de Baan

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