"I WANT TO KILL OLD ATTITUDES DEAD"
Venom Prison turned extreme metal tropes on their heads two years ago. In 2019, frontwoman Larissa Stupar is looking to take their message further
Heavy music is so brilliant right now, that one of the most anticipated albums of the year is from an extreme metal band who plan to spend the next 12 months empowering women. How often have we got to say that? But that is the impact Venom Prison have had on our scene.
“I’ve had a tough time with depression and my mental health,” Venom Prison vocalist Larissa Stupar tells us. “The new album is inspired by that, and by femininity. I hope it can be held up as something that will give hope to young girls. I’ve been on tour and had girls come up and tell me that they’ve been inspired by seeing me onstage. Being a conductor for that kind of positive conversation is certainly something that I’d like to see grow this year for us.”
This year will hopefully see Larissa get the kind of respect from our scene that she deserves. At present, she still sees a disparity in attitudes towards her compared with those towards male vocalists. “In America they come up to me and go, ‘I didn’t know you were a woman! You sound so good, I thought you were a man!” she says, rolling her eyes. “I think they think it’s a compliment, but it’s really not. Anything I can do to kill that attitude dead, I will.”
In their short, but already remarkable career, the band have grown a reputation for melding sociopolitical ideologies with crushingly savage death metal. And with the first part of that addressed, Larissa moves on to her excitement about the sound of their follow-up to 2016’s Animus.
“I just can’t wait for people to hear it,” she says, smiling. “I know we have made an album that really pushes up a notch from the first one. What am I most excited about people hearing on it? Everything. I can’t pick one moment, I love the whole thing. Even the artwork, I can’t wait for people to see. I can’t say too much about that, but it’s something really conceptual that ties in with the rest of the album.”
Once the record is released, Venom Prison fans will have ample opportunity to hear the new songs live. So far, they’ve mostly made their name in support slots, giving everyone from Trivium to Suicide Silence to Trap
Them a run for their money. Next year, we’ll get a chance to see them triumphantly closing a bill.
“We haven’t actually played a show since we played [Hampshire’s] Boomtown Festival in August,” she says. “It feels like about 10 years ago now! We are a band that love to tour, that love to be in a van travelling, that love to play live. We’re going to go out and do a few more support slots with bigger bands, but we want to be doing some headline shows of our own.
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s definitely something that we need to do to take us to the next level.”
Plus, like the true metal fans they still are, Venom Prison will complete one of Larissa’s all-time ambitions when they play alongside Slipknot at Spain’s Resurrection Fest in July. “That’s a dream!” she exclaims. “I’m not sure if we’re on the same day as them, but I’ll camp out and wait to see them – I can’t wait.”
Venom Prison’s new album is due out early 2019 Via Prosthetic
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