Meet: Ash Gray From Venom Prison

Andy Ford

With the release of the bands third album ‘Erebus’ (read our review here) guitarist and one of the founding members of the band Ash Gray, answered some of our questions about the band, their inspirations and what he listens to at home.

Give us a potted history of the band?

We started Venom Prison in 2015. We had left, or our previous bands had finished – we came from punk/hardcore bands and decided we wanted to try a metal band, so myself and Larissa put the band together and from that point we just started writing and playing shows. There wasn’t really an accomplishment for the band, then things started picking up and we released our debut… from that point on we toured and kept writing records. Won an award with Metal Hammer for best new band, toured bigger venues, great festival slots, a lot of stuff we never envisioned but since then it’s kept us motivated to move forward.

Who inspired you to start making music?

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a solid scene growing up in Newport, South Wales; lots of good shows/tours, local bands and venues all supporting. I started bands in school with my friends to get on shows and then shortly after joined my first proper band “Brutality Will Prevail” then after years of touring, I decided to start Venom Prison. I never had an inspiration from one specific thing, it was constantly around me and I just wanted to be part of it. 

And the one or two records that inspired you artistically?

Placebo – Sleeping With Ghosts, I don’t really have an explanation but how the record plays as a whole, song writing, lyrics, just always resonated with me.

Carcass – Heartwork, this record really inspired me with the idea of groove and feel mixed with super metal twin leads and bluesy work. I came from a background of energy and punk so when I finally listened to this when I was younger it just clicked with me so well 

If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say?

Very dynamic, energetic and chaotic within it musically and the way it makes you feel lyrically. 

Your new album Erebus is a huge step up for you guys musically? Can you tell us about the album?

We joined Century Media Records to do our third full length album and we had the pleasure of working with Scott Atkins which was an incredible experience.
The inspiration was ‘Erebos’ , the idea of being born from Chaos and all subjects that interlink with it, each song has its own subject/modern day issues/personal issues and way too much to dive into in one go but lots to read and dive into it about it! 

As for gear, weirdly this is the least gear we’ve used guitar-wise; one EVH 100w 6L6 between myself and Ben for the whole record, 2 rhythm guitars and 1 lead guitar shared. Effects were specific pedals for that moment or a lot of synth/electronics and soundscaping was used on this record. 

Where can we get hold of it?

Century Media Records or

Tell us how you write?

Myself and Ben usually write on our own for a short while then get together, piece the music together, then present to the band – then from there we tweak and build on the songs properly with everyone, usually we get a full pre production together, vocals, guitars, bass, synth, drums you name it, so the band can get a proper vision for what we are thinking. We will all work together on everything once songs start coming to life. 

Tell us about your live show? And how much have you been missing it recently?

Well at Bloodstock we had fire, so probably more fire if possible!
On a serious note, we always go for a dynamic and energetic set which is always important to Venom Prison. We’ve been missing it but we’ve been finding ways to keep the band present and creative so there is some positive.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

More creative stuff and shows but can’t say when right now!
We have festivals booked such as Download Festival, Outbreak Festival, Full Force Festival, and Gelfe Festival. 

Tell us your favourite records that’s rocking your headphones / tour bus / stereo?

I’ve really been enjoying that latest Sleep Token Record, jammed that a fair bit. If we are in the van it’s usually something chilled or complete opposite and we just go on a crazy playlist binge, get some Ozzy on and we are usually happy. 

Personally, at home, yeah I’m probably listening to some soundtrack, synthpop, usually on mood so it really varies. 

What are your social media links where people can find your band?

Venom Prison: @venomprison on all socials or
Give us a follow and keep up to date with the band.

Check it the bands track ‘Pain Of Oizys’, below

Find out more via the bands Website or Facebook

Purchase the album here

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