Damnation 2019 Interview: Larissa Stupar of Venom Prison

Prior to their ‘special performance’ at this year’s Damnation Festival, we got to spend some time with vocalist Larissa from Venom Prison discussing the new album, their recent hectic touring schedule and also what the special surprise that was in their performance.

You’re headlining the Tone Management stage later on today at the festival, are you looking forward to it?

Yeah definitely. The first time we played was in 2016 on the same stage and it looked huge to me last time we were here. This time though, it looks a bit smaller than I remember! But yeah, we are really looking forward to it and have something special planned.

So, the obvious next question is what is the special thing?

We’ve got Jo Quail playing an intro and basically an outro for us which we’re really excited about. Being back here, we wanted to do something special and then after seeing she was playing the festival as well we figured it worth asking her. She said yes, so it should be good fun.

The latest album, Samsara, came out earlier this year. How do you feel the response has been?

The response has been really good. I think we got what we hoped we were going to get with it. We wanted to basically wanted to step up from our previous album Animus which we managed to establish ourselves with. We kind of wanted to take it further with the new album and the response we’ve had from it has been amazing. We got so many cool tours from it including one which will be announced later this month which is going to be very exciting.

Damnation Festival has sold out again this year. What do you think causes it to sell out year on year?

I think it’s the organisation. The fact that it’s an inside festival is a pro in itself. The Uni in Leeds is quite big but it doesn’t get too busy so you can escape for some peace if you need to. They usually put great lineups together and really take care of their artists. I think people just love coming back as it’s very accommodating.

Do you have any pre-show warm-ups or rituals?

I do warm-ups but I have to be honest that since touring with Trivium for 7 weeks I have kind of reduced them. I just couldn’t be assed at some point anymore but it still seems to work really well for me. We all just warm-up a bit before the show and don’t require any shots of anything. Our bassist isn’t allowed to drink whiskey anymore anyway!

What do you want to see less of in the metal scene?

I want to see less racist and fascist bands being put on a pedestal and given a platform. I also think that people should stop having double standards because saying it’s ok for one band to play and not for another isn’t right. I think people should set their priorities straight.

Aside from the tour you mentioned, what has the band planned for the next 6 to 12 months?

Quite a bit of touring. We’re going to be heading to some new areas including Australia which we’re never been to before and we are really excited for. We’re also going to be touring through Europe and the UK again as well which will be good. There’s quite a lot planned.

If you had to pick your favourite recent tour, which one would you pick?

I would probably say the one we did in May with Fit For An Autopsy. In my opinion, the tour was just about the right length and all the bands on the tour were super cool. We all shared a bus together and got along really well despite it being a busy bus. The shows were amazing as well so for sure I’d say that was one of my favourites.

What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

I definitely want to see Alcest as their new release is amazing. It’s probably one of my favourite records that’s been released this year. I want to check out Birds in Row and Godeater who played just then. Our dressing room is just next to the stage so we can sneak out and have a look. I want to see Jo Quail as well obviously and catch a bit of Opeth too. I definitely want to see a bit of Mayhem as well. But every time I want to see bands, I never get a chance to!

Tea or Coffee?

Honestly, last year if you would have asked me I would have said tea but now it’s coffee. It’s kind of a double-edged sword though as not having it can make you very tired.

Header image by Ya Cheng Photography.

Venom Prison: official | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | last.fm

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