Why I Love... Venom by Chris Fehn, Slipknot

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THEY OPENED THE GATES OF HELL

“The first time I heard Venom I was at my brother’s friend’s house. I don’t necessarily think that I even heard what was going on, but the music was on vinyl… I remember seeing the goat on the label spinning. I was like, ‘Holy shit! This is fucking evil!’ I didn’t even know what was going on. I was completely blown away by that. You’ve got to understand where I come from… I lived in the Bible Belt, you know what I mean? So I was brought up in the church, and to see something like that was fucking frightening, dude. I couldn’t believe it was happening.”/o:p

THEY INFILTRATED MIDDLE AMERICA

“Venom kicked down a lot of doors, just like Sabbath did. Sabbath toured America when cities would literally not let them enter the city limits. The cops would say, ‘Fuck off, you’re not coming in!’ and they’d turn the bus around. But that paved the way for bands like Slipknot to tour America.

I don’t know how Venom slipped through the Iowa border, because we didn’t get a lot of music like that in the stores. It’s almost like Iowa had the Berlin Wall around it. We’d go to the mall every day and we’d go right to the metal section. I could only buy one record a month and it had to be evil!”/o:p

THEIR MAGIC HAS NEVER FADED

“Venom will always be important to me. It’s just one of those things, like a favourite set of golf clubs… even though they may have made new ones that are better, nothing beats the ones you love. The reason they’re still so important to me is because it’s where I come from. Listening to them, it’s like coming home.

It changed my whole world and I dove headfirst into metal thanks to Venom. Before that I was into Michael Jackson, I was into Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Journey and Queen, records that my parents would like and be OK with. So Venom was almost illegal. It was serious business, man, because I still believed that I’d go to Hell for listening to that shit.”/o:p

CRONOS IS AN UNGODLY FRONTMAN

“When I first his voice I thought he was the voice of the Devil. He knew the Devil personally. He came from Hell. He knew what it was. I’ve met Cronos. Dude, he was great. But I kept it at arm’s length, because I still have that in my brain, with that band. I don’t want to know him but I had to meet him. He came to our show! Fuck! I had my picture discs with me, on the road. I whipped them out and he signed them. That blew my mind. I’m a real metal fan, still to this day.”/o:p

THEIR MONIKERS ARE BADASS

“Their names… Cronos, Abaddon and Mantas… dude, they were from Hell to me. I was just a kid, so these were three guys from Hell who had a band. It was insane… but I wanted, needed more of it, because of them. I don’t want to know that they have regular lives. They don’t to me. Those three guys are just hanging out in Hell, waiting to play a show. I keep that in my brain – it’s very important.”/o:p

THEY’RE STILL TOTALLY UNDERRATED

“Venom started a big movement of imagery and they changed the history of metal. Kids need to go back and hear how raw it was and see that it took fuckin’ balls to do that back then. It was a different world. Venom were the complete opposite of everything I grew up with. It was 100% the wrong thing to be listening to. And they made it into my house in the centre of Iowa, in the centre of America. They changed my whole life.”/o:p

VENOM’S FROM THE VERY DEPTHS IS OUT NOW VIA SPINEFARM/o:p