Björk meets Slayer
By Simon McCormack
One review described metal/industrial/punk duo/quartet Vertigo Venus as "What Nine Inch Nails would sound like if Trent Reznor had a sense of humor." It's appropriate to use the "don't judge a book by its cover" adage when discussing the band but, frankly, just based on looks, I don't think anyone could tell what the hell they sound like. Even after giving the band a listen I'm not so sure. It's a highly volatile mix of synthesizer, B52-ish vocals and ’80s metal guitar. The band's music is written by brothers Chris and Jeffie Cannon, who are joined on stage by a drummer and bassist to fill out the live sound. The brothers spoke with the Alibi and provided some insight into what makes their eccentric ensemble tick.
How long have you guys been playing together?
Jeffie: When I was about 11, Chris decided he had to be a rock star and told me to be a drummer. We formed a band, and I would often get up in the middle of our satanic death metal sessions to go watch cartoons or play with Legos—we were still kids, after all. It wasn't until pretty recently that we added the drum and bass to our live show.
I've attempted to describe your sound, but do you wanna give it a shot?
Chris: People say we are a new thing. They like the fact that our music isn't so punk it hurts and that we have enough music going on unlike some industrial bands. One guy said that we sound like "Björk featuring Slayer"
Jeffie: We don't act serious enough to be rock, we aren't mad enough to be industrial and our songs are too structured to be punk. But we somehow manage to do all three.
How does your live show differ from what's on your debut album, 2004's Sing Pretty?
Chris: Since the record's release in 2004, our show has gotten to the point where people are saying our live show is better than the CD ... but they still buy it.
Jeffie: Our live show is our main attraction. Nothing compares to the energy we exert on stage. Our first record has a hard time keeping up with us.
Do you think people judge you based on your appearance and, if so, do you think they're surprised when they hear the type of music you play?
Jeffie: Based on looks, people expect metal from Chris and new wave from me. I think finding out we’re in the same band is surprising enough.
It looks like you're playing a gig at the Rio Rancho Public Library. How's that going to work?
Jeffie: I have no fucking clue. I imagine it will be like Hedwig playing in the ice cream shop only with librarians trying to shoosh us.
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