Ex-VENOM Drummer ABADDON: 'I Don't Think Artificial Intelligence Has Any Place In Our Form Of Music'

June 17, 2024

In a new interview with Get Heavy UK, former VENOM and VENOM INC. drummer Abaddon (real name: Antony Bray) weighed in on a debate about people using an A.I. (artificial intelligence) music generator as a tool to create melodies, harmonies and rhymes based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and machine learning (ML) models. Bray said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "A.I. in general, I don't like it at all. I mean, I think that if A.I. was gonna do the dishes and gonna sweep the carpets and do all that shit so I could get on with being an artist and painting and recording music or singing or doing something, that'd be great. But when I've gotta wipe the babies' arses and clean the carpets while AI gets on with doing the artwork, then there's something drastically wrong."

He added: "I don't think it has any place in our form of music. I really don't. I really think — from my point of view, we have to take a step back and regain the heart of the music, the soul, the passion because that's where it's at. That's where it was with MOTÖRHEAD, that's where it was with JUDAS PRIEST. These weren't the best guitarists in the world. They weren't virtuoso drummers or keyboard players. And they all got better from just being around each other, not from any sort of pushing buttons."

A year ago, Bray was asked by The Meista - Brews & Tunes about the possibility of a reunion of VENOM's classic lineup, also featuring frontman Conrad "Cronos" Lant and guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn. He responded: "I don't see why not… I thoroughly believe that, put the three of us in a room together and it would just start again. I really believe that. The balls would be there. The intent would be there. The heart and the soul would be there. Because it's what we do. We're not virtuoso players. We're not geniuses at what we do. What we are good at is being together and being in the band, and I can't see why that shouldn't happen again… I can see it happening. A lot of people say not, but I can see it happening."

Abaddon's comments came six months after Cronos told Metal Hammer magazine that the chances of a reunion of VENOM's classic lineup were "less than zero. I owe them nothing, and they've got nothing I want," he added. "We still get fans saying, 'The VENOM legions want the old lineup back together.' We tried in the '90s and it wasn't well received. The last thing I want to do is get onstage with those other two doddery old fuckers and put on a subpar performance. I'm getting better album sales now, so why the fuck would I want to go back to that? I just want VENOM to be great."

Asked if he feels sad that there's no relationship between the three of them now, Cronos said: "Yeah, of course it's sad. But we had a blast, and I'll cherish those memories."

In 2022, Dunn said that he would like to see the classic VENOM lineup celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band's "Black Metal" album.

Released in 1982, "Black Metal" is considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general. VENOM's second album proved influential enough that its title was used as the name of the extreme metal subgenre of black metal. The band classic lineup trio of Dunn, Lant and Bray recorded two further studio LPs, "At War With Satan" (1984) and "Possessed" (1985),and live album, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (1986). Often cited by bands such as METALLICA, BEHEMOTH, CELTIC FROST and MAYHEM as major influences, they are one of the most revered bands of their generation. VENOM is still fronted by Cronos and headlines festivals all over the globe and continues to release new music while Dunn and former VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan have joined forces in the similarly named VENOM INC.

Dunn, Bray and Dolan released three albums as VENOM between 1989 and 1992 — "Prime Evil" (1989),"Temples Of Ice" (1991) and "The Waste Lands" (1992).

VENOM INC. is not to be confused with the aforementioned Cronos-fronted version of VENOM, which is continuing to tour and make albums under the VENOM moniker. Joining Cronos in that group are Rage (a.k.a. Stuart Dixon) on guitar and Danté (a.k.a. Danny Needham) on drums.

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