Stealing Venus
               -   running blind 
                    and rockin like mad

I clearly remember the day I first heard Stealing Venus.  I was doing my weekly listening of the new artists that come onto IAC.  That was one of those weeks when I heard a number of fine new acts but it still seemed to be going slow.  Then I came upon this song 'Superhero' and the song sort of starts with this unusual intro and suddenly, whoa, this charismatic, no holds barred voice came out of the speakers to basically make my night.  I listened over and over again, the song has so many catchy things going on in it that.. well I just listened again and still love it, even more than I did that first night..  Stealing Venus has so much rock energy they could literally lift up the whole indie scene by the power of that sound.  First and foremost, it must be said that they are great rock songwriters.  They followed up 'Superhero' by bringing 'Ammunition' and 'Am I Doing Fine?' to our site and both songs reached #1 on the Kayak Big 50, are 2 of the greatest songs I've heard in the indie realm in my lifetime.  The band's music has that intangible factor, the time-released quality that makes them grow and grow on you, delivering the kind of rock bliss that could, if the mainstream wasn't so lost at the present time, represent a whole era.  Anyway the song 'All About Us' is currently on the rise in the Kayak Big 50 and the fans of Stealing Venus, myself included, can't wait for more great songs.  

The band sits in their small, dimly lit lockout space on Adams Street, in downtown L.A., answering the questions sent by Scott at, the bands favorite website! You can hear the muffled sounds of other bands practicing down the hall and the low hum of sewing machines from the 'sweatshop' next door. 

Everyone gets comfortable with a Wild Grape, Malt Liquor, adult beverage while spralled out on the couch they found at a yard sale in West Hollywood for $10.'s "home". 

Scott:  ok, how did you all meet?  You have such a pure, perfect rock sound, there must be chemistry involved, right?  :)

Merritt (Lead singer): "I actually came into the band after Mia and Alisha did. They started the band with two other girls initially. The girls all met while working at Skybar in West Hollywood. When their singer wasn't working out, they had auditions and chose me because I could shake my butt!"

Mia (Bass player): "You were an outstanding butt shaker!"
{Laughter} "Seriously, I have to say, you Merritt, were by far the most outstanding."

Merritt: "Thank you!"

Mia: "Six months later when we left to record our first EP in Lancaster, PA., home of our producer and LiVE guitarist, Chad Taylor, we ended up replacing our drummer. Amazingly, a good friend of ours stepped in to play for us, Kevin Martin, who is the lead singer of the band, Candlebox. We got very lucky."

Merritt: "When we got back to L.A. we found Joe, our current drummer, on the side of the road playing steel cans!"{Laughter}

Mia: "Yeah, just in time too because Kevin ended up going back out on the road with Candlebox for a reunion tour, which he's doing right now."

Scott: When was the point in your lives when music became important to you?   And when did you realize you were pretty good at this?

Merritt: "I think when I was a young girl my first memories were of singing with my family at Christmas time and everyone getting just completely drunk and I never wanted those times to end. Also having my uncle singing me to sleep. Singing Joni Mitchell."

Mia: "Uncle Junior, get out of my room!"

Merritt: "You're awful!" {Laughter}

Joe (Drummer): "I refuse to answer any questions until the cheese tray is brought in." {Laughter}

Mia:[To Joe] "Answer the question, tool."

Joe: "Well, music was always important to me. I had Korean-Italian babysitters and these women used to dress me up and make me perform the hits of the day. Ya know it was the early 80's so like Van Halen....."

Mia: "Madonna?"

Joe: "No, more Prince, Michael Jackson....the 'good' stuff. 'Born in the U.S.A' I could sing that whole shit start to finish and I was like....3! I was wearin' the bandana in my pocket...."

Mia: "Spandex?"

Joe: "Yeah, of course....but when I moved from New York to Michigan, I hated my life to I started playing the drums so I could 'live'. I needed something inanimate to beat on."

Mia: "I always had a dirty little garage band in my garage. A lot of my relatives played in the band....well, two uncles and my step-father. Actually, he wasn't my step-father at the time but he later became my step-father....."

Merritt: "Too much information......!"

Mia: "God, you're right. Jerry Springer would have a field-day with this. Anyway... always had a band in my garage and when I later realized that I had absolutely NO other job skills, I figured that I should do something that I knew. Music was the only reasonable choice. [To Joe] No thank you on the Miller Lite. I pass on that and grass." {Laughter}

Merritt: "I'll take a Miller Lite......Alisha's first influences were pretty much 'gospel'. She grew up in a devout Christian household. That's safe to say. She used to sneak in her room and listen to Indie 80's bands like the Pixies and Sonic Youth when nobody was listening."
(Alisha giggles and smiles)

Scott:  We love your song, "Ammunition" at this site, I used to be part of this community where anything anybody said was ammunition, pretty much like you described. How are you different now after dealing with a few friends like this?

Mia: "I think you learn to be more particular about who you spill your guts to. The saying, 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer' comes to mind. And when all else fails, you can always escape to your room and listen to your old Smith's CD's."

Scott: Any big turning points in your lives?  Or interesting anticdotes the listeners would enjoy reading about?

Merritt: "South by Southwest was interesting. We had a small gig booked, actually a showcase there.....but don't tell the people at SXSW that because we'll never be allowed back! {Laughter} The night before the show, the whole thing was cancelled and we were in Austin TX. without a place to play."

Mia: "This...after we drove to Austin from Los Angeles packed in Alisha's truck!"

Merritt: "Our drummer at the time, Kevin Martin, found some old friends at Austin's rock station, KLBJ and went on the air and told our story and the station actually played, "Ammunition" on the air and asked if any venues would be interested in put us on their stage that night. Before you know it, venues were calling the station and we ended up with another gig in about 3 minutes! It was fun."

Mia: "We were all listening to the radio at the time and totally overcome by the fact it was the first time one of our songs was ever played on the radio. I think we were all just looking at each other in disbelief."

Merritt: "That was the best part. We were together and group hugging and crying."

Mia: "Some of us were crying." {Laughter}

Scott: In your song "All About Us", you say that 'revenge is glorious'.  Got any good stories of sweet vengeance?  :D

Mia: "Let's just say that nothing feels better than 'revenge' but if you have the patience to wait for's probably better. The song is actually about a very 'self-centered' idea of love and seeking revenge for anything that anyone does to disrupt your fragile bubble of 'ecstasy' when you find it. In a nutshell."

Merritt: "Alisha is making a devil's horn, rock and roll sign."

Everyone: "Next question!" 

Joe: "Where's that cheese tray?"

Scott:  When I first heard "Superhero" I originally thought Chrissie Hynde was on the site under another name (that's a compliment).  Are the Pretenders an influence?

Merritt: "When I came into the band, Alisha had written this song."

Mia: "It was one of the first songs we ever wrote as a band. I had this random, rambling poem I'd written years ago. When we were looking through lyrics and stuff for inspiration, Alisha says to me, 'I want to do THIS one!' I couldn't believe it. I said, 'You wanna try to write music for this poem? Go ahead, knock yourself out.' Boy did she. She reworked the words, vocal melody, wrote the guitar parts and even wrote half my bass line. Amazing."

Merritt: "She had worked out the whole vibe of the song and I just came in and put my touch on it and....yeah, it just sort of happened. I am a big fan of the Pretenders but I think that 'voice' was just what the song already was."

Alisha(Guitarist): "Coincidentally, I just went to see the pretenders at House of Blues on Sunset recently. They're unbelievable."

Scott: How do you feel about the fact that there's so much mediocrity in mainstream radio yet rockin' bands like yourselves aren't getting airplay by corporate radio?

Merritt: "Wait for us to wipe the tear away from our eye."

Mia: "Yes, let's wipe that tear from our eye. It would be great if Clear Channel loved us but it's a bit like 'the man behind the curtain' in the Wizard of Oz. 'Pay no attention to that man! He's nobody!'

Alisha: "There are thousands of bands and musicians in L.A. alone. A lot of them are amazing! We all just have to keep doin' it. If Clear Channel doesn't love us we're still going to so what we do because we love it. That's it."

Mia: "Sadly enough, record labels don't really scout for talented bands and develop them anymore. They wait to see what the kids are listening to. That's why websites like IAC are absolutely essential to getting your music out to the world. For don't have some geek in a cubicle, with NO idea what end of a guitar to hold, telling you what's cool to listen to. It's the future of how and where you discover new music."

Alisha: "I'm just sad about all the bands that have one amazing album out that you want to listen to all the time and it just gets washed away because on their next album, they don't have a 'single'."

Mia: "...throw away society. Like fast food."

Scott: Why is Saturday morning never boring?

Merritt: "I think you're joking when you ask that question. Getting up early, getting your cereal before cartoons start. Sitting in front of the T.V. and waiting for them. The kids now don't have to wait for Saturday morning to see cartoons....they have a Cartoon Network! You can watch them anytime!"

Alisha: "No responsibilities on Saturdays!"

Mia: "There was just something magical about something so simple and yet dependable. Every Saturday, without fail....there they were. Life isn't really like that when you grow up. Besides who didn't want to be or be rescued by, a 'Superhero'? Where did we get those crazy ideas? Sitting in front of that 'box' on Saturday morning, that's where."

Merritt: "It's the cartoons!....and the sugary cereal!"

Joe: "Oh dude, Lucky Charms!"

Scott: Do you believe in UFO's, had any strange experiences in that realm?

Joe: "My Mother is an alien. She's not afraid to admit it....she will tell you."

Mia: "An illegal alien?"

Joe: "No, no...she's an alien from another planet."

Mia: "Oh....inter-terestrial? Extraterestrial? 'Inter-terestrial??? What does that mean? {Laughter} She's from 'inside' the earth?"

Merritt: "Hey, I think she worked really hard to get to our planet and I think we should let her work here!" {Laughter}

Joe: "Where the f*ck is my cheese tray?"

Merritt: "Really you guys, I used to live in this house that was haunted...."

Mia: "Unless it was haunted by 'aliens' we don't want to hear about it. The question was about 'aliens'."
(Alisha is now laying on the floor laughing.) 

Joe: "Seriously, my Mom is an alien. In the middle of the night she gets up and listens to Art Bell on the radio and stands on her head and does like, gymnastics....okay?"

Mia: "Next question....."

Scott:  ok, to take a line from your #1 Kayak Big 50 Hit song, "Am I Doing Fine"......are you doing fine? :)

Joe: "I'll be doing fine when I get a cheese tray."

Mia: "I think we're doing okay. As well as we can in the moment. I believe that's all any of us can do.....our best in the moment. To question yourself, your life and how you're living it is part of the beauty of life. If we didn't question ourselves, there probably wouldn't be a point to waking up everyday and fighting the fight. There's really no 'right' or 'wrong'....just choices."

Merritt: "Before we end, I just want to thank your site for everything! They've done so much for us and we really appreciate what they do, getting great music out to the people. We love them."

~Thank you, Scott!!!

Scott:  Thank YOU, this was so much fun!  and keep the great songs comin'!

Stealing Venus