In the melting pot of the Australian music scene, we’re lucky enough to see new collaborations and projects spring forth constantly. One such example is the newly formed electronic duo Venus II.
Formed by Jarrad Brown (Eagle and the Worm, Dorsal Fins) and Ryan Grieve (Canyons), the duo met through crossing paths with Jarrad’s work with Eagle and the Worm. Soon after, they started their own project.
‘We met up to start producing a record, which we did, but we ended up just doing our own thing as friends do,’ Jarrad explained.
Both Ryan and Jarrad are still continuing work with their other musical projects. Nevertheless, the creative and logistical balance between groups is something of second nature to both of them.
‘Most people I know in the arts, or people who don’t have a full-time job, like all my musician friends, you’re always balancing, you always have a few different things going,’ Jarrad said.
‘It’s just the way you go about your business. It’s not something I think about. Having a couple different bands is the same for a lot of artists.’
Jarrad, who lives in Melbourne, credits the city’s creative community as a great support network for his musicianship and for potential opportunities.
‘I do feel lucky. I still work during the day, but the lifestyle in Melbourne, you get the most opportunities to develop. We have a really strong support network to make the most of that,’ Jarrad explained, ‘I come from Adelaide, where people are working really hard to develop their live music community, but I do feel really lucky’
‘There is a culture in Melbourne that you can just be part of. You still have to work hard, but there is infrastructure and discourse that you can buy into easily.’
Ryan is from Perth and found similar opportunities. During his time with Canyons, Ryan was able to release a series of Tame Impala remixes that garnered international acclaim.
‘We were doing things with those guys long before they were Tame Impala. They were originally known as the Dee Dee Dums and he used to support my other bands in Perth,’ Ryan said.
‘And we’re sort of friends from that era, and we put out their first EP. It’s just a Perth connection.’
With Venus II's debut record 'Inside Your Sun', the duo draws on a wide range of influences from 90’s rave culture to Britpop to craft a diverse and eclectic sonic and visual pallet.
‘We try to make each song have its own space and its own world. There’s the 'dancier' stuff that can sit next to slower pop ballads. It’s just sounds and experimenting and understanding what works, along with trying to think outside of the box’ Ryan said.
To gain this expansive range of sound, the band calls upon the use of a varied collection of instruments, leading Venus II to be something of a fusion act.
‘When we’re doing it live, as the 2 of us, we are essentially an electronic band. We’re running sequencers, synthesisers and we have guitars as well. We’re very much a hybrid.’ Ryan explained.
The band additionally utilises a colourful and distinctive visual aesthetic to reflect the diverse and chaotic tendencies of their influences and sound. The duo employed the creative talents of Hi Mum I’m Dead, a creative design venture led by Pauly Bonomelli.
‘They helped us with the styling and initial direction. Then they took it a whole lot further. We asked them to be involved in the first place because we were aspiring for that distinctive sort of design’ Ryan said.
Venus II has just finished up their first round of headline shows and are currently on tour with GL, which features fellow Dorsal Fins member Ella Thompson. At the time of speaking, Jarrad and Ryan were stoked to be finally bringing their long awaited project into fruition.
‘A good show for me can be a lot of things, but mainly bringing a nice mood,’ Jarrad said, ‘These are our first shows and we want to have a good time and we’ll have a lot of friends there so we can have a couple of nights where we can enjoy that.’
As they continue to play around the nation, look out for the boys of Venus II. In one form or another.
Venus II's Debut Record 'Inside Your Sun' is out now
Alex Capper, once affectionally called by Ross & John of 3AW as the '7 foot fucker', loves the Essendon Football Club, stalking reddit and dabbing. He thinks he can speak French, but he can't.