My Interview with Brian Venable of Lucero

Lucero: The TVD Takeover Week, Day 3

Lucero have long been one of my favorite bands. Ben Nichols’ voice and song-writing tug at my heart strings like no other, and the band’s willingness to deviate from “the path” (both musically and career-wise) have earned them my deepest respect and loyalty. I’ve had the pleasure of attending many a Lucero show over the years, and I can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed. If you can get to one on their current tour, go. You won’t regret it. Till then, welcome to TVD’s Lucero Takeover Week.


What’s on Brian Venable’s mind these days? Well, modern country, fatherhood, and making music his son will be proud of after he’s gone, to name just a few, and I do mean a “few.” That man’s got a busy brain.




First of all, happy belated birthday! Has it sunk in yet that you’re 40?

It doesn’t seem to really matter so far! I think it’s weirder to realize that my mom and dad have a 40-year-old child… that’s what’s crazy!


I’m always curious what inspires those who inspire me. Not only am I curious as to whom you’re listening to these days, but I often wonder what other things in your life leak into the music you make?

I’ve been listening to a lot of modern country like Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson and Eric Church as well as the standards like Waylon Jennings, David Allan Coe and the first Hank [Williams] Jr. record! Then there’s the metal stuff like Kylesa, Black Tusk and Coliseum. And a lot of old soul like James Carr and O.V. Wright!


I don’t know what leaks into my playing these days, everything right now is about making a badass life for my kids and trying to keep them from going crazy over the summer while I’m gone. I’m always trying to learn new things on the guitar, even if it’s just little licks here and there or some theory that might stick, I just always have to be playing even if it’s twenty minutes on the porch while the kids are out back. I feel like I’m now at the point where I’m picking things up better so it’s been real enjoyable playing guitar again!


Okay, the making of the new album. How’s it going now that you’re on tour?

Well, we’re playing a couple of the new songs every night and hopefully will be working on more new ones with all the down time Warped offers! Really we’re just hanging out and making friends so the “process” may be a little stalled! We should be getting back on track soon and picking a producer too!


Your son Henry made a guest appearance in a video interview recently. How has fatherhood affected your music making and, maybe more importantly, your life views?

It’s made me realize that it’s a business as well as art, but that I want to still make things he’ll be proud of after I’m gone! He comes down to the studio and hangs out while we’re making demos and stuff and he’s turning into a little drummer, we’ll see if it sticks!


Lucero went from major record label Universal Republic to ATO Records. I think a lot of people are wondering why you decided to go with them. Care to fill us in?

Well, Universal dropped us and we talked to quite a few labels (all very awesome labels) and ATO had the deal we could live with the best!


Jen Buxton told me she’s a big fan of your personal musical style outside of Lucero. How would you describe it, and are you working on anything?

Ahh shucks! I’m an old hardcore kid who loves metal and country, I don’t know how original it is but I like it! I’m always wanting to start some project band but between the family and the Lucero it never seems to work. I’m supposed to be working on a gospel album with my dad for my Granny Erlene but the internet on the bus really sucks and it’s holding up progress!


Whew… I’m just full of excuses today!



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Tags: Ben, Brian, DBN, DearBenNichols, District, Lucero, Nichols, TVD, The, Venable, More…Vinyl


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.