Waltz for Venus is a four piece melodic rock band from Indianapolis, IN. With their debut album, devestation.celebration, the band rode a surprising wave of word-of-mouth and college radio buzz to be spun on more than 215 stations across the U.S. The band enjoyed an extra boost when its songs were featured on MTVï¿½s The Real World Hollywood and My Super Sweet 16. The band next released a four song EP, Finally, the Beginningï¿½s End, mixed by Mark Owen and mastered at Sony Music Studios by Dave Kutch. The recording process for the EP is featured in the February 2007 issue of EQ Magazine.
Jay Brooks - Vocals/Guitars/Piano
Bartek Michael - Lead Guitars/Vocals
Scott Rottler - Bass/Vocals
D. Llama - Drumkit
2008 The Revolution Proem
2007 Finally, the beginning's end
Silhoutte of a Man in the Sun
Paint Me a Picture
The Blade, the Revolution
The Bitter End
Suspicion Will Destroy Us
I Won't Give Up
War Without Faces
Eugene Foley / Foley Entertainment, Inc.
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"Waltz For Venus brings to the table great songs, a strong live show and an unrelenting work ethic...."Waltz For Venus brings to the table great songs, a strong live show
and an unrelenting work ethic. This is a clearly a group worthy of
your time and attention."
-Eugene Foley / Foley Entertainment, Inc.
The East Meets West Test
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Waltz for Venus By Jeff Anderson | February, 2007 “When we started pre-production, we all agreed...Waltz for Venus
By Jeff Anderson | February, 2007
“When we started pre-production, we all agreed that we didn’t want to over-saturate our recordings,” Scott Rottler — bassist, tracking engineer, and producer — tells when questioned about the genesis of Indianapolis’ own Waltz for Venus’ new four-song EP Finally, The Beginnings End. “Nowadays, it’s all about using all 169 tracks, riddling the music with synth pads. We wanted to keep this recording as organic as possible, but still give a poppy impression.”
Having originally served as both engineer and producer for Waltz’s debut album Devastation Celebration, Rottler built a relationship with the band from the console up, deciding to fill the newly vacant slot as bass player just prior to the writing of Finally, The Beginnings End — an album defined as much by its production as its performance. As the band cites the production as a crucial aspect of the end product, Rottler specifically credits the convergence of what is commonly held in the rock production circle as two vastly different geographically characteristic approaches to making an album: The polished and heavily effected “West Coast sound” (i.e. heavily reverbed-out kicks, stacks upon stacks of vocal tracks) being married with the raw power, and affinity for all things tube and tape, of the more edgy “East Coast style.”
“Being from the Midwest, we wanted to stand out by crossbreeding the two sounds,” Rottler continues. “Since my approach to production is more in the West Coast vein, we were lucky in finding Mark Owen — a New York-based mixing engineer who is known for achieving that stereotypical ‘New York Sound.’ He got that in-your-face Tom Lord-Alge sound, but with enough space, depth, distortion, and rawness to sound like it came off the streets of NYC.”
Recorded at Lafayette, IN-based Sound Logic LLC, Waltz approached the project in a manner best described as “calculated,” if not overtly cautious. “We wanted to make sure that everything sounded right from the source. You can’t really fix in the mix, so we would do no more than one song a day, starting with just drums and a click, spending hours just getting the right tones.”
After miking up drummer Derek Llama’s kit (kick inside: AKG D112; kick outside: Neumann U47 FET; snare top: Shure SM57; snare bottom: AKG 414; toms: Sennheiser 421s; hi-hat and ride: Shure SM81s at 45 degrees angled out from bell; overheads: Neumann U87s space paired and time-aligned; room: Shure SM57 in far corner, 20 ft. from source), Rottler says the band captured raw takes and then filled the drum performance up with a few choice overdubbing tactics. “For example, in ‘War Without Faces,’ Dave is doing a lot of tom action that you would have to be an octopus to pull it off. I read about Dave Grohl doing this: overdubbing drums with complete isolation so you can apply effects to specific tracks. It also allowed us to pan so our stereo image was wider than a house.”
“The bass was recorded in a fairly straightforward way,” Rottler continues, “mostly a Fender Jazz bass through Ampeg SVT Pros and 410s. For the first DI track, I went through a SansAmp pedal into a Universal Audio 1176, set at a 4:1 ratio. For the second DI, I went into the Universal Audio 610, later re-amped into the live room, miked with a Neumann U47 and then ran into an Empirical Labs Distressor set at 3:1 — putting both the dry and effected signals to tape.
“Once we got to guitars, the process started flying by. We were recording song-by-song with both Bartek Michael [guitarist] and Jay Brooks [guitarist/vocalist]. After the rhythm and lead parts were recorded (electric guitars: Neumann U47 to Universal Audio Solo 610 and Neumann U87i to Empirical Labs Distressor with HPF and Mid-Boost activated; acoustic guitars: Shure SM81s in XY position, straight into Neve 8108 console), we added in a lot of off the wall sounds — handclaps, stomps, CB radios, guitar-driven pads, and a lot of single note guitar overdubs. Bart has a custom Gretsch that has ridiculous sustain; I would use the Distressor with the HPF and the Mid-Boost, hit at 3:1 to where there’s just a bit of harmonic distortion. It helps to hold the sustain thoughout the track. So, if the song was in A, we would hold an A throughout the entirety of the song to help fill out the sound.”
MIXMASTER, COMP FASTER
The mixing of Finally, The Beginnings End was housed at Cleveland, Ohio’s, CloserLook Recording Studios — a facility chosen for its incredible 72-channel SSL 5000M — with Mark Owen presiding. Having been sent the rawest tracks available, sans even the most rudimentary editing, Owen got to work on the SSL, averaging the completion of one song per day. As Owen tells it, “I had the SSL set up so that everything comes up on my earmarked channels. I’ll start by pushing up the faders and learning the mix, with automation coming into play almost instantly. I can usually have the mix up in around 40 minutes of so, spending the remaining time fine-tuning. We had 40–60 tracks per song to work with, but I condensed them all to only 32; there’s really no need to have 40,000 background vocal tracks coming up on separate faders.
“The 19-foot long SSL was originally built for Disney. We had to modify it to be used for music; it has direct outputs, but no multi-track busing system. It’s closer to a 4000 series, but has a bigger bottom end. Everything is balanced; the desk runs insanely quiet. The output section had been replaced by a Dangerous Music system, which gives it a ton more headroom. Changing the output section opened up the desk more, I think that’s why I feel it has more bottom end.”
Owen claims that there was absolutely no compression or EQ used on the guitar tracks; simply a lot of filters were employed, set at around 5kHz. Bass tracks were given the treatment of the dbx 165a, which Owen attributes to the massive low-end presence on the album. For vocals, Owen ran the signals into a Valley People Audio compressor and, finally, into his trusty Teletronix LA-2A.
“For the drums, I compressed and EQed each element individually (kick: SSL channel compressor; snare: UREI 1178, gated with the Drawmer DS 201; toms: SSL channel compressor, expanded by a modified Drawmer DS 201; overheads: SSL channel compressor; stereo drum compression: Studio Electronics C2). I made a sub mix that is uncompressed to group A, then a compressed group to bus group B. Afterwards, I combine them both to the grand master. It makes the drums sound larger than life.
“I use a Dangerous Music 2-Bus for all of our sub groups. I’ve started working in a hybrid way now that I’ve been turned onto the Dangerous gear; it’s so much easier than having to eat up faders. No matter where I get the mastering done — Sterling or Sony or wherever — all of the gear that my mixes get run through is Chris Muth designed, so this way I really I know what my mixes are going to sound like in the mastering house.”
According to Owen, Finally, The Beginnings End was mixed down to 1/2" on a Studer A80 deck, as well as back into the box. “Of course, hands down, the 1/2" sounded better, and that’s what was ultimately sent to be mastered.”
. . . AND IN THE END
Sony Music Studios’ Dave Kutch handled the mastering duties for Finally, The Beginnings End, claiming to have spent most of his time in the mastering house working on the gain staging of the project. “I think the trend of smashing records for gain is finally going away,” Kutch says. “We spent a lot of time really focusing on the dynamics.” Kutch passed the signal through his API 2500 to soften the highs, then EQed with a Sony Oxford GML. “I then put the signal through the TC Electronic System 6000 and, finally, through the Dangerous Music master section.”
It’s undoubtedly a very exciting time for Waltz for Venus. Fresh from the mastering house, Finally, The Beginnings End was turned out to a major label bidding war of epic proportions, the end result of near constant self promotion and licensing deals that have found the band’s music playing backdrop to a few choice MTV moments, and a few million ringtones. And it only continues to look up as the band approaches the next step with as die-hard of an attitude as ever, as Rottler summarizes the band’s overall approach to both the performance and the production of their music: “From the start, we all agreed on the same basic principles, and we all agreed that we weren’t going to settle on any aspect of this band, especially in the studio. And we didn’t.”
Listen to This! Waltz For Venus
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There are very few bands that interest me from the very first guitar riff. Waltz for Venus was/is ju...There are very few bands that interest me from the very first guitar riff. Waltz for Venus was/is just one of those bands. As soon as I put their cd in, crunchy guitars paired with unbelievable harmonies caught my attention. The band's latest cd is titled devastation. celebration. In the pop culturesque world of dance troupes, stolen hooks, and big productions this band stands out giving music fans a sound that is like no other. To pin a specific genre on this band would be hard to do even for the most devout music worshiper. To put this band in ONLY one music category would be equal to selling short the members of Waltz for Venus and their sound. Jay and the boys move from rock--to pop grooves--to alternative with the ease of a band that is connected in ways ( as a basist friend of mine put it once) " non musicians will never be able to understand."
Waltz for Venus combines an eclectic sound with lyrics that everybody can relate to. Jay Brookes incredible voice soars with emotion in each ballad. While in the more energetic tunes of devestation. celebration Brookes soars velvety angst to a sexy new high. What I found most impressive about Waltz for Venus is the basicness of their music. This four man ensemble keeps things very simple without going over the top. Throughout the cd listeners are treated to acoustic guitars and perfected harmonies that vocalize genuine existence, love, and heartbreak.
Waltz for Venus is has received numerous awards on GarageBand.com. Some of these awards include Best Male vocals ( both all genre and pop rock) , Best Feel Good tract, and Most Rocking Tract, among other awards. In one phrase—THIS BAND ROCKS YA’LL!
I highly recommend that everyone of you out there that is bored with the cookie-cutter-so-ol’-sounds-like-that-other-band sort of music check Waltz for Venus out at their website www.WaltzforVenus.com. They can also be heard and seen on www.GarageBand.com and www.purevolume.com. The only thing that is disappointing about this band is that they are not receiving international airplay. However, I predict that Waltz for Venus is on their way to a serious success explosion. Check out the band then show some love by bugging your local dj’s to play their cd. I know I will.
WFV: a band on the rise
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Waltz for Venus, a band which has been getting some positive attention lately, performed an excellen...Waltz for Venus, a band which has been getting some positive attention lately, performed an excellent set Friday at Bubba’s Bowling Club. Having heard of the group in the past couple of months through the grapevine and after checking out some of their music on MySpace, they seemed like a band interesting enough to look into.
WFV will be releasing their first full-length album in mid-February, and Friday evening was their first time performing most of those tracks live. Despite this, the group had very little trouble in the execution of the music. Musically, the six tracks performed, including the standout song, “Movie Star,” were fairly clean, strong and slick. Vocally, the harmonies were a little rough, but nothing that more live playing of the brand-spanking-new album won’t fix.
Waltz for Venus has a sound that’s hard to peg. Part emo, part modern rock, part new wave, they run the gamut of taste and preference. NUVO chatted with guitarist Aaron O’Maley and vocalist Jay Brooks for a moment to discuss the new album … including what they think of their sound.
Writing for the new album started in 2000, and the group worked on perfecting the songs over the past five years. O’Maley said, “I’m very proud of the songs ‘Tonight’ and ‘Dear Hope.’ My fiancee sang on both those songs, and I think that she was able to add a lot to them. I love the three-part harmony on ‘Tonight.’ It’s an Eagles nod. We weren’t sure if we would put ‘Dear Hope’ on the album, but lyrically it’s got to be my favorite. It’s a defeated and bitter emotional song.”
Brooks said, “I’m proud of ‘Tonight,’ because there’s a lot of production ideas that came together well. ‘Beautiful Chaos’ is important to me personally because it’s about my wife. In ‘For My Failures,’ I like the mood and the life it took on.”
The band will be playing in Lafayette on Feb. 5. WaltzForVenus.com is always updated with the band’s newest show info.
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Track of the Day on 5 Jun 2007 (Modern Rock) Best Drums week of 18 Jun 2007 (Modern Rock) Best Mel...Track of the Day on 5 Jun 2007 (Modern Rock)
Best Drums week of 18 Jun 2007 (Modern Rock)
Best Melody week of 18 Jun 2007 (Modern Rock)
Rocking Track week of 28 May 2007 (Modern Rock)
Best Male Vocals week of 17 Sep 2007 (Rock)
Best Drums week of 11 Jun 2007 (Rock)
Best Bass week of 11 Jun 2007 (Rock)
Track of the Day on April 4th (Modern Rock)
Track of the Day on April 9th (Pop Rock)
Potential Soundtrack (Pop Rock)
Potential Soundtrack (All Genres)
Best Production (Pop Rock)
Best Male Vocals (All Genres)
Best Male Vocals (Pop Rock)
Most Rocking Track (Pop Rock)
Best Keyboards (Modern Rock)
Best Mood (Modern Rock)
Most Feel Good Track (Modern Rock)
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Lafayette/Indianapolis hard rock band Waltz for Venus has released a slick, radio-friendly release i...Lafayette/Indianapolis hard rock band Waltz for Venus has released a slick, radio-friendly release in Devastation Celebration. The disc shows many innovative studio techniques that most area bands cannot fathom. "For My Failures" is a strong opening track, but the following 11 tracks all have a different feel than the first...
Waltz For Venus - Feb. 25th
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Rowdy’s is quickly building up reputation as one of two best venues to see local bands on the c...Rowdy’s is quickly building up reputation as one of two best venues to see local bands on the campus of Purdue University. Even though it’s a difficult task to get the college bound crowd to fill the spacing of Rowdy’s on a Saturday night, it’s not as futile as seducing the average Purdue student across the river to see a show. When veteran local bands like Waltz For Venus take stage on campus, you can expect band-crowd interaction simply from the fact that there will be more than the ten loyal patrons whom have taken root at the bar before the start of the show.
WFV put together a strong set with music that boasts their song-writing character, as well as hyping their up coming cd to be named "devastation.celebration". It's not the average rock progression that sets its hooks into the listener, like that seen with their opening song "Dear Hope,". It's the self-proclaimed cinematic rock style and rollercoaster energy the band puts forth during a live show. The sound is quite emotional and visually the same at times when Jay Brooks portrays anger and devastation not only in his voice, but also in his facial expressions. Since I have not experienced any personal drama or tragedy in recent months, I was sure to enjoy the show instead of finding myself passed out in a ditch, reeking of booze, wondering, "What have I done wrong?". The overall vibe the band gives off is a sense of a college relationship gone sour with a scar of regret. So, moody listeners beware.
The band has a few tricks up their sleeves that they like to exploit to see if the audience is paying attention, besides just flat out asking. One clever trick was sneaking in a quick snippet of another band’s song as if it were a jazz musician quoting a run, which they did using a Buffalo Springfield riff as an intro to one of their songs. Another trick was to use a guest singer (Allison Zernack) for backing vocals during the opening song, which had limited results for she came across somewhat intimidated and inexperienced. And they seem to do similar tricks when aiming towards “catchiness” in their tunes. For example, I identified with their song “Movie Star”, not just because I need a new car, but it strikingly reminds me of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar. The set was almost cut short if it would not have been the audience demanding an encore. WFV almost unwillingly came back to perform a few more songs, including one some in the crowd claimed as the kitty song. It was a very humorous departure from the style of the evening, where Brooks sings emotionally about his cat named Fluffy whom he thought had nine lives, but was squished flat. “What’s up with that”, he says. They finished up with a loud exit, as was the case the other times I’ve seen their act, and the crowd was satisfied and ready to tip their friendly bartender and waiter.
IMS Showcase IV
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A night of hard hitting rock 'n' roll flooded Birdys on Saturday March 19th, and when the levee let ...A night of hard hitting rock 'n' roll flooded Birdys on Saturday March 19th, and when the levee let go, there were chants of “Monkey Dick” on the horizon.
With two of the seven bands out due to illness, it was up to the remaining five to take the show, and they did it in style. With 2 newcomers and 3 veterans to the IMS Showcase series, the mix of rock, metal, progressive and pop filled the ears of the audience and kept them raring for more.
Newcomers Waltz for Venus were the first up to bat, as they powered their way through 35 minutes of pulse racing indie-rock. Their energetic stage show was only matched by their musicianship and talent.
Following up were IMS veterans Fleshsuit with their always powerful stage show lead by the infamous front man Ryan Noblitt. With well tuned crowd favorites mixed with new material, Fleshsuit once again did not disappoint.
Subfiction made the back-to-back excursion to fill in the middle spot. With a mix of rock, jazz and country-metal, the always talented Subfiction cranked out over 40 minutes of jaw dropping music.
Underhill slid into the cleanup spot with 45 minutes of progressive style rock which included a request for “Sweetest Taboo” by the band Subfiction. With awesome music and the infamous chant of “Monkey Dick”, which is sure to become a Birdys urban legend, Underhill showed why this isn’t the first time they’ve stepped into a showcase.
Finishing the night with riff-driven rock was HEAVENandHELL. The 5 piece closed the night off with a hard rocking sound that kept the crowd going into the wee hours of the night.
So with some unforeseen circumstances coming up the day of the show, the showcase was still a great night of music full of good times for all. Watch for the fifth installment of the series to hit Birdys on May 21st. - Ryan May
Original songs in a typical set:
The Bitter End
War Without Faces
I Won't Give
Suspicion Will Destroy Us
Silhouette of a man in the sun
Paint a Picture
The Blade, The Revolution
Covers if we feel like it:
Take on Me - A-ha
My name is Jonas - Weezer
There are no upcoming dates at this time.