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Picture yourself on a dark, lonely and black stage. The only sound you hear besides your heartbeat is the screaming of thousands of fans. You look out into the crowd to see those thousands of fans waving, clapping and trying anything to get your attention. You strum that first note on your guitar or hit that first beat on your drum, and then you realize at that precise moment, after all those years…Your dream is about to come true.

A dream came true for the member’s in Venture when they got the opportunity to open up for Godsmack on July 18th, 2007 at The Palladium Ballroom in Dallas. Venture was one of out 10 bands participating in a contest being held by Live 105.3. The contest was based on the top 2 bands with the highest percentage, voted by yours truly…THE FANS! Once the top 2 were named, then it was left up to Godsmack to pick the band THEY wanted to open for them that night.

I started out the night with standing in line with my friend Tracy. She had been in line since 1:30 pm and I arrived around 4:15 pm, this is a normal ritual of us girls, to stand in line all day. At this time we met some awesome people, and told them to make sure you are near the stage when Venture starts to play. Of course we were decked out in our Venture Army wear, representing the local boys.

I was lucky enough to get somewhat close to the stage that night, always on Stage Right in front of Nathan (Bass). Venture was supposed to have started at 8:00pm, but you know how rockstar’s can be, they were a little late. One by one each band member flowed out onto the stage and got the crowd with their Intro and then into “My Own”. As I was listening I too was observing, curiously looking around for people’s reaction. Everyone really seemed to like the guys and the music by showing their appreciation with screams and the occasional heavy metal sign. Let me remind you that the place was packed, bodies crammed against one another grasping for some small amount of air to breathe. There was even a time during the show when the guys would throw towels and water bottles out into the crowd, and people were so excited to get these things. I knew then this would be a night they guys in Venture would never forget.

Some of the other songs Venture performed that night were: “Goodbye”, “The Prisoner”, “Impossible” and “Give Me Your Pain”. Of course when you are in Texas and especially in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, it is custom for any local band to know how to play a Pantera song. So to keep the Texas tradition going and not wanting to let the crowd down, Venture did not disappoint the fans that night. After they played their song “Hold You Down”, they preceded with Pantera’s song “Domination”. The crowd went wild, jumping and I think I saw a little mosh pit going on.

They finished up with one of their new songs “Without A Doubt”, which always ends up being a favorite amongst the fans. After they played their last song and waved and thanked the crowd for showing them the love and support they so well deserved, Venture had left the stage. As I was walking out to my car, I noticed a group of kid’s hanging around my car talking about Venture. I heard things like how awesome the opening band was and that they needed to get Venture’s cd. I came to the conclusion that Venture won over a whole lot of new fans and earned the respect they so well deserved.

Over the last 2 years Venture has evolved from being a 3 member band into a talented and strong 4 member band. They have gone through band members coming and going, and to where not only the music is strong, but so have the vocals. I have been fortunate and lucky enough to have seen these changes in Venture and also to call: Blake, Nathan, Michael and Vin my friends. Venture deserved winning the contest because they have some of the best friends, family and last but not least FANS! Congratulations Venture for putting on one of your best shows I have ever seen or heard. I can’t wait till the day when you guys are back up on that dark, black and lonely stage in front of thousands of screaming fans. Only this time you’re headlining!



"Inside Connection Magazine Review"

11:00 AM - VENTURE Review
Category: Music

As published in the February 2007 issue of The Inside Connection music magazine.


Silver Lining

Texas-grown Venture have been burning up the stage since their inception in early 2004. With the release of their EP, Silver Lining, in July 2006, their powerful lyrics and electrifying music are exciting DJs and music lovers on the World Wide Web, as well as a handful of commercial radio stations shrewd enough to have the backbone to broadcast unsigned artists.

Venture is certain to gain mass appeal solely on the merit of "Fallen Angel," one man's heartbreaking portrayal of the catastrophic existing state of our country. Forceful drumbeats, expressive guitar riffs and looming bass lines accentuate the contemporary lyrics, which reveal the tumultuous inner dialogue of a soldier deployed to a place so far from home.

However, this entire EP is full of appeal. Empathetic cries are translated brilliantly into intense music and compassionate lyrics that evoke a spectrum of emotions. Silver Lining's recurring voice may seem beaten down by the hurdles our present-day world dishes out, but don't be fooled. If you dive under the surface, you will discover it is quite optimistic. What better message is there? No matter what difficulties you experience, the human spirit is resilient and hopeful.

This little taste of Venture is sure to wet your appetite and leave you wanting more. The good news is they are currently recording more tracks with Dark new Day's Brett Hestla at the reins, so this next venture will undoubtedly catapult them into stardom. Visit

---by Colette Tedeschi - Inside Connection

"Tune Lab Music Review"

Tune Lab Music Review: Venture - 'Silver Lining'
Posted: 21 August 2006
Contributed By: Jay

Release Date: 8 July 2006
Venture is:
Blake Self (Vocals/Guitar)
Michael Barnes (Drums)
Vin Davis (Guitar)
Nathan Hunstable (Bass)

Overview: Venture is a four-piece rock band hailing from Texas, and soon to be touring all over the country. Originally a three-piece, they added Vin Davis to add more depth to their sound and free up vocalist Blake Self. Their EP 'Silver Lining' was recorded early this year at Gridlock Studios in Orlando, FL with Justin Thomas producing (Dark new Day, Faktion), and is now available exclusively through their myspace page (link above) or at one of their shows.
The Good: From the groove-laden beginning of the opening track "Hold You Down" to the thumping hard rock riffs of "Give Me Your Pain" to the raw emotion of "Fallen Angel", the album shows a good range of what this band has to offer. The closing track, "Push", really finishes of the EP nicely with a good example of their different styles all lumped into one great track. One of the highlights of the entire EP is the meaningful and identifiable lyrics throughout. "Hold You Down" sends a pessimistic message of doubt to those with clouded views of society. "My Own" is a triumphant song of independent achievement. "Fallen Angel" is almost chilling in the way it allows you to visualize its story of a deployed service member in a hostile land. Really each song in its own way allows anyone to interpret the lyrics and apply them in some way or another to their current lives. Add to these lyrics catchy guitar work, some great guitar solos, a relentless bass line, and the perfect compliment of drum work, and you have this impressive EP.

The Bad: There's really not too much bad you can say about this EP. Of course it is only five tracks representing the band's best efforts, so it's expected that not many flaws would be found. In a few tracks you can hear what sounds like almost the same guitar effect, but that could be easily a fault that lies in production. Overall the sound could be a little more powerful, but again when (not if) this band is on a major label, it will instantly be remedied with more attention in the mixing stage.

Bottomline: Venture is poised to make a big impact on the rock music scene. With their energetic and powerful live shows and this solid EP to throw in the face of major labels, you can expect a full-length album and national tours very soon. No need to take my word for it, you'll see soon enough.
- Tune Lab Music



Hailing from Texas the adventure begins with the newer band on the scene that ventures forth into the unknown..
"Venture" .. a newer band plays like they have been creatively working together for more than a short time..

The definition of Venture put oneself out into the unknown, basically to take that chance..and hope for the best to come out of it..Blake Self , Vin Davis , Michael Barnes and Nathan Hunstable , are...very willing to show the world their souls.. and to take that chance into the unknown and bring you with them on the journey... When you listen to the lyrics..on their EP Silver Lining you will see that..each song is unique.. each song conveys a message.. to the listener..

One tends to wonder without having yet listened to this band.. What is the appeal of this band? What makes it so different from others? Are they not just another "rock band".. ? The answer is no..They are unique in their own right.. a blend of.. a little of what some of their influences have been ..Creed (especially Tremonti), Staind, Breaking Benjamin, Metallica, 311, Pantera, and even a little Ritchie Valens and the Beatles to name a few...I think I even hear a little bit of Rush and Faktion (Faktion being newer band recently signed to a major label and friends of theirs) in there.. too..

Yes by far they have used in their sound their influences which plays a small role in what they are about.. They are "Venture".. their own unique sound.. but noted are some of the influences you hear here and there and what some of the band grew up listening to.

What I have liked about this group from the very start.. is the fact that they have a positive vibe..An example of this is their song "Give Me your Pain" They show that although there are obstacles in life.. they are willing to take on what you feel, what they feel.. what they think others might be going through and to lend a helping hand .

Quoted from Blake himself he has said "We all encounter problems in our life and all of us are faced to deal with horrible situations from time to time. In my songs, I try to bring those problems to light and then convey the message that everything is going to be alright when its over. Music has gotten me through EVERY dilemma in my life and I hope that myself and the rest of VENTURE can do the same for someone. " Blake has done alot of writing with these songs..

Aside from the good hearted - ness which is somewhat distinctly different than what some bands are putting out there these days.. what I was instantly attracted to was that the singer could indeed SING.. he rocks melodies.. and has a voice that is powerful and fine tuned.. not the usual raspy voices that some bands have from straining and yelling out lyrics..Blake Self has.. strong clear words , you can feel the emotion as he takes you from the very low to the very high and I don't hear any straining in there...He will then take you into harmonizing with backup vocalist Vin..who compliments him nicely...and also plays a rockin' guitar.

Blake can also work a mean guitar.. with great guitar skills and a background even in piano..There is talent here..Nathan Hunstable blends in with his Bass skills, a it and the drummer Michael Barnes is hitting em' loud and rockin it out! They compliment each other nicely.. to blend the sound which is truly all there own..This band truly can rock out .. You are guaranteed to have a good time rockin it out with them..!

Another favorite song that is a must listen is "Push"..Love the guitar work about 2 minutes and 40 seconds into this song especially...

Rounding things out are the songs Fallen Angel , My Own and Hold You Down which actually is a very popular amongst the fans they have already..With this CD I find that it's one you want to listen to .. to feel good about things...It doesn't bring you down! Each song is worth a listen.. I'll be looking forward to hearing some ballads from these guys in the future...
I wouldn't pass up this band. I see great things to come from them...

- Melanie


Dallas rockers Venture recorded 4 new songs for their debut full length "The prisoner" and also included the songs off their previous EP's "Silver lining" and "The renaissance".
This quartet has a cool sound like a mix between the modern rock of Alter Bridge and Iron Maiden's guitar harmonies.
They worked with a few well known producers like Justin Thomas, Brett Hestla and Beau Hill and the result is more than satisfying.
The album starts with the new songs "The prisoner" and "All that I need", both are energetic rock songs that will do just fine on stage to get the crowd going.
"Goodbye" is my favorite out of the EP songs while the new track "Impossible" is without doubt the best song of all on this 12 track album.
If you want to rock, then Venture is the answer to your prayers. - by Kaj Roth


Track By Track Breakdown
1. The Prisoner - Even though this song is called The Prisoner it certainly doesn't take any (prisoners that is) as right from the opening note this relatively unknown band from Dallas/Fort Worth Texas unleashes their first full length album on the hard rock world. Throughout the entire track this group keeps the intensity on high as they manage to incorporate driving vocals with some elaborate songwriting. Everything about this song is what encompasses the best values in modern rock but Venture also remember to make sure to hold true to what makes hard rock such an emotional genre. Vocalist Blake Self is without a doubt a voice who can hold his own when it comes to belting out power choruses and with this being the lead off track he doesn't waste much time giving listeners an earful. The singer's job is one of the hardest as not only does he have to match the rest of the band in their delivery but he has to be able to move the song forward and keep the listeners in the palm of his hand. One song into this album and already I can tell that Blake is up to the challenge and more importantly is willing to prove himself by going past his own limits and I think The Prisoner definitely shows the potential he has and now comes the time to impress others.
2. All That I Need - Has more of an alternative influence behind the opening guitars so it takes a little while before things begin to fall into place on this song. The main chorus is a little more difficult to find however once it does take form listeners get a well structured piece of songwriting that leaves a more profound effect. All That I Need is able to combine a mid-tempo structure with an intricate build up and I think even though this song isn't as driven in terms of it's arrangement the song manages to have tremendous staying power well after it's over with. The band is able to turn the tables here and work more with structure that fits well into the alternative/modern rock scene. Granted when it comes to this specific sub-genre of rock you're limited to what you can do yet with Venture they feel like one of the up and coming groups that have the opportunity to provide fans with material that is able to stand on its own. With a song like All That I Need Venture unquestionably has the talent to take them places if their willing to work hard and give the ultimate sacrifice for their art form.
3. My Own - The band turns the intensity back around returning to driving modern rock riffs as My Own dives into a heavy/raw sound. Blake is able to channel his voice into another stellar performance continuing to impress me with every vocal he lays down. Once more Venture returns to the power chorus formula managing to put all their emotion into it and once again it ends up paying off since All That I Need was more laid back this is more of a return to form for the band. For a first full length album these guys have managed to pay attention to every little detail on this release thus far. To hear a group the likes of this be able to harness all the key elements into one driving sound shows that they have a great chemistry together which in turn down the road will take them places. So far it looks as if Venture are compiling a collection of solid rock songs that as their careers continue to evolve will being up a great foundation that they can build from even further.
4. Fallen Angel - A huge upbeat riff comes exploding out of the speakers before the song drops down in tone to combine another epic hard rock anthem with an emotional build up. One would think that Venture would trip up sooner or later but Fallen Angel sees them yet again put forth another solid piece of songwriting that focuses on the massive harmonies brought forth from Blake's impressive range. While it is somewhat limited he is able to differentiate between the soothing delivery that evolves into the main chorus by still retaining all the essential qualities to be a dynamic rock singer. The rest of the band is very much still in the zone as they are given some breathing room on this song while still being able to match Blake in nearly every transition that he goes through.
5. Impossible - Has a more darker feel in the opening notes but quickly develops into yet another energetic rock anthem and it actually leaves me in awe how this group has been able to keep the passion of this album in check with each song that has been unleashed thus far. What is even more impressive is a band the likes of Venture are obviously getting the formula down right, knowing how to build up tracks in all the proper methods, and most importantly aren't slowing down that much to show off their variety. I mean sure you need variety in order to keep things sounding fresh but in terms of a modern rock band having the freedom to give listeners songs that incorporate the best of current traits without over doing it. Impossible pretty much trumps all the previous material featured by giving ev - Shipwreck Island Studios


NU Jams!
with the 3D flare

Review on Venture- The Prisoneer
September 13th, 2007

I got Venture’s new CD in the mail today. So now your gonna hear my opinion. First of all, it is independently released by the band with the help of Brett Hestla and Justin Thomas. I have to say for an independent release the sound quality is great. I tested it on 10 and wishing my system had an 11! Complements to the Chef! Very well produced and mixed.
A little about the band. They are a quartet out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. With the melodic but powerful vocals of Blake Self. Vin provides great riffs and guitar mastery. Chris Gentry keeps the floor pounding with his incredible bass lines. And the percussions by Michael Barnes are intense that keeps your head banging! They have made a couple of line-up changes from their first EP’s release. I must say, the growth of the band fits them well. They seem to be influenced by the greats of the 80’s and 90’s. Vin’s guitar work is greatly appreciated by this old man! Guitar solo’s has been lost art form in the last 10 years. It’s about time a young band integrates them back in.
They start off the album with the title track. A melodic song with a powerful chorus line. Shows a little of each of the bands many styles. Following by “All that I Need”, probably the most commercial song on the album. A bit slower than their norm, but with the Venture riff’s. For all the faithful Venture fans of old, they incorporated their older songs in with a few extra touches. Like “My Own” , “Hold You Down” and “Give me your Pain”. If your new to Venture, put your seat belts on, your in for a wild ride! Songs Like “Impossible” , “Without a Doubt” and “Goodbye” will be quickly put into Venture’s greats. By the time you get to the albums finale “Push” you’ll be reaching for volume button looking to turn it up, only to find out your systems doesn’t have an 11!
Overall rating on Venture’s “The Prisoner” on scale from 1 to 10 is an 11! Get this CD, highly recommended from the NU Jams! staff. Thanks guys we really enjoyed cranking it up today! For $7.49 it’s a steal! Get it today!
On a side note. I did get a chance to see Venture last time I was in Dallas. If you get a chance to see them live, do it! They are great live! NU Jams! has no affiliation with Venture or any other artist. All opinions are of my own and are not influenced in any way.(even though my opinion is what matters!)
NU Jams!

- NU Jams


Final Rating: 4.46/5

Review by JERE

Just about two short years ago Venture’s arrival exploded like a volatile powder keg on several fronts as their full length debut, The Prisoner, brought the contemporary rock world trembling to it’s knees. In the time since then Venture has proven that their artistic chemistry would be their strongest characteristic as the band would be greatly noticed in last past year as a top ten finalist on the Van’s Warped tour as well as being one of the 30 finalists in Mötley Crüe’s Make Rock History. One of the new songs (Bitter) featured on this EP would go on to win Best Single in the Independent Singer/Songwriter Association in 2008 so when one looks deeper Venture has the right components in place to attain a wider amount of fame and popularity however after such an notable debut the question remained if this band would be able to expand their musicianship into areas that would see their songwriting mature all the while harnessing the raw kinetic energy they had the first time around.

Thankfully as time has steadily gone by so has Venture’s reputation for putting forth a quality effort as the band once again teams up with the two established talents who’ve helped them break the mold with Brett Hestla once again returning to the producer’s chair and Beau Hill mixing one of the new tracks (Red Handed). Venture end up holding their own as they’ve managed to harness all their combustible talents into writing and recording five new songs which compared to the material featured on The Prisoner is a lot more polished in the mix yet listeners can still hear all the heavy hitting qualities that make this group pop on so many diverse levels. Vocalist Blake Self retains a domineering presence as the emotions he draws from really bring the group’s dynamic flair into a sonic unison which should no doubt expand Venture’s success on multiple horizons. Self and guitarist Vin Abadie have also placed elaborate solos throughout this EP which assist in keeping contemporary traits decisively in place with guitar playing that unites several complex techniques while still retaining a flashy style that keeps the whole product very exciting. Venture made a great first impression, in 2007, and pushing their talents further with brand new music that would deviate from The Prisoner had the band turning things up a notch so for nearly every step they take on Pull The Trigger these guys have continued to grow by leaps and bounds.

The Good

+ Not wasting that much time in between new music Venture show exactly why they are one of the leading modern rock acts out there today with an EP that has a nice big sound behind all the new compositions. Everything that this group has learned over the last few years they’ve really studied the qualities that make a great hard rock band tick. From the nonstop bombardment of guitars to Blake Self being everything that all front men should be in today’s music industry Venture are taking their own advice to heart and are confidently moving forward.

The Bad

- While Pull The Trigger features five new songs (not including an instrumental version of Not Too Late) the guys also decided to include two songs (The Prisoner and Goodbye) from their first album on this EP which helps in giving people more bang for their buck but for some reason I kind of question this decision. Now, that is not saying it was a bad one considering anyone who just stumbles across this EP probably hasn’t heard Venture’s full length opus yet. This day in age an EP usually serves a greater purpose for artists by filling the void in between albums and Venture have managed to hit one out of the park with new material that significantly expands past their sound from a couple years ago. Even with two older tracks incorporated into this release unless you’re a stickler for details it doesn’t really take away from the listening experience as a whole.

Best Tracks

Let It Go, Red Handed, Moving Forward, Bitter, Not Too Late.

Additional Details
> Similar - Alter Bridge, Dark New Day, Fuel
> Label -
> Artist Link:
> Purchase Link:
- Shipwreck Island Studios


PULL THE TRIGGER EP- Release Date 1-17-09


THE PRISONER- 12 song cd -Release Date 09-12-07 SOLD OUT!

03. MY OWN
12. PUSH

1. Goodbye
2. On My Way
3. Remember You

SILVER LINING EP- Released 7/08/06 SOLD OUT!
1. Hold You Down
2. My Own
3. Give Me Your Pain
4. Fallen Angel
5. Push

SHATTERED EP- Released 11-05-04 SOLD OUT!
1. Shattered
2. Mirror
3. Hide



Artist Information

An undertaking that is dangerous, daring, or of uncertain outcome.
A business enterprise involving some risk in expectation of gain


"...Well I can clearly see that you've got what it takes to accomplish your dreams...In the end, it all comes down to the songs. No one in the world can deny a great one."
Mark Tremonti of Creed / Alter Bridge

These are the words that inspired founding member Blake Self to form the band known as VENTURE. After graduating high school, Blake received a hand written letter from his greatest idol. CREED was ruling the airwaves and topping the charts, and their lead guitarist, Mark Tremonti, took the time to write a personal letter to one of his biggest fans.

The wheels were put in motion...the stage was set...VENTURE exploded onto the rock scene from literal obscurity in 3 short years. Their debut CD, THE PRISONER, has already caught the attention of many on radio, and now their live performances are creating quite a stir in the music industry.
" Who are these guys?" is the most often asked question.

Blake Self, Michael Barnes, and Vin Abadie have formed a powerful alliance, and are poised to take their music to the next level. "It's been a great journey so far, and we have so many hurdles to overcome," says lead singer/guitar player Blake Self.

VENTURE was fortunate to work with some amazing producers on their first album. Justin Thomas (Faktion), Brett Hestla (Creed, Dark New Day), and Beau Hill (Ratt, Warrant, Winger, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylon) all have contributed greatly to their success.
"Brett has been instrumental in shaping our sound, and his ideas and suggestions always have a huge impact on our overall sound...he really is an amazing guy!" says Blake.

THE PRISONER was released in September 2007, and their title track, The Prisoner, gained instant praise and acceptance in the radio community, exciting DJ’s on radio and on the world-wide web.

On July 18th, 2007. VENTURE opened for GODSMACK in Dallas TX, and they were received by over 4000 enthusiastic fans! VENTURE was hand picked to open the show, and just two bands were on the bill...VENTURE + GODSMACK!

Recently, VENTURE licensed their music to be featured on upcoming UFC events, Spike TV,Versus Channel, and The Ultimate Fighter Series. WITHOUT A DOUBT was featured in entirety on the UFC 91 DVD... Brock Lesner vs Randy Couture Heavyweight Championship Fight and also featured on the Versus Channel's World Extreme Cagefighting, WEC 36.Their song, IMPOSSIBLE, was featured on the hour long special, Countdown To Ultimate Fight Night 14. The band’s song, GOODBYE, has been licensed in film on the web cast horror series, TV FACE. IMPOSSIBLE has also been featured in SLED HEADS 4 from TAHOE FILMS, an international extreme winter sports series, filmed in Hi-Definition TV. They have continued their inclusion in film with 4 more songs included in the next Tahoe Films project, MOUNTAINS AND MUD 4. Lastly, the band has an informal clothing endorsement with Doctrine Apparel from Los Angeles, CA.


In July 2008, VENTURE was a Top 10 finalist to join the Van's Warped Tour. Also, VENTURE was a Top 30 finalist to join The Motley Crue Tour, with over 9000 bands entering nationwide.

Check out and purchase their music online by visiting their websites: or

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