Venom's original personnel came from three different bands: Guillotine, Oberon and Dwarf Star. The original Guillotine featured Jeffrey Dunn and Dave Rutherford on guitars, Dean Hewitt on bass guitar, Dave Blackman on vocals and Chris Mercater on drums. Blackman and Mercater were replaced by drummer Anthony Bray (b. 17 September 1957 in Newcastle) and vocalist Clive Archer of Oberon and soon after, Dean Hewitt was replaced by Alan Winston on bass. Around this time the name Venom was created. In the late autumn of 1979 Conrad Lant, from the bands Dwarf Star and Album Graecum, replaced Dave Rutherford. Lant later switched to bass after the departure of Winston. The band members took on new stage names. Archer became "Jesus Christ", Lant "Mr. Cronos", Bray "Tony Abaddon", and Dunn "Jeff Mantas".
Prime influences of the formative band were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motörhead] and KISS. Other bands cited by Venom as an inspiration are Queen, The Who, Deep Purple, Sex Pistols, Van Halen, The Tubes and The Rolling Stones
Since the beginning of their career, Venom have often used 'Satanic' lyrics and imagery. However, the band were not Satanists, and such references were mostly for shock value] Music critic Bradley Torreano declared that the band had "their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks".
In April 1980, the band recorded a three-song disc, featuring "Angel Dust", "Raise the Dead", and "Red Light Fever". Soon afterward, six more tracks were recorded for just £50, with Lant taking vocal duties on the song "Live Like an Angel". Archer soon left the band, and Venom's line-up became a trio.
|Band Members Count||3|
|Record Label(s)||Neat, Filmtrax, Under One Flag, SPV, Sanctuary/Castle, Universal|