Interview with Andrea DiNapoli of Venus Walk, San Francisco, CA 7/6/96

Jester: What was the motivation to move from Denver to San Francisco?

Andrea: The climate, the ocean, the culture, all kinds of things.

Jester: Was the music scene in either city a factor in deciding to move?

Andrea: No. There are talented musicians in both places. There is just more of everything here.

Jester: Have you or David received any formal type of musical training?

Andrea: Just few Jazz piano lessons here and there.

Jester: So, the majority of your musical knowledge has been self taught?

Andrea: Yes. Music has always been in my family. My father and my brother also play guitar and keys.

Jester: What made you choose this particular style of music over any other to work with?

Andrea: I think it just grew on me once I got into keyboards. I started out playing guitar and drums, but I became fascinated by what keyboards could do. I really love manipulating sound.

Jester: What type of method do you use when you compose your music? Do you follow some type of rigorous model, or it is more vague and abstract?

Andrea: It varies, but usually I have a clear picture of what I want to say and how I want the music to feel. So we develop sounds and rhythms to create a mood.

Jester: Have you ever been placed in a very thought provoking situation and then immediately sat down afterwards and wrote a song because of that occurrence?

Andrea: Yes, like on "Isolation" which is about how when you walk down the street and see people who obviously need help, but very rarely do we reach out to them. I think everybody is effected emotionally by our society in much the same way.

Jester: Are you trying to make your audience aware of some of these problems through your music?

Andrea: No, that is not the purpose of our music because I think people are aware of the major problems. Some of the lyrics are about social issues, but the others are just twisted love songs. Part of "Isolation" just questions why there are so many lonely people in an overpopulated world. I think zero population growth would really give nature and society a time to heal.

Jester: That is an interesting opinion because there was just news coverage about problems the Chinese were having with all the single children families that were mandated by law years ago.

Andrea:. You can't force an agenda or philosophy like that. People have to make a conscious decision for themselves.

Jester: Do you have any strong musical influences that have affected the way you write your own music?

Andrea: I like to listen to many different kinds of music, from jazz to classical. When I write I just dig deep for the kinds of moods and sounds that appeal to me. It is a mixture of sounds, so we have an electro audience, but we also do really well with the gothic crowd.

Jester: I think that does give you one advantage, simply because no one has pigeon holed you into a specific genre, thereby allowing you to stay more open with your music.

Andrea: The critics do seem to have a hard time writing about us, which is fine, I just hope to keep exploring music and expanding. I wouldn't want to keep writing in the exact same way.

Jester: Are you afraid that people might take your music wrong? That they might get something out of the music which is the opposite of your intention?

Andrea: No, I am not afraid of that. It happens most of the time with all kinds of art.

Jester: How did Venus Walk originally form?

Andrea: I had been playing in other bands and I wanted to find someone to collaborate with, so I placed an ad and met David. We get along great and it has always been fun to write with him.

Jester: Do you have any plans to play any live shows now that you are in San Francisco?

Andrea: Probably not right away. I think David wants to get more involved with computer animation for a while and I would like to continue to write and possibly collaborate with other people. I really appreciate the value of collaborating with someone. It can take the music in a surprising direction.

Jester: What made you decide to release this album independently and do all your own promotional work instead of shop the album to a label?

Andrea: I did send it to few record labels, but not many. When Dave and I were ready to record the songs it just seemed natural to move forward and put it on CD and release it through our own production company, Bent Productions. It was great for us to be able to have all the artistic control and I really enjoyed engineering and producing it. I did talk to Ric from Ras Dva records after it was pressed and he is helping us out a lot. He has done some promotions and he has included us in his catalog and advertisements. I appreciate all his support. I am just not able to do enough through Bent Productions. It would be great to reach a broader market and have enough money to advertise.

Jester: Personally I don't feel that advertising is enough. I think advertising simply promotes awareness, which is good, I think reviews of music are an integral part of luring into a prospective buyer.

Andrea: I think an ad with a description is a good thing. I like to include the fact that we have a female vocals for people who might be looking for something different. Reviews depend on who the reviewer is and if they are familiar with the genre. Radio play is the most effective since music is a sonic art, but unfortunately there are not many stations willing to take that chance. There are many things that would help the underground get a little more exposure, and I am not talking about overexposure. There are artists who are satisfying their creative endeavors without having to shove their music down the consumers throats. People always seem to think that music only exists in two extremes, the artistic underground and the over exposed commercial scene, which isn't true. There are people like Tom Waits who are not over exposed and yet still retain an artistic license over their music.

Jester: Have you had any fan feedback of any kind from the album yet?

Andrea: Yes, I have, but the album is just now getting out to the public. The advertisements are showing up in various magazines like Permission, Industrial Nation and Alternative Press.

Jester: Do you think having the track on the "There Is No Time" compilation helped people become aware of your music as well?

Andrea: Yes,. I loved being a part of that compilation and that is how I met Ric from Ras Dva. I think it was really an amazing thing for Ras Dva to do. I mean 60 different bands is a lot of people to deal with.

Jester: Is Bent Productions just a business started just to market Venus Walk?

Andrea: I started it when we released our first album, but I can use it for other projects that I am involved with, such as photography and video.

Jester: Is sounds to me like you are trying to make your art, which consists of music, photography, video etc. your business.

Andrea: If you mean earn a living from art, yes that would be nice, but I do it for my own enjoyment and peace of mind.

Jester: Is there anything more you'd like to add before we finish?

Andrea: It was nice meeting you and thanks for contacting me. Keep up the good work in supporting the underground.

Contact Venus Walk at:
Venus Walk
P.O. Box 282073
San Francisco, CA 94128

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