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It is too easy to get stuck into playing a certain brand of music as an artist.

This can be for a variety of reasons such as the popularity of your band, public expectations, being pigeonholed – any number of reasons. This problem is accentuated when your band is well known for releasing a certain brand of music, where often any deviation or experimentation is met with hostility by existing fans.

“I didn’t really know what direction I was going to go for when I started this record.”

Mike Spreitzer

It is a situation DevilDriver guitarist Michael (Mike) Spreitzer has found himself in for a prolonged period of time, despite having an unwavering desire to explore other elements of his music personality.

His love for DevilDriver and the music they perform is still as strong as ever, but there has always been a gnawing yearning to explore another side of metal which has always held his interest.

Industrial metal.

After resisting the urge for too long, Spreitzer finally turned his talents to another passion within the realm of metal, forming Verona On Venus (VOV) as a side project to DevilDriver with the sole intent of showcasing yet another of his loves musically.

VOV has released two singles now – Rodent and Monarch Acid Test – from their 2024 debut album Popular Dimensions, expelling some musical demons while simultaneously feeding others.

With a strong emphasis on industrial and goth metal laced with the heavier sounds of the 1990s, Popular Delusions is a collection of songs that are personal in musical nature to Spreitzer, with him also taking the surprise step of assuming vocal duties.

HEAVY recently caught up with Spreitzer to talk about his new project.

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” he began. “When I was in high school, I grew up on more… I transitioned from heavy metal into more industrial metal and goth, and Verona On Venus is the result. This is something that has taken me back to my roots and gives me an outlet for that genre of music that I can’t really do with DevilDriver.”

In the full interview, Mike talks more about Verona On Venus and how long he has been wanting to do something like this, the mysterious campaign that introduced the band and their music, the single Rodent and what he was going for with it, the wicked film clip that comes with it, stepping up to sing and how difficult that was, what he gets differently out of playing guitar and singing, the musical nature of the album, covering an Acid Bath song and why, future plans for VOV and more.

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