The chances for a reunion of the classic Venom lineup of guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn, drummer Anthony "Abaddon" Bray, and bassist and vocalist Conrad "Cronos" Lant seem to be zero at this point. In a recent interview, Cronos made his opinion of his former bandmates very clear by saying "the last thing I want to do is get onstage with those other two doddery old fuckers and put on a sub-par performance."
Mantas caught wind of the comments and was predictably pissed off. In an interview with Heavy Culture, Mantas said his band Venom Inc. has been the ones to do anniversary shows because the "fucking shit show of three originals can't get their fucking act together" to celebrate any of Venom's albums. Mantas then took aim at Cronos directly, telling him to "watch the videos of your own band if you wanna see a subpar performance."
"Venom Inc. are the people who have been asked to do the anniversary shows. And we've done it. Because you know why? Because this fucking shit show of three originals can't get their fucking act together to get together on a stage and give the fans that. And [Cronos is] turning around now and saying, 'Oh, I'm not getting on stage with those doddery old fuckers to give a subpar performance.' I'll tell you what: watch the videos of your own band if you wanna see a subpar performance. This pisses me off to the hilt.
"I put a call out to everybody who's been a member of this band — not just the originals. And even me and Tony Dolan had a conversation about this, and we said that to celebrate Venom, there should be a concert where everybody who's been a member — Mikey Hickey, Jim Clare, fucking Abaddon, Cronos, Mantas, Tony Dolan, Al Barnes, fucking Danté, Stu — whatever his fucking name is — they should all be on one stage together playing their era of Venom, and at the end of the night, the original lineup plays some of the classic songs just for the fans. I put that out. Who contacted me? Fucking nobody. Because none of them have got the balls to do it. And that's the fucking truth."
Venom Inc. is currently Mantas, bassist and vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan, and non-Venom drummer Jeramie "War Machine" Kling. When asked about Cronos' comments about a reunion in the '90s that was his idea but wasn't well received, Mantas clarified that there was a little more arguing than he let on.
"Cronos has just done an interview with Metal Hammer, which there's stuff in that interview where I looked at it and I just went, 'What the fucking hell planet did that happen on?' He's talking about the reunion that we did for Dynamo [in 1996]. He was saying, like, 'Oh, I called the guy…' No, he did not call fucking anybody; he didn't call anybody at all. It was Eric Cook, our manager, who's now sadly since departed us, but it was Eric Cook and Tony Bray, Abaddon, who put that fucking reunion period together. It wasn't fucking Cronos who put that reunion period together."
"I remember turning up to a bar in Newcastle called Trillians and we had agreed to have a meeting there. And Cronos was the first one in the bar. I walked in and there was a sort of tentative handshake and a 'hello.' And I remember saying to Cronos, 'I've only come here to say no. I'm not doing this.' And that was before the Dynamo thing. It took so many talks to get us together for the Dynamo. We did the Waldrock festival first. And he turns around and says, 'Oh, it wasn't very well received.' He was the one that was saying, 'I'll do it.' 'No, I'm not doing it.' 'I'll do it.'
"There was one day we had a meeting, and Abaddon actually stood up in the office, in the Venom office, and said, 'Right, Conrad, fuck off. It's all off. Forget it.' Conrad picked up his bag. He walked out of the office. He walked past me and said, 'Adios, amigo,' and he walked out. I went home and I spoke to my wife and I said, 'Well, that's it. That's all fucked.' About an hour later, I received a phone call from Eric saying, 'It's back on. He's gonna do it.' So don't go to the press saying it was your idea in the first place."