Good news, Santa Fe: We’ve got an honest to goodness post-punk band living among us! Not familiar with post-punk? The movement began in the late ’70s and, while its roots are in punk rock, it is decidedly more experimental and avant-garde. Think Joy Division here, music lovers. Santa Fe’s own Venus Bogardus is playing a type of music we have never been fortunate to count among our resident styles.
Formed in Bath, England, Venus Bogardus is comprised of James Reich, Hannah Levbarg and Luke Carr. Reich and Levbarg are married and began collaborating on songs in 2005. The pair moved to Santa Fe in March of this year. They hooked up with Carr and began playing shows everywhere. With an album forthcoming from the band’s record deal with New York’s Five03 Records, Venus Bogardus hopes to tour in the coming year.
SFR: Why Santa Fe over England?
James Reich: We had family moving here, and it seemed like the shortcut to escaping the UK was to crash land with them for a short while.
Hannah Levbarg: We had been thinking of Austin but, when James saw Santa Fe, he realized it was much better. It’s small, which we like, but still within earshot of plenty of great towns to
Would you say a categorization of post-punk is accurate?
JR: Sure. I mean, it runs the gamut of rock ’n’ roll styles from punk and glam to riot grrl and existentialism. We’re just as likely to take influence from bands like Roxy Music, though. John Cale is a big influence for me. He kind of deceptively brought experimental things to the music he worked on.
How did Luke come into the picture?
Luke Carr: I grew up on the East Coast and was playing guitar and bass for years, but I always wanted to play drums. We found each other through an online mailing list and, when this opportunity presented itself, it was an awesome chance to hone my drum work.
JR: It’s great to have a drummer with a guitarist’s ear. He can tell me when I’m fucking up.
LC: I love playing with these guys. Even if they had come along with another drummer, I would still be a fan. It’s amazing that I had just moved here and, all of a sudden, there was this amazing band. I listen to so many different kinds of music, but I think the aesthetics of this band and the music we make just makes a lot of sense to me.
How’s the new release coming?
LC: Working on the new stuff has been so cool. When I started playing with James and Hannah, it was really hard to play so fast and so much, but it’s been getting easier with the new material.
JR: We’re putting down some demos and staying very busy working on new songs. We’re still rehearsing a lot.
HL: We’re aiming for a November release. And then hopefully we’ll tour with that. Perhaps with Oregon’s The Prids…if they’ll have us.