Evening Stars

Until now the only place to See Venus has been on the Web, where its brand of multilayered pop has already gone global

Recording of Extended Play began last September. "I think it's very dense," says Moll. "Go back and listen to "Boy Bubble Blue' on headphones and the melodies and stuff that are laid over on top of each other."

Ordoñez agrees. "There's nothing that attracts me more than really lush and dense-sounding music," she says. "Like the end of "Shine Like Stars.' That's something that's specifically and intentionally dense, but you can make things out like strings, horns, and vocals."

See Venus recorded everything on a 16-track, hard-disk recorder, with each of those tracks containing even more tracks piled atop each other, making for tightly coiled beauty. "For "Shine Like Stars,' there were like 59 separate components on there," Moll says.

Celestial bodies (clockwise from top left): Erica 
Boynton, Chris O'Malley, Chris Moll, Rocky Ordoñez, 
Eddie Alonso, and Eric Rasco are See Venus
Joshua Prezant
Celestial bodies (clockwise from top left): Erica Boynton, Chris O'Malley, Chris Moll, Rocky Ordoñez, Eddie Alonso, and Eric Rasco are See Venus

The band finished Extended Play in April and packaged the album with colorful artwork and a promotional bio for various independent U.S. record labels. As former music director and current general manager of WVUM-FM (90.5) , the University of Miami's student-operated radio station, Rasco was put in charge of mailing See Venus' demo package. "There's labels that you'd like to be on, and there's labels you know you'd rather not be on," he says with a laugh. "Otherwise you toil in the wrong way: You play with bands that you shouldn't be playing with, you release some things you shouldn't release."

Rasco says he's not eager to see the band signed to a major label. "I haven't thought any of those guys would want to put it out," he explains. "And what happened to the people from here who signed to major labels? Mary Karlzen [who inked a deal with Atlantic in 1994]? Whoof!She got fucked over. They don't have time to develop artists. They sign shitty bands that are going to pay off on the first record. I'd rather be on a label where you know the people who run it. You know they're at least cool people. You know they like your music and that they're not working because it's just a job."

The Website has been an even better promotional vehicle than the CD. Once the tunes were available on the site, the band started getting e-mails from all over the world and finding the band mentioned on a variety of newsgroups. A Swedish music site (www.twisterella.com) recently interviewed the group. "We were getting recognition without even trying," Ordoñez says. "It's just incredibly exciting to feel that. At the same time it's kind of scary. We spent so much time and worked so hard on that EP. Then immediately everyone was like, "Oh, my God! This is something. This is substantial.' It's kind of shocking."

The idea to perform live came only recently. Moll wanted to augment the band with a real drummer (Eddie Lopez added live drums to some of the songs on the EP while computers provided synthetic beats) as well as a second vocalist to harmonize with Ordoñez and provide extra keyboards. O'Malley joined the group in June, and Boynton came aboard the following month. Rehearsals for live performances began in the last several weeks.

The pressure is on for the band to live up to its debut recording and attendant expectations, but Moll isn't about to let that get to him. "It's amazing that somebody up in Canada or Norway can say, "Hey, I downloaded your MP3s, and I think they're really good.' There seems to be a good word of mouth about it, but, hey, who knows? We can go out and play, and it could just be a complete train wreck. But we'll see."

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