St. Pete space-rock band The Venus muscles up the Joe Meek sound on “Saturn Grind” — listen

No mushrooms required when the band opens for Tonstartssbandht on July 8.

click to enlarge Artwork for The Venus's "Saturn Grind," which is streaming below. - Michael Miller
Michael Miller
Artwork for The Venus's "Saturn Grind," which is streaming below.

There’s no fucking point in trying to pronounce band names at this point, so you might as well let Tonstartssbandht’s 2014 LP Overseas (say it “TAHN-starts-bandit”) do the talking before the band featuring the Florida-reared, Brooklyn-based White brothers (Edwin and Andy) hits New World along with another band with a funny name, Mtvh1n1.

One name you can pronounce on the July 8 bill? The Venus.

Led by Alexander Charos, the St. Pete-based outfit is all kinds of mushroom-tripping, surf rock and roll mixed in with just enough jazz to make your eyeballs bulge out a little bit. We asked Charos — who fronts Alexander & the Grapes while also running Yoko Phono Studios — to explain The Venus’ Joe Meek & The Blue Boys-influenced single, “Saturn Grind.”

Read the Q&A below, and get more information on the show via

Tonstartssbandht w/The Venus/mtvh1n1/Justin Depth
Sat., July 8, 8 p.m. $7.
New World Brewery, 1313 E. 8th Ave., Ybor City.

Is “Saturn Grind” part of a larger release?

These are part of an album I've been recording on the side. Will be out later this year.

What kind of bands, which ones specifically, are inspiring the sound?

I simultaneously got really into science fiction and early Ventures and Joe Meek records. I loved the sounds these guys were coming up with using all of this old analog equipment to try to create what they thought space would vibe like. There are some other bands that really influence the album. I tried to create this Everly Bros meets Syd Barret's Floyd kind of vibe. It’s a record that just represents what I like and the records I listen to when I'm at home.

Assuming all of this is recorded at Yoko Phono?

All recorded by me and Phil at Yoko.

Anyone else playing on the song?

I play everything on both of the tracks on our Bandcamp page. The album features my brother Philip on the drums and some keys, and also my brother Jason on the trumpet on a couple tracks. A few other friends will be making some contributions to the record as well. I'm playing guitar, keys, drums, bass, and other oddities. We are in the mixing stages of the album right now.

What’s up with Alexander & the Grapes?

Philip is recovering from a shoulder injury right now so he can't play drums. So we haven't booked any Grapes gigs. But once he recovers we will begin recording a new Grapes album.