Venaculas is synonmous with Omaha underground rock. Since the release of Venaculas’ self-titled debut five-song EP in 2000, the bands has seen their fan base continue to grow. Venaculas was highlighted twice in the national magazine, Album Network, as the Midwest regional “breakout band,” had three consecutive CDs become top selling CDs of 2001 thru 2005 for the Homers Record Store chain (1st in 2005 and 2004, 2nd in 2003, 2nd in 2002, and 3rd in 2001), appeared regularly on the CIMS and Aggro national charts, had five songs added to rotation at radio stations throughout the Midwest, such as KIWR 89.7 (Council Bluffs, IA/Omaha, NE), KAZR (Des Moines, IA), and KSEZ (Sioux City, IA), had two songs placed in the feature film “Treasure of the Seven Mummies” (summer 2005 release), and five songs placed in the motorcycle documentary, “Ride on the Edge.” All the while, Venaculas’ fan base has been spreading beyond the Midwest (recently the band has been highlighted and reviewed in magazines located in France, Germany and Italy) as the band continues to perform to sold-out concerts and share the stage with bands such as Saliva, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd, Primer 55, The Urge, Jackyl, Kottonmouth Kings, Soil, hed(PE), Phunk Junkeez and more.
Venaculas’ music can only be described as raw, explosive energy that showcases the band’s youth, honesty, gut-wrenching vocals and memorable guitar hooks. With a unique combination of aggro, metal and hip-hop the band appeals to many different fans all ranging from 10 years of age to 40.
Hard rock is more than just a genre of music for Venaculas and Big Phil, as he has carved out his own style as the front man of Venaculas since the band’s inception in 2000. It’s no question that Phil shows up to play for the fans and that rings true in every performance. “Over the years we have played at some amazing places with some amazing bands and artists. Venaculas is family and it’s as simple as that. Not just the bandmembers, but the fans. We couldn’t do it without them and for that we are forever grateful.”
Chad has continued to hone his craft both on the microphone and on the guitar leading and writing for multiple bands during Venaculas’ hiatus, bringing back as polished of a sound one could ask for after an extended break. Chad’s style and influence has helped shape Venaculas and write meaningful/catchy tunes that fans can both rock out to one second, and sing the next.
Jay grew up in a househould surrounded by music, influenced early by heavy drums and heavy rock. Jay’s desire for hard rock turned into a reality in 2000 when he, Phil, and Chad decided to join the High School talent show. Jay brings a vibrant energy and explosive dynamic to the stage each and every show. “There’s nothing I love more than putting on a show for a fans. That’s what I come to do. I want them to leave every time going – ‘DAMN! That was awesome.'”
Primarily a guitarist, Eric’s first guitar was a hand-made G6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body replica, with a generic Bigsby style tremelo with his guitar background is evident while on the bass. “Although I am a bass player in Venaculas, I am primarily a guitarist. I don’t treat the bass as strictly a rhythm instrument. A bass should have a voice in the band thats stands out as much as any lead line of a guitar. Everything has its place.”
I was lucky enough to join this band. I have so many amazing memories with these guys. I’ve done things that people will never get the chance to. Like this bad or not we have something amazing. They’re my best friends and brothers. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for this band.
Musical Influences: Clint Lowery (biggest), Eric Johnson, Eric Clapton, Mike DeWolf, John Mayer (insane guitarist) and Jonny Lang.
With is dad, Dave Hyenk being a drummer/teacher, Davey was immediately immersed into a world of drumming. Getting his feet wet with other local Omaha bands, Davey took over the drumset in 2006 following up his dad, David Hynek’s run as the drummer for Venaculas. In addition to manning the drums, Davey has produced multiple Venaculas music videos and behind-the-schenes DVD footage for the most recent Therapy release.
Dave was asked by his youngest son Jason to drum for Venaculas’ first show while the band continued it’s search for a drummer. 6 years later Dave stepped down and proudly turned the sticks over to son Davey. “…It was a real thrill to watch my son Jason, Phil, Chad and Eric become a very solid band. Each show was unique, the guys always gave it their all, and the relationship between the band and crowd was truly special. We were always appreciative of our good fortune and never took fan support for granted fan support.” Dave teaches drums in Papillion and continues to perform with various area bands as Dave puts it: “Never too old to rock-n-roll!”.
Photos by Robert Chadwick Photography