Songs for Black Days: Venom Prison's Larissa Stupar | Revolver

Songs for Black Days: Venom Prison's Larissa Stupar

Death-metal vocalist shares 10 songs that have helped her through dark times
larissastupar-2018-creditjakeowens.jpg, Jake Owens
photograph by Jake Owens

Last month, Venom Prison released a 30-minute documentary Glitch that covered how actively touring artists suffer from mental health issues as a result of the unusual lifestyle. "With this film I wanted to explore issues of mental health in touring artists and the stress of continual touring with no home base with touring remaining a vital part of their livelihood," says frontwoman Larissa Stupar.  

For the vocalist herself, the topic hits very close to home. "Having lived with depression for a while now, I know there are better days sometimes but they are followed by some pretty dark ones," she says. "This summer I was going through a major depressive episode and I have spent a lot of time reflecting and analyzing and during that time I have realized that while I am feeling pain, I like to dwell in it. While a lot of people prefer to listen to music that reminds them of the happier days in life, I prefer doing the opposite."

For our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, we asked Stupar to share some of the music that has helped her through dark times. Below is what she offered up.

Armor For Sleep — "Car Underwater"

This is probably my ultimate anthem for depression ever since I was a kid. It just feels comforting listening to someone else sing about what you feel.

Zola Jesus — "Soak"

I have listened to this one a lot this summer. There's just something spooky but liberating about it — making you lose and gain a feeling of independence at the same time. It reminds me of not losing your pride and keep going even if you feel like utter shit.

Nicole Dollanganger — "Angels of Porn II"

Having only discovered Nicole Dollanganger's music this year, I have spent a lot of time listening to it on repeat. This is one of my favorite songs.

Emma Ruth Rundle — "Marked for Death"

I love Emma Ruth Rundle because her music is quite dark and depressing. I think the song title speaks for itself.

Banks — "Gemini Feed"

Her latest record has been my heavy rotation since it was released. I love listening to it on days where I don't want to get up, but also when I feel great and want to dance around like a freak in the kitchen while cooking dinner.

Darkher — "Moths"

I listen to this song when I feel like wrapping myself up into a cocoon; beautifully melancholic.

Grimes — "Oblivion"

The first time I heard this song, I felt a strong connection to it. In fact, it was when I was watching the music video for it that I connected the lyrical content with the imagery produced in the video. This song deals with sexual assault and the recovery from it, focusing on casual victim-blaming like "don't go out in the dark on your own" that we all heard at some point in our lives. I like this cute but powerful girl image this song and video produce that you find in Japanese culture fairly often.

The Smashing Pumpkins — "Ava Adore"

I remember when the single was first released and I watched the music video on MTV and felt fascinated by the imagery, similarly as I did with Grimes' "Oblivion" but I must have been nine years old back then and really didn't understand what this was about, just thought it was spooky. I love this song and Adore is probably my favorite Smashing Pumpkins record.

Tears for Fears — "Mad World"

I grew up listening to bands like Tears for Fears and The Cure because my parents did. Listening to this makes me feel nostalgic. I think pretty much any kid could connect with this song. I especially appreciated it more after I watched Donnie Darko for the first time ever, giving the song an even more depressing meaning. The whole Donnie Darko soundtrack could actually be on this list.

Claire Morales — "All That Wanting"

To be honest, I never really valued country music until we toured with Power Trip, [we] shared a bus with them and generally spent a lot of time together. I really like Claire Morales, she has a beautiful voice and her music reminds me of good times with good friends while making me dwell in melancholy.

Every day in America, 121 people die by suicide. It only takes one to break the silence — take action in your community and sign Hope for the Day's mental health pledge.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to for a list of resources.