Guest Blog: Valient Himself of Valient Thorr, Part 1
A “left-handed Aquarius, master of the fine arts, wordsmith, survivor,” as it says on his Facebook page, Valient Thorr frontman Valient Himself is now also a RevolverMag.com blogger. He’ll be offering us regularly updates from his mind, starting with the piece below. His band’s new album, Our Own Masters, hits stores June 18. Valient Thorr’s U.S. headlining tour, with support from Gypsyhawk and Ramming Speed, kicks off on June 12.
ALAHOYUS Thorriors, Revolverers, Rocknowledgists, party-ers, humanitarians, bangers, punks, skunks, drunks, hombres, and hombrettes!!
Thanks to Revolver for giving me a platform to holler at y’all, rambling on about our new album or whatever pops into my head. I’ll use this little forum to give you sneak peeks and background info on the new album, and hopefully grab the other dudes to get some words in, too. I get the chance to do interviews all the time, but sometimes they don’t ask the right questions, or sometimes they ask the right questions, but then the interview ends up being in Italian and I don’t know how to read Italian so I never know if it came out clever or what. This dude Mario the other day asked all the right questions. It made me feel great that someone actually took the time to see what we were all about rather than asking the same old-same old questions that I’ve either been asked a million times, or no one cares about anyway. You guys have either heard we are from Venus or not. Doesn’t seem to really matter all that much now does it? If you like or dislike someone, it shouldn’t have anything to do with where they are from. We’ve always said that it’s about where you’re going that matters. And you can follow us straight to the top.
We took a big break to write this record. We have been going hard for eight years. Basically doing nothing but playing and writing and never taking any time for ourselves since the end of 2004. And if you don’t ever take a break, well, then you’ll burn out. We don’t want to do that anytime soon. Also, whatever kind of artist you are, visual, audible, you have to take time to write, draw, paint, compose, whatever it is that you do–so that you have something new and relevant and different to give to the masses so they don’t get tired of your same old shit. Over the last year, we’ve had births, deaths, and every other kind of wild family incident in between happen to us. So we took time to write, and paint, and compose, and create. And deal with family things. And then we got together and brought our little pieces of this puzzle together.
A lot of times over the years when new albums by my favorite bands came out, I wondered for months at a time what it was going to be like, or sound like. If you’re a big music fan and collect albums, I feel like there’s a certain thing that happens when you find a band you love. I’d say for me at least 80 percent of the time, the FIRST thing they do turns out to be my favorite. Not always, but a lot of the time. A lot of bands careers start at a point and just rocket onward getting better and better and at some point they may dip down. Some of them then come back up and keep on making good records again. Some only have one more. Some never recover. I feel like we started making music at such an early point in our even knowing HOW to make noise with instruments, that EACH TIME we’ve gone into the studio and come back out, you can tell how much we’ve grown by listening to the previous album and then checking out the new one. I find that extremely difficult and/or at least extremely rare for music I listen to. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, I’ve just explained that we didn’t know shit when we began and we’ve tried very hard to learn as much as possible. And I hope that shows on OUR OWN MASTERS.
It was fun looking back on all of our old albums and actually talking about ROCKNROLL with Mario. So much of the time when we are talking about our music it is put in terms of how punk or how metal it IS or IS NOT. We haven’t ever set out to do anything but make killer jams. There are a lot of bands out there that still make Rock ’n’ Roll. They’re not talked about often, or maybe they don’t tour a lot. But they are out there. We like the band Harvey Milk. Somehow maybe it was from our friends in Black Skies, but somehow we heard Kyle Spence (the drummer of Harvey Milk) was making records down in Athens, GA. This seemed pretty convenient, not being too far away for family stuff, and also provided an atmosphere that was MILES different from the records we made in Seattle over the last 5 years. Now I loved working with Jack (Endino), I’m speaking specifically in terms of the difference in the cities, and my own personal party budget. In Seattle, I had money to spare and I personally love the Pacific Northwest. In Athens, I was in a position where bread was tight because I have bills now and the city reminded me a lot of my own college town. Meaning there wasn’t a whole lot to do there on a tight budget. THAT’S OK THOUGH because it afforded me time to come up with 85 (YES, EIGHTY FIVE) demos for this new album. I don’t think I ever did more than 20-25 before now. But that again shows how much time we put into this.
While we were in there, they debuted that new app called Vine, and we made a bunch of seven-second sneak peek vids of the making of the album and here are a few of them for you to check out. We have about 6 weeks before the record comes out, but in the next few weeks, we’ll be dropping some actual tracks for you to consume. So hold your horses.
VALIENT THORR Vine videos: