I had a chat with Gold Coast alt-rockers Vallies about their debut EP 'Kaleidoscope' which is available to listen to now.
I hope you're doing well. Could you please start by stating your names and positions in the band?
Bart - vocals, Zian - Guitar, Dave - Drums, Jay - Bass.
How did you guys come together to be Vallies?
Zian had the idea to start a band which evolved further as each succesive member entered and exited, until the perfect mix of band members was found. His initial vision to explore energetic and uplifting music with similarly minded artists lead us to where we are. While Vallies initial formation was a collaboration from the ashes of local bands MNVR (Jay, Zian) and Antimata (Bart), each band member has an extensive musical history of their own, that has allowed us to develop our distinct groove and sound. With the most recent addition of Dave Amphlett who plays alongside Jay in Heavy Wax, we now feel like Vallies as a band is exactly what it needs to be.
For anyone reading this that has never listened to you guys before how would you describe your sound and what song would you recommend they check out first?
We always want our songs to be interesting, energetic and uplifting through a balance of groove, technicality and lyrical content that people can hopefully relate to. With such a diverse feel, it really depends on what your musical taste is as to what song we would suggest you listen to first! 'Anchor' is a straight up feel good rock song which seems to appeal broadly. 'It's All Sunshine' harkens backs to 90's & 00's rock, and our latest EP 'Kaleidoscope' gives everyone a chance to enjoy what we have on offer by way of funk, pop, ballad, rock and indie styled tracks.
I've noticed your music seems to pull from various genres and no two songs are really the same. Who would you say are the main influences on your upcoming EP or just your music in general?
Our music isn't conscientiously inspired by anyone, as we all love different music and each bring different inspirations to the table. However, no matter the song, we want it to sound great when performed live, so we greatly appreciate bands that are able to capture their audiences with their rhythm and groove such as Incubus, RHCP and local legends Osaka Punch.
You guys have your debut EP 'Kaleidoscope' coming out on the 30th of July. Can you tell me a little bit more about any themes or stories that are contained within the EP?
In terms of individual tracks, lyrically they each tell a different story and present their own perspectives on certain elements of life. The EP's title track 'Kaleidoscope' was written when Bart was expecting his first child, so it became a bit of an anthem for celebrating those in your life who you're closest to. 'Swept Away' is about reminiscing of the amazing people who have shaped your life yet might no longer be in it, and 'Fall' posits a heart-breaking reality where the person closest to you is taken away.
How did the decision come about to have a different producer for each track on the EP?
We always knew that an EP was on the cards for us at some stage and had each worked with so many incredible producers over the years (both with Vallies and other projects), that we didn't really know who we wanted to work with on this project. We were lucky enough to be one of the recipients of City of Gold Coast's Music Merch Collab grant, which enabled us to work with locak artists and businesses to design and create a unique line of merchandise. Having the ability to work with graphic artists, as well as the potential new income stream which this created, allowed us to really spread our wings and gets as many other creatives on board as possible. This in turn led to us deciding we would do things a little differently and work with a different producer for each track. We spent some time going over the tracks we wanted included, lined them up with who we thought would best match their style, and needless to say we were not disappointed!
What was it like getting everything recorded and put together with more people working on 'Kaleidoscope'?
We hit many different hurdles during this process which by the end had taken a lot longer than we first anticipated. COVID, conflicting schedules and busy personal lives all threw spanners in the work at some (or multiple) stages. Many SMS's, emails and phone calls were made between a LOT of different people, however when everyone is as professional as those we were lucky enough to work with, and when you have a deadline to meet, you find a way to make it happen!
You guys quite recently had a launch show for the EP at the Miami Marketta, how was that? And how was the response towards the new music?
When you plan an event at an awesome venue such as Miami Marketta, you put quiet a bit of pressure on your shoulders to make sure it's successful. We were chuffed at the amount of support that we got from our local crowd, and our support bands Brixton Alley, Supernudist and Stingin Rogers really made it a night to remember! We've had some really positive feedback and hope to build on this with future gigs, including Ric's Bar in Fortitiude Valley on September 10th.
Do you have a favourite track off of the upcoming EP?
Jay: They all hold a special place for each of us, however, we really surprised ourselves with the last track 'Fall', which is our slow boiler, with an emotive theme and feel with strings to lift the outro, orchestrated by Jared Adlam. Bart: For me it has to be what Brisbane producer Sam Woods managed to do with 'Kaleidoscope'. That song for me is a personal dedication to my daughter, Macey, so to have something so infectious and uplifting that I can eventually show her when she's old enough is an amazing gift.
A little bit more off topic but you guys all seem quite family orientated. How do you find balancing your home life with Vallies?
Jay: The family balance is extremely important to us, which in many ways restricts the quantity of music we can produce and live performances, which is why this EP is important to us. We have invested everything we can to make music, imagery and live performances something special for followers to really enjoy. Bart: It is definitely hard to juggle sometimes and it is extremely important to keep everything in perspective. We are all extremely lucky that we have patient and supportive people around us in our lives who understand and help us push forward with what we are passionate about.
Is there anything else you have coming up for the rest of the year that you would like to tell me about?
As mentioned we have Ric's Bar on September 10th, which will be followed by other dates to be announced. Our EP will be released on all streaming platforms on July 30th and will be releasing video clips for 2 of the tracks, the first being 'Kaleidoscope'. Beyond this we already have several new songs we are working on that will be incorporated into our live set and into the studio once our bank balance is in the black again!
I always like to end interviews with a little this or that section so;
Morning or Night? Jay: Night, that's when the magic happens (once the kids are asleep) Bart: Morning , because that's when I get the most quality time with my whole family, and just to be different to Jay. Would you rather be a character from your favourite show in this universe or yourself as you are now in their universe?
Jay: Tempting to be one of the band members from Electric Mayhem (Muppets) but that looks like it would be more chaotic than my own life! Bart: My favourite show is Community, so I wouldn't mind who I was if it meant I got to hang out with that band of lovable misfits. Would you rather live forever or wake up everyday with a new superpower?
Jay: Super powers each day, that sounds way more exciting than living forever! Bart: Hard agree, living forever would get old (pun intended). Give me a new superpower each day please!
Thank you so much for your time today. Is there anything you would like to add for people reading this? Check out our website for all your Vallies news, where you can buy merch, learn more about 'Kaleidoscope' and even submit footage to be in our next film clip! Woo hoo! Thanks for having us!
Interview with Kayleigh McKenzie
Connect with Vallies HERE