Beyond the Record
Music news, album reviews & interviews
Beyond the Record: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about who you are, when THE VALIUM formed and how.
THE VALIUM: We’re people who’ve always dug into the dream of music and listened tons of records till getting to write our own things; never cared about any trends or advice, we’ve just done our music for about 15 years. The band formed in 2000 as a result of school mates meeting in the afternoon, we set our rehearsal room in a farmstead equipped with a pool table and a fridge, with this consequently wild teenage environment which shaped definitely our character ; then the first demos came, and a record, then another one , until the present Amazing Breakdowns.
BtR: The group has been around for a considerable amount of time. Take us through some of the moments you guys have gone through to stay together. For the readers who may be looking to start a band, what are critical components to the longevity of a group?
THE VALIUM: your right that’s all a lot of water under the bridge… let’s start by saying we’re from a small town so when we started there was no internet , so no knowledge about guitars, amplifiers or tricky gear, you used to get what you found in the music shop and let your ears do the rest. Then no overall management, you had to turn up to clubs to be signed for a night and struggle hard in the rehearsal room for a few quid. And finally, nobody in south Italy was into rock’n’roll music anymore so we kinda took the lumps by keeping truly to ourselves and looking at the English music scene. As a result of this strange circuit of independence and underpayment we’ve been through different changes in the line up which have above all brought close friendships, each of them representing a precise point in the band’s evolution. As for the critical points to the longevity of a group I’d say it’s all about knowing the reason why your doing since it’s all passion that fails to reward you in terms of comfort and money. In a nutshell work leads you aside.
BtR: From the founding or inception of the band, what successes have you experienced? Go in great detail! I've heard there is quite a few.
THE VALIUM: you know being some kind of 18 and having released the first british inspired demo in south Italy we found ourselves kinda known and recognized as representatives of the brit pop era “on earth”. This gave us the inspiration to fulfill the making of Willy which was hailed as a true lo fi indie/beat gem throughout the nation, then we stepped into Warner Chappel and recorded La Maledizione Sta Per Arrivare, when somebody coined the definition of New Beat, being it deeply influenced by the international 60’s white rhythm’n’blues. So the consequent tours were massive, and sales too. We won prizes for the best Italian independent videoclip and got to play almost anywhere. The following record Revolution got us sixty live gigs ( which is normally unimaginable in Italy by these days) and gained the band a lot of consideration since it was released under a super small label.
BtR: Aside from the glamour of being in a band or being a total rockstar, there are some challenges that you may have been faced with at certain times. In your personal life, but also in your career, take us through some low moments that could have left you without a band.
THE VALIUM: Well as I said before the only reason leading you aside from being into a band is work. When you are committed to something else you will just end up outside the circus. So me and my brother have gone through with it. There have been 2 peculiar peaks leading the band on the edge of splitting as a result of the abandonment of the drummer for work reasons and the consequent lack of motivation and new inspiration. That was about in 2006, when we eventually thought we’d get on with it an after having a row. I just think that has been the turnpoint for us. Another time was halfway through the Revolution tour, when both the drummer and longtime bass player decided they’d leave because they had families and could not hold it anymore. That was a real mess as we felt like we gotta finish this tour and then we’ll shut this down . Then the guys got in and here we are.
BtR: Going back in time a little ways, do you feel as though your childhood played a role in your love for music?
THE VALIUM: Childhood has played a role with no doubt as our parents used to buy us 45s to be played on a little penny player, then our dad bought a keyboard and sent us to lesson. Whatismore we used to spend all the afternoons at our granma’s where mom’s brother used to crank the music up, indeed he was the first to buy us The Beatles and was a guitarist he himself.
BtR: After hearing some of the latest tracks, I find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what genre you are a part of. How would you classify your sound?
THE VALIUM: I wouldn’t do that as long as one enjoys it. I’d say indie rock’n’roll psychedelia though Its only rock’n’roll ,innit.
BtR: Do you feel the need to cater to the masses in anyway or do you prefer to be genuine in your approach?
THE VALIUM: well Had we wanted to be famous and wealthy we’d have switched to any crappy football thing and creepy lyrics at least. Nay, we are still working on the right way to rule the world without sticking hand in a bowl of shit.
BtR: I've seen #ihatethevalium on the net in a few places. Elaborate on this.
THE VALIUM: yeah, hate is a good thing coz it gets people measure with the meaning of the word. Do you really hate the valium? That’s for sure WE hate The Valium, its too long we’ve been listening them songs. Now the turn is yours.
BtR: What is the next big thing for you guys? When is the next album coming up/tour?
THE VALIUM: allright then , the record is out on June 22 and the next big thing is the release party which will be huge. Think it’s taking place on a beach club at dusk, and going to be around June 30. Then we’re flying to Uk and playing a bunch of gigs; we don’t know much about that but keep an eye on our site.
BtR: Where can we find THE VALIUM's music? THE VALIUM:
All around the net, beh careful to not end up buying some fake pills, because there is a good chanche you’ll end up in a messy website trying to sell you some drugs.
Our website is THEVALIUM.com, then you can find our music on every digital store.