Hunter Valentine | Lessons From The Late Night
Tommy Boy Entertainment, LLC
CD + Digital: CAN: April 17, 2010 | US May 11, 2010
Note: For this project, Popular Publicity is handling only LGBT media worldwide.
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05.12.10 NYC Rock Trio Breaks Record for Most Shows In One Day!
05.05.10 Join Hunter Valentine as They Break A World Record!
04.08.10 Meet Rock 'N' Roll's Newest Heartbreakers
04.12.10: Hunter Valentine Are Xtra (Canada) Cover Stars!
04.21.10: Hunter Valentine to Release New Record, Set World Record...
Jun 19 | Portland | Portland Pride
Jul 3 | Toronto | Toronto Pride
DVD: We're Here To Recruit You
Originally from Toronto, now based in Brooklyn, Hunter Valentine is the sweet, punky, all-girl rock band recently signed to one of New York City’s most famous labels, Tommy Boy. Many are already familiar with the trio thanks to steady gigging (often with labelmates, The Cliks) and the summer release of the their super fan-friendly live DVD, We're Here To Recruit You.
Shot at New York City’s legendary Stonewall Inn on the 40th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots, the DVD intersperses casual band chit-chat with live performances of many of the songs on the forthcoming Lessons From The Late Night album.
The DVD is currently available exclusively at all Hunter Valentine gigs and via tommyboy.com; the album will be out in Canada on April 13 and in the US on May 11. Press advances of the album (and DVD) are currently being serviced and are available to editors and journalists on request.
Hunter Valentine | BIOGo in, nail 'em and go home exhausted. Such a simple victory has been the mission of rock bands for decades. It's a noble pursuit; a Do It Yourself mentality that compels musicians to obliterate with powerful songs propelled by live passion and vitality.
That's Hunter Valentine.
Blasting out their inimitable rock since the summer of 2004, Hunter Valentine has blossomed, establishing a devoted fan base via their self-financed eponymous 2005 EP and building on that foundation with their 2007 full-length The Impatient Romantic (True North Records). Razing crowds from coast to coast in their decrepit van, nailing select European and U.S. Cities over the course of 200-plus shows, the trio has garnered an international fan base as they build out of their native Canada. Hunter Valentine are now poised to break through with their gripping follow up Lessons From the Late Night (Tommy Boy/Fontana/Universal).
Raucous and direct, the outfit comprised of vocalist/guitarist Kiyomi McCloskey, bassist Adrienne Lloyd and drummer Laura Petracca exemplifies girls with a united goal, intense friendship, respect and ability that solidifies their edgy albeit refined music. There's no hyperbole when it comes to Hunter Valentine. Everything has a direct message, delivered with a devout refusal for glitz or glamour. The hard line says it all, conveyed by confident, unbridled rock 'n' roll.
For McCloskey, Lloyd and Petracca, Hunter Valentine isn't a job or an ambition. It's their essence, and it comes through loud and clear on Lessons From the Late Night. The album (a harder and more dominant affair than their previous releases) finds the trio rediscovering their own unrivalled live sound as well as embracing their own reality: tough girls with a passion for the rock 'n' roll life; souls who know nothing other than the importance of perfecting their craft, chasing their hunger to tour in vans and sleeping on fan floors for the thrill of playing live.
Such sentiments are the epitome of Lessons From the Late Night. Recorded at Toronto's Chemical Sound Studios by producer Ian Blurton (Weakerthans, Cursed, Skydiggers), adherence to capturing their live spirit on tape has resulted in another rugged blast of the band's congenital Do It Yourself ethics. The end results display a rawer, more confident Hunter Valentine.
“This record is a lot more aggressive and a bit more honest; an accurate portrayal of what we sound like live,” McCloskey announces. “We wanted to capture what we do on stage; something a lot more stripped down and away from any polished version of us. If there was a mistake, we left it in so the record has character. It shows our personalities through the music. Clearly I am nowhere near perfect, so why would I want an album that sounds perfect?”
As primary lyricist, McCloskey draws on her real-life experiences for Lessons From the Late Night's thematic thrust. “I'm inspired by a situation, picture or emotion that I just can't shake from my head,” she apprises. “It could be the sad look of a girl I see on the bus weekly that has been imprinted on my mind, someone crossing me in a friendship, the passing of a relative, watching someone struggle with addiction or whatever needs to be processed within a song in order for me to move forward in life. If I didn't have songwriting I would probably be locked up by now.”
Most importantly though, Lessons From the Late Night finds Hunter Valentine returning to their core, unleashing their live prowess onto record. Performing is their passion; where they make lifelong fans due to an unbreakable calling to have fun no matter what. At that, Hunter Valentine delivers with engaging, upbeat shows that blindside and never relent.
“It's a kick ass, high energy, entertaining, heartbreaking, heart racing, rush of emotions. You leave satisfied but wanting more,” Petracca asserts. “This band is my family; my life. This is our primary goal and we have the opportunity to excel at music so we're into it full-throttle. This is the only thing we want to do until we master it. The day we step away is the day we've done it all and there's nothing more we can do.”
That's Hunter Valentine.
Hunter Valentine | Q&A
Kiyomi: Those two decades put out great, anthemic, catchy, pop songs. Two totally different sounds, but all coming back to the core of the strength of the song. We stand behind our songs and take those decades on as main influences in our songwriting. Whether it's a "Loverboy" song or a Berry Gordy Motown song we have studied our craft over the years, fused styles together and come up with what is Hunter Valentine's unique sound.
Adrienne: I think all contemporary music is somehow informed by other decades of music. Even if the references are kind of obscure or unintentional – maybe it’s the music playing at the malls in the suburbs where you grew up, or maybe it’s the old records a family member used to play on family holidays – I think it somehow all comes into play. For the Hunter Valentine sound, I think we all bring different references to the table – and that’s what has helped our own sound grow and evolve since being a band together.
Are all of you from musical families?
K: My family is definitely not a musical family in that they play instruments, but they do have an intense respect, love and passion for music. My sister is a bit of a music journalist and stays heavily involved in the hip-hop scene. My father plays guitar for fun and collects them and my mother has been a folk music fan since her teen years, but it should be noted that she is pretty much tone deaf.
Laura: I am a third generation drummer in my family. My grandfather and uncle were drummers and both are very inspirational for me. My mother played the piano as a young teen and inherited the piano when I was a young teen. Other than that my family is obsessed with all types of music, from blasting heavy metal in my other uncles car, dance classes with my sister to learning all kinds of new music from my cousins.
A: I’m pretty much the lone sheep in my family in terms of performing music, but I have a pretty big family and there’s a great variety of music appreciation. One of the greatest early family music influences on me was my grandfather’s love of early big band and swing music. I used to spend summers at a cottage in Northern Ontario with my grandparents and he always had a Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington tape playing. One of the first “groups” I ever played bass in was my high school jazz band, and I felt like I had been listening to those bass lines for years before even coming close to understanding what it meant to actually play them.
Are they supportive of your rock star lifestyle?
K: I couldn't ask for more of a supportive family. I started playing shows around Toronto when I was 16 years old and my parents have been to almost every single show. If you come to a Toronto show you will most likely see my entire family there, including my 90-year-old grandmothers. I am extremely grateful for the encouragement I have been given from family over the years. Without that support I would never have been able to continue in this rock game for so long.
L: My family is very supportive. My dad buys at least 2 cd's every show he comes to (the same one!) just so that he can give it away to someone new and let them know that it is his daughter's band. I have been rocking out on the drums since I was a young girl, in many bands, and they still come to my shows!
A: My family has seen many different incarnations of my dreams and ambitions of being a musician. They’ve lived through the times when I told them I wanted to be a classical musician playing in an orchestra, to most recently when I called them up this past summer and said “hey mom and dad, guess what? I’m moving to Brooklyn with my rock band!” I’m not sure when my parents first put me in piano lessons when I was five years old that this was what they had in mind, but they’ve been watching me live my dream for the past ten years and they are very supportive of that.
When did you realize Hunter Valentine was working? You know, that you were going to be around for a while?
K: I always knew that I would play music, I just didn't think I was good enough to play with anyone. When I met Laura we clicked right away and became musically inseparable. About a year later we met Adrienne and she completed the puzzle. I guess we figured out that it was working when we started visiting other cities and there were "real life fans" there. That's when we knew that the good word of Hunter Valentine was spreading.
A: For me, I think I realized Hunter Valentine was working on the night of our very first show together. It was in June 2004 at a Toronto venue called the El Mocambo. I had been playing in a bunch of different bands for a few years before meeting Kiyomi and Laura, but something about that very first show together felt different for me. We were probably pretty bad - as any other band playing their first show together would be, but I felt like there was something really special about what was happening between us.
Remember your first fan letter?
K: I remember the first fan letter that struck a chord with me was from a kid from a small town in Ontario. She wrote to us and said that she got teased a lot in school and had really been having a rough time, but when she found our music she realized that it was okay to be exactly who she was and remain proud of that. She let us know that our music gave her the courage to come out. That's when I knew that the kids were actually listening.
L: The one fan letter that I will never forget was about my boobs! He wanted to know my size and if I my back hurt a lot.
A: The letter that stands out to me was the first time someone wrote to us asking for the chords to “Typical” – the single on our first album. When I first started playing electric bass I used to sit in my bedroom for hours, playing along and figuring out how to play bass lines. The fact that some little kid was sitting in his bedroom trying to play along to one of our songs…that remains as maybe one of the most flattering moments of my life.
Is there a Hunter Valentine fan club?
K: Ya, there's a fan club, don't try and act like you are not a member already!
L: There are many fan clubs, underground and all.
When you’re not touring or rehearsing, what do you get up to?
K: There is no such thing. We are ALWAYS rehearsing and writing. We do take the occasional break to hit up a strip club. We prefer the ones with buffets. That way we can eat and be entertained at the same time. It really recharges us when we go back to the studio.
L: Don't forget about the take out!
The snapshots of you guys hanging at the beer garden are sweet and we know you’ve been friends forever. Do you guys live close to each other, hang out often? Off duty pals?
K: I live with Adrienne, but no, we don't share bunk beds and Laura has a lovely roommate who is a part of the Hunter Valentine family. We are best friends and I think that has been a crucial factor to our survival. We have seen so many bands break up because they never spend any "friend" time. It's really important to find that balance of how you spend your time together. We do fight, but we fight like siblings. When it comes down to it Hunter Valentine should be the ultimate model for how "life partners" should be.
A: The thing about being in a band together I think is unique is that you have this creative relationship, a business relationship and a life partnership with your best friends. I’m sure every band is different but at least that’s how it feels with Hunter Valentine. When we’re on tour, I often get hit with this feeling of how lucky I am that I get to travel, play music, and experience the world with my best friends.
Pick three bands (dead or alive) who you’d like to open for, or, hehe, open for you.
K: Kings of Leon, Janis Joplin, The Weatherthans
L: Loverboy, ACDC, Muse
A: The Police, Blur, Stars
K: I did not know how to sing at all when I started and I am still learning each and every day. I taught myself how to sing from just singing along to songs with a lot of range. My vocal stying is constantly changing and I like it that way. Someone who saw us three years ago is not going to hear the same thing as what they are hearing today.
Laura: You’re tearin’ up some serious shit on those drums. When did you bang your first pot? Were you the pre-schooler rockin’ the drum kit in the basement while the other kids were playing with Barbies? Any drummer idols? You don’t happen to be a BowWowWow/Adam & The Ants fan? After hearing the intro to “Revenge” I thought, damn, I’d love to hear you guys cover “I Want Candy” or “Stand And Deliver.”
L: I have been kicking some serious shit since the womb baby! I guess I have been having a love affair with the drums since the day I was born. There have been times in my life that I put drumming on the back burner to focus on other things but I always felt like something was missing. I live and breath drums and I will always have it in my life.
Adrienne: You play that bass like a weapon! Ballistic. We hear you are a “classically trained” bassist. What does that mean? What were you playing before rock? And do you still play other kinds of music? Any favorite non-Hunter Valentine songs you like to play?
A: I think one of the greatest things about being a bass player is that it fits into almost all genres of music – classical, jazz, rock, country. I think that very point is what sort of sealed the deal with my love affair with playing bass. I had been playing piano for years before I played bass, and I knew I loved music, but playing piano never really fit with my personality.
When I first started playing bass it was exclusively in a classical context at my high school. Next I decided I wanted to play in jazz band at that same high school, so I learned how to play ‘walking bass lines’, read chord charts, and that was when I also started playing electric bass. I eventually went to university to study classical performance on the upright bass, and ironically that was where I had my very first experience playing in original rock bands and when I fell in love with being a rock bassist.
I spend 98% of my time playing electric bass these days with HV, but I do have a secret love affair with a particular kind of alt-country music. Toronto is host to a really vibrant alt-country scene with an amazing community of musicians and venues that support that scene. I’ve had the opportunity to play with some of these musicians in the past and so some of those songs are ones that I like to play when I’m not with HV.
K: Lessons from the late night represents a more grown-up Hunter Valentine. A Hunter Valentine that has had perhaps one too many late nights and learned many-a-lesson from that. We have learned from sitting next to an old "seasoned" musician at a shitty bar telling us how it is, we have learned from chasing after that unattainable person we long for until the sun comes up, we have learned a thing or two from staying up too late with your mom, we have learned from crying our eyes out in our bedrooms until 2 am over a situation that didn't work out. We have been beaten down, picked up and set straight (but not too straight) along the way and this record documents all of that. It tells the story of us growing up, but never forgetting that we will always be chasing a youthful existence. •
Hunter Valentine | Lessons From The Late Night
Tommy Boy Entertainment, LLC
CD + Digital: CAN: April 13, 2010 | US May 11, 2010
1.The Stalker – 3:30 FREE MP3
2.Treadmills of Love – 3:31
3.Revenge – 3:02
4.Scarface – 3:37
5. Barbara Jean – 2:24
6.She Only Loves Me When She's wasted – 3:47
7.A Youthful Existence – 3:49
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