The countdown is on. September 2nd Rock Against Cancer will begin and Valis Ablaze will be there in all their glory. They have spent the last few months performing across the country but luckily the took the time to have a chat with me about their line up changes, their super powers and how music can bring people together.
Hey guys!It won’t be long and Rock Against Cancer will be with us. How important is it that music stays connected with events like this?
Music brings people together regardless of their experiences and helps people to find their common ground. Having events like this helps raise awareness of the importance of charities and the support they provide families and individuals during difficult times. It also helps to connect people together to talk about the issues they face and gives an insight to those that may have never experienced cancer within their family and friends. At some point in our lives, we will all rely on charities and for us this is a great way to show support through our music.
Will we get to hear a special version of your cover of ‘Human’?
Unfortunately not! We wrote and recorded it in about 3 days but have not sat down to actually practice it as a band…shameful, we know, but it was more of an April Fool’s joke/part of a PR stunt rather than something to throw into the set. And it’s kind of stayed that way since we’ve now been focused on writing and learning new and more challenging material.
Sorry to disappoint!
How would you describe your style of performing? Should we fear a broken guitar string or the odd plectrum in the face or will we not have to fear for your safety?
We’re energetic, but not so much that we throw instruments around and jump off speakers like some bands in the genre. When the big riffs hit, we certainly like to move and expel some energy back to the crowd, but also pull it back in for the more emotive sections where the audience can really experience and absorb the music as part of the show.
‘Insularity’ was released this year. What has the feedback been like? You must write a lot more than you choose to record. How do you decide which songs go on the EP?
Feedback honestly, has been overwhelming. We weren’t sure how the new music would be received, but from the moment we released the video, we were blown away by the response we got back by everyone.
We do write more than makes the cut, and we come together as part of the process and input our personal feedback. Sometimes sections need re-working or changing, and sometimes we decide to leave songs out if they just don’t fit in with the general vibe. We’re currently writing our debut album, and it’s based on a very specific concept so we’re writing the songs and arranging in a specific order for the concept, so there’s no excess songs so far for this next release.
They say music is one of the best forms of therapy. Has there ever been a time when this statement has been true for you?
Music can touch people in different ways and provide that connection when you are feeling a certain way. There is nothing more powerful than listening to music to get you out of that bad mood or help release tension from the day. Music is embedded in our lives so yes, this is definitely true.
You’ve experienced a few lineup changes in the band. How do you deal with something like that? Does it impact on the music you write?
It does. But most of the line up changes have been because of the music we’ve been writing. If we need to push on in a certain direction and someone isn’t comfortable with where it’s going, we completely understand that they may not want to be part of the project.
However, the results after that, while slow to start often yield more diversity.
We wouldn’t be where we are now if people hadn’t come and gone and left their mark on the band.
And we thank them all for their input.
Now that you are settling in to this line up, you have the EP out there. What are you hoping for the future? What are you working towards?
Funnily enough there has been another lineup change. For the exact reasons in the last answer we gave.
However, our newest member comes from a background that is oddly enough part of our new direction.
We’re quite lucky to have a group of friends that are talented, supportive and essentially, have been wanting to be a part of our advancement for a while. While one door closes, another one opens. And with that, we have almost finished the writing and pre-production of our debut album.
You recently celebrated a year since writing ‘Inertia’. Where are you now compared to then? What has happened to you since that point?
Inertia was a real turning point for the band. It was the first song to communicate the new sound and direction and we didn’t quite expect the sheer volume of positive feedback that we got. It really set the tone for the band going forward and we have certainly been taken a lot more seriously than ever before. In fact, we have achieved more in the last 12 months from the point of releasing Inertia than the previous 4 years. We’ve played some amazing shows with our favourite bands (Monuments, TesseracT, The Contortionist etc), with more to come this year, along with playing Tech Fest again. We’ve hit over 110k plays on spotify and made money to invest in improving the show, with lights and better equipment to enhance the Valis Ablaze live shows.
With The Contortionist being a big influence on yourselves, what was it like being able to share the stage with them?
It was awesome! They are certainly a big influence for us so being able to meet and hang out with them was great as they are such nice guys. Getting great feedback from them personally as they watched us play, certainly bolstered further confidence that we’re on the right track with the new Valis sound. I’m sure our paths will cross again with The Contortionist at some point.
And lastly, but most importantly … if Valis Ablaze were a super power, what it be and what would it be used for?
Tough question…going to assume you mean enhancement and not the dominant state and say we’d probably be the ability of omnilingualism. And that would be used to communicate our ideas, thoughts and feelings in any way possible as easily as possible. Because currently, all we have is music!