Thrash Hits

May 5th, 2009

Interview: Valient Thorr on Planet Earth, Barack Obama and redheads in green tshirts

California-based psychedelic rockers Valient Thorr are landing in the UK as support to Mastodon at their tiny club shows. Valient Himself answered these questions with an elegance clearly unattributable to real Earthlings.

valient thorr volcom band promo photo thrash hits

How’s it working out for you guys on Planet Earth right now?
“Finally, rays of light are popping through the glooming, murky cloud that has been hanging in our atmosphere for eight years or so. I feel as though personally we are still fighting for time with loved ones – that’s how it goes – but as a band, things couldn’t be better. Well I guess they could actually, but we are on an ever-changing plane, looking upward.”

How are you feeling about being in American with a new president?
“Of course we are excited about a regime change in the United States and with that came a sense of relief for many of its inhabitants and patrons around the world. However, it is still a regime, albeit one run on hope rather than fear. We’re accustomed to hearing and giving messages of hope and without the naïve folly of thinking that everything is A-OK as soon as Holmes stormed the White House gates.

“Here’s hoping that they use this positive energy and these vibrations to their advantage and for the good of the world rather than to their own ends. Who really knows what we are in for if we actually leave all the thinking up to those greedy assholes? It is still up to us as a people (and not just the US, but all humans [us being “adopted” humans since we’re from Venus]) to see through the bullshit and wave the red flag when we see errors on the playing field.”

Do you ever wake up and regret the whole time machine story? Even just a little bit? It’s sure to have put some people off over the years.
“I have no idea what you are referring to. If you’re asking me if telling our story was a mistake because people may have assumed we were full of shit from the get go rather than even giving us a chance, then I say, “No.” Fuck em if they don’t ‘get’ it, or ‘believe’ it. You call that story fantasy? Some people fantasize about traveling the world and playing rock ‘n’ roll music to thousands of screaming fans. Well that’s what we do now. I guess we still live in a fantasy world. Do you think [Devo musical mastermind] Mark Mothersbaugh or [legendar baseball pitcher] Jerry Casale ever regret their thought process? I doubt it.”

How do you think you’ve affected rock ‘n’ roll in your time as a band?
“I think it would be very narcissistic of me to try and assume that we’ve affected anything other than those we’ve actually touched with our hands these last eight years. I know that we’ve tried our best with the technology at hand to reach out and help make sense of what was going on (in our eyes), say things that maybe others were afraid to say, or put it in a way that opened some minds to our way of thinking. You can only hope to be proactive in starting a dialogue that may start a change or may even get someone else motivated to do their part. That is specifically speaking on a political basis.

“As far as rock ‘n’ roll goes, well, I hope dudes stay as excited about what we are doing as we are about doing it for a long time to come. So many bands just peter out after a while. I think we are still climbing up a very tall mountain.”

Watch the video to ‘Man Behind The Curtain’ by Valient Thorr

Do you have any specific methods when you record an album?
“We have a huge network of spots hidden in wooded areas all over the world. A warlock granted us three wishes back in 2003 and we traded one of them in for a divining rod. Now, when you stand in one of these spots… and hold the rod upwards… I’m just kidding – we have several processes when recording. Some involve writing a lot at once and sometimes we write a bit, try it out, then change it to make it better. That’s what’s going on right now. Several breaks from now, a new one will be ready.”

What is your favourite thing about the UK?
“Hmmm. Everyone says the food there is rubbish, but I disagree. I like the Bodega (newspaper stand) sandwiches, and pork ‘n’ beans for breakfast, and traditional sunday dinner with all the trimmings. I like the meat ‘n’ kidney pies, the jacket potatoes and all the different flavour crisps that we don’t have in the States. I guess I’m hungry ’cause that’s all I can think of right now. Haha!”

What new bands should everyone discover?
Red Fang from Portland.
Tweak Bird from Los Angeles.
Extra Golden from Washington DC and Kenya.
Earthless from San Diego.
Annihilation Time from San Francisco.
Dead Man from Sweden.
Radio Moscow from Iowa.

What is your favourite colour?
Orange has always been I think because no one else liked it, but I love green shirts on redheaded girls.

Tell us a joke.
Q. What did the easter egg say to the boiling water?
A. Its gonna take a while to get me hard, I just got laid by some chick.


Expect a new album from Valient Thorr in 2010, and maybe a single or 10″ before that. They’re on tour with Mastodon in June.

Valient Thorr June 2009 UK tourdates w/ Mastodon
05 Sheffield Corporation
06 Manchester Academy 2
07 Glasgow ABC
08 Norwich Brickmakers B2 (headline show)
09 London Islington Academy
10 London Crobar (headline show/drinking party)


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