With Valeras making a name for themselves across the country and recently across Europe too, we had the chance to speak to them about the excitement of being an up and coming band, how their roots affect their music, and any aspirations.
You have just finished your biggest year touring yet, has it sunk in?
The things we’ve had the opportunity to do this year have been so surreal. We’ve played some of the biggest festivals in Europe and the UK alongside many big names, it still feels quite crazy when we think about it, so I guess it hasn’t sunk in yet!
You, Sundara Karma, and The Amazons made Reading Festival this year the most “Reading” lineup yet. Has the music scene in the town motivated you more due to the competition and success of said bands?
Having bands from the same town that are doing such great things is definitely very motivating and inspiring. I don’t think there is a sense of competition; it’s more of a motivation to follow the path they’ve carved so that we keep the Reading scene alive. To this day it’s very much still alive with bands such as The Keep Cats, Saltwater Sun, Longdaylatenight, and many more that are creating a name for themselves out there.
There’s a huge surge in female-fronted rock bands currently, with you being one of them. Why do you think this is?
As a girl and as a musician I wouldn’t know what makes music listeners differentiate bands according to gender because I don’t pay attention to that when I’m listening to music. If I had to try and put my finger on why it could be that girls in bands are getting more recognition, maybe it’s because of the movements women are creating all over the world. Perhaps people are starting to realise that us girls have important messages and people are more open-minded to hear us out.
Rose, you moved to the UK from Venezuela at the age of 10, and there are clear Latin roots in both your music and the band’s name (Valera being a city in Venezuela). What does your background bring to the music that sets you apart from others in the UK scene?
Putting culture and roots aside, I think moving at such a young age, experiencing such a culture clash, and leaving so much behind definitely was, and I think always will be, a sort of growing pain that I will always experience. Even now, sometimes I still feel a little bit alienated and that definitely plays on the music. I love music that’s emotional and has a lot of meaning because it’s the one thing that has always been solid in my life. Our music is always meaningful and personal and part of that is because of how much of my background I still carry around with me. Latin music is almost always emotional and personal and that’s what I grew up listening to.
Your songs are catchy, but still have plenty of authentic grit. What is the writing process – does it come together in rehearsals or is there a primary songwriter?
We all have different writing methods, I myself like to be in my own space where I can build myself a certain environment. Usually, an idea will come from myself or George, but we are all usually in a room together every day and song ideas come from jamming together. These days we will throw anything at each other as we’re writing – melodies, lyrics, so we’re all very involved in the whole process.
Your EP Knives & Flowers was released back in 2017 and has had plenty of stellar singles to follow. Is there an album in the works and, if so, what should we expect?
We are always focusing on creating new material and working on new things, especially this summer. We’ve been trying out new writing methods together and constantly enhancing our sound. We are at a point where we are thinking a lot about our first album and how it’s gonna be pieced together. It’s definitely in the works and it’s gonna be a blend of what we do best and enjoy the most – it will be a story we’ve been creating for years.
You are still very much a young band. Are there any other young bands, that are impressing you at the moment?
We’re always trying our best to get down to shows and supporting fellow upcoming bands and it’s incredible that so many of them are young like us, it’s very encouraging. Some of our favourites at the moment that we love their sound and live shows are Vinyl Staircase, Drug Store Romeos, Glossii and Working Men’s Club.
What is your goal as a band, both short term and long term?
Short term and long term is to be constantly creating as much as possible and being able to share with people what we create and what we are so passionate about. We’d love to be able to keep releasing music and playing live shows and connecting with people. We’d like to do it for as long as we can.
Valeras are touring in November 2019. Check out their current tour dates and locations on the band’s website.