Valient Thorr isn’t your typical rock band by any means. These guys are vest wearing, beard growing aliens from Venus, that have come to earth to make peace by music.
Valient Thorr formed back in 2000 and really started making their name known on the Warped Tour in 2005. With taking literally only days off in the past five years, these guys have toured with the likes of Motorhead, Gogol Bordello, Eagles of Death Metal, Mastodon, and many more, and have made thousands of Thorriors out of concert goers all over the world.
I was able to sit down with Valient Himself while the band was on their US tour with Mastodon:
Amanda: For a band who claims to be from Venus, why are you so concerned with earthly politics?
Valient Himself: Well, we live here now, so we are basically ‘earthlings’ now and the thing is, if you don’t try to be pro-active about where you live and what’s going on around you, then you’re basically a fucking slug. You have to do something about the bullshit that you see; I mean I’m going to call out bullshit no matter where I live… if I live on Venus, or if I live on Earth, or Jupiter. It doesn’t matter what planet, or what state, or what city, or venue, wherever you are, if you see bullshit, you have to call it out. It’s not about where you’re from, it’s about where you are, and where you’re going, and so when I see earth politics, I don’t just rail on American politics, I’m concerned with politics all over the world. There is no left and right, no red and blue, we’re all humans, everybody on earth matters, and the people that have realized that all throughout time, have been the ones that have been trying to bring us together, rather than push us apart. I don’t rail against politics necessarily, we rail against anything that will divide the people, I don’t like wedge issues, anybody that tries to separate us against them, there is no us against them and we’re all in this together. This is the only earth we’ve got, and if we don’t take care of it, it’s not going to be here very long. We are a blink of an eye in this cosmos – There’s thousands of years on this planet, but none of it matters at all in the grand scheme of things. That’s why I care about politics, and I’ll care about them no matter where I am going to be. Politics just isn’t a bunch of dudes who get elected to do things, politics are how you live your life, and how you see life, the justices and injustices, and trying to make it work.
Amanda: I read somewhere that Valient Thorr added one ‘earthling’ member, Dr. Professor Nitewolf, Strangees, and the reason you added him to the band was because you crash landed in his backyard. How different would it be if you landed in, let’s say Snoop Dogg’s backyard – Would you have added him as a member?
Valient: Yea, if he wanted to do it. Luckily Nitewolf experimented. We kind of chose rock n roll because that is the best career that gets the beat to the feet, and you’re a little more susceptible to ideas when you start to sweat, when you start to get the rhythm going you know, so he sort of helped us orchestrate that. We listened to rock n’ roll before we came to earth. There’s radio waves that travel throughout the atmospheres, but if you don’t feel it, then it isn’t going to happen. He sort of helped us, because he’s the Doctor of Phunk.
Amanda: You once said that you thought Valient Thorr was a catalyst, what ultimately would you like to see change from your work here on earth?
Valient: Ultimately I’d love to make peace on earth with rock n’ roll. Aim for world peace, that’s what we’ve been advocating for years. It’s an idea based on Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent Adventure‘s style. You don’t have to buy that we’re from Venus, who cares what you believe, we could just be some dudes from North Carolina, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. The idea is to use rock n’ roll as a catalyst, to make change for peace basically, and I think it can be done. If you do it on a small level, that level can spread to a big level. The idea is to pretend that the world is going to end, and to get everybody to stop for one minute, and not like New Years Eve, but simultaneously everybody starts rocking at the same time. Everybody’s rockin’, head bangin’, listening to a song, doesn’t matter which one, just everybody at the same time, and you know that everybody on earth is listening to music right now. ‘What’s everybody doing?’ Everybody’s listening to music. They’re not fucking, they’re not working, they’re not slaving away… everybody’s pausing for a minute: to ROCK.
Amanda: Why do you wear wrestling boots for every show?
Valient: I wear these just in case I’ve got to get tough.
Amanda: So just in case you have to take somebody out?
Valient: No, I don’t take people out; I just give people attitude adjustments. I’ve had plenty of attitude adjustments in my day. I’ve called people out for acting like and ass, and I’ve acted like an ass myself plenty of times. If you get called out for acting like an ass, it might just make you a better person.
Amanda: I got the chance to watch “Warped: Inside and out”, in which you called out the band Amber Pacific, and wanted to fight them for a chance to take their place on the main stage; did you ever get a chance to do that?
Valient: Well, it was a beautiful place, but no. They sucked, and I don’t know if it was a lottery or what, but they played that day – I don’t really want to hurt anybody, but if we want to do a 5 year later update on that subject, here goes: I will mind challenge them – I don’t have to get physical at all, I will mind challenge them instead.
Amanda: I’d have to say, my favorite new music video for you guys is “Tomorrow Police”. Can you tell me a little bit about the making of the video?
Valient: That was the fastest video we ever made. My part took maybe a 15 minutes to a half hour in Costa Mesa, CA in front of a green screen outside, in a beautiful little backyard at this dude’s house. All of the artwork was done by Nitewolf, and Mike Aho, and artist friend of ours from Texas – He was the one who cut it up and put it together and made it come alive. He’s done a lot of videos for a lot of people – He’s the man and he made it really awesome for us.
Amanda: Who does all of Valient Thorr’s artwork for the album covers and merch?
Valient: It’s half and half between Nitewolf and me.
Amanda: I noticed you guys will be on a European tour pretty much till the end of the summer, once you’re done here in the states – will you guys be headed back out right away, or will you have a little break in between?
Valient: We’re going to go surfing for a week in France, and then we’re going to have 3 weeks off, and then start a tour for our new album, which will be coming out in September.
Amanda: What’s the name of the new album?
Valient: I can’t tell you it’s a secret for a few more weeks.
Amanda: Your new single “Doublecrossed” is nothing short of amazing, it ends at minute mark 4:20, was that by accident, or intentional?
Valient: (laughs) Yeah we totally planned it that way.
Amanda: What can Thorriors expect from the new album?
Valient: It’s bigger, it’s denser, there’s more singing, and everybody sings. In the past when we tried something new and it worked, we would just go with it. This time we questioned everything. I guess to sum it up, we wrote weirder songs than we’ve ever written, and fit them into these crazy structures. It’s like getting something that’s really crazy, and trying to fit it into a smaller bag, and zipping it up.
Amanda: Will it be better than your previous album, Immortalizer, would you say?
Valient: Yeah, it’s definitely better. I think it’s great when you can say that each one successfully becomes bigger and better, and that’s what we said right from the beginning, that each one needs to top the last.
Amanda: I think it’s cool that you guys put Doublecrossed up on the internet for Thorriors to download for free – it seems like that would really help promote for the new album that will be out in September.
Valient: Yeah it’s cool – The whole album doesn’t sound anything like that song though. It’s funny, we definitely have a ‘sound’ but I think the reason that we appeal to so many types of different crowds, is we don’t really consider ourselves any one particular genre; we’re not metal, we’re not punk, we just make whatever sounds right. We always say rock n’ roll, when everybody asks us what type of music we are. I used to joke and say space church. I have no fucking idea what kind of music we make: we just make weird heavy, hard rock.
Amanda: I did a bit of YouTube stalking on Valient Thorr and came across clips of “Band vs. Wild”. Did you guys ever think about asking the Discovery Channel if they wanted to pick it up and make it a series?
Valient: We were working on something like that, but life gets busy – but maybe someday. There’s definitely an opportunity for a show there, because some of the shit they have on TV now it’s like, COME ON.
Amanda: If you could dig up one dead person in the whole entire world, and bring them back to life for a day, who would it be?
Valient: Wow that is a weird question… I’d have to think about it, there are so many people I would like to have met throughout time, to have a choice; it would take me a long time to decide. I would have loved to have talked to Rob Tyner, the singer of MC5, Jim Morrison of The Doors; I’d like to talk to Einstein, and Nikola Tesla – he might’ve been the man, he might have been the one, he was a brilliant man.