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Valkyrie

An album I was looking forward to for quite some time is 'Shadows' by Valkyrie from the USA. The music of this band really appeals to me, It's a great mix of classic hardrock and heavy metal with Maryland doom and Southern rock. Since it took seven years I felt the need to talk to the band again. Where singer/guitarist Jake Adams answered my questions in the previous interview, his brother Pete, also vocals and guitar, answered this time.

By: Pim B. | Archive under heavy / power metal

Hi guys, good to have you back with a new album after quite some time. Last time we interviewed you guys was in 2009. I guess the main reason it took seven years since ‘Man Of Two Visions’ is because of your involvement in Baroness and Samhain, Pete?
Well, it took a while for several reasons. Yes, taking time away from writing to work in Baroness is one. The Samhain shows came after we actually recorded 'Shadows'. But, making it all come together just right took a bit longer. We never took a “hiatus” or stopped playing or writing.

One thing I have to address (and I’m being a bit of a devil’s advocate here) you just recorded seven songs on ‘Shadows’ of which ‘Mountain Stomp’ and ‘Wintry Plains’ have been released before. Can you tell a bit more how this album came together and why it basically is “just” 5 new songs?
The album lands somewhere around the 43/44 minute mark. In my opinion that's the perfect album length. More time and the listener starts to wander. More time and you're cramming more on an LP. We never had a great recording of either of those two songs and we liked them enough and thought they were strong enough for this album.

band imageYou recorded ‘Shadows’ with Sanford Parker. Can you tell a bit more on the decision to work with him and are you completely satisfied with the result?
Sanford is not only a friend but a long time fan of Valkyrie. He's a very busy guy and it just so happened that we both had the window of opportunity to get together over four days in July of 2014 and hammer it out.

As a whole I think the album sounds a bit more dynamic opposed to the previous albums and added to that I think as a whole it sounds more consistent. There are no real stand-out tracks this time around. It’s a solid album that does need some time to sink in. What is your comment on my statement?
Well, I reckon you were honest with us.

In our previous interview your brother Jake said: “The story of Valkyrie has paralleled my own quest for crucial music, and so as I have learned more, we have been able to diversify our sound.” So, have you learned more in the last seven years and has this made any impact on your song-writing?
I don't think you ever just stop learning more about music. Or the music that you are writing. You can listen to same music for years and still learn more from it down the line. A new way of saying something or approaching it.

The artwork is magnificent as well. Can you tell a bit more about the artwork and how it reflects both Valkyrie as a band as well as ‘Shadows’ as an album?
Jeremy Clark (Hush) and I have spoken for years about the artwork and it finally worked out. He did do an amazing job with the cover! The album art is direct reflection of a scene that plays out daily here where we live.

’Shadows’ is your first album for Relapse and the news you signed to them got out a while ago. How has the cooperation with Relapse been so far? I assume your involvement in Baroness got Relapse interested in Valkyrie?
Working with Relapse has been and is a pleasure. A great group of guys. It definitely helped having worked with Relapse with Baroness for the last seven years. Relapse has also been keen on Valkyrie before and it just so happened to all work out this way. It of course means a great deal to us as Relapse is a tried true label and can get our music out to more eyes and ears.

Any chance you guys will now hop over the pond and tour Europe? What exactly are the plans for the near future of Valkyrie?
We’re working on a plan that has yet to come together just right. But yes we definitely intend to make it over as soon as we can.

Time to wrap it up. Anything else you might want to add?
See you there!

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