1. How did you get your band name?
I got the name Valaska through two things, my last name and the state Alaska. My last name is Valdez to begin with and I have always wanted to travel to Valdez, Alaska, I am very into scenic pretty places one can just go to think and whatnot. I chose to call it Valaska because I didnít want to just go by my own name, I didnít want it to be all about me, I wanted it to be about the music.
2. How did this band get started?
The band got started last summer when an old band of mine dissolved. I chose to take my songwriting the direction I have always wanted to and thatís soft & melodic music.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
I am very influenced by musicians all around, I love meeting as many musicians as I can because in reality, you can learn from every musician you encounter. If I had to just throw out a name it would be Damien Rice over and over again. Damien Rice is a very big part as to why my music sounds the way it does, mostly the lyrics. The way he makes sadness poetically beautiful is a talent I am trying to make my own.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would it be and why?
The two that come straight to mind is of course Damien Rice because I feel his audience would be very open to the kind of music that I write/play myself and also The Rocket Summer, I have this tremendous respect for Bryce Avary because of his ability to do everything musically alone. He is also a big reason as to why Valaska is just a one man band. Damien Rice or Bryce Avary would be a dream come true with touring.
5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
Hmm, interesting. I guess I would say a Platypus. I have always had this fascination with that animal ever since I was a kid. Other than thatÖ.maybe a Sun Conure, beautiful birds.
6. Why should people listen to your band? I believe people should listen to Valaska to just get out of their head for a little bit and get lost in something else. All my music is strictly about my life and experiences, there is not a word in my songs that isnít based off of something that happened to me but I make sure to never use specifics like names because I want EVERYONE to be able to relate to it, and my theory is, if I use specifics like names then people can lose that sense of relation to the song by not knowing someone with that name mentioned in the song, whereas if I just speak in a bit more broad sense then everyone can relate which is what I want.
7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How
hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
This one made me laugh a little bit; there is BARELY any guitar on my EP, just a lot of accents here and there. Can we change the game to Piano Hero? However my song Seasons would be a good song for the beginners I guess though, just a simple acoustic song. Who knows maybe that song will be someday?
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
I would thank everyone who had been with me since day one, everyone who didnít stop believing in me or my music, everyone who helped me ever get to that point in my career. Itís important to appreciate things people do for you.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be? There are so many things people think are wrong with the music industry that I almost donít even know what to say or what I would do. I guess I would start by eliminating the phrase ďRadio FriendlyĒ from the music industry world.
10. Memorable tour experience?
Valaska unfortunately has not toured yet so I am hoping to change that in the near future. Although with my old band, we were in Arkansas and we saved two dogs from a flood. I thought that was a pretty cool thing to do. We named them ďChevyĒ and ďChase.Ē
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
For me AP.net is a place people can go to get the latest on music and to just meet people who are like them and find much more in music than just some words and instruments.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
If its one of my songs I would choose my song Maverick or an unreleased song called Orchids (I will probably play it at shows but it is not on the EP or internet) but if its just any song it is The Rat Within The Grain by Damien Rice, if I cover a song at a show.. you will hear that one.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
No preferences really, as I stated earlier, I just like pretty places you can go to be alone and just step out of yourself for a bit.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood? When I was in 2nd grade I got a hold of the blue album by Weezer and my life was never the same. Anytime I hear or see that CD it just brings me back to those days.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
It would either be to stop time or fly? I havenít really thought this one out too much.
16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
I donít know if I will ever feel that because I donít know what making it is these days. I will just be happy with playing shows and people being there in support of Valaska.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Something most people donít know about me and wouldnít guess about me is that if music does not work out for me I plan on becoming an elementary school teacher.
18. What's your favorite holiday?
Hmm itís between Halloween or Christmas. I love scary movies, haunted houses, and all that good stuff but then again who doesnít enjoy the Christmas spirit.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I am not writing songs I guess you could say I am a pretty big movie person.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Since I was a child I found that I have this remarkable gift of having a near perfect memory, especially with quoting movies.