Matt - G'day Guys, can I start with just a brief bio and how you guys became Valis?
Adrian: I was initially the guitar tech. I grew up with Pat and Van in Ellensburg. Before Valis we played together in Kitty Kiity, Solomon Grundy and Gardener. After Kurt Danielson left the band they asked me to join and I was like "hell yeah".
Patrick: I got a call from van back in '95....said he was starting a new band with the Mudhoney and Tad guys.....asked me to sign up....moved to Seattle to join the crew a year later....before i joined Van was workin' on a project called ...Van Conner's Road Block....i believe Barret Martin was on drums......then it mutated into valis...
Van - Yeah, we were drinkin' buddies and we all lived in the same neigboorhood. We all were married and it started as an excuse to get out of the house and have some drinks. Dan Peters and Kurt Danielson were and are good friends of mine. We though, why not be in the band with friends and have a good time and not take it too serious? So we did.
Matt - You guys have played in so many bands before, and I guess seasoned veterans to the music scene. What bands did you guys play in prior to Valis?
Patrick: Marvel Mystery,Purlpe Outside,Kittitas,Big Julian and the Goons(Adrian and my old band from 20 yrs. ago...high school days),Her Fault,The Amazing Green Suit....o.k. that's just a few of them...
Van - Him and Those guys (with Mark Pickeral, Dan Harper and Gary Lee), Explosive Generation (also with Gary Lee, Dan and David Frazinni), Screaming Trees, Sweet Pea Latern and the Butt Meat Men (with Lanegan and Sean Hollister and Nate Hill), Solomon Grundy (with Sean Hollister, Jim King and Lee McCullagh), VALIS and Musk Ox (with Patrick, Adrian and Chovie D of Kung Pao fame)
Matt - This isn't the original line up of Valis Correct?
Patrick: yeah...the fist line up was Van ,Dan Peters , Kurt Danielson and I.
Matt - Would you say this is the strongest line up Valis has had to date?
Patrick: ah yes the magic is a flowin'..the songs are a rollin'...perhaps because we don't party so hard like we used to....now it's more about the music not just gettin' messed up...this is my fav album to date....
Adrian: It might be bad form, but I'm still kind of partial to the original line up. All stellar musicians from my favorite bands, how can you lose?
Van- I think each phase of the band had their own cool feel to them. Each group of people works differently. I would say that now though, as Patrick said it is more about the music. Of course I take all the responsibility for it being about anything else. Dan, Kurt, Sean and Wes are all great guys and great players.
Matt- Musically you guys seen to have gone for a more straight forward rock approach on dark matter. Would you agree and was that the intention?
Adrian: People always commented on how they liked our live shows better than the record, so yeah capturing a straight up live rock sound I think was on everyone's mind.
Van: Really? They liked our live show. Huh, I can't even remember any of our shows before about 2 years ago. I don't think it was the intention to go more strait rock. I think Jack producing had something to do with it and perhaps though mindset of trying to play tighter and be a bit less experimental. Sometimes that is a good thing, sometimes not.
Matt - Where was Dark Matter Recorded and who was behind the desk recording you guys?
Adrian: Jack Endino! If you don't know who he is you don't realize he recorded at least one of your favorite records.
Van: We recorded it at a studio Jack manages called Soundhouse. It is a really great place in Ballard (Seattle).
It is in the same area as our practice space and generally the part of town where we are the most so it was right at home.
Matt - How long did it take to record Dark Matter?
Patrick...i think it was around 7 days....but we just rocked the weekends....which was good cause you could listen to the roughs and hear things you like or may want to change......maybe even come up with a whole new part..
Van: I think it was more like 10 days. We did 3 or 4 strait for basics then came back in when we could to do the rest over the course of about 2 months. It was stretched out enough to give us perspective but not to much so that we lost track of what we were doing.
Matt - What is Valis's writing process, how do you guys put down these great tunes?
Patrick: A wise man once said..."Dance as you feel" ....they just came together ....we had a bunch of riffs flying' around since we hadn't recorded a full length record in years....so we had a lot of ammo...with my songs....I put down acoustic low-fi versions on my crappy home studio...then give them to the boys and they mutate and modify here and there....the songs can evolve that way....I'm very open and so are we all of everyone's ideas and input....
Van: As Patrick said, it was over several years but everything came together in the last 6 months. We had 2 or 3 from a band called Musk Ox that Patrick, Adrian and I had with Chovie D from Kung Pao. We also had one really old one and a bunch of ideas. We write some on our own time and bring them in and some we come up with from jamming on a riff. A very diverse atmosphere on this one.
Matt - How did the track Under Satan's will come about? It's incredibly catchy and from what I can gather a fun topic to talk about.
Adrian: It's kind of a long story, but I think it made a good song. I used to be in this band called Master Blaster with Chovie D from Kung Pao and we had a song called When Shit Turns to Gold. Shortly after this Pat, Van and I were in another band with Chovie called Musk Ox. Van came in one day and Chov and I were riffing on When Shit Turns to Gold and he started singing "You're Under Satan's Will" after that it just kind of stuck. After Musk Ox was done this song stood out and we thought we should record it, so Van and I reworked the lyrics and you have Under Satan's Will. There a couple other tunes on Dark Matter that have their origin from Musk Ox and other past or related projects.
Van: I wrote that one myself in 10 minutes the day before we went in to record.
Matt - What equipment did you guys use when recording Dark Matter?
Patrick:Ibanez Art 300 Axe ,hyper fuzz pedal, Endino's Marshell/Soldono Modified Amp,Tire Iron
Adrian: Some old Acoustic Bass Amp.. 220? Fender Precision Bass I inherited from Van.
Matt - What are your influences, what bands do you draw from to creative the Valis sound?
Adrian: Heavy Metal, Acid Rock, 70's Riffage, but more importantly I think Science Fiction, Cryptozoology and other such topics that fire the imagination. Concept seems key in the VALIS equation. Ideas and riffs.
Matt - I guess you guys are pretty busy promoting record at this stage, what's the plan for tours and do you think you will get to Australia anytime soon?
Adrian: I'm down. What's the word?
Matt - You guys have solo projects if I'm not mistaken, could you give us a run down on what's happening outside the Valis camp?
Adrian: Vern and I have a band called All Time High. We did a record with Jack prior to recording Dark Matter. Kinda psych, kinda heavy. People seem to like it, Planet Fuzz for one.
Patrick: Kittitas is basically my solo stuff i've been doing off and on for about 15 yrs. .have had several revolving members..currently Van has been on bass...plus the Seaweed and Gardener guys...
you can listen and download Kittitas for free at Kittitas.com
Matt - How do you guys see the music scene these days? You guys have played for many years do you think it's still healthy?
Adrian: There is always good rock, often you have to look hard to find it.
Patrick:definitly evolving into something super killer.....there's a lot of good stuff out there..and yes...sometimes it's hard to find....keep lookin'
Van: The bands suck, the clubs suck and the fans suck. This is a good sign for good rock!
Matt - You guys tour a lot and play with some good bands, any bands caught your eye whilst touring?
Adrian: I really liked this band from Austin call Amplified Heat. Blue Cheer meets the Groundhogs. Quality stuff.
Patrick:i remember this band called Dare Diablo....we toured with them...they fully rocked on high every night!
Matt - What's been the best Valis gig so far?
Patrick:the Queen's of the stone age show back in the late 90's was cool....those guys know how to light up a room...and it was a small one....so you could imagine how bright it got...it rocked...also gotta say the shows in canada are in my top 5 for sure....canadians know how to rock!!
Adrian: Opening for Mudhoney was cool.
Van: A band is only as good as its last show.
Matt - What was the Worst? :-)
Adrian: Somebody passed out on stage.
Patrick:my pants fell down..and i wasn't wearing underwear....wait maybe that was the best show..hmmmm....
Van: Pants down = Best show.
Matt - What music is currently in your CD player?
Adrian: Robert Johnson, Thin Lizzy, Truckfighters.
Patrick:Elvis Christmas,Skull Bot,Rambo:First Blood sound track,YB's
Van: Early Man, Zebra, Triumph, Stone Axe
Matt - Given chance to jam with anyone dead or alive to form a supergroup who would that consist of?
Adrian: Hard to say, I might be too intimidated to jam with my heros.
Patrick: geez....i guess the obvious rock gods...hendrix..elvis...chuck berry...keith moon...geezer butler....now there's a super group...i think i will just sit back and watch ...gotta beer??
Van: I would like to play bass for the original Sabbath line up.
Matt - What's the plan for the future?
Parick...we are workin' on the new record...will probably got back in with mr.Endino..he did such an awesome job on Dark Matter..
Van: Working on a new record. See what we can do with another try.
Matt - Thanks so much for your time, I wish you all the best for the future and really hope to check you guys out live if you guys ever get to OZ \m/
1998: VALIS/Kitty Kitty Split CD/EP - Man's Ruin Records
2002: Vast Active Living Intelligence System - Lunasound/Abstract
2004: Head Full of Pills - Small Stone
2005: Champions of Magic - Small Stone
2006: Sucking the 70's 2 - Various Artists - Small Stone
2009: Dark Matter - Now on Itunes - CD Out April 14th- Small Stone
2009: Split Single with Kandi Coded - Volcom Entertainment
2009: Northwest Mind Meld - Various Artists - Small Stone