Where are you from?
North West England.
North West England.
Name of band:
Who else is in your band?
Nathan Moore (guitar), Matt Anderson (drums), and Paul Glover (bass).
How would you describe yourselves?
Valve Rider is an original hard rock n’ blues act inspired by the classic rock sounds of the 60s and 70s. Heavy on freedom of expression, improvisation, musicianship and raw feeling, the band’s live performances are what really stands out – no two gigs are ever the same.
Who are your main influences musically?
The band’s overall influences are classic 60s/70s acts such as Free, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cream, Hendrix etc. But we each bring our own personal influences to the table too – I grew up listening to Motown, soul and blues as well as more contemporary acts at the time and that has contributed to my singing style. Paul Rodgers is a major influence on me from a classic rock perspective, as are David Coverdale and Ronnie James Dio. The rest of the band have a wide range of personal influences, all of which contributes to and complements VR’s overall sound.
What do you hope to achieve in music?
It would be great to be able to tour the world and take VR to as many countries as possible – we’re all passionate about what we do and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of playing to an appreciative packed-out venue. We have fans around the world but haven’t yet toured outside of the UK, so that would be a major achievement. I’d like to leave an enduring legacy too – it would be nice to think our original material will be remembered and still played in years to come, and that we had a lasting impact on people.
What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
Apart from the obvious things like signing a recording/publishing deal, one thing that stands out was once winning a battle of the bands competition on another band’s “patch” when they were clearly already penned in win.
We were quite new on the scene at the time, and judges (including the ones known to be biased) voted for us. The venue was packed and it was absolute pandemonium when the results were announced – the crowd went wild as it felt like a corrupt regime had been finally overthrown. It's not much of a career highlight in the scheme of things, but if it signified that we’d established ourselves as the people’s choice and a force to be reckoned with.
And what’s the moment you want to forget?
A few years ago a specialist told me I might have throat cancer and that he needed to perform a biopsy to be sure – the added complication being that the biopsy itself could change my voice forever and that I might never sing again, even if it turned out there was no cancer. Thankfully I got the all clear with no complications and am now back to full health, but it was a pretty dark time.
If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
The album’s title track Bring It On Heavy contains almost all the elements of Valve Rider’s sound condensed into one short song. To hear the other key VR element, the free-form improvisation that occurs live, check out the album track Hard Blown Away, or better still, come and see us live.
Where can we listen to it?
There is various footage on YouTube, mainly live performances, and our official music video for the album’s title track is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n-AkcRyRT0
Where can we find out more about your music?
The debut album Bring It On Heavy is available online through iTunes, Amazon, play.com, Sainsbury’s Online etc, and in HMV stores too. You can find out more about the band, including tour dates, pics, bio and much more at www.ValveRider.com
Anything else you’d like to say about your band/music that I forgot to ask?
The views expressed here are my own and may not necessarily represent the views of every member of VR or our management. Haha!