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WW: Is it true that Valient Thorr hails from Venus, and crash landed in North Carolina? If so, why wouldn’t you fix your spaceship and get the heck outta here?

VALIENT Himself: Your technology on this planet is not nearly sophisticated enough for us to get even out of this planet's gravitational pull.  All that bullshit about NASA landing on the moon?  That was horseshit.  Just a ploy to keep your rivals at bay and stoke out patriotic impulses from the mindless zombies of your primitive suburban landscape.  BUT- unfortunately, we're not even sure Venus still exists, so we may not even have a place to go outside of this time stream.

WW: Is it true that you are the harbingers of an intergalactic message for all of us earthlings?

VALIENT Himself: I guess you could look at it like that.  If the people want to listen, they'll listen.  Sometimes I feel like it’s too late.  Sometimes I feel like it never mattered in the first place.  Then I figured out this word called "empathy"... I realized that was what I felt a lot of times when I felt like something needed to be done.  Either I felt sad for some poor dumb little kid, or I felt pissed off.  What could we do about it?  How far could we go?  That's why I think rock-n-roll is the best outlet for our brand of knowledge.  If you go too far one way or the other off of this path, you could be considered a nutjob preacher or some other type of asshole on the other side.  We never came screaming, "The sky is falling!", but we definitely have a vision of a future we've seen that is very scary, and one that I would like to never come true.  I guess if you think about the difference between fate and destiny being: fate = going down a river with no paddles, letting the current take you over a waterfall, and destiny = seeing the waterfall and using the paddles to try and get the fuck to the bank of the river, well then, I like to think of us as Earth's paddles.

WW: How do you think life on Earth has affected you guys musically, if at all? What about your Venusian sensibilities? Have you had trouble adapting?

VALIENT Himself: Life on Earth has of course affected us musically because we weren't musicians before we got here.  Music is just our catalyst to help move along our peaceful, inspired "agenda".  The only trouble is getting the message out there to a bigger audience.  We aren't "commercially" marketable in the United States according to what is allowed to be sold in the stores.  Promotion and distribution are the keys to "financial" success in the US market.  Even if you SUCK you can be huge and rich here if you have those 2 key elements.  Just turn on the radio and you'll see.  I'd like to challenge most bands on the radio to some kind of battle, battle of the bands, battle of wits... But really... who's on the radio?  Who even listens to it seriously?  Yeah, I guess I get bent out of shape thinking about it.  The whole goddamn thing is just sickening.  Bands bust their asses for their whole careers and die hungry while PURE HUMAN DISCO SHIT is piped across the airwaves to stupid stupid people who eat it up or even worse, the DJs who don't just go- "no way, I WILL NOT murder the world with this vomit."  It’s tough out there.

WW: What or who first inspired you to play music? Or be in a band?

VALIENT Himself: Speaking personally, I'd say Jim Morrison and Devo. 

WW: Your lyrics are often socio-political in nature. Would you consider yourselves a political band?

VALIENT Himself: Absolutely.  I guess its fun to watch a light-hearted comedy every once in a while... but we're making art here.  Something that someone can stick a fork into, take a bite, and chew and chew and then swallow.  You have to stay relevant or really, what is the point?  There are literally thousands of bands on this planet.  Do you wanna be lost in the crowd, or do you want to stand up and deliver?

WW: From the beginning you guys have been super prolific, cranking out 6 albums in 7 years and touring incessantly. Are you on a rock-n-roll mission or what?

VALIENT Himself: Yes, we're on a mission, but the truth always gets stretched.  We made 5 albums in around 9 years.

Photo by Jerry Milton

WW: I read that you tour an average of 250 days out of the year. How do you balance your rock-n-roll life with your domestic life? Or do you have one?

VALIENT Himself: I don't really have a domestic life.  I gave that up around 2005.  BUT- we do have more time off now.  We were cranking out over 200 gigs a year but we've started taking a bit of a break between tours so we don't burn out.  Take a look at bands that have stood the test of time and that’s what they all had to do after a while so that they didn't kill each other.

WW: You guys have been with Volcom Entertainment for quite a few years and albums now. How did you guys first hook up with them? Do you think it’s unusual in this day and age to stick with one label (or in this case, entertainment empire)? And do you think that their diversity (from clothing lines, to video games, to national tours) has increased the levels of notoriety you have developed in recent years?

VALIENT Himself: Volcom have been amazing for us.  I think it would probably be smart to have a couple things going at different labels if you could, but if you have one you're happy with, why fuck with it?  The connection with them has opened up doors for us that we wouldn't have otherwise if we'd been on a different indie or a major label.  We are very happy with them.

WW: Obviously you guys are seasoned veterans of touring Europe at this point. How would you say your reception there differs from here in the States?

VALIENT Himself: Europe is way different than the states.  We leave for our 10th tour there next week.  The thing with Europe is rock-n-roll never went away there.  They never had to deal with the rock ballad phase that ran off all the dudes in the states and had them cut their hair off and start listening to what was innovative at the time: rap music.  And if they did, it wasn't shoved down their throats to the point of being sickened by it.  Also pop country and pop rap never got on as big there.  That is primarily what's sold in Wal-Mart and Target over here, which is where 90% of Americans can go and buy an actual CD in their hands in this day and age.  So, metal and hard rock still rules Europe no matter what type of person you are.  It took us about half the time to get twice as big as we are here over there.  Plus another thing that's easier is they feed you when you get there, they feed you dinner, and sometimes breakfast AND put you up in a hotel.  Almost NO ONE does that in the states.  And that's EVERY country in Europe.

WW: If you could create your own tour itinerary, what would your top 5 destinations be?

VALIENT Himself: I would of course make it places I haven't been yet... so: 1- Mexico City, 2- Brazil, 3- Australia, 4- Tokyo, 5- Moscow

WW: Before you became full-time rock stars, some of you guys had “regular” jobs (Valient himself was a school teacher) and some of you have master’s degrees. How did your educational backgrounds influence your music, lyrically or otherwise?

VALIENT Himself: Well, I think getting my master's degree proves that I'm serious about education.  I continue to try to learn something every day.  You should never stop learning.  The student learns from the teacher, but the teacher can also learn a lot from the student.  I think maybe that's where the desire to inform comes from or you can even think of the show as a classroom.  I like to think I'm still teaching.

WW: You guys have songs on numerous video games: “Guitar Hero II”, EA’s racing video game “Need for Speed: Carbon”, and EA’s skate video game. Are you guys big “gamers” yourselves?

VALIENT Himself: I'm more of a classic NES or arcade man myself.  I have a DS, but I don't even have an apartment right now.  I'd love to have a Wii or a PS3, but they'll probably have the PS5 out before I've slowed down.

WW: How do you like to spend your free time when you’re not on the road?

VALIENT Himself: I paint and write, and watch old movies and review them.  And I like to read.

WW: I have yet to see the tour documentary DVD, “Heat”. What were the high and low points of being followed around by a camera for 5 years on the road?

VALIENT Himself: Well, it’s a short glimpse into what we did for those five years.  I think it’s a good representation of how things went though.  And it wasn't like the cameras were on all the time like a reality show or something.  I think it’s important to document what you do, so that you can look back and learn from it.  So you can in turn do it better next time, learn from mistakes, whatever.

WW: You guys are known for your energetic live shows. How do you manage to pull off the same level of intensity playing night after night?

VALIENT Himself: Well, it’s like working out I guess.  You get better and faster and stronger with every show.  If you don't, then you're doing something wrong.

WW: You have toured with metal Gods, Motorhead, more than once now. Do you have a funny Lemmy story for us?

VALIENT Himself: hmmm... I guess just a quick little thing that I thought was great... We were hanging out on the last tour, and I stepped into Lem's dressing room, and he'd just gotten an Ipad.  He had loaded up Angry Birds on it and was deep into a game, and didn't hear me enter the room.  I stood there and watched him play this level over and over several times unsuccessfully killing all the little things on there or whatever you're supposed to do.  He kept getting almost all of them, but one little dude remained every time.  Finally, without moving a muscle, he glanced at me over the top of his glasses after noticing that I'd entered his sanctum, and says, "Resilient little bastards, aren't they?

WW: Though embracing many elements of 70’s rock influences like Maiden and Black Sabbath, you seem to have jump started a rock-n-roll resurrection that was desperately needed. What do you think makes Valient Thorr unique among rock bands these days?

VALIENT Himself: Haha, well, I don't know.  That's not really for me to say.  I know what we try to do; I don't know how well we actually do it.   Ask someone else what makes us unique.  I don't wanna blow smoke up my own ass.

WW: I read that you recorded “Immortalizer” with Jack Endino (Nirvana, High on Fire, Soundgarden, Mudhoney). How was working with him, and what do you think he brought to the table (besides a buttload of experience)? He recorded your most recent album, “Stranger” as well, correct?

VALIENT Himself: Yep.  He's the man.  Jack has become a good friend and really knows how to get what bands want.  He knows just what you're trying to convey to him when you're explaining how you want something to sound.  His wealth of knowledge about rock-n-roll bands is incredible as well.

WW: I read in your bio that Valient Himself, states: “It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s where you’re at and what you’re gonna do.”’ Where are you guys at? And what do you plan to do?

VALIENT Himself: I'm here on Earth, and I plan to keep rocking and rolling and painting and writing and breathing and hiking and singing and fucking and bullshitting here for as long as there's breath left in my lungs or air clean enough to breathe.

WW: GWAR is another alien band. Have you ever gone to battle against them? If so, who won? And where can we find it on YouTube?

VALIENT Himself: Nah, we never fought each other, we met in Bielefeld Germany last year and became fast friends.  Also partied recently in Austin Texas with them.  There are enough Earthlings here for us to rescue and them to slaughter so we never really come to blows.  Mostly they only kill shitty despicable people anyway.  In Texas they killed Sarah Palin.  We were fine with that.

WW: If your house was on fire and you could only rescue 5 of your albums, what would they be?

VALIENT Himself: Frank Black- Teenager of the Year, Frank Zappa- Apostrophe, Chuck Berry- Greatest Hits, Funkadelic- Take it to the Stage, and Alice Cooper- Love it to Death

WW: What’s your definition of success in rock-n-roll?

VALIENT Himself: Being happy.  Truth!

WW: Parting words of wisdom to your ever-growing legions of fans, dubbed “Thorriors”? www.thorriors.com.

VALIENT Himself: I'll have parting words, but not for a very very very long time.

Valient Thorr is: Valient Thorr – Vocals (2001-Present), Eidan Thorr – Guitars (2005-Present), Dr. Professor Nitewolf Strangees – Bass (2001-Present), Sadat Thorr – Guitars, Lucian Thorr – Drums (2004-Present)


Photo by Jerry Milton

Photo by Jerry Milton

Photo by Jerry Milton


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