Photo Credit: Ellie Pritts
It’s been a year and two days since we last caught up Chicago’s Valaska. Last time they were talking about their third LP and this time, their own Dave Valdez is dishing about their fourth. Inspired by all things romance, ‘Lovebird’ is due out in April and Dave gave us some insight on not only what to expect but also what he’s been up to since we last spoke, including a couple of cities that have driven his pen lately.
Kendra: Last time we talked one of your goals was to fly under the radar of all these record labels. Are you guys still unsigned and in charge of your destinies?
Dave Valdez: I don’t believe much has changed in terms of us seeking out a record label. It’s a nice idea but the industry has changed in many ways that make it more plausible to continue being DIY. If there is a label that seems like a good fit then I am sure things could work out that way. Until then, we are just going to keep making music and doing things our own way.
Kendra: Why are you so adamant about being 100% independent?
Dave Valdez: It’s great to be 100% independent and rely solely on yourself but I think as things progress so does your vision and scope. I like the idea of Valaska working with outside forces but it makes things a tad easier to keep it all in house.
Kendra: Well, it’s working for you guys because you’re about to drop your fourth album this Spring. What went on in your lives over the past few years that helped fuel your creativity for ‘Loverbird?’
Dave Valdez: I moved to Los Angeles and started composing for film/TV and working closely with an orchestra. Moving far away gave me a bit more of a sense to open up and try new things creatively that I may not have tried back in Illinois.
Kendra: We have actual lovebirds and on the cover, we see a duck of some kind, but if you had to choose a bird that best represents the lyricism, style, and tenacity of this record what kind of bird would you choose and why?
Dave Valdez: It just so happened that I was at a rehab zoo in Big Bear and I found that goose just sitting and staring at himself in the mirror. It looked like he was just reflecting on life and figuring things out. It seemed ideal for a photo so I took it but the more I thought of it the more it seemed fitting for the whole record. Later, I found out that a goose in captivity will look in a mirror to have some company. They think it’s another goose but they are just looking at themselves. I’m sure there is a bit of that in the record too.
Kendra: Your first single from ‘Loverbird’ is a bit far from your hometown out in Illinois. What’s the deal with “New York Stories?”
Dave Valdez: I wrote that song during a brief stint of staying in New York. I was there for a few weeks, just walking around the city and taking it all in. There’s something really special about New York and it has had quite a grip on me since. It’s romantic and this record is romantic. Having never lived in New York, I can somewhat use that city as a place to imagine things being different. I think that makes sense.
Kendra: Will you be touring before or after the album drops? Let people know when they can catch you on stage.
Dave Valdez: We will definitely be on the road after the album drops. We are already in the process of booking some shows. Now a booking agent, that’s someone I would like to work with!!