My Life In Music… Valensole

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Foo FightersThere Is Nothing Left To Lose The first album that I truly listened too inside out, every day, for months. I played air drums/ guitar and pretended to sing alone in my bedroom to every night. There were so many new effects and different styles incorporated into it, and it showed that you don’t just have to stick to making one thing. The intro of Aurora still gives me chills.

Red Hot Chili PeppersBy the Way This is the first album that really got me into music. I used to take it everywhere on my portable CD player when I was about 11 years old. I got the album after seeing the video for Zephyr Song and being mesmerised by it. I got a cheap knockoff Stratocaster for Christmas thar year and did my best to play like John Frusciante; although my hands were too small for chords and I had no idea how to tune a guitar at that point.

System of a DownToxicity  When the song Chop Suey came out the video was played pretty much non shop on music channels (and still is). I was hooked by how weird and unusual the band were, but how they had these huge catchy songs. They’re still one of my favourite bands, they’re iconic.

The Fall of TroyDoppelganger This album was so captivating for me because it’s so unique that it’s basically alien. The lightning speed guitar and the various space-like guitar effect completely changed my perspective of what a guitar can sound like. They’re also a band that have influenced me hugely in the way they play and perform on stage; to this day I play an SG like Thomas Erak, and then try my best to manipulate my guitars how he does (minus the shredding).

Green DayAmerican Idiot This album was huge for all of us. It was a story; it made you listen from the beginning to end, with many ups and downs. It was simple yet so effective, and sounded massive. It was released at an age where we started learning about politics, and it meant you didn’t have to listen to what the news/people were saying. I saw Green Day when I was 15, my first big gig, and obviously sprayed my hair green..

Sum 41All Killer No Filler I bought this album with my Nan, solely because of the weird faces on the cover. The songs sounded like they were having so much fun, and that’s all I wanted to do. Be as ‘cool’ as them. It’s inspired me to write music that is upbeat and gets people moving.

The OffspringConspiracy Of One After watching the video for ‘Original Prankster’, I had to find out what other music offspring had. We were lucky enough to have a music shop in Bridgend growing up, so we’d beg our Mum to buy us albums with ‘Parental Advisory’ stickers, and this happened to be one of the ones I was allowed to have! This album is full of bangers! It’s a full blown Punk rock album and its energy is so contagious.

GallowsGrey Britain This album had me hooked from the get go. It’s raw (if a little better produced than ‘Orchestra of Wolves’), political and it just felt honest. It’s one of my favourite albums of all time and had a massive influence on how I wrote music in my last band. Whilst I was at university I took every opportunity to write about this album for various units. Seeing Gallows live always ended in injuries that were worth having.

Linkin Park  – Hybrid Theory I found out about Linkin Park through friends at school when I was 10. I got the album for Christmas and listened to it non-stop. It was the first album I remember owning that got me into heavier alternative music. I used to sit in my room learning it all on my acoustic guitar. I still remember the words now 16 years later.

NirvanaGreatest Hits This was my gateway to Nirvana! After this I had to listen to all their albums. In a world saturated with pop music it was great to hear someone singing about subject matter other than partying all night, or soporific relationships. I really enjoy Nirvana’s simplicity, it taught me a lot about song writing and not trying to over complicate a composition.

Valensole release their debut EP ‘Where We Should Be’ on Friday, 3rd March

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