On the Road with Hunter Valentine
We talk touring, cupping and musical inspiration with the badass trio.
One glance at the video for their hit song, “Revenge,” gives fans of Hunter Valentine a blood-splattered glimpse into the world of the unholy trinity of Canadian punk-rock
“It’s about a girl who comes back to kill her rapist,” explains front-woman Kiyomi McCloskey about the controversial track. “Unfortunately I have a friend who was taken advantage of, and it kind of messed with my head for a very long time. Writing this song was the best way I could get it all out and process it,” McCloskey shrugs, leaning forward on the stone ledge in front of the Minneapolis’ 400 Bar. “I guess a girl took things into her own hands.”
Hunter Valentine has also done a fair job of taking matters into their own hands. In their seven years as a band, they have weathered the ups and downs of the music industry. Releasing The Impatient Romantic in 2007, an eponymous EP in 2009, and their most recent effort Lessons from the Late Night, with the support of Tommy Boy Entertainment (released in May, 2010), the ladies of Hunter Valentine have put in the miles and paid their dues.
Currently cavorting around the country with fellow indie vixens Sick of Sarah and Vanity Theft on the hotly anticipated Lady Killer Tour, Hunter Valentine shows no sign of slowing down and while. At first glance, these three in-your-face female bands may be fairly indiscernible to the naked, and well, clueless eye, they each have something unique to bring to the table.
“It’s going to be crazy,” drummer Laura Petracca says. “All three bands are extremely professional, but we all like to undo our top buttons as well, so to speak, so we have no idea what’s going to happen.” Petracca glances up at her tour mates sharing cigarettes and loading gear into the club. “We’re all very different,” she says. “Vanity Theft is poppy. They are one of the better choices to get the party started. You want to rip your clothes off and get naked and start dancing. And Sick of Sarah falls in between us. Pop-punky. Emotional.”
Touring almost non-stop for the majority of their careers, it’s clear they love what they do. Even the most rigorous aspects of the job become routine.
“Getting to a new city every single day is an amazing thing to do when you’re doing it with your best friends [who are also] in your band. And then with these other two groups,” McCloskey says. “I’ve started to not really feel normal when I go home now. So I prefer to be on the road.”
For these girls, the road is their home; and close quarters definitely lead to really getting to know your band mates.
“I’m actually an accidental cupper. I’ll cup in my sleep,” laughs Petracca of her nocturnal tendency to crotch-grab. “I’ve shared a bed with a woman, with women, and it’s just automatic. Sometimes I’ll go for the boob, but most of the time I’ll go for the gold,” she admits. “I’m a cupper.”
Playing as a three piece is another thing that separates Hunter Valentine from the pack.
“For a while we had the idea that we had to be the perfect four,” McKloskey says, “As we continued as a three piece, it sort of evolved and became really strong and tight. It became clear that adding someone else to the mix was going to be really difficult.”
Having perfect musical chemistry is important, when spending every waking (and sleeping) moment together, and is especially important when it comes to the live performance.
“I think it’s a really honest rock show. I don’t think we plan things out. We write things and our emotions are on our sleeves. It’s a great show because it’s at a time when we’re at our most creative and vulnerable points,” McKloskey says.
Finishing up touring for Lessons from the Late Night in September, the girls are set to head home and start writing for their next effort.
That is, if they can manage to stay home long enough. (huntervalentine.com)
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