Valley Of Chrome have been together for more than a decade now. Despite the lineup changes they have weathered, they seem intent on pushing on. In fact, they just released a new EP called “Dark Horse” which we absolutely loved. There’s something to be said about a band with a clear vision and intent, which is why we wanted to pick their brains about what makes Valley Of Chrome work.
Bassist Jordan Constantino and vocalist Rogel Africa were kind enough to answer our questions. What follows is an interview that’s both enlightening and entertaining. It’s pretty clear that Africa and Constantino are articulate men who have a strong sense of vision when it comes to their band.
Discussed in the interview are their thoughts on having side projects, the longevity of Valley of Chrome, as well as their thoughts on the scene after being part of it for years. We hope you enjoy this interview with our Cover Artist for November, Valley of Chrome!
Splintr:You recently released the “Dark Horse” EP, an EP which we absolutely loved. The entire EP was comprised of old material by the band as well as a cover of Rumblebelly’s “Anino”. What was the reasoning behind this decision? How did the selection process go for each song?
Jordan: We wanted to re-record some old songs that (we think) the newfollowers will appreciate. The songs that we chose were considered to be ourfirsts. Vengeance Unleashed was our first song ever. The Plague was the firstsong with Paul when he was new. “Anino” was the first ever Filipino metal song wereally loved when we were teenagers.
Splintr:Were there songs that you wanted to include in the EP butweren’t able to?
Jordan: We almost rerecorded “When Everything Turns to Dust” and “We,The Dying.” Some old songs like “The Fall” and “Left Side Paralyzed”. But let me share this to you. The concept of the EP started to be a tribute to OPM.I even wanted to cover Wolfgang’s “Arise”, Eraserheads’ “Insomnia”, PhilippineViolators’ “Sikatna Si Pedro”,then some songs from Queso, Houndz, Slap, Chicoand Kazeehaha. But, thinking of all the permits we had to secure from majorlabels, we had to do only “Anino.”
No kidding. So we focused on the Throwback concept. We called it Dark Horse, because we feel we’ve always been under the radar. I do not consider us to be mainstream. Same with being obscure. We’re kind of in between.
Splintr:You’ve weathered lineup changes over the years. Doesdealing with lineup changes get easier over time?
Rogel: It’s never easy, but the only reason for lineup changes fall within the musical/personal side of things. We choose not to burn bridges with former members as they will always be a part of VOC.
Splintr:Do you ever see an “end point” for Valley OfChrome or is it something that you plan on doing for as long as you still can?
Rogel: We can’t see the end at this point, the plan is to push as hard as we can. We want VOC to always be relevant, we continuously want to be amused by the music we play. We will definitely remain for all the Vikings!
Splintr: I know some of you have projects outside of the band. Doesit ever get tough managing this band, your side projects, and day jobs?
Rogel: It does, but we manage. At the end of the day, VOC will always be a top priority for the five of us. Second to our families of course. It does get stressful at times with everyone getting extra creative with project bands and day jobs, but we find ways. Parang BDO langhaha!
Jordan:Nakakangarag. Peromasaya eh. It feeds our souls. Ginustonaminangbuhaynaito. Kaya panindigan.
Splintr:Any tips you can give to musicians who juggle day jobs andmultiple bands?
Rogel: Just don’t give up on it. Try to find that sweet spot in taking home food for the table, and food for the soul with the music you play. Masaya mag-banda eh, di modapatbinibitawan as long as masayaka.
Jordan: Always have a calendar. Plan and try to religiously follow your schedule. Also, respect the time of others. When you get the hang of it, you have reached Time Management Nirvana.
Splintr:Are there any plans on making a new record?
Rogel: Definitely, the EP is perfect in paying homage to the past and sharing a glimpse of VOC’s future. But as of this writing, we are on the move writing new material especially now that we have a new member in the form of KaloiCambaliza as Tatel’s partner in crime.
Splintr:You guys have been around for more than a decade now. Howhas the music scene changed? Did it change for the better?
Rogel: Honestly, the reason why we’re still here is because we rarely get distracted by what’s going on in the music scene. We’ve noticed that kids are into buying band merch more than ever before, and we find it awesome since we are fans of band merch as well.
The Dark Horse EP was released in the digital format as a reaction to that. Kids will get a CD, rip it and turn them to digital files anyway, we and Tower of Doom reckon that we are helping them out.
Jordan: More people into DIY and internet marketing. Back then, bands were waiting to be discovered for things to happen. Now, with the internet. Everything is easy. But still, same rules apply. Nothing beats live music.
Splintr:If there’s one thing you would like to change about thelocal music scene, what would it be?
Rogel: It’s the fact that some still see metal as a “novelty” thing. It’s not, it should be respected the same way as other music genres, it’s such a demanding form of music that we dare those who mock it to try playing this style themselves.
Splintr:If you were given unlimited resources, what kind ofrecord would you like to make? Who would be the people involved?
Jordan: I’d write 8 singles. 4 English songs and 4 Tagalog songs. I wish we can have 8 videos by 8 different Filipino directors. 8 new shirt designs from 8 Filipino designers. Also, Terry Date and Rick Rubin would be involved. The band and Tower of Doom would go to 8 different countries to record the album (parangsa Foo Fighters na concept album). Tour the world with our families. When we get back, we still have our day jobs. I love daydreaming.
Splintr:Lastly, any upcoming shows you would like to promote? Andfor those who don’t have a copy of the EP yet, where can they get it?
See you at the following shows!
Nov 29-Amoranto Stadium (10pm)
Dec 13- San Andres Complex Manila
Dec 13- B-Side BrgyTibay Year Ender
Dec 20- RakistaRakrakan Festival, Globe Circuit Event Grounds, Makati
Dec 20-Chronic Wheeze (Details and Venue to be announced)
The Dark Horse EP is now AVAILABLE for digital download for only P150!
It’s made available now via the DoomShop
Thank you Splintr.com