It’s the mid-point of the traditional working so we’re keeping things interesting with this one.
All over the place. Tom, Ash and Dan (guitars and bass) Bristol based, Phil (vocals) is Manchester and Dayle (drums) is based in Belfast!
How did you meet?
Pretty much through friends of friends, going to local shows and chatting outside, or while touring. We pinched Phil and Dan from other bands!
How long have you been playing as a band?
A very different version of Valis Ablaze started in January 2013. But this more focused and refined sound has been going since about January 2016.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
So VALIS is a book written by Philip K. Dick (Minority Report, Total Recall, Blade Runner) and we thought the concept was really cool. It’s essentially about a self-aware satellite… we had imagery of governing AI coming to an end in flames and cool merch designs to follow. But lyrically, especially with our new album, the name means more to us than ever.
What are your influences?
A surprising amount of metalcore but also, synthwave, film scores and just progressive music in general. Between us, we try to fit in those influences subtly with drum fills, layers and our writing in general.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We feel it’s the perfect balance of modern metal and melodic prog rock.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
It varies per release, but they’re always conceptual. For example, “Boundless” was about consciousness and cycles within that. In short, “Render” is about the construction of realities and mechanisms for coping/not accepting them.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
It’s a tough one. We’re heavy but we want people singing along. And then there are some sections that may be hard to follow for first time listeners. Playing live for us is about us playing technical yet emotive melodies as well as we can while having fun with big riffs that we’re proud of. We’re not far off 100 shows now, we think!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
The Dillinger Escape Plan’s final tour was wild. That inspired us to move a little more on stage for sure! But Meshuggah’s light show Periphery’s playfulness just wow you every time.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
- Phil uses Shure microphones (SM58 and an SM7B) and we all use Shure in ear monitors.
- Dan uses a Dingwall bass with a Darkglass pedal
- Tom uses a custom build 8 string Mayones with a Line 6 Helix
- Ash uses a Strandberg Boden 8 with a Line 6 Helix
- Dayle uses Tama drums with Paiste cymbals
And then there’s D’Addario strings and some Gear 4 Music radios if you want to get granular.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We’re heavily promoting three singles ahead of our sophomore album, Render out on July 19th. They’re all a little different to each other which hopefully highlights the diversity of the album. It’s out on vinyl too so if you’re into that, you can get it here.
What are your plans for 2019?
Promote our new album Render as best as we can and support it with as many shows (that make sense for us) as possible. This album cycle is more about individual songs and shorter, more accessible moments of fun. The drawn out proggy stuff isn’t for everyone. And isn’t suitable for 30 minute sets.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Opening wise, there are too many bands that we’d love to help out more. And we’ve been quite fortunate to support a large majority of our influences already. There is a lot of hard working talent rising through the ranks but we think fellow label mates The Five Hundred would certainly get the crowd warmed up for our dream show with none other than Periphery headlining the show.
From previous Band of the Day Empire Warning: If a Norse God had to take over from one band member what god will it be, what position would they be filling?
Obviously Loki would replace Phil so we could have an epic stage show, deceiving a crowd with holographic elements, allowing him to interact with as much of the crowd as possible.
From another BotD, The Crawling: Being in a band can be as much of a curse as a source of enjoyment and satisfaction. What keeps you going when things get tough?
As sad as it sounds, listening back to your music and reminding yourself you’re proud of what you’ve achieved
And from King Bison (UK): If you could join any band on stage for one song, who would it be and what track would you play?
We’d quite like to join Metallica on stage. They were the gateway band to a lot of the heavier music we listen to and still have a special place in our hearts and minds. Imagine strolling out onto stage to harmonise a solo or chorus with Kirk or James?! In a stadium?!