Lifting the Pressure with Valaska


When Chicago’s Valaska dropped their third record this past June, Inchoate, they left nothing on the cutting room floor. What you hear is the best of the best and all they had to give. Right before that they set out on a run of the Midwest but now they’re taking some down time to focus on bringing more music to the world. Their own lead singer, Dave Valdez, sat down to talk about that, nerves and more. Once you’re done learning about a new band and taking in new music, mark your calendars for October 7 when they’ll be playing The Elbo Room in their hometown.

Kendra: Not too long ago it was hard to be unsigned and continue making music. What aspects of the industry have you guys managed to utilize the most to ensure you guys can continue on without the backing of a label?

Dave Valdez: At this point, we are probably about 95% self-sufficient. We have help from our good friend Keith Vlk who does all the graphic design/layouts for shirts/websites/album artwork.


Kendra: You seem to be doing okay because you dropped your third record in June. Did this recording process vary greatly from past experiences at all?

Dave: Again, we have learned to do everything ourselves. It’s a big weight off of our shoulders having Matt, our drummer and engineer, in the band. I continue to say that he is a wizard at what he does when it comes to recording. Watching him work his magic is quite the sight.

Kendra: What about coming together and writing as a band. Have you guys experimented with different ways to go about that with each record, or did you find a way that worked with Natural Habitat and stick with that?

Dave: Well I wrote Natural Habitat by myself and Thing and Inchoate are forming more and more into a full band and collaborative effort so I would say experimenting with trying new ideas from other members rather than just myself.

Kendra: On a personal level, what song from Inchoate means the most to you and why?

Dave: I think “Violence” because of the story behind it. We finished tracking the record and we began practicing for tour already and Violence just sort of happened out of nowhere, we wrote it within a day or two, tracked it, and mixed it – all in time for it to make it onto the record, which I believe everyone of us is happy that it did make it on there.

“Hold Me Back”

Kendra: You guys did a short run back in March. Are there any plans to do another later this summer or in the fall?

Dave: We went a couple times this year, the rest of the year is going to be focusing on just playing around Chicago and do some weekend warriors along the way!

Kendra: What’s more nerve wracking – playing new music in front of a crowd, or playing in a new city, and why?

Dave: I think playing in a new city because you never what to expect. There seem to be stronger scenes in different genres around the country

Kendra: Lastly, in a year’s time – where do you hope you are personally, and where do you hope the band is?

Dave: We have already begun the process of writing a new record so I would hope gearing up for the release of another LP! Hopefully the band is above ground, playing shows, and still slipping under the radar of every label in sight.

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