Interview With 'Megan Valentine'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Hey, I am Megan Valentine, solo Pop-Punk concept artist hailing from Zakynthos, Greece making music in London, UK! I fell in love with the American Pop-Punk/Emo sound when I was 15, grabbed one of my mum’s old guitars (my mum is a classical guitarist!!) and taught myself chords in order to be able to write my own songs. 11 years later, not much has changed! I moved to the UK in 2011 to focus on developing my music, some Japanese street fashion and anime & manga aesthetic has been thrown into the mixture but I am still a 15year old emo girl at heart!
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
This dream overtook my life when I was a teenager and I have been working to make it happen since then. After I finished school I spent a few years studying music tech and production to stay as close to being a recording artist as possible and build up skills. Before music I used to draw all the time and wanted to become a comic book artist or an animator for Disney (my childhood dream). I guess my love for these things has kind of found a way into my music too as nowadays I work with an actual comic designer, Avgi Kanaki, to create manga inspired concept art to accompany my songs. We even have a comic book in the works that expands upon the narrative of one of my songs.
Tell us about your latest EP and why our readers should check it out.
My debut EP “Wrong Side Of The Road”, that is coming out on December 4th, is a collection of very personal songs I wrote as a teenager. It’s a project I held on to for so long and wanted to bring to life no matter what as a tribute to the time I first fell in love with music and realized that I would like to do this for the rest of my life! This project features arrangements, recordings and performances from my producer, Karol Stanczak. I recently released my very first music video accompanying the closing track of the record “Black”. We put so much work and effort into this video and I think it’s the best introduction I could have as a new artist, I am really proud of it and I feel everyone should check it out to get an idea of what to expect from my EP.
Where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?
I write all my songs on my acoustic guitar, in my bedroom! The inspiration for my lyrics always comes from personal experience. I always have the chord progression, vocal line, structure and lyrics down before I involve any other musician with a song. Then I enter the second stage which is production where I’ll work with others to create arrangements for the songs. I pick and explain the style but I love to share this creative procedure with musicians close to me that I admire. It’s a little different when you are not in a solid band but I am doing my best to run it with a producer’s mindset. Musically I am very inspired by Japanese rock artists as well as UK & American Post-Hardcore and Pop-Punk bands!
As a band what do you believe is your greatest achievement to date and why?
Last year myself and my music director Tomas Eduardo (bass & acoustic guitar in my live band), traveled to Japan and played two acoustic shows in Tokyo, featuring my good friend Julia Mascetti on the harp. Footage from our first show actually made it onto Japanese National Television on a popular morning show ZIP! TV. It was an amazing experience and we’d love to go out there again for a longer tour!!
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
I have met Ariel Bloomer, vocalist of Icon For Hire, after their first headlining show in London. I was a big fan of the band and I was over the moon that I would have the chance to see them touring overseas, but it was amazing that they took the time to have a chat with every single fan in this packed venue after their show. Ariel’s vocals, lyrics and individual style have been a huge inspiration to me and I could not believe she actually had a casual chat with me about my own music that night.
What do you enjoy most about touring?
Playing music with friends. I find comfort in studio work and often I consider it my favorite part of being a musician but touring and performing together with others is quite a unique and special feeling. Touring is all about sharing your music both with your band mates and with the audience in a personal, direct level and that’s what makes it a powerful experience for me. If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
I guess, loads of emotion haha! I am very thankful and happy when I get to perform live and this comes out. I am also an introvert and writing songs is always kind of a way for me to communicate how I feel more effectively than with words so I focus on being myself, meaning and feeling what I sing and trying to connect. You may also expect a lot of hair flips and maybe some Japanese street fashion inspired outfits.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Picking one band is extremely hard!
Good Charlotte were my first big Pop-Punk heroes so I guess that’s a given but I would also die to tour with Fightstar! I really admire them. I am in love with Japanese Rock so touring with One Ok Rock or My First Story would be amazing too! There’s a long list but I think I’ll stop myself here!
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Evan Taubenfeld (Avril Lavigne’s first lead guitarist & music director). Not only he is kind of the reason I picked up the guitar when I did but he has also been a touring musician, producer, songwriter, and has worked in publishing and A&R later. The music industry fascinates me and I would like to talk about all these different aspects and the life of a working musician with him.
What comes next for yourself?
I am working on my first merch line at the moment and planning another music video. After the EP is out I would like to focus on performing live again. I have a lot of ideas in the works for my next recording project too and I can’t wait to get back to recording and producing some new music.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Oh yes it is! But what do I know? I watch anime & super hero movies for Christmas!
Check out the video for 'Black'
Official Website - www.meganvalentine.net
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/meganvalentineuk
Instagram & Twitter - @megu_blanche