Valadares are a six-piece alternative rock band hailing from Seattle.
The band began when vocalist Juli Roman, a co songwriter – started working with lead guitarist and songwriter Alexander, finding they connected musically. After recruiting former high school classmates to join them, the band formed in 2014 and have already achieved a lot in the year they’ve been together. They have played several major venues in Seattle and won the Battle of The Bands 2015 competition, as well as accruing a sizeable fanbase (known as Valadorks).
This track, Manifesto, is a great representation of their sound. Musically, I would call it a cross between Paramore combined with the heavy guitar sound and metal-influenced riffage of My Chemical Romance, circa their Black Parade album. The intro certainly wrongfoots the listener, starting like a Lana Del Rey or Katie Melua song, with some gorgeous harmonies. Then enters a Ray Toro-esque low-end riff before the music explodes into life, with a thunderous drum sound.
July Roman has a distinctive voice that imposes itself over the wall of guitars, every bit as strong as Hayley Williams. Lyrically, it is visceral: “I want to eat your heart, want to tear your limbs apart, I want to make you feel the pain you made me feel…..”. The chorus is anthemic and hugely addictive, a simple but affecting chant of “Tell me what’s happening inside of me…”.
Overall, this is a killer track from a band that have already fully honed their sound, despite only being together a year. The dichotomy of heavy guitars and drums with July Roman’s vulnerable, yet feisty, singing works well and I’d expect this band to go on to big things soon.
By Alex Faulkner
I’m 34 and a freelance music journalist, as well as a composer and producer. I’ve written reviews for UK newspapers and music websites. I run my own blog, reviewing the best new bands and artists . I’m very passionate and knowledgeable about music and that shows in my writing.
Radio Play via Exposed Vocals Broadcast Partners.
Exposed Vocals: How did you hear about Exposed Vocals? What made you decide to sign up?
Valadares: They reached out to us via Twitter with an offer to do promotion. In these early stages, promotion from anywhere to an audience is an incredible blessing.
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Valadares: We all went to high school together, though in different grades, growing up in a suburb 30 minutes northeast of Seattle on the eastside. Through high school we became friends and discovered each others abilities through various music programs at school. Juli (Roman) had these songs that Izzy (Calabig) and I (Alexander III) were in love with, but for the longest time we did not realize she wrote them. We decided to get together to jam and write, and it came together like clockwork. Incredible energy and connection musically that is extremely rare. We played God’s Acre for the first time and flawlessly went through the song in acoustic form with only hearing it once. We realized we had something different and special, so we brought on other friends that went to our high school, Tyler Domitrovich, John Holmquist, who had graduated, and Liam Duke, who moved to a different high school later.
We play music to inspire and provide relatability and hope. Our music exposes the issues many go through, but our culture is too cautious to talk about. Sometimes we use more horror like analogies to describe societal issues in our culture and believe that the music will entice people into more interest and discover their not alone, the wrongs in our culture, and that it will be okay, but you have to stand up, be yourself, and fight for your rights.
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Valadares: Valadares is a city in Brazil that our singer’s family is from. Inspiration for a lot of her lyrics come from her parents whether positive or negative. Plus, it is so hard to find a solid one word band name in today’s culture with the incredibly massive amount of people creating music.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
Valadares: We believe music is a gateway and something that everyone needs, music must be shared with. That being said, full time musicians have to make money somehow, but in order to do that, you have to become flat broke and put everything you are into your songs. You have to be willing to give up everything to be a part of the ‘music industry’. We have our songs on YouTube, Soundcloud, and other free streaming formats, and at this time in a career, it is all about discovery and getting your name, songs, and message out there. So I guess I don’t mind free music in the early stages, but at the same time, support your local music and pay for the stuff you really like, go to their shows, and do what you can to support it.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Valadares: You need to understand both major sides of the industry. Keep writing songs and creating the best music possible, and understand basic business practice. We see so many artists today with a great sound, but do not know to get out there because they completely focus on the music, which is a harder route in todays over saturated world. Then we see artists who have little talent, but know how to market and smile nicely at a camera. The next big artists locally or nationally will be those who can understand both aspects of the industry. Face to face interactions are always refreshing today or dropping off your record at a studio or emailing DJ’s. Being personal gets you a long way today with the over use of social media. Go to local shows and become part of the scene, make your online presence look like a million bucks. Get some solid songs down tight, and go to a nice studio and record them in a day. It all comes down to how dedicated you are, but if you see little progress after this, keep practicing, writing, and wood shedding your skills. Never give up if you really want it. Either way, continue to make music and create because music is an incredible healer throughout life and will never let you down.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Valadares: Occasionally someone will flop for a moment, but our practice both personal and amongst the band has prepared us. If we get lost for a moment, we know it well enough to get right back on the song. The more you practice, the less likely mistakes will come up, or at least you learn to cover them up better with your skill that you built up over time.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Valadares: We are going on our first West Coast Tour this summer and are very excited about it. We are playing some legendary venues including Whiskey A Go Go and more. We are also fortunate to be playing our homecoming show at this year’s Vans Warped Tour in Auburn, WA. You can find out more about it and future dates on valdaresband.com or facebook.com/valdaresband
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Valadares: Whenever anyone in the band writes, it comes from a deeper place within. Sometimes that’s break ups, parents, friends, society, and all of it is applicable to everyone at some point in their lives. We will never write the song talking about a limo ride and the glamour. We want everything we write to be personal and intent, no filler. We believe in creating the best and getting the very best every time out of ourselves. We keep a high standard for ourselves. The writing process is usually one person has a cool idea and two more come along to flesh out the vision. Usually Juli or myself have an idea and bring in John and Liam on it to think of a solid arrangement and progression.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Valadares: We do, valadaresband.com We try to keep up on all online platforms, and believe we have a presence just about everywhere bands typically do from Facebook and Instagram to Band Camp and Reverb Nation. You have to have it all and keep up with it to allow anyone to have a chance to discover you.
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
Valadares: For me, I have a guilty pleasure for Taylor Swift. T Swizzle is my jam, lol. I love her music because she reaches to a place that everyone goes through. A broken relationship or disappointment, it’s all relatable, and she writes her lyrics about these things so clearly. Her musicians are all so incredible and her early records had some incredible arrangements. This band looks to all genres and forms of music because we enjoy well-made music and excellent musician ship. So whether that is pop to hip hop to folk or country, we all appreciate great musicianship.
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Valadares: Invest it all into creating Valadares the biggest name in rock. Now, we don’t do it for the notoriety or money, but because if we were “the biggest band” think about all the people we could stand up for, help, and reach out to! Financially re-invest into our community, write songs that can help the everyday people have their day be a little better, and be able to use platform as a way to start social discussions and provide healing to the world. We want to invest back into the world and community that helped us and got us through so much in our lives, and why can’t we play rock music to get there.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Valdares: Yes, we have been blessed and become close with the world renown and legendary Robert Lang with Robert Lang Studios. His studio is one of my favorite places ever. Incredible studio, atmosphere, and people. We are happy their and our full length album is coming together.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Valadares: Online works if you are willing to put money into it and know how to work (hash)tags. You have to get paid ads and promotions in order to have yourself stand above the rest or know what are good tags and hashtags on your videos, photos, and posts. I have found more personal promotion through person to person reaction and paper form is very refreshing to an audience. Getting on big shows helps a lot, but it cannot be the only way to get your name out there. You need to not be afraid to talk to anyone and everyone about your music. It is all about getting yourself into the ether of the area.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Valadares: Each band member would have a different ideal I’m sure. Juli would love to headline with Slipknot at a huge festival. Liam would love to play with Rush, Periphery, or Dream Theater. Tyler would love to play with Pink Floyd on an early 70’s tour. John would love to play with The Killers or Kings of Leon on a tour. Izzy just wants to play music with genuine people with great musicianship. My dream would be to tour with Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Slash because I love their music, and they are genuinely good people. I would love to become acquaintances and receive words of wisdom from them.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Valadares: We are finishing up a full length album. These songs are very strong and we really believe in it, so we are going to spend time promoting filming videos, and hopefully finding a distribution deal with the label I started or a major label deal for the album. I truly believe it will shake our culture if we get it in the rights hand to expose to our world.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Valadares: I think we would all continue to do what we love and work with people. We all believe in supporting and building up the people and society around us, whether it would be pursuing careers whether John is opening up an independent coffee shop or I’m being a teacher.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Valadares: I know I do, it was Aerosmith’s Gold. A greatest hits record. My Dad grew me up on the blues and The Beatles, its all I ever knew in my childhood. When I discovered Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, that was it. I was blown away by the vocals, the guitar playing, the energy of the sound and the incredible songs.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Valadares: Not going to lie, it’s hard. You have to schedule, and for me, I have to write everything I need to do down. Honestly, you will not be able to juggle it all and I don’t. You have to be willing to make sacrifices for your music and your art. It is just the reality.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2015?
Valadares: New music, new video, and bigger shows. This year we are going to continue to build up more Vala-dorks (our fanbase name) and hopefully by 2016 we have lots of traction for some global impact.