Reading youngsters Valeras are setting off on their first ever headline tour, having met at a weekend rock school in their distinctly guitar-loving hometown, and supported The Wombats, The Amazons and Demob Happy.
Their hooky sound and deeply-personal lyrics have the band labelled as one to watch by BBC Introducing and Radio One, as well as being regulars on the lesser stages at Reading Festival. I caught up with them before their double date with Dublin later this month…
I understand this is your first headline tour. How does it compare, psychologically, to the various support slots you’ve been playing before now?
There’s slightly more pressure to getting everything the way we want it to be, but also there’s a lot more excitement because its our first headline tour.
You quite literally went to rock school. Put aside our movie images for a minute… how well does that work for prespective musicians?
We went to more of a summer camp, it was only for a weekend and it was just like one group per day. It wasn’t quite a rock school but it was a good organisation for young people to meet other likeminded musicians. If it wasnt for The Rock Academy then we wouldn’t have met.
Are you thinking about an album at this stage? Do you have any idea what it would be like?
We’re always writing and looking to release new music as it comes, so we’ll see where this year takes us!
What’s been your favourite moment as a band so far?
Reading Festival 2018. Our biggest hometown show and we enjoyed every moment.
Some of your tracks seem quite personal. Is there a certain life exploration to it all, put to music?
Most of the time the lyrics come naturally without much thinking behind them, but in retrospect they all relate to a feeling or experience I have lived.
Reading is obviously an iconic place for rock fans. Aside from that one weekend, is it a good place to make and play music?
There are lots of opportunities for musicians of any genre to do gigs in local venues, also BBC Introducing is hands on with giving local artists the chance to be heard.
I’ve seen pictures of some really beautifully drawn out setlists on your website. Is there a tradition behind that?
Katie is usually in charge of drawing out the setlists for every show because she makes it nice and pretty for us to look at.
Ruby Sessions, where you play one of your Dublin gigs, is often quite a mellow, intimate experience. Will you have to adapt to that, or is it something you’ve dealt with before?
We have done various acoustic shows before and we enjoy them a lot. There’s a nice intimate feeling that comes with them that is just as enjoyable as full band shows.
Have you been to Ireland before? What are your hopes for playing over here – I guess in front of a totally new audience?
We have never played in Ireland before but we’ve heard its a lot of fun and we have been anticipating it and we can’t wait to bring our music to new crowds.
What are your plans for the future?
More gigs, more music, and showing more people what we’re about.
Valeras play the Ruby Sessions, Dublin on February 26 and Whelan’s, Dublin on February 28.