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INTERVIEW: Ender and Valentine

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey, thanks! We’ve been great. Just released our debut LP and it feels good to finally share it with the world.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Wicked”?

It’s about spiders!  Kind of.  It’s a song that went through a lot of versions, lots of variations, and also one of the “oldest” on the record.  I think we started writing it a year and a half ago, and it definitely informed the rest of the album as far as direction and subject matter goes.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Not any event really.  It’s a song about being torn between doing a good thing or a bad thing.  Sometimes those don’t necessarily feel the way you think they should.  Doing something wrong can feel amazing and doing the right thing can hurt tremendously.  Everybody walks that line all the time and it can become very confusing.  So it’s about that.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yeah, actually, we already recorded the video and it should be out soon! Keep an eye out.

The single comes off your new album Siofra – what’s the story behind the title?

Well, Síofra as a whole was inspired by ghost stories and haunted houses. We kind of used that as a framework to help us through the writing process and I think it plays out well but we had a hard time coming up with a title that wasn’t totally dorky. So, we came across this gaelic name, Síofra, which means a changeling child whose soul has been possessed by fairies, but is also kind of a term of endearment.  Something that could be kind of playful mischief or totally malevolent, or both.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was great; I mean, that’s the best part about music – writing new material. So, getting together and working on the harmonies and bringing our work to Steve is our favorite thing.

We spent a year writing it.  About six months kind of feeling it out and six months where we knew what we were going for and just knocked out the songs one by one.  We recorded demos at Alex’s apartment and then brought those in to the studio for judgement.

What was it like to work with Steve Wall and how did that relationship develop?

Steve is a wizard. We met him through a mutual friend and incredibly talented musician, Jeff Taylor.  Our first EP was meant to be acoustic, but working with Steve caused the songs to turn into little synth-pop jams, which they very much wanted to be.  So we took that style that people came to know us by and utilized it while writing our LP.

He’s very much a producer’s producer.  His knowledge and skill set are incredible, and his only concern is making the songs as good as humanly possible.

How much did he get to influence the album?

Quite a bit.  We had the whole album as demos and brought them in and listened to them together.  After each song we talked about what was good and bad.  There were a few that had to be completely revamped, and Steve was a big part of that.  He is able to tell you exactly why songs work or don’t, which is something you kind of lose objectivity on when writing. So his input was invaluable.  He is the kind of guy who points you in the right direction and says “go”, then tells you to stop when you’ve got it right. That is hugely helpful.

What ghost stories did you get to explore on this record?

I’ve (Nadya’s) seen a ghost before, the girl on the cover is inspired by her!

But I think the theme of the record is about how we’re all sort of haunting each other all the time.  Everybody is somebody else’s ghost. There are lots of stories about every one of us, and sometimes you’re the hero, other times you’re the villain, and you don’t really have a say in the matter.  You’re always on someone’s mind and someone is always on yours.  So ghosts seemed like a good way to write about that since it’s all kind of floaty and untouchable.

Would you call this a direct follow up from your previous material?

It was a natural progression, but no, we definitely think of this as a completely different thing.  Even though full albums have kind of fallen out of fashion, it was very important to us to make one thing completely.  We tried to do that with our EP and did a little better this time around.  Next time will be something entirely different and we’re looking forward to it.

Any plans to hit the road?

Stay tuned.  We do have a few dates booked in the city though, starting with our album release show at Bar Matchless on December 9th.

What else is happening next in Ender & Valentine’s world?

We’re always talking about the next thing, so right at this moment, we’re gearing up to play this album live, but I’m sure we’ll begin writing the next album before we know it. We’re definitely already talking about what it will be about.

Thanks so much! xx

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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