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Robby Valentine interview 

Robby Valentine
Submitted by Arie van der Graaf on 2014-09-03
Singer and multi instrumentalist extraordinaire Robby Valentine is interviewed to talk about his career so far and about the birth of his forthcoming albums "The Queen Album" and "Bizarro World".
Who are your musical influences?

Queen, ELO, The Babys, The Beatles


Which song by another artist would you have loved to have written yourself?

What's the best selling song in history ? That one.


Pick three albums that you would take to a deserted island

Queen-Jazz , ELO-Out of the blue, The Beatles-Abbey Road


Can you describe the importance of music in your life?

It used to be the reason I exist. It's who I am. I'm no good at any other thing.


What's the strongest memory of your career so far?

The first show we did in Tokyo March 1996.  1500 people singing my songs. For the first time I truly experienced the reason why I got into music. The rockstar feeling, but also in an emotional way. It was electrifying that evening. I'll never forget it.


Which goals in life did you achieve and which ones do you have left?

I stopped setting goals a long time ago. Nothing ever meets the expectation.

Well, the only goal I still keep is: be and become a good dad.

My debut single was a hit, we did the support for my childhood hero Brian May, we did some great gigs. And currently I'm very happy with the guys in my band.

If you could start over your music career, what would you have done differently?

Started to go solo sooner and make a name for myself before the grunge period ruined it all.


Do you have an important topic which you want to share through your music?

Be true to yourself.


What is your perspective about the musical climate in todays business?

It's totally fucked up


What are your plans for the future?

Releasing Bizarro World, Playing live. In the near future Releasing my Queen tribute cd: The Queen Album. Do some concert with my band to promote it. Play at the UK Queen Convention.


How long is the current tour going to be?

Nothing has ben set, we hope to get booked a lot.


Best tour memory so far?

Japan 1996 . Playing with my band for the first time in Japan, for those wonderful people, it was pure magic. Also being support act for my hero Brian May in Germany late 1993 was amazing. A dream come true. I remember the first show Brian watching us at the side of the stage. That was so cool. Very unreal


What's the best and worst being on tour?

The best are the shows itself.  The worst is everything else. I hate traveling, living out of a suitcase, airplanes, tour-busses. I can't stand it all. Makes me sick.


Can you tell how it feels being on stage?

Pure happiness, excitement and sometimes pure magic.  Except when things go wrong, a technical problem, voice problems etc.. then it's a nightmare


What do you do just before going on stage?

Vocal warm up, put on my make up and stage-clothes. Hugging my bandmates


Funniest thing which ever happened during a tour?

If I try to write some memories down, they don't seem funny at all anymore, even though they still make me laugh. So I think it's best to keep them a secret.  I guess you should've been there…


Lets talk about Bizarro world, can you tell us about the recording process?

Because I play everything by myself on the album I have to built it all up. Starting with the drums, than piano if it's a piano based song or guitar if it's a guitar oriented song. Bass…synths..lead vocal and choirs. Then mix the whole thing.

Any favorite songs on the album?

Bizarro World, Schizophonicated


What's the best and worst with recording an album?

The worst thing is that after so many hours of recording, squeezing it all out, I'm totally fed up with it. The best thing… when some parts turn out really well, or just the way you're hearing it in your head, or even better,  it gives a big thrill.


How would you compare your newest work to your previous records?

My new songs are totally different than what I 've ever done. Different angles, different inspiration sources.

Like previous albums it's diverse but in a different way.


What's the idea behind the album and/or the album title?

The title Bizarro world is ofcourse taken from the Superman comic. There was an episode about a world where everything is opposite. In that Bizarro World Superman's an ugly bastard. The planet isn't round but square. Up is down. Right is wrong… and so on.

In a way during my musical career I felt kinda similar. 

I grew up in a world where bands and artists dress up for shows. It started with Queen in the 70's. The glamrock. David Bowie, Kiss. Disco. Everything was glam. Later on there was the new romantics Duran duran, Michael jackson, Prince and in in the mid/late eighties you got Europe, Bon Jovi . All about presenting yourself on stage. When my career took of a big change was going on. With Nirvana as the leading act: Grunge. The whole climate changed. Pleople started to go on stage in clothes you wouldn't even wear when you're gardening... I couldn't go along with that. Not in the looks , not in the music. To me, that world, was the Bizarro world. But to them I'm Bizarro World.  It's a conflict I can never come to terms with. 

As far as the music is concerned I just do whatever inspires me at the moment.

For example. With my album the Most beautiful pain I wanted to make a heavy metal kind of record. But after recording two songs in that style my mind wondered off to something different. That's how it always goes. With this album I got inspired by Muse , in the beginning. But again: after two songs in that direction, I got into Justin Timberlake. And then a bit Adam Lambert. It's always a case of following the heart. 

Robby Valentine - The Queen album 

You also seem to be releasing The Queen Album, what can we expect  with this release?

De two Queen Tributes I released earlier were sold out. At the beginning of this your I was asked by the Official Queen Convention to do a full band performance at this year's convention, so I wanted to add some extra songs to the setlist and combine the first two albums with those new songs to create my ultimate Queen tribute album. 

Was this album completely done by yourself or were there also other contributors?

Only for some backing vocals I asked Maria Catharina (Aniday) and my long time friend Johan Willems. Everything else you hear is played, sung, recorded and mixed by me. And I always rely on Peter van 't Riet to do my mastering. 

When can we expect the release?

The release of the album is scheduled for the 13th of September in Capsloc, Capelle ad IJssel. At the same time the release party is going to be the dress rehearsal for the actual convention, two weeks later. And a chance for people to see the show when they're not attending the Convention.

Will you promote both albums equally and deliver them both live on stage?

I do perform Bohemian Rhapsody with my band during the Bizarro World tour.  Besides that we keep both shows separate. The Queen shows are done with another bass player, Kristoffer Gildenlöw.  Both releases have just a month in between, it has been a busy year so far, let's hope we can perform both shows on a regular basis.