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Interview:
Valient Thorr still hammering down 10 years on
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

» See more SOUND CHECK

It's been 10 years since North Carolina hard rockers Valient Thorr released their first album, but the quintet is more concerned with what's new -- especially its just-released sixth album "Our Own Masters" -- than celebrating past glories.

"We want to stay current and relevant so you can look back at each record and see there's current events there and make them feel like they're of their time," explains frontman Valient Himself (nee Herbert Abernethy). But even that formula changed a bit with "Our Own Masters."

The set comes three years after its predecessor, "Stranger," an eventful time marked by births, deaths, marriages and other milestones for the individual band members. That, in turn, led the group to focus more on the personal than the topical this time around.

"It's all our lives this time. It's about us," Valient Himself notes. "Before this we'd never taken a month off for ourselves before. None of us had places to live anymore. So this allowed us to get our stuff out of storage, have places to stay for a minute, go through all these things we never dealt with before. So yeah (the songs) touched on a more personal life this time around."

The group also felt some time off would ultimately be good for Valient Thorr's long-term health.

"We're fans of different histories," Valient Himself says. "If you look at a band that never takes a break, a lot of time they implode or explode. None of us wanted that to happen. It's like a machine; you need to take some time to grease the wheels in order to keep running -- and, in our case, to stay relevant and create new stuff for people to check out.

"We we needed to take time to grease the wheels of our machine so it didn't break down."

Valient Thorr, Gypsyhawk and Ramming Speed perform Friday, June 21, at The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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