Band Interview: Valac (Interview by Kostas Dahmer)

This interview with Valac was conducted by Kostas Dahmer. All credit for the interview goes to him and you can check out his Facebook here.

Valac is an instrumental, one-man, Djent/Prog Metal, project from Canada. Band has recently released its third full length ‘Our Hazy Future’ so we grabbed the chance to conduct an interview with the main man Devon “Skye” Heiland who introduced to us what’s behind the Valac’ s scenes.

1. Simple things first – where are you from?

Manitoba, Canada.

2. How long have you been playing as a band?

I’ve been around with the “Valac” name for the better part of 3 years now.

3. Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

The name originally comes from the name of the biblical demon “Valak,” stems from when I was super into black metal and wanted to try making some for myself. I ended up switching to progressive metal and the name just kinda stuck.

4. What are your influences?

I have a lot of influences, but a few of my biggest have to be Intervals, For Giants, Outrun the Sunlight, Abstracts, and the band that helped me discover this type of music in the first place, Periphery.

5. Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Instrumental djent, that in and of itself isn’t particularly unique, there are a million solo projects out there, but I think the thing that makes me – and all the others – unique, is a particular stylistic approach to the genre. Some produce tappy clean or jazzy stuff, others heavy and atonal. I try to write melodically to capture my emotions, and to tell a story. Not an explicitly told story, but one that everyone gets to write for themselves based on what they hear.

6. Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Going back to my last answer, I feel instrumental music is so much easier to connect with emotionally. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with lyrical music, as I’ve demonstrated by including two songs with vocals on my most recent album, but it’s akin to the difference of a writerly text vs. a readerly text. I like people to paint the picture for themselves, build their own connections with melodic figures and such.

7. What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

My main axe is a nice white Ibanez RG7 I got as a birthday present a few years ago, but I also own a Les Paul, and would love to get my hands on a Strandberg in the near future. My real drumkit in the garage is a real piece of garbage, smatterings of different brands, so I program drums with EZ Drummer 2.

8. What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Really just trying to get my newest album out there, to be heard by a wider audience.

9. What are your plans for 2019?

Since I just started university, I intend on taking some time off from music to let things settle in, but I am studying astronomy, and I guarantee I’ll be drawing some inspiration for future music from my studies.

10. If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

I think the band I’d like to support most would be Intervals, I’m a diehard fan of the melodically and harmonically rich djenty soundscapes, and playing on the same stage would be an immense honour. As for an opening band, maybe something a little lighter, like Covet, then the intensity can gradually ramp up throughout the show. That an Yvette Young is one hell of a guitarist.


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