Collide and Conquer: Hunter Valentine celebrates the release of their 3rd studio album

Hunter Valentine, from L-R: Veronica Sanchez, Laura Petracca, and Kiyomi McCloskey. Photo by Leslie van Stelten (www.leslievanstelten.com).

Read through to the end of the article to find out how to win a pair of tickets to see Hunter Valentine at their Sacramento show!

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You may or may not have already experienced the raw, gritty, compelling pop rock music that is Hunter Valentine, but if you haven’t I highly suggest you get to it. Although their most recent attention stems from their role on the hit Showtime series The Real L Word, if Hunter Valentine is known for anything, it’s their live shows. A seasoned touring band, they’ve been known to play 200+ gigs in a single year.

The band just recently finished recording their new album, Collide and Conquer, and will be releasing it on October 23 here in Sacramento at Blue Lamp Lounge.

I had a chance to chat a bit with front-woman Kiyomi McCloskey about the new record:

Rob Brundage: What message do you hope to convey with your music, and more specifically, on your upcoming album Collide and Conquer?
Kiyomi McCloskey:
Collide and Conquer is basically about coming together to conquer your dreams and having strength in numbers. We have seen record labels, publicists, managers etc. all come and go, but at the end of the day we know we will always have each other (the band) and that the music will keep us together. We believe that with our music we will accomplish great things.

RB: What new things can fans expect to hear on the new album?
KM:
They can expect a broader range of songs. We have everything from slow love ballads to aggressive punk rock songs. We are really proud of the way that this record came out. We feel that this album shows a lot of growth when it comes to the songwriting aspect. We also explored the use of keys on this record and then gave it a little more room to breathe and an extra bit of softness to some of the songs

RB: How did you (band members) meet each other?
KM:
I met Laura when I was 19 at a gay bar that I had snuck into. We started talking about music and have been best friends and musical partners ever since. We met Vero in Brooklyn after we had moved to NYC. She was the local bartender at the Metropolitan in Brooklyn. Her and I had always chatted about music and when we lost our old bass player, I sort of began musically courting Vero. She came out on tour with us a little more than a year ago. She really has been a perfect fit for Hunter Valentine.

RB: Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
KM:
We love really dramatic bands that aren’t afraid to try anything. Muse is a big inspiration, The Distillers are great, and then I also love straight up songwriters like Lucinda Williams. Her words [and] lyrics paint the perfect picture for her songs.

RB: What advice would you give to the aspiring musicians of Sacramento?
KM:
Play as many shows as possible, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your greatest dreams, and work hard!

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Having listened to the new record, I can say with confidence that this is certainly a new step for the band. While they’ve been able to maintain the raw, ebullient, uncontainable energy that has kept their fans rocking for the last eight years, Collide and Conquer adds a dream-like back drop to their hard-hitting and dynamic sound.

Kiyomi attributes this transformation to the new addition of keyboards on the album, as well as working with Canadian producer Greig Nori. She says, “It was nice to work with another songwriter…I feel that he was the missing component.”

Collide and Conquer will also be the first album featuring bassist Veronica (Vero) Sanchez. Kiyomi expressed her excitement about the improved live line-up in which another new member, Aimee Bessada, will be playing the keyboard parts from the new record.

So what are you up to on October 23? I’ll be rocking out with Hunter Valentine. After all, as Kiyomi says: “You can look up music videos, listen to our albums, and watch interviews, but you really won’t understand what we are really about until you come out to see a live show.”

Tickets to the show are $10 in advance ($12 at the door) and can be purchased here. Get a feel for Hunter Valentine’s music by watching the video below:

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Enter our #TixFix giveaway for a pair of tickets to see Hunter Valentine at Blue Lamp on Tues, Oct 23 by posting a comment section in the “Facebook Comment” section at the bottom of the Sac365 event page, telling us your favorite Hunter Valentine song.

See complete #TixFix rules here.

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