Q&A with Casey Newton of Valise

Dallas indie rock band, Valise has had a very busy 2015. Early this year, they released their debut album, Young Bloomer, followed by a relentless touring and festival schedule, headlining shows and playing alongside bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Local Natives, Dawes, Family of the Year, and Copeland. The band's track "Charlie Gray" was also recently featured on an episode of ABC Family's Chasing Life. Currently on tour with Macy Gray, it's safe to say that Valise are planning on ending their year on a high note and diving straight into 2016. 

We had the chance to catch up with Bassist Casey Newton in between the band's busy schedule. Fans can read the entire interview and watch Valise's new video for "Clover" below!

Interview by Dom Vigil

Can you tell us a little bit about Valise for any readers who may not be familiar?

Sure! We're 4 handsome, well mannered Texas boys trying to make your booty shake. With music. 

You guys have had a very busy year so far, from releasing your debut album Young Bloomer to supporting Copeland, your own headlining dates, and now your tour with Macy Gray. What has been a high point of your year so far?

Oh man, it's hard to pick one thing; this has been a great year for us. Glazed Donut Works in Dallas engineered a doughnut that looked like our album cover on the night of our CD release party. That ruled. Also the night we found out that we would be touring with Macy Gray was ALSO the same night that our song "Charlie Gray" was on an episode of ABC Family's Chasing Life. We were finally getting some traction and it felt awesome. 

What are you most excited for in the last few months of 2015? 

I'm excited for Texas to get cold! And the tour with Macy of course. And Christmas. 

Now that Young Bloomer has been out for a while and you’ve had the chance to play some songs out on the road, what does this album mean to you? 

We've grown a lot since we started writing the record, so it's a beautiful thing to relive the steps we took to become better musicians each night - I'm very proud of us. That, and seeing the way people connect with the songs in the crowd - that's where everything truly comes to life.

Being your debut release, what did you want to be able to accomplish with Young Bloomer?

We just wanted to make an interesting, dynamic record. A lot of it was just proving to ourselves that we could sound like a real band. We sat for hours and hours dissecting songs from our favorite bands and figuring out exactly what made them great to us. Then during writing we'd say "Okay let's be Spoon here." Or "Okay now let's approach this like a chill-wave Jimmy Eat World." So I guess we wanted to pay homage to all of our favorite bands while also having an identity of our own. 

Were there any themes you wanted to touch on or stories you wanted to tell with the album?

I don't think we ever set out to tell a particular story or anything, but looking back on the record, it definitely feels like a time capsule of a very specific time in my life. Vince and I were both going throughbreakups while writing the album and it felt like a lot of his lyrics were just rhyming versions of my own feelings. He writes almost all of the lyrics, but I like to think our shared experiences of loss and regret help him vocalize his thoughts, and I feel like a lot of my story is imprinted in the songs through that. 

How would you like Valise to move forward with new music? Is there anything that you’d really like to explore as musicians?

I kind of want to approach the next record as if it's our very first. No pressure, no expectations. I think being in that headspace will be good for us. As for the music itself, it's really hard to say. We've each grown a lot since we started recording Young Bloomer, so I'm excited to see what everyone brings to the table next time around. 

You guys are on the road in support of Macy Gray! What are you most excited for during these upcoming tour dates?

Snow! Although I don't look forward to driving in it.  Also, I love driving through the mountains. We don't get any of that awesomeness in Texas. I'm also excited to watch and learn from Macy and her band. They're gonna be mad  groovy. 

What would you like listeners, both old and new, to take away from your upcoming live shows? 

Hopefully inspiration of some kind! That's why it's our job to be in the zone and play our butts off. When the chemistry's there, all kinds of magic can happen. 

Where do you see Valise heading in the next few months, or in 2016?

Definitely more touring. We also have a couple more videos up our sleeves that we're excited about releasing. But I'd be lying if I said we haven't been feeling the writing bug lately. No winter hibernation happening here!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, check out our album Young Bloomer and come see a show! 

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UPCOMING TOUR DATES w/ Macy Gray as direct support:

11/13 - Sioux City, IA @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

11/14 - Mayetta, KS @ Prairie Band Casino & Resort

11/17 - Bloomington, IN @ Buskirk-Chumley Theater

11/18 - Chicago, IL @ City Winery

11/19 - Chicago, IL @ City Winery

11/21 - Hartford, CT @ Infinity Hall

11/22 - Washington DC @ Howard Theatre

11/23 - Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head On Stage

11/24 - New York, NY @ City Winery

11/25 - New York, NY @ City Winery

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