Chad Valley


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Cascine Records
31 Sunday 31st July 2011

Now That I'm Real (How Does It Feel?)

First off, where did your moniker come from? Why the choice to go with Chad Valley instead of your pretty awesome given name?

It was a really obvious choice for me. I don't know what drew me to the name, but I knew as soon as I heard it that I wanted to use it. It was a friend of mine's pseudonym when he was in a punk band. Also, I liked the liked the idea of people thinking that it is my actual name... like an alternative persona.

How long have you been making the tracks that we hear now on Equatorial Ultravox?

Most of the tracks came from between November and December last year. I finished it all off literally on Christmas Eve. I think the bitterly cold winter was maybe influential to me, as I would enter a state of denial every time I stepped into the studio to write. I would draw the curtains and kid myself that it was summer outside.

So what's the deal with (your other band) Jonquil at the moment? Still working on material with the group, or are you focusing more on Chad Valley for now?

We're just putting the finishing touches to our third album right now. It’s sounding very different to anything we've done before, and I think that there is something that Chad Valley fans will enjoy in it too. I split my time between the two and it suits me fine. I have a lot of songs in my head, so I need a lot of outputs. I am slowly working towards a house side-project too.

We love the sort of hazy, summery tones throughout your tracks. What's the funniest term you've heard used to describe the genre you make? And how would you describe it yourself?

I mean, chillwave is a pretty funny name, and that is about all people call it. I like it when people call me electro pop, or synth pop. I feel that pop represents what I'm doing a whole lot.

Chad Valley -  Fast Challenges

What do you make of the whole 'chillwave' scene (Washed Out, Keep Shelly In Athens, Southern Shores etc), and the blog hype it's been getting for the last year or so?

I don't hate it... but I do think that a lot of artists need to step outside of the constraints of the genre. There are a whole lot of clichés going around, and I can see why people are getting sick of it.

We've seen you're going to hit an autumn tour with Friendly Fires and SBTRKT later this year. How'd that all come about?

I'm not really sure, to be honest, but I think they are fans of my stuff. They came down to a show I did in London recently, and the next day I got the offer. It’s going to be nuts... they will be the biggest venues I've ever played. Also, it's lead me to finally check out SBTRKT, and I am now a huge fan of his stuff too.

As for now, what are your plans for the rest of the summer? We've heard from Cascine that you're on the go right now so what's on the agenda when you're back in Oxford?

Erm, I'm not really on the road... I'm very much in the studio working on the new Jonquil album right now, but I've got a few festival appearances for Chad Valley still to come, then I'm doing a whole month of touring in the US. I’ll be supporting Active Child on a coast to coast tour, which will be exciting, to say the least. Then I get back and there is the Friendly Fires tour, and then lots of time in the studio working on the debut album.

Up and Down by chadvalley

Finally, we already know you're a big part of Oxford's Blessing Force collective. How long has it been going? And what are your hopes for BF in the next few years?

The beginning of BF are kind of vague, but I guess it’s been going for a year or so. My only hopes are that all the bands do really well. The original point of BF was to help each other out in becoming professional in what we do. All of us have hopes to be doing that at some point, and I think the association with BF has really helped all of us so far.


Catch Chad Valley at Field Day in Victoria Park this Saturday, August 6th 2011. If you can't make that one, check out his UK autumn tour dates here and keep up with general Chad Valley news on his Facebook page and Tumblr.

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