Amy Gore talks about her first recording session with The Valentines, what lead to it, and what it’s like playing with this killer group.

I wrote the first 3 songs for the band’s debut show in April 2011: “Diana,” “Fine With Out You,” and “Drivin Around.” Originally, I called the latter “So Lost Now;” I think it’s on YouTube both ways. The first show was taped almost in its entirety, which is pretty exciting. We rehearsed maybe for 3 weeks as a new band for a showcase. For that show I was a little nervous, and Jackson was sick. I can’t remember, but I think he had the flu. Leann was quiet and Joe was … Joe. Italian.

After the first couple rehearsals I knew I wanted to record, and I wanted to record right away. Recording is kind of like creating a time capsule. It serves partially as a document of the feeling of that time. I hoped to capture the newness of the group. We really didn’t know each other as bandmates, but it felt like family right away. We had fun right away and none was the least bit pretentious about anything. I find pretension to be offensive. It’s counter-intuitive to creating things. Once you think of something or re-work it too much things can lose their charm. There is something exciting and immediate to the first sessions of a new band.

We started at Rustbelt Studios with Al Sutton in April of 2011. I played through both a Fender Pro Reverb amplifier and a Bad Cat amp, one stacked on top of the other. The Bad Cat amp was left behind from a Kid Rock session. Jackson played through an Ampeg Gemini II. Yes, the Bad Cat is upholstered in red, white and blue sparkle, it’s garish and wonderful. I like the tones we got from both amps together.

At the end, our first recording session gave us a lot of insight as to who we were going to be as a band. We were different from anything I’ve ever done before. The Valentines were a mystery together. And it makes it worth playing and pursuing to see who we’re going to develop into.

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