Q+A: Five minutes with The Valmonts


Originally from Galway, Dublin based Indie-rock band The Valmonts released their new single ‘Cry & Get A Little Drunk’ on the 15th of September via Watts Hill Records. The single will come off of their upcoming EP Living In A Paranoid Trance. With publication support from the likes of Clash Magazine, Hot Press, RTE Entertainment, and Music Crowns, the Dublin rockers have also performed at Wild Roots Festival in Sligo, which featured acts such as Rudimental and Kaiser Chiefs. In addition to this, the boys have headlined Bloom Festival in Phoenix park and sold out shows at Whelans Upstairs in Dublin, as well as featuring in the RTE 2XM ‘Passport Approved Show’, which was broadcast to over 50 international stations. ‘Cry & Get A Little Drunk’ has also already garnered early premiere support from Notion, as well as an inclusion on GoldenPlecs ‘Irish Songs You Need To Hear This Week’, showing no signs of slowing down.


Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

When we were younger our father (Darragh & Keiths)Tommy bought Keith a drum kit without his knowledge and arrived home with it from work one day. It was always Dads dream to play music as he is a through and through music enthusiast, however he never had the opportunity to learn to play when he was growing up so always wanted to make sure the lads could if they wanted and welcomed Cathal and Tymek as they began to nearly live with us as we used to hang out and rehearse in our garage that often. It’s gone from our roughed up shed when we were kids to a home to The Valmonts. He’s just retired from being our roadie but he keeps a close eye on Instagram since we showed him how all that works.


Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

We like to keep ourselves in a constant loop of creativity. We’re always throwing different ideas at each other. It’s often the conversations or voice notes of someone humming that happen between us day-to-day that will weave itself into a song or lyric. It really varies wether the sound or idea comes first. Which is great, I feel it would get boring to write if it became that formulaic.


Does your material feature any collaborations?

We tend to keep the creative process between ourselves at the moment. Having said that we would love to collaborate with other artists on future projects!


What’s on your current playlist?

The newest Little Simz record is what we find ourselves playing in the car. She’s an amazing lyricist with a real captivating raw approach. Remi Wolf as well. Disco Man has been our summer anthem that’s for sure.


Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

It’s honestly what we look forward to the most before a gig. Recently we did our own headline show and seeing strangers sing back lyrics really makes you feel like you’re doing something right. It’s cool to see songs so personal to us resonate with others. The energy that’s created from the back and forth between us and the crowd has you performing at level that just can’t be matched when it’s just us four in a rehearsal room.


What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

We throw the kitchen sink at it and see what sticks! haha In all honesty we just do what we do. None of us are session players or anything like that, we’re simply The Valmonts. I think it gives us an advantage. Once it’s the four of us playing together it’s gonna sound like us.


Take us through a day in the recording studio.

We tend to plan out what each studio day will entail. We usually play through the song acoustically to make sure we’re set with the structure, keys or the tempo. After that, we put down a guide track for Keith to drum to. One of the most exciting parts in the studio is when we’re tracking drums. We’re massive fans of a huge drum sound and whenever Keith starts drumming the whole room just lights up with ideas. We find that our favourite moments on the record actually happen in the studio. The studio almost brings out a new layer to the songs that otherwise just wouldn’t happen in a different setting. Perhaps it’s all the tea we have at Stuart’s. Who knows!


Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

For sure, we’ve all had different experience of this but it’s the same story. For Myself (Darragh) I saw U2 on their Vertigo Tour when I was about 10. Seeing a stadium go wild for a band like that at such a young age was mesmerising. For Keith it was AC/DC back in 2009. We Begged my Dad for months to bring us. To be honest he ended up enjoying it as much as we did. Darragh, Dad and I became concert buddies after that day. Unforgettable experiences and shaped our dreams.


What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

A bottle of water and a towel.


What gets your creative juices flowing?

We find it’s more valuable to not block our creative juices as opposed to get them flowing if that makes sense. Being relaxed, comfortable and in the right mindset to allow ideas to flow is vital. Taking some time away, wether that be a walk whilst listening to your favourite new tunes or a morning workout is simple and effective and freeing the mind and getting you thinking about things differently. I guess just doing the things that make you feel good and puts you in a positive mindset is the best away to allow yourself to be your most creative.


Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

We’ve all got our individual instruments, guitars, bass and drums but in terms of tech and software we are big fans of synths. In terms of software we use Reaper and Ableton live and in the studio we are working with ProTools. We always find ourselves using the Fender Stratocaster for the shinier guitar parts in the studio and we’re not afraid of the Gibson Lesly for the beefier riffs.


Any side projects you’re working on?



How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

A less is more approach with arrangements. It’s easy to fall into the habit of throwing down every melodic idea you have into a song. It can become overbearing and sometimes how you use space is just as important as the parts themselves. Our key phrase when working on tracks is to ‘serve the song, no more, no less’.


Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Our forthcoming single ‘Cry & Get A Little Drunk’ is set for release next month and our debut EP ‘Living In a Paranoid Trance’ is right around the corner. With a music video filmed close to where we currently reside this release is going to share a more personal lens into our lives. To top it all off, November 18th will see us headline The Workman’s Cellar.


Famous last words?

“Not just another indie band”


Stream / Download‘Cry And Get A Little Drunk’



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