Just a heads up that Dick Valentine’s 2014 Party Planner is available for purchase now, and let me just say, I cannot recommend it enough.
I have planned many a party but still these recipes - both cocktails and appetizers are covered for the perfect party - have blown my mind, and I am ecstatic to use them at the next opportunity that lands at my feet. Valentine even draws from his musical background to provide eclectic playlists to help entertain your guests further.
(note: none of this is real, but it is very, very funny and please buy it)
Evil Cowards —- Rich Kids
Hi Dick. Welcome to Belfast. You’ve been here a few times. Do you … like Belfast?
“I had a tremendous tomato soup on Botanic one time – that’s really the only lasting impression. I also saw a guy get the shit beat out of him in Wetherspoon’s as well, so those are the two lasting impressions I have.”
You’re here to perform Fire in its entirety. It’s been ten years since its release, which is incredible when you think about it. Does it feel like ten years?
“No, it doesn’t. Ten years goes by real quick when you’re having a good time. One day you look up and it’s all gone – all of it – but I’ve had a good time.”
How do you view the album nowadays, as a whole, in retrospect?
“Actually, I don’t really think about Fire that much. I think about all the ones after. Fire was the one where all the songs were like the Greatest Hits of our band as we were an unsigned band for six years. By the time we recorded and toured Fire we were already tired of them. The albums I like are the ones that are kind of cobbled within a year. Pretty much all the albums after Fire are the ones I like”.
It was definitely a breakthrough album, when it finally was recorded and released. Do you crave the level of exposure you had at that time?
“Crave it? No. We never sought it out in the first place. It just kind of happened and we would take it if it came back, so to speak, but we never pursue it and we never did pursue it. If it happens without having to put in effort, that’s great. That’s how I live my life: let things come to you and don’t put an ounce of effort into any of it.”
You’ve released seven albums since Fire. In hindsight, do you have any personal favourites and is there anything that you wish you had done differently?
“Not really. I mean, I kind of like them all. I really like the last two we’ve done. I like them all. They’re like children, except for Fire – that’s a bastard child.”
You’re very much all about the live experience. For someone who hasn’t seen it, how would you describe the band’s live approach?
“Honestly, it’s very minimal. I mean, we’re just a bar band. We turn up and play bars. We’re people who play instruments and there’s nothing that special about our live shows. Based on the first couple of videos, people want me to come out on stage, ride an elk and make out with an old lady. Those things are expensive, you know? You have to feed the old lady and give her a place to sleep every night. Some people are like, “You’re making a big mistake not recreating the video on stage” to which my response is fuck you, you’re making a big mistake caring so much. This is Electric Six.”
Your most recent album, Heartwaves and Brainwaves, is quite different from your previous releases. Were you happy with the reaction it received?
“Oh yes. We always try to do something that doesn’t sound like the last thing we do. That’s the whole point: not repeating what you’ve already done. In fact, we’ve a full-on guitar album for the next one. I don’t think it’s going to be a Deep Purple or anything but it will definitely be more guitar-orientated. Heartbeats is great though – it’s a very fun record”.
It’s safe to say you’re a very fun, entertaining band. Personally speaking, do you necessarily consider that the role of the frontman – to entertain and to maintain that angle?
“Well, if you look at the original line-up of Electric Six, there was a lot of downtime between songs because the band were having panic attacks, they needed to find their cigarettes or bottle of Jack Daniels. There was invariably 3-5 minutes between songs so I had to learn how to talk to an audience because there was nothing else to do. There was a lot of dead air so it kind of happened naturally. I reckon I shouldn’t talk so much on stage but it’s fun and therapeutic.”
Your shows in Belfast always sell out. Do you always get such an adoring reception everywhere you go or is just some specific cities?
“Yeah, it just depends. Sometimes I look out into the crowd and people are throwing stuff at us and I think we’re having a horrible time and like, you come out afterwards and everyone’s really nice so you never know. But there are some evil people out there and some dumb, dumb kids that come to our shows.”
Do you like people getting up on the stage?
“I hate it. Growing up as a teenage boy it never once occurred to me that I belonged on stage. To this day, I’m forty years old now, I still don’t understand how people come to point and think, and “you know what that stage needs? It needs me. And you know why? I’m awesome.” They always have that look on their face that says, “I’m awesome.””
Do you think you’re awesome?
“I don’t think so but the band have signed a contract to play here. Contractually we know what we’re doing whereas the eighteen year old kid who looks like he’s got two brain cells, he isn’t part of the contract.”
You ended your show in 2011 with the words, “Everybody here’s going to die someday but with Electric Six, you don’t have to feel it”. Do you think that sums up your approach?
“That’s what we try to do. We try to make people understand they are going to die and that’s exactly why we go on tour.”
And making money.
“Yeah, making money is a big part of it.”
You need money to live.
“You do. You need money to live.”
You recently released your debut solo album, Destroy the Children. Why has it taken so long for you release solo material?
“Well, we didn’t record a studio album this year so I grabbed the opportunity to get it done. Also, I enjoy playing acoustic shows and knew that it would be a good way to do. I’m already planning to do a new one.”
You once said 90% of Electric Six’s songs are about nothing. Do you stick by this?
“I think it’s more at this point.”
Finally, a Dick Valentine-obsessed friend of mine asked me to ask you: what will destroy the world first – nuclear war or the cult of celebrity? And do you play weddings?
“As for what will destroy the world first, I don’t think either of those. I think they will both phase themselves out pretty quickly. My money’s on climate change. As for weddings, yes, yes we do. You can have either have the full band or just myself – it depends what you can afford. You need money to live, right?”
I’m Dick Valentine! I make music! Take this simple quiz and find out which one of my two solo albums is right for you! Are you a “Destroy The Children” type or are you ready for my “Halloween Fingers”??? Find out now! Take the quiz!!!!
Here is Dick Valentine’s pornographic thriller entitled “Chinatown Reacharound” And you can download “Chinatown Reacharound” NOW! http://store.payloadz.com/details/2042683-ebooks-fiction-chinatown-reacharound.html
Dick Valentine on ‘Red Eye’