Valletta Interview

Valletta is an explosive quartet hailing from North Carolina, whose debut album is set to be released this summer. I had a chat with the band about their history, the anger fuelling the album, and more!

Hello, Rick here! Who am I talking to?

Yoooo Rick! Keenan Carroll here, lead vocal and guitar.

A bit about the history of the band: how did it come to be? What has been your story so far?

So I play in another project out of Boston called Lord Almighty. We went on the road back in 2016 with Moy’noq, Justin Valletta and Donald Boyd’s other project. To be honest, I kinda fell in love with the dudes and ended up in another project with them.

Justin V happened to know Will Goodyear – from Between the Buried and Me, Hopesfall – and partied with him until he had no choice but join the project as well on lead guitar. Really helped bring it all together.

We started jamming and here we are.

About the new album, Come Alive, you have said that “[it] is a call to action for those who remain silent in the face of mass tragedies caused by the religious dogma and divisive politics that their blind belief helps perpetuate. It is a challenge to perceive these events through a different lens”.
The political situation is indeed bleak at the moment, not only in the US but I’d argue almost everywhere; do you think music can seriously challenge one’s belief?

So I’ll definitely say that I don’t have all the answers. But what I can definitely say with confidence is that music absolutely challenged and changed my beliefs.

I think that when someone is able to truly relate and feel themselves in a song, it opens a door to self exploration.

Additionally, do you feel metal bands, in general, should do more and be more involved and politically outspoken?

When I take a look around I can see that people seem to be getting more pissed off. I think that, at least me personally, I’m getting pretty tired.

Music and Art in general, seems to reflect time periods when we look back. It seems a bit inevitable that we’ll see more of it as the restraints tighten.

Musically speaking, this album is seriously some powerful stuff: a hint of melodeath charged with explosive groove, and a distant memory of Tribulation… if it was on steroids.
When you started out writing this album, did you have a precise musical direction you wanted to go to? How did you end up refining this distinctive sound?

Seriously appreciate the kind words about it.

And short answer no haha. I think one of our main goals with this project is to throw everything that we made as rules for ourselves in the past – throw it in the trash.

We all grew up on rock ‘n roll and a lot of what we’re aiming to do is to just not give one shit. If we like it then – sick. No compromise.

Are you planning on releasing a music video for any of the songs that have already been released? I’d personally love to see one for Soot & Ash or for the title track.

We’re actually working on one right now with this amazing group in Detroit – The COIN. Definitely check out their previous work, sooooo killer.

They’re working on a music video for the track Serpents of Solomon. Very excited to release that when the time comes… so keep a lookout!

Valletta has played some dates with Earthling and with Sonja and Morgul Blade on their southern US tour; do you have plans for a full-on tour, after the album release?

In the deck at the moment we have an upcoming show with Cloak and Withered in May, and some dates with Anti-Sapien (NYC), Inter Arma.

As for a full blown tour, we’re heavily focused on building songs for people to listen to at the moment. We’ve also been looking at getting as many weekend runs as we can through the rest of the year to play on the East Coast as much as possible. But we definitely are gonna be ramping it up and making it further on the road as we continue to move forward.

Many thanks to Keenan and all the guys from Valletta! Come Alive will be released on July 14th, 2023 and you can already listen to some songs on Bandcamp. Follow the band of Facebook and Instagram to stay tuned!