Local Music Interview: Valice

todayJuly 23, 2022 62 2

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By Sheridan Kruitz

Music Journalist

Valice is an Alternative Indie Rock band consisting of four members: Ricci Valice on guitar and vocals, George Feledichuk on the bass, Alex Young on guitar and James Leblanc on the drums. They have 3 singles out currently, and in 2020, they released their album “Sugarjulie”.  

“Sugarjulie” is 44 minutes of psychedelic pop with folk rock elements throughout. You can find yourself singing along cruising with the windows down on a hot summer night to “Five Feet from the Floor”. Other songs are more heartfelt and melodic like “Time Roll Past”. This album is balanced with somber and sanguine. If I can’t headbang or dance around and then get in my feelings all during one album, is it really worth listening to? Valice has caught my attention in a matter of seconds. 

Are you guys from the area? 

Ricci: Yeah we formed in Austin. I’m originally from Seattle, Washington. George, our bass player is from Canada which is pretty funky. The other two are from San Antonio and Houston. We met mainly at U.T. And we formed in 2018. The end of 2019, we called ourselves Valice and we put out our first music in 2020.   

Why did you choose the name “Valice”? 

Ricci: That’s my last name actually. I put a solo album under my name, Ricci Valice, and then I got booked for a show in Austin. I came to U.T. from Washington State and I just sent in this CD of my album to this random address and he picked my CD out of a bunch of ones that he received and was like, “Hey we want you to come play this show.” And I was like great, that’s awesome and then he was like, “So you have a band right?” I’m like, (Sarcastically), “ Uh-huh”. And now I have a band. I just had to get one together literally that week and that’s how the band formed. We were going under Ricci Valice and then tried around for a long time some different name ideas. Ultimately we just decided to go with my last name because it was nice and short and we thought it was cool. 

How do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like? Do you have a method for the madness? 

Ricci: Typically, I just kind of write all the songs on my own and then I share it with the guys. Sometimes they’ll come up with parts on their own like when we’re recording or mixing later. Typically I write most of it, but on this EP we’ve kind of started to spread it around a little bit just because we’ve become more solid as a band and understand each other’s influences. As far as my personal process goes, I just start on the piano or just noodle on the guitar. A lot of times I find random noises or samples. The song we’re filming a music video for has this sample of a southern preacher we recorded on Ham Radio randomly. “I looked in the bible and there I was, I started rising right up from the ground”; things like that help us make a song around that. 

Who inspired you specifically to make music? 

Ricci: I’m a huge classic rock fan, that was kind of my bread and butter growing up. I’m definitely inspired by British invasion rock more than anything like The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, stuff like that. There’s just so much to love in that era of music like really just kind of breaking the barriers of everything like that was the first time the sound became this whole art form to mess with and to play with. There’s a lot of creative stuff from that time. I think the music is getting better all the time; I think that some of the stuff today just has elements of that creativity from that time but it’s even more polished and pure. Stuff like Tame Impala or I really love Gorillaz a lot. That’s the kind of music I want to make, if I could do like one percent of that then that would be my dream. 

What are your plans for the band this summer? 

Ricci: This summer we’re trying to get an EP out; we’re starting the process for filming a music video for the song we’re putting out so we’re really putting a lot of effort into that. We did a big tour last year so we didn’t want to do one again so soon without putting out any new music. 

Big things are in store for this Austin-based band! Catch Valice on Thursday, July 21st playing at 11pm at the Porch in San Marcos! 

Featured Image by Brigid Ludwig 

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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