Valis Ablaze take on the A-Z challenge

Our A-Z challenge is a fun way know the many artists out there. This time, its the turn of Valis Ablaze! Bassist Dan Botherton takes on the task.

A song that made you want to make music?

Probably QueenBohemian Rhapsody. For the time, it just had everything happening. Inspired some of us to sing, learn instruments.

Best rider you have had?

The Euroblast Festival (2018) rider was pretty fun. Free beer, and rum, cooked meals happening throughout the day catering to all dietary needs. John is a great host!

Craziest moment in the band?

Probably opening for Tesseract and watching them set up and just realising we were well behind where we needed to be. But it was a busy and fun show. That was crazy as a sort of wake up call of where we could go with the band and a good marker for how far we’d come.

Deepest lyric one of your songs features?

The lyrics to Legacy are about the slow passing of a loved one.


Easiest song you wrote?

Paradox, despite being one of the more complex songs from Boundless, seems to be the one I recall come most naturally to us when we moved to our current sound. Everything else has been built over a long period.

Favourite song in your set?

We’ve got 2 between us all: Lost in the Syntax is just a fast and sweet song to perform and hear back as an old one. Paradox from the album Boundless is just so groovy and slow though. Hopefully some of the new material from we’ll be playing live from Render this summer can begin to replace those old favourites!

Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?

A Misha Mansoor guest solo would make a fair few of us in the band very happy!


Hardest thing about being in a band?

The Dementors.


Interesting fact about one of your members?

Believe it or not, there’s a 14 year age gap between two of the band. . . 


Jokes you have in the band?

Well, Ash is bald, Dayle is Irish, Tom can’t grow any kind of beard and Phil isn’t that young anymore. We haven’t really picked on Dan yet as he’s new but his time will come. 


Key to writing a song?

Only refine it a few times. The more you try to improve the base of it, the harder it gets to perfect it with the fun things like layers and harmonies.


Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?

We drove 500 miles to play in Germany last year. It was worth it though, we’ve been invited back!


Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?

We saw and played with Dead Letter Circus a few years back. That was a truly awesome show. Barely any distorted guitars yet such a heavy and emotive performance. Definitely a big influence on us after that show.


New band you’d recommend?

The Five Hundred, Sertraline, Derange, Blind Summit, BOE, Drip Fed Empire, RXPTRS, Hypophora, Immerse and probably more we’ve completely forgotten about. Sorry, guys!


Opening for this band would be ideal?

Opening for Devin Townsend would be ideal. His fan base is so varied, it would be nice to capitalise on that range of potentially interested demographic. 


Place you’d most like to tour?

Japan. That’s number one on our wishlist at the moment.


Quote that you’d like to pass on to our readers?

“Art is longing. You never arrive, but you keep going in the hope that you will.” – Anselm Kiefer


Reason for the title of your forthcoming release?

Render conceptually is effectively the construct of a reality that we may create to deal with situations that may test and change us in mostly negative ways.


See us live at?

Radar Festival, Burn it Down Festival, and across the UK on our Render UK Tour!


The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?

Un-tuck your Iron Maiden t-shirt out of your jeans and stop watching tribute bands in the pub.


Unusual merchandise?

We sell sew-on patches which is odd because I don’t think we’ve seen a single denim ‘battle’ jacket at any show we’ve played…


Variations you’d like to do on one of your songs?

Acoustic versions of some of the darker songs would be fantastic to work on.
As well as liquid drum and bass versions of some of the more melodic and uplifting tracks.


What do your fans mean to you?

They mean a lot. They impress us weekly as we see stream and video numbers continue to grow. We’re just happy to be able to put music out and for it to mean so much to people. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be growing at the rate we are.


X-rays or any other treatments needed for band injuries?

Just a bad elbow scrape from a fall on stage once during the first song, straight into some of our lights which we had to retire… 


You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?

Phil’s or Tom’s fault. They’ve not packed their sleeping stuff away yet or are still doing their hair.


Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?

Fun, adored but can be powerful and dangerous when needed.

Elizabeth Birt

July 23, 2019

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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