Vallion is made up of Josh Maavich (bass), Ryan Virgil (vocals), Jake Widmer (guitar), Cam Marks (guitar) and Jake Vititoe (drums).. Some where between hard rock and nu metal sits these fun guys that took first place at Howl’s Battle of the Bands V hosted by Set Life Pro. Having only been a formed band with this particular line-up for a few months, the boys were not expecting their first performance to be at BotB, let alone be the winning performance. When asked to share their experience of performing together they each had such enthusiasm and it as clear that the adrenaline is still going strong within the band.
Jake W: “That was one of my favorite shows. We just showed up to play and have fun. I mean we practiced every Sunday, and we go to the studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so we’re always working on music. We weren’t expecting to win at all, and I wouldn’t want to wake away an opportunity for someone else who can benefit from it. But now that’s its over we really did benefit from it a lot. Working with Vic and Tyler is so cool.”
Ryan: “It was pretty cool because we were getting ready and did out little pep talk, because this was the first time we had ever played live together. But the moment we got up on the stage we made a small crowd feel so big. It was awesome! All in all it was probably one of my favorite moments performing wise, because I felt it. I felt everyone’s vibe and I was like, this is why I want to do this again. It was a perfect way to start the band.”
Josh: It was the first show I ever played with Vallion and we were having fun ou can see that everyone in the crowd was having fun; you could see that no one was just standing there.
Jake V: “It was the first time I ever played where I was actually in the band.”
Even though this was your first time playing as Vallion, you’ve all had experience playing with other projects. How would you compare those experiences to this new formed project?
Ryan: “We all come from different backgrounds and played for different crowds, and I think this was just…better. It’s just the vibes were there like I was saying earlier. I used to stress up on stage, always thinking that I was going to fuck up. But this was different we’re just having fun and it’s great.
Jake: “It’s pretty different form the other stuff I’ve done. My house was the Dealey house back in the day; Traitors and other bands started playing there. I’ve been in that side of the community for so long.”
Ryan: “I just feel that in this new era of the scene, people are actually paying attention to the music and I feel it brings us out more. Kinda like what Vic and Tyler told us. Dude when I made my sound for Vallion, I took my metal background and put a twist on it to play a different atmosphere. I can put that raspy vocal in there but still hit harmonies and hit certain pitches that you just don’t get in certain music. People point it out and that’s what I want. For people to listen to and pay attention to what we all do, especially locally because this is where I grew up”
Jake: “It’s about having fun and enjoying it. Just enjoy hat we do and everyone is so welcome. No matter who you are or what you do.
Deciymber: “I definitely feel like the scene now is was more supportive. How are you doing with Vic and Tyler and House of Immortal? Tell us about that process.
Ryan: They’re working musicians so late nights is all they can do; but we have one track done with them. It’s coming out soon and we’re working on a music video for that track. Matt Anastasi will be shooting for us. We want to be the first band that works him and stick with him in the long run. We wrote a track with Vic and Tyler and we really like it. It’s a song about making your dreams and getting it big. It will show people what we are trying to achieve but it also shows people what they can do if they put their minds to it. It’s a song we all can relate to. Inspire people to do the hardest thing, getting off your ass and doing something. Also, Vic and Tyler make working with them easy. If there is ever a conflicting idea between the producers and the band it is resolved quickly with an open line of communication. They’ve been in the industry for such a long time that they give amazing advice. It’s really nice to live in an area where there is so much support. We have really good hope with what’s going to happen once this song comes out.”
When asked about the new track it was unanimously stated that is was different than anything they’ve done but you can that all of their songs have different styles. Knowing each member’s backgrounds in music, you can tell who had a part in writing each song based of the styles portrayed. Vallion as a whole also credit Jessie Kirkbride for being supportive and helping them find their sound. A collaboration with an open line of communication between both studios to create this new song can lead us to expect something unique, inspiring and powerful.
Recently, Vallion got the opportunity to open for American rock band, Tantric, at Rack’em Spirits & Times. A pretty surreal moment for the band and a great stepping stone in their continued path towards success. SWFL locals can catch their next show tomorrow, Friday the 13th, at Ollie’s Pub alongside Dorian Grey and Perfect Sequence.
As a band, they hope to spend 2020 working on music videos, building their set list for bigger shows and possibly take their music on the road for tour. Ryan and the rest of Vallion left us with a closing comment, “It’s all happening so fast that it makes me question if this is normal. And it’s like what’s next? You don’t want to get too big headed and think too big but at the same time, we’re driven to make it something big. So yeah, we’re just going to keep pushing and working hard. We’ve been in situation where bands are always competing but this community is nothing like this. We feel like there is much love in the scene than there was before. We definitely want to give a shout out to all the other participating bands from Battle of the Bands V. Lots of love and respect was shown that night at HOWL, we just want to return that. Expect to see us out in the scene more, even if we’re not playing, to support the SWFL music family.”
Check out their facebook page to get the latest scoop on where they’ll be next
Photos by: Welshmen_Photos & Marianna Marks