Fireworks Magazine Online 66 - Interview with Robby Valentine

Robby Valentine

Neil French caught up with Dutch maestro Robby Valentine to discuss his various projects past and present but most importantly the imminent release of his new album. Welcome to the ‘Bizarro World’ of Robby Valentine

So Robby the album’s called ‘Bizarro World’ is that a DC Comics reference in there?

RV: Yes exactly. I'm not really a big fan but I just liked the story behind ‘Bizarro World’. I don't know what year it was, like an early 60s thing, but everything's opposite [to how it is on earth] and that's mainly how I kind of felt, and still feel, these past twenty years or so. Everything I like and I do, the way I present myself, the music, I feel kind of alienated and trying to figure out what's the ‘Bizarro World’, my world or the world outside. That's kind of the main theme behind it.

You've been playing a couple of gigs and a few months ago you did a small showcase gig to tryout some of the new songs and you also released a limited edition EP. What was the thinking behind that?

RV: It was kind of a teaser but we planned that gig maybe three months before. We wanted to do the presentation of the new album but it wasn't right, I didn't think the time was right to release an album right before the summer and the festivals. We thought, we haven't been playing for three or four years, it's a nice little warm up for the new band and for people to get into it again and that's why we also put out the little teaser with three tracks from the album and two tracks that won't be on the album.

I have to say I'm loving the new material, perhaps a little more immediate than the last couple of releases.

RV: Yes I think it's a bit more radio friendly. The thing that surprised me a lot was the track called ‘Deadbeat Boy’, it was received so well. Nobody knew it at the shows and still they were clapping along. It was cool. Last month we played at Metalfest in Rotterdam and there were a lot of Metal fans screaming in between songs, “Slayer, Slayer” and then I thought this is for all the Slayer fans, they were doing this little dance, a strange Pogo, I’m not really making fun of it, but it even worked with them, it was cool to see.

As you mentioned you have a new band, tell us who's in it right now.

RV: The drummer is Andre Borgman he's originally from the Dutch Gothic band After Forever. Then Johan Willems, Jay Jay, I've known him since 1984. We started demoing little things, his tracks, my tracks and we found that our voices fit together pretty well. If I need the choirs to be a bit thicker I ask him and it’s been that way since the late 80s. Then you've got Paul Coenradie. I actually stole him from Aniday, the band of Marlies, my girlfriend, because my previous guitar player Cyril Whistler totally fell out of love with playing live. Paul stepped in for five or six concerts so that was an easy choice. Andre came up with his friend Luuk van Gerven, the bass player from After Forever and it's fantastic. He has a lot of energy on stage, lots of attack. It comes so easy to him. It’s a joy to play with them.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine for Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

You briefly touched on Aniday there fronted by your partner Marlies. You finally put the album out earlier this year. Tell us about Aniday and how it came together.

RV: Well the drummer, Danny, he thought they should get better songs and told them, “I know someone who may be able to write us some songs.” I didn't know Marlies at the time, of course I'd seen her on TV with the Idols show, but we got together and I wrote one song called ‘Lost The Way’. I had a lot of songs written before that for a project called Kyssmet which was kind of dead. Right at that moment Marlies and I became acquainted. She started to use maybe eight of my songs. I wasn't in the band yet as I didn't feel like being in a band as a keyboard player. They started recording my songs and I didn't want to have anything to do with it but I heard what they'd done and I wasn't happy with my babies, the songs. So I stepped in and said “OK you can use my tapes.” Then we put real drums on it, Marlies re-did the vocals and we did a remix that became the album. For some reason we were not successful finding a suitable record company and things got in between, so that album was shelved, but after a few years we thought it was a shame. We are playing with it and it should be out, so Marlies decided to put some energy into it.

And you went down the route of self releasing it via your website and I think a couple of other websites in Europe. You're going down the same route with ‘Bizarro World’. Is it so difficult to get a deal?

RV: It is difficult, especially in Holland and always when they take a chance to hear it they look at the picture and think, well the long hair and make-up, we don't think we can put it on the radio. To be honest I haven't really looked too hard for a label because I know the situation. It's not ideal because by doing it yourself you will never get on the radio, that chance is very small, but we're doing a very limited release, so we're hoping at some point somebody may step in because doing it by ourselves it's just too much work.

You're coming over to the UK to play at the Queen Convention again but this time with a full band. It's more or less sold out, so it should be good.

RV: Yes I'm really excited. Of course it's a lot more fun to do it with a band than to do a one man show going to the piano and the guitar. Actually we did ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at a Bizzaro World show and for me it was a dream come true to do it with a full band.

Going back in time can I ask you about your old friend Peter Strykes from 1st Avenue. What do you recall about that time and how did you get back with him to put out the Peter Strykes ‘Sings Robby Valentine’ album?

RV: Yeah in ‘87 I started 1st Avenue and then Peter joined the band. It was quite promising for a while but after about a year and a half I was getting quite frustrated at just being the main writer and the lunatic behind the keyboards, so I thought it was time I took the step to be a solo artist. I got some opportunities with some record companies so in ‘89 I quit. Later Peter and I became friends again and he was stepping more into the Pop Classical world. I thought his voice was very suitable for that so I started to write in that atmosphere. We did four songs but we didn't do anything with it until 2006 when I picked it up again and we did the Peter Strykes Robby Valentine album but then again nothing happened with it and he became a member of LA: The Voices.

Visit to order Bizarro World

Robby Valentine Interview

Share this on the web.

Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

William Shatner - 'The Blues'
13/10/2020 | James Gaden
article thumbnail

One of his best albums to date.

Latest News on Rocktopia

Status Quo bassist ALAN LANCASTER dies aged 72
26/09/2021 | Central Electronic Brain

Alan Lancaster,
founding member and bassist for St [ ... ]

Member Login


<<  October 2021  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 32 minutes ago
  • Deeppurple#1 : Hi,I downloaded my free copy of issue #87 but I can't seem to open the file. Any advice?
  • Berny : RIP Alan Lancaster! :(
  • Berny : @Barneypippa: I forwarded your mail to the Fireworks team. You should receive a reply asap.
  • Barneypippa : My magazine (#96) hasnt arrived yet - should have been here last week
  • Rocktopia Te : @bakerstreetish: Pls. check your email for download instructions.
  • bakerstreeti : Hi, I just bought digital download #96. How will I be able to receive/access it? First time on this site. Thanks!
  • zom414 : Have they been posted out yet? Not received mine yet but may have the release date wrong!
  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
  • Berny : Fireworks #96 is out now! :)
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Pls. check your email!
  • Paul wiv : I have paid for issue 92 but it hasn't downloaded yet.
  • Berny : @Adamson: Bitte kontaktiere mich direkt, meine Mailadresse lautet «email»
  • Adamson : kann man hier auch auf Deutsch schreiben? denn ich hätte eine Frage?
  • KI2000 : Wow, issue #95 has to be the BEST one so far. Congratulations guys!!
  • Hysteria : GREAT MAGAZINE! Keep on rockin' guys!!!
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #95 is out now!
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Many thanks for your purchase, pls. check your mail.
  • Paul wiv : I have bought issue 89 on download but it has not appeared on my account
  • Berny : @pomper: BOTH of your mails were forwarded to the Fireworks Team, please contact me directly at «email» should you still haven’t received a reply.
  • bpomper : trying to confirm my fireworks 94 order with no answer from team rocktopia??
  • bpomper : i ordered fireworks number 94 but never got a conformation other than my paypal receipt. can you confirm it went out. i have transaction id if you need it
  • Berny : @ALL: Should you have any questions about your Fireworks orders, pls. contact me directly at «email»
  • Berny : Hi @Stuey6666: You are using two user names on Rocktopia. All current orders were assigned to your second account, pls. check your mail again.
  • Stuey6666 : Hi Berny - ordered 4 issues last week - still not arrived - have checked spam etc not there. cheers stu
  • Berny : @Adolfo: I've also just sent you the magazine via WeTransfer. But please check you junk mail folder, the mail was definitely sent earlier today.
  • Berny : Hi @Adolfo: Have you already checked your spam folder? If the mail cannot be found, pls. contact me at «email»
  • Adolfo : «email»
  • Adolfo : My e - mail
  • Adolfo : I don't have any e - mail.
  • Berny : @Adolfo: Pls. check your e - mail for download instructions.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site