Hunter Valentine’s Kiyomi McCloskey and Laura Petracca Collide and Conquer
A rock and roll band with lesbian members, Hunter Valentine is a smooth and snarling quartet creating catchy songs reminiscent of The Smiths, Radiohead and Kate Bush’s less experimental efforts. Formed in a bar over beer and whisky in Toronto, Canada, 2004, the band consists of Kiyomi McCloskey on vocals and lead guitar, Laura Petracca on drums, Somer Binhamm on guitars and keyboards and bassist Veronica Sanchez.
Hunter Valentine’s albums include The Impatient Romantic and Lessons From The Late Night and the upcoming Collide and Conquer, which will be supported by a huge tour throughout much of North America and beyond. Their songs include “The Stalker” and “Revenge.”
In addition to their music, people have come to know and like or love Hunter Valentine through their stint on season 3 of The Real L Word, which started this summer.
In this exclusive interview, LN caught up with best friends McCloskey and Petracca to discuss life, love, music and advice for aspiring female musicians. more...
Tell us about the birth of Hunter Valentine. What inspired you guys to start the band and how hard has it been to keep your stay inspired while juggling band members.
We met in the first gay club I ever went to. I always knew I was gonna do music. I was gonna do something regardless of whether I did this or not. When I met Laura we had an immediate connection and after we had a session together and played music we found out that we had a musical connection. After we started playing together we both realized we were gonna do this for a long time.
Having a band is a lot of work and Its disheartening when you think things are perfect and they don’t work out with a band mate or a label. You can’t let it affect you’re a game though. Overall we’ve had strong and gradual evolution and big things are poppin for us every year.
Your latest video “The Pulse” is amazing. How did you guys put together the concept for the shots?
We work this director in Canada and he had a crazy idea for a video. He wanted to use the robot and hi had a bunch of crazy, weird ideas. I loved it. He was very excited about the idea and I think it’s very important for the director to be excited about vision. Most directors would have written a literal treatment after hearing the lyrics of the song. more...
Hunter Valentine were picked for the show because the producers of The Real L Word wanted to show lesbians who were “focused and career-driven,” Kiyomi said, since the Los Angeles contingent seems to spend more time focused on their personal lives. “I’m sure you know they have been criticized about not showing that in the lesbian community,” Kiyomi said. “They recognized that and they really wanted to show that this season. I guess one person had the idea of having a band and we’ve been around for a while and have been playing music for a long time and have a strong internet presence, so I guess they came across us that way.”
What’s funny, Kiyomi said, is a lot of people try to take credit for telling the producers about Hunter Valentine.
“A lot of people come up to me and say ‘You know I was the one that told them about you.’ You have no idea how many people have done that,” Kiyomi said. She joked, “That’s so nice of you! Thank you for exploiting my privacy!”
The band had to do a Skype audition, which Somer was part of because she had just been asked to do a trial-run with the existing members. more...
While waiting to hear if there will be a Season 4 of The Real L Word (and if they’ll be on it), Canadian band Hunter Valentine kicks off the New Year on the West Coast, playing in San Diego and Pomona before taking the stage at West Hollywood House of Blues on Friday.
“I think it’s cool to be playing these well-established, well-regarded venues,” says Kiyomi McCloskey, Hunter Valentine’s lead singer. “We’re playing with Sum 41, a very successful Canadian band, so it kind of gives us a sense of pride to be playing on these stages with them.”
Kiyomi and the band is best known in the States for their stint on Season 3 of The Real L Word. As of this writing, they don’t know the status of the show. But that hasn’t kept the band from its anxiously anticipated tour that includes fellow Canadians Sum 41 and Detroit’s acclaimed Iamdynamite.
Replacing guitarist Somer Bingham is Aimee Bessada, who joins Kiyomi on lead guitar, Laura Petracca on drums and Veronica Sanchez on bass.
“Aimee is a great musician from Toronto, our hometown. She’s one of the most professional musicians that I’ve worked with,” says Kiyomi. As for Somer, who added to the drama on The Real L Word, “she was in sort of a trial period and she ended up not being right.” more...