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Country blues rock act Valley Queen wants the public to know that music should be genre-less and that lead singer Natalie Carol wants everyone to soak up the band’s music experience rather than have anyone label the band. Valley Queen’s sound should permeate categories, nonetheless. “At the end it really doesn’t matter. We always try to challenge what we can do and as you go along, you see the barriers and limits of what you put on you as an artist and we try to break what that really is,” states Carol.

Valley Queen has seen much critical appraisal in the past few years. “You tend to forget about the praise, to be honest. I always feel in competition with myself. I don’t stay in the moment and I’m always wondering what I’m going to do next,” says Carol.

Valley Queen’s 2017 Destroyer EP was rooted in blues rock, but the band’s sound was always evolving even through 2018’s Supergiant LP. Carol’s style is reminiscent of that of Sheryl Crow’s. “That is such a high compliment. I’ve been listening to British singer Laura Marling’s new record and I thought I was getting early Sheryl Crow vibes from her. Sheryl Crow’s 1996 self-titled record was the first record I even bought. That was influential record for me.”

“Music gets transferred. It’s a contagious element that gets passed down over millennia. It’s being transmitted and augmented through thousands of people in different ways,” the singer continues to say.

The band has seen some personnel changes, but one thing that stays constant is each other’s artistry and musicianship they all bring to the table. Besides lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Natalie Carol, there is bassist Neil Wogensen, (who also produced the new tracks that are coming out) and drummer Mike DeLuccia. The band’s dynamic is a healthy one, especially going into the new project Red Light/Bad Astrology. “I’ve been in the context of a band for the past ten years. As I get older, I’m learning how important it is that everybody in the band are artists in the entity of themselves. Playing in a band is very special and you become a family. As an artist, I don’t think it’s conducive to place all of your eggs in a one band basket. As we have become older, we have all moved into other various different projects. That’s so necessary. I don’t think bands are built to last forever unless you are the Rolling Stones. Music just wants to be made, but Valley Queen is still very much a band,” says Carol.

Carol wrote with Cosmo Gold on Valley Queen’s song “Red Light”. “If people haven’t heard of Emily Gold aka Cosmo Gold, they will. Her father was the late Andrew Gold. He played with Linda Ronstadt, recorded with James Taylor and Ringo Starr. He’s kind of a deep cut in rock and roll history. He’s a really special constellation in the rock galaxy. Emily is so natural in the way that she writes song; it’s kind of her birth right in a way, especially when you think of her father,” Carol states.

Carol keeps busy with her free time as well. She works closely with the organization Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network. “It’s a nonprofit that I’ve been working on in the past five years. I go to various youth prisons in Los Angeles County. I teach writing. It’s creating writing circles with incarcerated kids. Everyone gets a journal—and it’s cultivating a relationship with a journal and using it in a way to build a relationship on what’s going on inside of you and the world around them. It’s about self-regulating through writing. The more we can inspire kids to explore their imaginations and explore what they are feeling on paper, the more emotionally sound generation we are going to have,” the singer concludes.



photos / Alex Justice

story / Robert Frezza

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