A four-piece indie rock band out of Dallas, Texas, Valise is comprised of Vince Penick, Jared Travis, Casey Newton and Ricky Johnson. Following up their debut album “Young Bloomer“, released last February, the band is about to embark United States tour with Macy Gray.
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Mike O’Keefe: So your hometown being Dallas, what are the best things to see and do?
Vince Penick: The city is beautiful. I like history, so getting to see the JFK Memorial and the Sixth Floor Museum, where JFK was shot, is really interesting. I would definitely recommend that to anyone. It’s hard not to go to all the awesome food spots in Dallas when you’re here. We’ve got great barbecue and tacos — the list goes on.
Photo courtesy | Daxis
MO: Describe the excitement leading up to a trip or tour. What’s something that you enjoy most about preparation?
VP: This upcoming tour we have with Macy Gray is probably going to be one of the biggest tours we have been on. So far, in our career, each tour has been better than the last. There’s always this sense of excitement in the anticipation for any number of possibilities for our band. As far as preparation, we just want to do our best to win over the crowd and let them know what we’re all about. So, yeah, we just hit it hard in the practice room.
Photo courtesy | Jeff Gunn
MO: Yeah, that’s great. What has been your favorite stop so far on the tour?
VP: Let’s see, for multiple reasons I definitely love the Northwest — Seattle, Portland. Anywhere on the West Coast actually is always our favorite experience [on] tour. New York City is incredible, Denver too. Sorry, there’s really not one place that I could just be like, “That’s the best”.
MO: They are all so different.
VP: Yeah, they all have their own kind of charm.
MO: When visiting a new city, what is the first thing you try to do?
VP: Well, have you heard of this app called Eater?
MO: No, I haven’t yet.
VP: Well, I don’t know if it’s still an app actually. It’s a publication and they feature all kinds of awesome food based on each city. We usually look up the hottest places to go eat. We’re all about food. I feel like that’s all that we talk about, coffee too.
MO: It’s cool when you get somewhere new, you have to find the local spot that has the amazing food. I’m definitely going to have to check out that website or app. What differentiates the atmosphere and culture from other cities?
VP: You know, there are times where I feel like there’s a certain vibe that’s becoming popular. Every place is starting to have their cool spots, and their trendy coffee shops, stuff like that. Sometimes there’s a lot of overlap, but in places like New York City or Denver, the thing that differentiates it usually has to do with the aesthetic and the energy behind the city.
Photo courtesy | Aurelien Guichard
MO: Yeah, absolutely. I’d agree. When in search for a personal getaway, what do you look for in a vacation destination?
VP: I’m always really conflicted about that, because I really like to explore. I actually have never been out of the country, so all I can think about when planning my ideal vacation is just getting immersed into different cultures, especially European cultures. I have wanted to go over there for some time and I’m hoping our band gets successful enough where we can go there.
MO: Yeah, that’s sweet. You learn something just by involving yourself in different cultures. You always bring something back.
MO: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Maybe an iconic venue?
VP: That amphitheater at Red Rocks is pretty awesome. I think that’s in Denver, or right outside of Denver.
Photo courtesy | Dennis Jarvis
MO: Yeah, I know exactly what you are talking about. That place is unreal. What are three destinations you have not been to, but are dying to see?
VP: We haven’t been anywhere in Europe, but in the US, I feel like we pretty much did everywhere. We haven’t played a show in Washington, DC yet, so I’d like to play there. I’d like to play a show in France because our name is French. So I feel like we won’t have to explain our name to anybody there. Where else? Maybe England.
MO: Lastly, when’s the next trip or stop and what for?
VP: We are about to go on tour with Macy Gray and it starts off in the Northwest, in the Seattle area. It kind of makes it way across the Midwest to Denver, Chicago and all the way to New York where it will finish off.
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