Cutting edge rock band, Hunter Valentine, have been commanding attention for over a decade with their memorable, hard-hitting tunes. The all-girl outfit has captivated audiences with four successful releases, unparalleled energetic live performances across the world, and their unforgettable personalities on VH1’s Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project and Showtime Network’s The Real L Word reality shows. Their upcoming United States tour kicks off January 11th and runs until April, so find them on a stage near you.
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Chris Remmers: Talk a little bit about where you grew up and what it was like growing up there.
Laura Petracca: I’m from Vaughan, which is about 30 minutes northwest of Toronto. I’ll usually say that I’m from Toronto to people. It has this amusement park that’s called Canada’s Wonderland. As a kid I got to go to an amusement park for my recreational activities with my friends. Then eventually, as I got a bit older, I moved into downtown Toronto.
Photo courtesy | Mariusz Kluzniak
CR: What’s the real contrasting difference from where you grew up to in the mix in downtown Toronto?
LP: Where I grew up you pretty much needed a car for everything. I guess you can call it “suburbia”. Downtown Toronto is like New York City in a way – any major city. You walk right outside the front door and have absolutely anything at your fingertips.
CR: How did you all link up to form Hunter Valentine?
LP: I met Kiyomi a little over 10 years ago now at a bar in Toronto and we just hit it off talking about music. About six months later she was looking for a drummer and reached out to me and we kind of never looked back since then.
CR: When you guys first started performing, where were the first places you had your sights on and played?
LP: Actually, in terms of venues, we played at the El Mocambo. Legendary bands played there. The Rolling Stones played there. It was the first live performance we ever had as a band. That was an unreal experience. In terms of locations, my goal was always to play Australia and we haven’t played there yet.
CR: Wow, that’s great! A lot of our interviewees mention how they want to play Australia.
LP: Yeah! I’ve been to Australia, but only with friends backpacking.
Photo courtesy | Jason James
CR: Where did you go and see?
LP: We started in Sydney, because we really didn’t know what we were doing. We sort of just said, “Let’s go!” We had a route planned out and of course everything changed. We were in Sydney for a week, to get used to it there. We met people. We then went up the East Coast, the Gold Coast. Oh my god, it was awesome! At that time Surfer’s Paradise was the main hotspot.
CR: That’s amazing.
LP: Yeah, that’s a band goal that we haven’t gotten to do yet, but we did get to play Tokyo twice. So cool! One thing that stood out about Tokyo when we were playing was how they pay attention. When we play rock shows in the United States, I guess there’s so many rock shows here that [people] pay attention, but they’re so used to it. I guess it’s just different over there. When you walk on the stage too they clap so politely. When you play they just rush the stage, and they had no idea who we were. They don’t care. They don’t have judgment. They just want to hear the music. It’s amazing to have that acceptance.
Photo courtesy | Alex Chen
CR: When you went out after would you say the nightlife lined up with the crowd atmosphere at the venue?
LP: Oh yeah! It was pretty cool. The first time we were there we only had one day off, but we did have time to fit in a little nightlife. We’re foodie people though. That’s our main goal when we go places. We try and eat locally when we’re away. In Germany, every venue wants to cook you a hot meal before your show. They’ll ask what you want. We would always say make us what you like, what your town is known for.
CR: What was or is the venue that would make you guys say, “We’re here, we made it,” on stage?
LP: Well, that happened for Kiyomi and I when we played Massey Hall in Toronto. We played at a lot of big halls, because we had the opportunity to play for Cyndi Lauper for two full-length tours. So we played her caliber of shows for about three, three-and-a-half months.
Photo courtesy | Higor de Padua Vieira Neto
CR: Lastly, if you guys had the chance to play or vacation in any locations you haven’t been to yet, where would you choose?
LP: Australia for sure. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa. We had this opportunity to play a festival there and didn’t. Now I want to go. It sounds pretty amazing. I think Brazil would be another one. Another place would be Russia as well.
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