The 'Elephant' in the Room - A Chat with In the Valley Below

>> In the Valley Below took form in 2011 after former bandmates Jeffrey Jacob and Angela Gail came together to start writing music. Shortly after Joshua Clair joined the two as the band’s drummer. Since forming, the band has put out one full length album, The Belt, along with recently releasing a new EP, Elephant. Krit Upra of Floated was able to catch up with In the Valley Below to talk about where the band was heading and ask our usual questions.

The band has kept themselves occupied since releasing their EP despite that keeping them busy for months on end. “We moved across the country,” Angela shared with us. “We’re based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan now so we left Los Angeles... It’s a good change for us.”

Now that the band has moved and their EP is released, we had to know what they’re plans are moving forward. Jeffrey offered Floated a little insight in what’s next to come. “Well we’re finishing up a full length album which is almost done. We want to do a lot of touring and figure out when the best time is to put the rest of our album out.”

Krit followed up with one of the most curious questions for any band, how did In the Valley Below come together? Angela took the lead on that question, “Well we played together in a couple other bands just around LA so we tried writing a couple songs together. First it was song writing and they were terrible and it was awkward and we just kinda kept going for a time I guess. First we were friends and then we were a couple and it started getting better.”

Every band writes their music in a unique way. Bands can be influenced by varying artists, experiences, the people they’re around or maybe they write song after song hoping for one to pop. For In the Valley Below, the process is more of the latter. “We don't write a whole album have it be about a certain thing. We just write and write and write over the year and the songs we can still stand to listen to are the ones that make it. On this EP the first song is called Bloodhands and that was the first one we wrote back in 2014 and that was influenced by the Michael Brown shooting so that was just very sad and depressing and you just feel helpless. We just thought our contribution or something we could do was write about it or maybe it was just a way to get it out of our system and deal with it.” The band members and Krit shared a moment after that of how scary the time was and how so little seems to be changing. “As more races and cultures meld, people just are more afraid of each other.”

With every ordinary, ‘important’ question out of the way, Krit was able to ask the questions typical of Floated; would the band rather wrestle a crocodile or fight a bear? Angela was the first to answer, “Crocodile; I’ve seen crocodile wrestlers and I think I’ve got the gist.” Jeffrey shared the feeling. “That seems maybe doable where fighting a bear you're basically done.”

Keeping with the trend of ridiculous fights, we wanted to know what famous person alive or dead the band members would choose to wrestle. “I’d wrestle Scarlett Johansson,” Angela quickly answered. After laughing, Jeffrey chimed in. “I’d watch that. This one here (Angela) is scrappy so I'd give her a fighting chance.” He followed that up with his own answer. “I’d choose Liberachi just to see what he shows up then I’d pull off his wig and he’d freak out and that would be the end of that.”

Unsurprisingly, that wasn’t the only question asked about dead people. Krit asked them if they could tour with anyone dead or alive who they’d choose. Jeffrey joking answered Mozart “If it was in his time and we could bring our electrical equipment with us.” I think we’d all pay to see that. More seriously, he answered “We love Peter Gabriel so that would be amazing.” Angela agreed with the sentiment.

Next time you’re listening to Spotify or clicking through Youtube, give In the Valley Below’s new EP a listen. Be sure to keep an eye for their album that’s coming in the next few months. Thank you to Jeffrey and Angela for sparing some of their time to sit down with us! <<

Upcoming Shows:

8/12 @ Motorco Music Hall | Durham, NC

8/13 @ The Underground | Charlotte, NC

8/15 @ DC9 Nightclub | Washington, DC

8/16 @ The Boot & Saddle | Philadelphia, PA

8/17 @ Mercury Lounge | New York, NY

8/18 @ The Hollow | Albany, NY

8/19 @ Rough Trade NYC | Brooklyn, NY

8/20 @ Showcase Lounge | South Burlington, VT

8/22 @ Brighton Music Hall | Allston, MA