Tubefreeks vocalist Paul van Valkenburgh Interviewed

Power Groove Hard Rockers Tubefreeks from Maryland are back with their 3rd full-length album. The Dry Tide, released in 2017, featuring 12 new tracks continuing the group’s tradition of hard-hitting original rock production.

Fueled by the original vocal stylings and harmonies of Paul van Valkenburgh, back once again is drummer Geoff Burrell with new additions Brian Murray on lead guitar, Todd Stevens on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Jon Weed on bass. The new members bring a wealth of writing and performance experience to the band.

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?

– When I was a kid, my whole family was into music, but my sister had all of the rock albums like Sabbath, Aerosmith, Heart etc. I would steal them from her and that’s what got me started on rock. And my Dad let me switch from playing piano to drums.

How did you become a vocalist and are you proficient in any other instruments?

I was asked to front a band in college and started singing then. I grew up playing instruments and still play drums, guitars and bass. I mainly play for writing purposes but that gets me plenty of action!

What was the local scene in Maryland like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

Maryland has always had a strong scene, but in the beginning it was probably stronger. That is because rock music was one of the only things available. With so many splintering genres these days, it makes a it a little harder. There have been some great musicians / bands from Maryland. I always loved Nothingface and Wino’s bands, but certainly Kix and Wrathchild (Souls at Zero) were all friends and influences.

Has there been times when drugs and alcohol were beneficial to the band?

Ha ha ha!! Well, alcohol sure does come in handy when you are luring people to a show or a party.. ‘hey, I’ll buy you a drink if you come to my show!’ type of thing. We love to enjoy a good cheers but you don’t want to let it send anybody down the road to ruin either.

How would you best describe your sound?

– We just love to rock. From the Beatles, Sabbath, Yes, to Aerosmith, Skynyrd, AC/DC, and Metallica through to STP, Alice in Chains and Rage Against the Machine… and everything in between. …. and our sound is influenced by so many bands. Some people have called us hard rock, metal, or grunge, but to us it’s just rock!

Is doing pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?

– Well, in most cases, when you do pre-sales they give you back a portion of the sales price. So, I would say there is a difference. Pre-sales is like a guarantee for the club that you will have people there but you still get paid some.

What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?

– Oh you name it, we love…. back in the day I’d say the first album I bought was Rush. They had an album called Archives which was their first 3 albums which were all insane. More recently got a hold of some new Deftones and Seether stuff that were have been diggin’ on.

DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?

– ha ha ha! Well, we’d love to sign with a label, but it would have the be the right fit. We’re certainly capable of the DIY thing but would love to connect with the right label.

Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

– This time out we just played with Fuel. Those guys have some total classics and the crowd was awesome for them and for us! There are always butterflies when you play, and that’s what makes it fun!

Is commercial rock radio dead?

– I wish no but for the most part yes. Money ruins everything. If they weren’t worried about what was going to test well for their advertisers, maybe they could take chances. But everything they play has to be tried and true, which to most listeners is old and boring. I’ve heard that even existing bands with hits can’t get their new material on commercial radio because no one knows it. So, for sure, it’s not helpful in any way to unsigned bands which really sucks.

Favorite songs on the new album and why?

– Oh, I like ’em all but I’d probably say Motoride cause it’s rowdy. And the song Whisper is about my dog who I love, so I’d say that’s a favorite cause it makes me think of her. BTW, she’s in the Whisper video… her name is Bailey… ain’t she cute? 🙂

Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?

– Probably Whisper because of the dog thing.

Are there any political or social issues hidden in Tubefreeks songs?

– not too much… Our lyrics for the most part are intentionally kept abstract. We like the listener to be able to attach their own meaning to songs where we can. Not that we wouldn’t make some sort of statement, but it just hasn’t worked out that way with the way we write lyrics.

What was the process of putting the songs in order?

– A fairly complicated one, where you try to keep the listener off balance. But you always want to hit them hard and early, then if you have a little more alt-type stuff you can put that a little later for the hard-core listener.

What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want?

– We don’t have any endorsements but we’re hoping to get some. It just hasn’t been an area of focus to go after any.

Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

– ha ha ha! There’s a million of them. So too many to list, but anybody who likes to get out there and rock and have fun, we would love to play with them and get to meet them. We end up being friends with almost every band we play with and are always interrogating them for tips and tricks. Bands gotta help each other out and we always try to work that give and take wherever possible.

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

– Well, how about you play ZZ Top Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers at my funeral… and you can bury me with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath), Ride the Lighting (Metallica), and Purple (STP)

Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?

– Hey thanks for having me on Iron! Just wanted to say anybody who wants to look us up on the web / social media etc. that Tubefreeks is spelled with two EE’s in FREEKS! Looking forward to hanging with all of our great friends at our shows! Oh! Hope everybody is enjoying The Dry Tide and new material is already in the works!


Categories: Interviews, News

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