Valencia Interview: Q&A with Shane Henderson


On  12/27/17 at Webster Hall in New York City the band Valencia was reunited to play for the first time since their hiatus in December 2013. It’s Safe to Say that the fans are excited about the reunion tour, and anything could be a possibility for the band’s future.

For those who don’t know, Valencia is an Alternative rock band from Philadelphia PA and they have 3 albums in their discography: “This Could Be a Possibility”, “We All Need a Reason to Believe”, and “Dancing With a Ghost.” Valencia was signed by I Surrender Records in 2005 when I Surrender Records label owner Rob Hitt (you may also know Rob from drumming in the band Midtown), was given their demo.

In our interview with the lead singer Shane Henderson, we talk about the reason behind the hiatus, what it’s like to be singing again, what he’s looking forward to about the reunion shows, tour stories, his favorite songs, and what the future looks like for Valencia.

AltWire [Samantha Warren]: What inspired the reunion shows after your hiatus?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: Well, we put out a 10-year anniversary vinyl for our record and we’ve been talking about doing some shows for a while now. Dan’s been busy with Panic! At the Disco. This year finally lined up with everyone’s schedules. To get everyone in the same state was a little difficult, and we finally did it.

AW: How do you guys feel about playing again?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: I think everyone’s extremely excited and I know for a fact that I’ve been super stoked and when I go to sleep at night and it’s all I think about. I miss it a lot, and I miss playing. When you spend 11 years of your life doing something working towards one goal and it’s just where you put all of your focus, attention, and energy and it disappears it’s very difficult to deal with you know? So being here again is just really therapeutic for all of us.

AW: How has the reaction been from the fans about the reunion shows?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: Well this show is sold out. Tonight is the biggest headliner we’ve ever done in New York City. We used to play Highline Ballroom which you could say was 850 people. Yeah, we’re really stoked.

AW: It says your last show was December 28th 2013. Are these show dates a coincidence?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: No, I think it just kind of lined up that way. We always like doing or Christmas shows/ reunion shows we like doing them in the space between New Years’ and Christmas cause that’s the week a lot of people have time off, off from school. It just makes the most sense.

AW: You currently have 3 albums out. Which album was your favorite and why?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: That’s a good question. Um, it’s such a challenge to answer that question because each record means so much to me but I think that… I’ll tell you this is my favorite record that we recorded was Dancing with a Ghost. The process behind that was extremely informative and I think we grew as a band and were able to do things we weren’t able to do and we all need a reason to believe. For the most part, for which album means to me I’d have to say We All Need a Reason to Believe.

AW: What are your favorite singles from the album?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: Funny story. First record one of my favorite songs off of that is Will We Ever Know How.  It’s just got a real fun vibe. Our second record maybe our song Free, or Safe to Say. I like playing Safe to Say a lot. Better be Prepared is good. Dancing with a Ghost and I think maybe, Losing Sleep. I would have to say Losing Sleep is probably my favorite song we’ve ever done. Completely.

AW: What are you most looking forward to about your reunion shows? Does this mean a tour or new album could be a possibility?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: It could always be a possibility because we never officially disbanded or broke up. I think it was everybody got a little old and needed to figure things out before we can do this kind of thing where you’re not completely 100% relying on it, but um I think it’s definitely a possibility that we put out some new music and do some more shows.

For the reunion shows, I’m mostly looking forward to just singing these songs again in a live setting. I’ve done a ton of acoustic shows and I did a bunch of acoustic shows doing We All Need a Reason to Believe in its entirety and realistically the thing I’m looking forward to the most is just seeing everyone I haven’t seen and fans included. We have a great tour following that is like amazing. They just support no matter what. To see those people again is going to be really nice.

AW: Your music has impacted a lot of fans.  I know for me that I’ve been listening to you guys since I was 16. I’m 26 now, and I can honestly say it’s surreal for me to be interviewing, let alone seeing a reunion tour. Do any fan stories specifically stand out to you?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: I get so many messages whether it’s to my email or Facebook from people that just want to tell me thank you for making a second record. I think the craziest fan story is when they actually wanted me to write out lyrics so they can have it tattooed. It’s crazy and I love it. It’s the most humbling experience ever to have someone that wants your lyrics, in your handwriting on their skin forever. To me, it’s hard looking at myself in that way so it’s like to hear somebody wants that from me it’s so awesome and it makes me really proud. Totally. Even just band tattoo’s in general. If someone just connects to the song then I’m happy.

AW: What’s the strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: There’s been a few (chuckles). We played some birthday parties that were pretty weird. For the most part, we’ve been pretty lucky and we get to play venues like Webster Hall. The corporate gigs are always a little weird too and corporate gigs for college concerts.

AW: What’s the weirdest thing to ever happen to you while you were on stage?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: You know I’ve been pretty lucky. I haven’t had any weird shit go down but um, there was one time I couldn’t believe it I forget who we were playing on tour with but we were playing our set I think it was the Say Anything tour. Some dude launched a bottle up on stage and I wasn’t even looking. Out of peripheral vision I saw this thing flying and looking straight I just put my hand out and it went right into my hand, and I caught it. I caught it without even looking I threw it aside and people were just staring at me because I put my hand out and just caught this flying bottle. It made it look like I was Superman being able to catch it.

AW: What’s your outlook on the music industry today? What would you like to see change?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: That’s a tough question. I mean there are so many different perspectives of it. I’ve had my quarrels with certain things of the industry. Spotify I think is a great way of getting music out but I do think that streaming services are really hurting bands. You get fractions of a penny per play. Unless you’re doing millions of plays, there’s no revenue from it. People aren’t necessarily buying albums anymore because of it. To not be able to download songs from Spotify to the point where you can save songs on your phone and listen if you’re on an airplane I think that should make people want to buy it if they want to listen to it when they’re not in WiFi or service. Streaming you know I think is great, MySpace, Facebook, and all of those things. Also social media stuff I think it helps bands more then it hurts them. I just want to see the industry go back to a state where music matters the most, and image doesn’t matter as much. It might never get to that point because the world is what it is and its vein. There are a few things I’d like to change about the industry, but let’s be honest. It’s its own world.

AW: What advice would you give fellow bands that are starting out or trying to get their next big break?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: I would say that the most important thing is to stay true to your art. Just figure out a way to get your music as big as possible. This day in age they’re so many artists out it’s hard to make ways to stand out. You just have to be dedicated to it. We worked for 3 years before we really had anything start moving. We got lucky with our song “The Space Between” where it kind of took off. It wasn’t to the point of radio or something that big but it took us to the point of a smaller band to a national band.

AW: Any last words?

Shane Henderson [Valencia]: We’re just stoked to be here and stoked to do this interview with you, and thankful for the people who care about our band.

Valencia – “Safe To Say”:

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