Interview: West of Hell's Heathen, Chris "Val" Valagao
On May 8th, 2012 West of Hell released their debut album, Spiral Empire on Reversed Records. I recently had a chance to talk with West of Hell's lead singer, "The Heathen," friends call him Val, an abbreviation of his last name, Valagao.
It's been an amazing year for The Heathen, along with the release of Spiral Empire, he also saw the release of Memorain, a project with members of Megadeth and his former Zimmers Hole band mate Gene Hoglan (Dethklok). He also co-wrote and did vocals on a project that included Dethklok members Hoglan and Brendon Small.
WEST OF HELL - The Heathen Chris "Val" Valagao Interview (Video)
You're Canadian, but the rest of the band is from New Zealand, right?
Well, right now we're pretty much half and half. I'm Canadian. Our guitar player Jordy (Knute), he's Canadian. And our bass player, (Jordan Kemp), he's half New Zealand, half Canadian. And Sean (Parkinson), he's from New Zealand, the other guitar player. And Andrew (Hulme - Drums) is also from New Zealand.
The band was actually formed in New Zealand.
Yeah, in Auckland.
Then they came to Canada to fill out the roster. Why did they pick Canada?
You know, I'm not sure. I think they just looked at a map and pointed to Vancouver and said, "What the hell... let's go there."
And you guys have a new album?
Yes. Our debut album, Spiral Empire.
You guys have the album streaming though, on Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/westofhell/sets/west-of-hell-spiral-empire-2 ), right?
Yeah. It's available at many outlets digitally and physically. Actually, we've got a couple of videos coming out. When I'm not working on the music, I work in film and television doing special effects and producing videos. So I produced a couple of videos for the band.
I don't want to give too much away, but the first video, it's for the track "Water of Sorcery"... and it has a Zombie Apocalypse theme to it. So keep your eyes peeled for "Water of Sorcery" by West of Hell, the video trailer.Continued on the next page