Hunter Valentine:
So Long For Now

The eve of a new release and tour is usually an exciting time for any band no matter how much success they’ve achieved in their career. Hunter Valentine is no different in that respect, however this time—after a decade of recording, tours, TV appearances, and anything else a band could hope for—it’s a little bittersweet.

The “So Long For Now” tour is just as advrtised: a sort of goodbye. But don’t read too much into it. While many bands with half the list of accomplishments might sooner or later self-destruct, this is certainly not a funeral procession—it’s a victory lap for the group to celebrate with their fans before they move on to the next phase of their lives.

Listening to their new EP “The Pledge” wouldn’t give you any indication of a band on the outs, instead founding members Kiyomi McCloskey and Laura Petracca knew going in that this could be its epitaph and wanted to give its fans a parting gift of loud, sneering, catchy rock ‘n’ roll.

The “So Long For Now” tour, featuring touring members Lisa Bianco and Leanne Bowes, makes 31 stops in just under two months arriving at the Saint in Asbury Park on February 12th. I spoke with Kiyomi about “The Pledge,” the tour, and ending the band.

Hunter Valentine has been on such a roll the last few years I guess the obvious question is why go on hiatus now?

It’s funny, because most bands go on hiatus when they are fighting or the music starts sucking. In our case, we are laughing more than ever together and made one of our best records yet! I’ll be starting new projects and I’ve been playing solo acoustic shows already. Laura is going back to the kitchen grind as a chef and is really looking forward to putting her creativity into food.

Was it known during the writing and recording of “The Pledge” that this might be the last Hunter Valentine release?

Yes, we wanted to leave this band on a high note and we wanted to put in our best effort in doing so. It was also really important to us to leave our fans with one last recording and tour. This is going to be a celebratory tour for us. We are very proud of what we’ve achieved over the years.

Did that add any pressure or effect the creative process at all?

It actually took pressure off. This record was for the fans and for ourselves. We didn’t give a fuck what any suit/industry person had to say about this one—that’s for sure!

The upcoming “So Long For Now Tour” makes a lot of stops in the next two months. Did you make an effort to stop in as many cities as possible? It seems like you’re everywhere in a short amount of time.

Yes, we couldn’t skip out on any city that has shown support over the years, so we are definitely hustling on this one.

You’ve played all over the United States, Japan, Australia, you’ve been featured on television shows—and have really done everything a band could ever want to do. Is there a memory that will stand out when you think about the band?

The biggest memory for me would be the “Collide and Conquer” tour. It was after being on TV and putting out Collide. Almost every single show was sold out for 3 months straight. We all went a little nuts on the road, but couldn’t believe that every time we pulled up for soundcheck there was a line up around the block.

Once the tour is finished up and the dust settles, what are your individual plans going forward?

Laura is going with the flow of what life brings her, but definitely focused on her career as a chef and possibly opening a restaurant of her own. Leanne is already playing with a bunch of touring bands and will continue to be a road dog. Lisa Bianco will always being playing around. Whether it’s on the flute, piano, or guitar—she can’t live without the stage or music.

I have already started writing and recording for my new project. The name is to be determined, but right now I am playing solo shows as Kiyomi Valentine. I’ve also got my hands in some acting and I’m playing with the idea of writing a book…

Hunter Valentine’s “So Long For Now” tour starts February 11th in New Haven, CT. The first single from their upcoming EP “The Pledge,” “Black Out Nights” was released last month.

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Hunter Valentine Tour Dates:
Feb 11 – New Haven, CT – Cafe Nine
Feb 12 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Saint
Feb 13 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
Feb 14 – Philadelphia, PA – Milkboy
Feb 15 – Washington, DC – Black Cat
Feb 17 – Charlotte, NC – Milestone
Feb 19 – Miami, FL – Gramps
Feb 21 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub
Feb 22 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
Feb 23 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Feb 24 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In
Feb 26 – Dallas, TX – Trees
Feb 27 – San Antonio, TX – Jack’s Bar
Feb 28 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar
Feb 29 – Austin, TX – Stubbs BBQ Inside
Mar 03 – Las Vegas, NV – The Beauty Bar
Mar 04 – San Diego, CA – The Hideout
Mar 07 – Fresno, CA – Audie’s Olympic
Mar 08 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill
Mar 10 – Seattle, WA – High Dive
Mar 11 – Portland, OR – Analog
Mar 14 – Denver, CO – The Walnut Room
Mar 15 – Kansas City, MO – Davey’s Uptown
Mar 16 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
Mar 18 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club
Mar 19 – St. Louis, MO – The Demo
Mar 20 – Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
Mar 21 – Pontiac, MI – Pike Room
Mar 22 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
Mar 24 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East Downstairs
Apr 01 – Palm Springs, CA – Hilton Palm Springs

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