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Meet Armando Fletes, Alejandro Meza, Damian Valenzuela, David Valenzuela, Rigoberto Guillen, Gonzalo Chairez, and Marcelino Villa of Valley Rats

Today we’d like to Valley Rats.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Coming from different musical groups and backgrounds, we met through music, friends of friends, and family. One day in the month of January 2018, 4 out of now 7 piece band, we decided to jam to our favorite bands that we had in common. From that, we decided to play a show at our friend’s backyard party as “Valley Rats” a “Tribute to the Mystic Braves” just for fun… but soon enough, through social media, they found out we were a band and one of the members Tony Malacara, their bass player was nice enough to come to one of our first and only string of shows as a cover band and liked us so much he encouraged us to compose original pieces. This was a turning point for Valley Rats as we decided to take the band seriously. Soon after, writing more songs, word of mouth got around Santa Ana and the surrounding cities, with the help of local names and friends The OC Hurricanes. This, in turn, picked up our little to no momentum and slapped us in the face with shows every weekend for the next 4 to 5 months, giving us little to no time to sit and record our music. While this was unfolding, four of us agreed to add an organ player, originally our tambourine player, Gonzalo Chairez (Jr.) bringing our count up to 5 at this point giving the Valley Rats a sense of completion. But something was missing…

Around the corner from Halloween 2018, we played a show with LA band The Hidden Depths, day viewing our beloved “Bongo Wizard Rat”, Alex Meza. Still, at this point, without any music released on any music platforms, We kept growing bringing in our last member and long-time friend Marcelino Villa, the Tambourine Man in May of 2019. The momentum is still picking up to this day with our 2 year anniversary approaching in January 2020, continuing to write and expand our style, having already set foot in venues like The Observatory thanks to Utopian Presents and studios like Lolipop Records thanks to David Herrera and Ignacio Gonzalez, we’re excited to see what we can achieve in the future.

Please tell us about your art.
Valley Rats is a musical group who hopes to show people that you can have fun by jamming with your friends and have an escape from all the problems in our day to day lives which inspire us to come together and express ourselves through the music we make.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
The biggest challenge facing artists today is getting your name out there/publicity and balancing your personal life with artistry. Alongside all that, there’s always the issue of funding any projects you have or equipment you need for creating, something that’s not always easy financially for the majority of us.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find some of our live sets and live studio recordings on YouTube.
And you can support us by following us on Instagram and keeping up with our latest shows.
Our EP will be released sometime this year in December on all major platforms.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
John Paul, Drew Silva, Damian Valenzuela, Alexis Gil Chavez, Janette Villafana

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