About Me

Interview with Kickin' Valentina

If you like good old Rock’n’roll, then this band and album called “Star Spangled Fist Fight” is for you. It was released, via Mighty Music Records, this year, most precisely on 19th of April 2024. Chris Taylor, bassist, talked about the process of this record, the curiosity behind the name of the band, lyric process and more.

M.I. - Hi there, guys. Thank you for this opportunity to chat with you. I hope you’re all good.

Thank you for doing the interview. Things are good. We just got home from our European tour and got caught up on some much-needed rest.

M.I. - Your story goes way back to 2013. Could you please tell us a bit about it and how you came up with the band’s name.

Yes, the band formed in 2013. Jimmy and Heber originally put the band together, and I was the last to join. The name came about from a fetish porn star named Valentina that kicks guys in the balls. Not sure if it was Heber or Jimmy that knew of her “work,” haha but the name originally came about as a joke and ended up sticking.   

M.I. - “Star Spangled Fist Fight” was released on 19th of April 2024, via Mighty Music Records. You’ve described this record as “catchy, with indecently strong riffs and a sexy rhythm groove that’s almost pornographic”. Tell us, please, how was the lyric process for this work and also for the music.

Since DK has joined the band, the writing process is a little different from our earlier records.  3 of us live in Atlanta and DK lives in California. Normally, Heber or I will come in with a riff or a song idea and the 3 of us will put together a basic song structure then we’ll send it to DK. He’ll give us his feedback and we’ll send back and forth with whatever changes until everyone is happy. DK writes all of the lyrics for everything.  

M.I. - You play loud and unapologetic Rock’n’roll, that is very notorious in your records, but especially in this one, louder that before. What influences did you bring that were left behind in the previous albums?

This record is a definitely a little heavier than “Revenge of Rock.”  I don’t know, our influences have always been there on every record. We’re fans of all kinds of Rock n’ Roll. We have a core group of bands we all like, but then there are things we individually bring in from metal to punk to melodic rock to pop to blues. We just try to blend it all together to get our sound. Sometimes certain things come out more than others. I’m a big fan of Warrior Soul, Monster Magnet and The Cult. So, personally I think there are more elements of that musically on this album.  

M.I. - You say that the new album is a bit more unapologetic compared to your previous release. What does that mean?

Sometimes I think we have tunnel vision with everything going on around us musically. We don’t really concern ourselves with trends or what other bands are doing. We are just 4 guys that write music we enjoy and are happy that we have the fans we do that want to come along for the ride.  

M.I. - How come you named the album “Star Spangled Fist Fight”? Who came up with the name and does the title have any special meaning to you?

“SSFF” was one of the first songs we wrote for the new album. When it came time to name the album, everyone thought it sounded cool and that we could do things visually with it. To me personally it kind of represents us being an American rock band playing the style of rock we do and having to fight against an industry that doesn’t get it. Our fans do, so that’s really all that matters. The other guys may give you a different answer to that. Haha!

M.I. - Who did the cover for the album and what ideas did you give for it?

A friend of ours named Scozz did it for us. He did the artwork for “Revenge of Rock” as well and has done various other things for us. Basically, we told him we wanted something that looked aggressive with attitude. We knew we wanted the American flag incorporated with a fist and that was what he came back with.  

M.I. - Fans of bands like Guns n’ Roses and AC/DC ought to like your music, however I think your music lies closer to Guns n’ Roses. How would you describe your sound and what kind of music does Kickin´ Valentina play?

I think our sound sounds like Kickin’ Valentina. We are definitely influenced by bands like Gn’R, but there are a lot of other bands we are influenced by as well. I hear all of these bands and journalists try to come up with these new sub-genre names for stuff, but at the end of the day we just play Rock n’ Roll.  

M.I. - The record was once again produced by Andy Reilly, who has worked with UFO, Bruce Dickinson and Cradle of Filth and mastered by Joel Wanasek. What ideas did they bring to improve the album and its sound?

We love working with Andy. We have an old school way of writing songs, but we want it to have a big modern sounding production. He has a way of combining those 2 worlds and keeping the live feel of everything. Making it sound raw and big, but too over produced. 

M.I. - Might Music Records is an awesome record label with great artists. How is it working with this superb Danish label?

Mighty Music has been great to work with. They have always believed in what we do and have been very supportive. 

M.I. - You have some European dates confirmed. Will you add some more, especially a date in Portugal? What about the US, are you going to head over and tour there as well?

We just got home from a 7-country European tour and will be heading back to the UK and Germany in September. We should be announcing some US dates soon. We are about to starting planning more European dates for 2025. We would love to play Portugal. We’ve discussed playing some countries we’ve never been to, so we’ll see what comes through.   

M.I. - Thank you for this opportunity to chat with you, guys. Thanks a lot for taking the time for this interview and for delivering such a rock-solid album as this one!!! Do you have any words of wisdom to share with the Portuguese fans and readers worldwide?

Thank you again for doing the interview. I just want to thank all of our fans around the world for their support. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them. Keep sharing our music and spreading the word about KV.  

For Portuguese version, click here

Listen to Kickin' Valentina, on Spotify

Questions by Raquel Miranda