August 15th, 2008 | Interviews

Valient Thorr are from a distant planet high in dense minerals. They also enjoy vests. They have just released their new Immortalizer on Volcom.

After you gave your kidney to your dad, did you weigh yourself to see how big it was?
Valient Himself (vocals): The kidney didn’t even weigh a pound, but I actually lost eighteen pounds to do the thing. I started getting in shape—running six miles a day. I stopped drinking in December, and by March that was it—and I stopped drinking caffeine and started eating a lot more healthy. No candy and no snacks.
What was your favorite candy?
I do different things. I’m a Reese’s Pieces man. I hate when people say ‘Reesee Pieces.’ You know the kids with with Kool-Aid mouth on your street when you’re little? The kids who don’t know how to wipe their mouths off? That’s who says ‘Reesee Pieces.’ It’s supposed to rhyme—get it right.
Who is your favorite barbarian tribe from the ancient world?
The Huns? I might second-guess that. I’d have to re-think it. Really study my Conan movies. When it comes down to it, there are Time Masters and wizards. There are a lot of bands using wizard imagery and you can’t get that mixed up with a Time Master. The guy on our record is Moebius, the Master of Time. Father Time. That’s totally different. A wizard is just a wizard. I’m scared of wizards—I’m like a dude in Conan.
Why? Did something happen to you?
I just don’t trust wizards. Unless you know counter spells, what are you gonna do? Turn around and your buddy’s a frog and you gotta carry him around in a box.
How about witches?
I love witches. I’m pretty much into whatever chicks come around regardless.
What records did your producer Jack Endino have that you wanted?
He had everything. Every Hawkwind record and all the side projects. Every Budgie record. Stuff I was looking for was like Socrates Drank The Conium. He had the original press of Sir Lord Baltimore. He had everything. I have a list, and since I put it out there that I have a list, dudes have been contacting me with things. I picked up the T2 record, the second Dust record and Orang-utan’s self-titled. I joke about bands like that where they press 420 copies and only three are left but they actually really did that.
When you toured with Motorhead, did Lemmy really play with you every night?
He didn’t play but he came out and tapped his foot and bobbed his head. Mikkey Dee partied with us every night. Everybody was warning us like, ‘Aw, man, these guys are gonna be tough!’ But we were hanging the first fucking day! Super-awesome dudes full of amazing stories. We hung out and I listened to his solo stuff that’s unreleased as of yet. I can’t even probably tell you about it. He has a solo album that’s two songs apiece with a bunch of different bands. I really wanted to do a split seven-inch with one of his songs but the record label won’t let him because it’s still in the works. He’s funny—everything he says is funny.
What’s he listen to when he’s relaxing?
I don’t wanna call him out but… he was listening to some wack shit! Well, a lot of different stuff—I don’t want him to cut me! But definitely some questionable jams going on. But people listen to different things to relax. People might laugh at what I listen to—Gram Parsons, but fuck it!
Who would laugh at that?
Yeah, but maybe people don’t understand. And maybe I don’t understand Evanescence.
Have you heard his old band Sam Gopal?
Yes—Endino has all that on vinyl. He’d pull shit out I never heard of—but I had shit he’d never heard. Like a band from Texas in 1971—Iota. Most of the stuff I nerd out about is 1970-1973 heavy boogie rock or heavy psych. Lots of people say that’s exhausted territory but that’s horseshit—there’s so much out there. And so much that’s good, and every once in a while, you’ll find a nugget of something bad-fucking-ass and you get a new jam. Endino said he’d put that shit on and it was face-melting. It’d run people out of the room. He’d clear a room with Sir Lord Baltimore.
You said once Valient Thorr can fit on any bill from death metal to bluegrass—when did you ever play with a bluegrass band?
Back in North Carolina—a band that’s about to be gigantic. They just signed to American—the Avett Brothers. I’m into traditional bluegrass. I always say metal purists and bluegrass purists are of the same ilk. They both listen to something and if they’re elitists at all, they’re like, ‘That isn’t metal! Death to false bluegrass!’
You’ve mentioned Yuri Gagarian as an influence—are you familiar with the stories of the lost Soviet cosmonauts?
Yes, I am. I used to call space travel out—call NASA out. I haven’t in a long time but I think it’s all horseshit. You never know. There are so many experiments they did—there could be lost astronauts, not just lost cosmonauts. Nobody ever talks about all these things like Star Wars and the missile-defense field—it’s basically the Tesla template. They ran his ass out of Colorado Springs and fucked him up just like Wilhelm Reich. It’s fucked up when you try to reveal big ideas. You gotta get some tough-ass dudes to help you.
Should the mafia start a space program?
They probably already are. All these cats who are super-rich because they invented iPods and Blackberries and Sidekicks and whatever new thing—those dudes gotta have a lot of help these days. Not like Blackwater ops dudes—
Don’t they have some kind of private air force?
They’re above the law completely. And they had that base in the swamps. I’m pretty sure most of South Carolina is covert-ops—it’s just Charleston and swamps. Some big-ass secret base.
And the South Carolina lizard man.
Yeah—or a lizard man house. I think they scare people with the lizard man. If you believe David Icke, maybe they have lizard men—a race of lizard men because they cloned them. Blackwater may just be a race of lizard men cloned and trained to kill.
Have you ever seen a UFO?
Tons. All the time—we’re from space!

—Chris Ziegler