PIGPEN JONEZ’s founder, songwriter, and producer, Glen Valentino joins us today to discuss their newest EP breaking down current social issues affecting us today.
Welcome to Music Trails! How has 2020 been for you?
2020 has been challenging, but there are people out there who have had it much worse. One positive this year for us is that we were able to release some music that has some real relevance to these times.
Your EP Livin’ In Delafly Side….1 is now available everywhere. The lyrical content of the songs speaks to many current social issues. Was the goal of a concept EP?
Actually, all the lyrics were written prior to 2020 yet they seem to really resonate at this moment. Unfortunately, issues like racism and division are nothing new. There was not a conscious effort to make it a concept EP. It just happened organically.
How long was this project in the making, and what were your hopes in terms of what people will take away from it?
The project has taken a couple of years for various reasons. I hope people enjoy the musicality of the songs and find some common threads in the lyrics to their lives.
What does this release mean to you?
It means the beginning of releasing a catalog of current and past compositions John Noonan and I have written together and on our own. We are very excited about starting that process and what is to come!
How did you decide on the title?
The song Delafly (Mix 2) is about a fictitious place, and a story about where the unrighteous end up. It is also the name of our publishing company. John and I had a previous band called Delafly back in the early 90’s, so it seemed appropriate.
What’s your favorite lyric from the new EP, and why?
I have a many, but one of my favorites is from the song Today, “Everybody’s got a little something to say”. We live in a time where social media has literally given everyone in the world a vehicle to have their voice heard. I think you can easily debate the pluses and minuses of that power. It can unite us as well as divide us.
What has been the most exciting part of releasing Livin’ In Delafly…Side 1?
Again, I think the most exciting part is the feeling that this is the beginning. Very much looking forward to all the music we have to record, release, and hopefully play out live when this pandemic is under control.
Who has made the biggest impact on your musical career so far and how?
Personally, I would have to say The Beatles and bandmate John Noonan. The song “Let It Be” started the fire many years ago when I first heard it as a 5-year-old. I met John in high school and he was gasoline on that fire in a good way. Writing together has helped me to believe in myself as a songwriter. I’ve learned a lot from him musically and continue to do so to this day.
How would you describe your sound to someone who just listened to your music for the first time?
I really think we have a modern retro sound if that makes sense. I feel you can hear influences from bands like The Beatles, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, and those influences blend into something that pays homage to the music that we love while being original and of its time.
How would you define success?
To me, success is writing a song that you personally enjoy listening to. I think as a songwriter you have to write for yourself and be true to yourself. I believe if you do this, others will pick up on the sincerity and passion. I really enjoy the process of writing songs but also enjoy going back and listening to them as a fan. If I can listen to a song I wrote as a fan, I’ve succeeded.
What would be your dream venue or event to perform at?
I would love to perform at Madison Square Garden!
The best piece of advice you were ever given in life?
The best piece of advice would be that others perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. That has definitely helped me to be more understanding of how others feel and think.
For our final question, what is your biggest motivator in life?
I am motivated by my passion for music. Even though I’ve done other things in life, music has always been the life-force. Writing songs is all I’ve ever wanted to do and all I want to continue to do!