Together with the announcement for our new record we would like to announce the last shows and the end of Valina.
Up until not too long ago the end of the band was not an issue. We were all too busy with plans for concerts, tours and our next release. We were also probably too euphoric about our last release and the experiences we made on stage with it. What a lovely thought it was to think that we could withstand the forces of nature and the band would remain the way it was for a long time to come. Not happening.
Admittedly, considering around 700 live shows it would be very tempting to attempt a couple of number games now: In how many gas-stations have we scavenged for food around the world? How often have we picked up one specific case and transported it from A to B? How many hours did Husbert spend on the train from Vienna to Linz (and back again), to rehearse or play?
Those kinds of pointless questions did go through my mind for a few seconds in June 2015. One of us announced after a show that “going on tour” would simply not be possible for him any more. We all agreed on what that meant. Fine by me then I thought, then this is it. Finished, what started as a couple of 16-year-old’s intense wish to start a band, give it a name, and begin to work on songs despite a lack in musical expertise. After these simple beginnings in 1995, this is a simple end to the story.
In between that lies our story. Any attempt to shed light on that story now is doomed to fail. By any account, the sheer amount of fun, disappointment, excitement or boredom in rehearsal rooms, studio appointments, tour buses, bar stools, on stage, may have been the most important times in our lives, but for anyone on the outside, that probably won’t be of much interest.
We met so many people. Many of those have supported us in some way. We want to thank those people from the bottom of our hearts. People like labels (particularly our home label Trost Records), distributors, bookers, agents, media people, clubs, cultural initiatives and collectives, but also lots of bands that we shared the stage and our drum-kit with. Many of them we consider our friends, yeah.
Today I also want to mention all those anonymous people that somehow became part of our history, too, in front of stages around the world, or in front of their record players. So often was I in a position to see their faces during a live show, and maybe read the mood from those faces, maybe see those faces again at the merch-table after the show, or maybe they were already sitting by our loyal technician Phil at the bar, or standing by Claus or Anselm, the stars in the band, or maybe I didn’t see them at all any more. Never mind!
That we didn’t draw masses, though sometimes crowds, is part of the game. However, the attitude with which we confronted the situation, or that we presented in our songs, did help us reach where we always dreamed of being. That place, the scene we considered ourselves a part of, was never a deserted island, but a changing, public space that people around the world create for themselves when they don’t have anywhere else to go with their ideas and love for music. Most of the time I have found this place to be fascinating and the people there to be inspiring and full of solidarity, too.
Everything else was punk rock: excess, trash and lots and lots of fun.
Some of us may return there. In a few weeks we will play our last shows, with us we will have our last record. An EP with six new tracks and one name: in position.
After that Valina will be history.
We say Hello to those who have been a part of it!