Their name is Kickin Valentina. They are from Atlanta, GA. Now, imagine this: you walk down a dark alley at night and see some guys wearing leather, smoking, minding their business. You ask for directions to the club. They just look at you and casually point to the building, not saying a word, and continue hanging out. They just keep being themselves; like early LA Guns meets Faster Pussycat meets Hanoi Rocks. That’s these guys. Then, there’s the music with that sleazy, grimy, hard, bluesy glam rock you love so much. The look and sound that disappeared in the nineties is back full force with this band. Shockwave Magazine had the chance to sit down with the whole band, vocalist Joe Edwards, guitarist Heber Pampillon, drummer Jimmy Berdine, and bassist Chris Taylor, before their performance last month at the Ottobar in Baltimore, MD.
Shockwave Magazine: Is this your first time playing Baltimore?
Heber Pampillon: No, it’s our second actually. We played at a place called Cancun Cantina last year for the inaugural Sleazy Slimey Sunday for Brad Lee Entertainment.
Tell me, how did you come up with the name Kickin Valentina?
Heber: Originally, there was a European fetish porn star named Valentina that kicked guys in the balls and we just went with it. It became a joke and then we named the band that. It was funny because if you Googled Valentina kick, or something like that, it came up with that. Now, it just comes up us.
Your album Super Atomic, I’ve listened to it and it’s great. I know you guys have been writing for a second. When is number two coming out? Sometime this year I hope.
Chris Taylor: Our plan is May right now. That’s our goal. We are in the studio right now. Currently, we just finished drums, and bass, and we start guitar sometime when we get home after this tour in mid-December; same producer, same studio, and same label as our first. We were really happy with the first album, so we just wanted to do it all over again. It will be called ImaginaryCreatures.
How do you pick a producer?
Chris: It’s a lot of variables really.
Jimmy Berdine: It’s not just one set formula. It’s just like, who’s available at the time, or who do you mesh with the best for any and all ideas you might have.
Chris: We knew Andy’s (Reilly) work from some other bands. He’s done a lot of Atlanta bands, so we knew he did great work. He’s originally from London, but he’s been here for about ten years now. When he was there he worked with Bruce Dickenson, and Asia, and UFO. He’s worked with Bon Jovi on videos. He’s worked with a lot of people and we just have a great relationship with him.
Atlanta; I went to ProgPower there in 2004. That was the last time I was there. It’s a cool city.
Chris: We went last year to that, Jimmy and I.
Jimmy: We made friends with the Pretty Maids guys at that show. I hung out with Kenny Hammer that night.
Chris: Atlanta is cool. Primarily it’s a hip-hop and R&B type of town. There is metal from there also, like Mastadon and Sevendust. It’s an okay rock scene though for the most part.
Now, you went over to Europe for the first time this past year. How was that?
Chris: We went in May. We went for almost two weeks and did Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, and The Netherlands. It was awesome. We look forward to returning hopefully soon.
Heber: Oh yeah, we would love to do those two as well one day soon. Definitely.
Chris: The thing is they are so far away and expensive to get there you really have to get lucky for it to work financially, so one day we’d love to go over there. Our record is out over there too.
Heber: Yeah so if you know any Japanese investors, let me know. Hit us up.
What do you expect from 2017 besides the new album?
Heber: A lot more touring. We need to get out there as much as possible.
Chris: We have one January show right now and some sporadic stuff, but definitely a lot more touring.
If there’s one band you would want to play with, who would that be?
Heber: For me personally, it would be Kiss.
Joe Edwards: Guns N Roses.
Jimmy: Aerosmith or Guns N Roses.
Kickin Valentina will be making a return trip to the Baltimore area for Sleazy Slimey Sunday 2, this time as one of the three headliners along with the Killer Dwarfs and the BulletBoys on April 30th. Also, as previously mentioned, look for their new release sometime in May called Imaginary Creatures.