Valet is no stranger to DC indie rockers U.S. Royalty. In 2009, we stopped by the set of their video and they've since become fashion fixtures, working with the likes of Gant Rugger and Schott. We caught up with frontman John Thornley in between shows as the band prepped for the debut of their first album, Mirrors, out next week on January 25.
You practice and write in an eclectic studio in Washington that's home to a variety of artists and brands like DURKL. Does that have an effect on the creative process?
A great effect. We've been there for three years and it's home. Friends come in and paint murals, we put up photos from the road, invite people over for late night jam sessions. And it all contributes to the music—this sense of camaraderie that we have with other musicians and artists that have come through our lives there.
Your brother Paul said his songwriting is informed by literature and I know you're "True Grit" fans. How does crafting "The Great American Album" compare to "The Great American Novel?"
It's all about your experiences. As I'm reading a book, it's exciting when there are parallels between the author's situations and my own life. The author is painting pictures in our minds that may differ from what he or she intended, but we'll take those feelings—frustration, loss, wanderlust—and write them into the songs.
We hear you're designing a shirt with By Robert James.
We're always in his shop, listening to records with a few beers, so it felt natural to collaborate. They're workwear-inspired shirts with a great fit, made from soft dark denim with a special pattern under the cuffs. Look for them this spring.
Listen to the
first single, "Equestrian"