Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: November 2010
Brian Rademacher: Hello Valčne and welcome to RockEyez. Congratulations on the new CRUSHING BLOW release "Cease Fire". So you signed with Inferno Records, how did that come about?
Valčne De Santis: Yes "Cease Fire" is our second album and we decided to sign with Inferno Records because their references were very good and also because Fabian who heads the Production is a very nice person who liked our work.
Brian Rademacher: Before we get started on the new release tell me a little about your past bands BLOWBACK and BERSERKERS?
Valčne De Santis: I was the singer of BLOWBACK a group of heavy thrash for a few years and I have very good memories. It was a great group, we had a good reputation and we left a very beautiful album, the band was great. When CRUSHING BLOW heard me they told me that I was the singer they needed and asked me to join their band. I had never heard of them so I went to see them playing and I loved it! I really liked it! I accepted their offer with pleasure because I found myself completely in their world. I would have liked to stay in both groups but BLOWBACK asked me to make a choice and I chose CRUSHING BLOW and BLOWBACK broke up. Regarding to BERSERKERS, they offered me a song to sing and it was a pleasure for me to participate in their album.
Brian Rademacher: Tell us about your childhood like what did you like to do as a kid?
Valčne De Santis: Ha-ha! When I was 3 years old, I sang in front of my mirror. I had my first band at the age of 16; a hard rock band. I have always frequented the Hard Rock world because I’m a fan of Harley Davidson; obviously I'm very rock and roll! (It’s all) in spite of my parents who don’t like my tastes and my look. Nevertheless, I am a very wise girl in my everyday life. I bring up my two children who make me very proud, my son Johnny plays the guitar, he is a fan of AC / DC and Satriani, and my daughter Kelly plays the piano and listens to many Japanese rock bands! Yes!
Music is my endless passion! I was a jazz singer and later a singer of a variety of styles of music and today I took classes for a nurse diploma and I will introduce Heavy Metal to the children!
Brian Rademacher: Do you play any instruments?
Valčne De Santis: Unfortunately I do not play any musical instruments. I took drums lessons a few years ago but singing takes a lot of my time, I had to give up and I regret it today.
Brian Rademacher: Are you married?
Valčne De Santis: No, I’m not anymore. I devote my life to my children and my music. I am a songwriter and I work on my songs with a friend of mine who is a pianist in a different register. We already have two very rock albums but this is just for our personal pleasure. I belong to Heavy Metal, it’s in my heart!
Brian Rademacher: It’s seems Doro is one of your influences can you give us any insight about some of your other influences?
Valčne De Santis: Yes! I’m often compared to the great Doro because of my voice and my style! And it’s a great honor for me to hear that! But no, she is not part of my influences. I'm mostly into WASP, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, GUNS N’ ROSES and MOTLEY CRUE and I’m also a fan of AC / DC and AIRBOURNE, and many others...
Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first concert you attended and did it have any impact on you?
Valčne De Santis: Ohhhh yes! I have seen many concerts but I think the first KISS concert I saw impressed me and I wanted to do the same! I love the image they represent.
Brian Rademacher: As a child what record/CD was your favorite?
Valčne De Santis: The album that I listened to the most was "The Crimson Idol" by WASP! I have heard it thousands of times; "Wild Child", I like this track!
Brian Rademacher: What size crowd do you play to when you play out?
Valčne De Santis: Unfortunately it is difficult to have big crowds in towns in France we are still a little closed-minded to Heavy Metal (Metal music in general)! But the public is very receptive. We would like to be known around the world and we are looking for an international manager. We first had HEAVENLY and Blaze Bayley who are awesome! We believe CRUSHING BLOW has the strength and the will to go further.
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel the audience in France appreciates Heavy Metal, because checking the web there aren’t many big Metal acts from France? To tell you the truth I couldn’t find any.
Valčne De Santis: Yes, there are some groups who defend the French Heavy Metal such as CRUSHING BLOW, like HEAVENLY, STONECAST or VULCAIN but there’s always the same problem! In France there are very few Heavy Metal concerts, we haven’t got the same size crowds as in Sweden or in Finland where there’s a big audience (for this music). For this reason CRUSHING BLOW would like to make a name beyond the borders (of France). In France no radio station would dare to play Metal albums, and ditto on our TV channels. So how can we make a name in France?
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel being sexy onstage brings in a big male crowd?
Valčne De Santis: No, I do not think that being sexy can be enough to attract a mostly male audience but it is an advantage! A beautiful dynamic presence and a good voice will attract a wider audience and that's exactly what we are looking for. CRUSHING BLOW would reach a very eclectic public; we would defend Heavy Metal, which conquered us in the 80’s.
Brian Rademacher: Let’s get to some of the new CRUSHING BLOW album, "Cease Fire". I love the heavy classic riffs that you have on the CD. Songs like "The Wizard’s Tale", "Redemption" and "Shadow" are just some of my favorite tracks yet you have a classic feel with "Memories" that has a DOKKEN-esque sound. Plus you have great ballads like "My Venom". Do you feel by adding so much diversity you will bring in a biggest audience?
Valčne De Santis: "Cease Fire" is very typical of the 80's! But it looks like us! We are all children of this great time when we listened to heavy bands like SKID ROW, IRON MAIDEN, MANOWAR and UFO. And the riffs of Guillaume and Ben are influenced by this time!
My favorite tracks are "Shadow" and "My Venom" I feel very comfortable in these stories that are about torn love and we don’t want to write always the same songs so we are trying to have diversity!
Brian Rademacher: What is your favorite song to sing live?
Valčne De Santis: Ahhhhh! It’s "Shadow"! I love to sing it! No… I live it!
Brian Rademacher: What goes through your mind when you sing on stage?
Valčne De Santis: I’m happy on stage; I share my feelings with the audience who are very receptive. I love to sing, but I like telling stories. I especially like sharing an experience. I often live what I sing. On stage I forget everything else, I'm just myself. I do not play a role.
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel by living in France CRUSHING BLOW will have a chance to make any kind of impact on music? I mean, if Inferno hadn’t sent me the new CD I would have never known about you.
Valčne De Santis: No! I personally do not believe that in France we can go as far as we want! We know that this is very, very difficult and perhaps impossible. We know very well the difficulties of French groups to become famous worldwide. But dreaming is just part of our universe, so our aim is just to take pleasure with our music and share our passion and defend Heavy Metal. We have very few means to promote our group, we use the Internet and we hope our album will be heard everywhere and we are delighted you got our CD. For us, American and English bands are a (big) part of Heavy Metal. The greatest bands that we listen to come from these countries.
Brian Rademacher: "Cease Fire" for me was a breath of fresh air as I miss those great Heavy Metal tunes from the past and not many bands are playing that stuff anymore. Why did the band decide to go that route instead of playing mainstream Nu Metal or more Modern Metal?
Valčne De Santis: yeahhhh! I’m very happy to read that! A big thanks! It’s encourages us to continue in this direction. No! We don’t want to play something else; it's the music we like! We know that it will not be CRUSHING BLOW that will take over but in the meantime we fervently defend the music we like.
Brian Rademacher: What is your feeling about the world right now?
Valčne De Santis: My feeling about the future of the world? Well I'd say I'm glad I can still make music! (laughs) Sometimes I’m little afraid by all this violence, so when I'm too afraid I sing and I pray to be soon on stage and I see only the best; a delirious audience head-banging with me!
Brian Rademacher: What is a typical day off for you like?
Valčne De Santis: A normal day for me is a day with my children, hear their laughs and see them happy, hear them, their music with the sound substantive reasoning in the house. Each day for me is music!
Brian Rademacher: Do you cook and what is your favorite dish to cook?
Valčne De Santis: Oh yes! I love cooking! I get my friends and cook a good meal.
My favorite dish is Italian "lasagna"! I cook many recipes of the world; I test a lot of things. I am a person who loves good food and I loves eating.
Brian Rademacher: If you had one dream come true what would that be?
Valčne De Santis: I have many dreams! I'm a big dreamer. But my biggest dream would be to have the opportunity to settle in Texas and breed Mustangs. I am a big fan of horses and paint horses/mustangs. But this is really an impossible dream. I would like my group recognized everywhere around the world… pfffff, yes we can dream… (laughs)
Brian Rademacher: Well Valčne I would like to thank you for taking time out to talk with us and I hope fans support the new CRUSHING BLOW CD "Cease Fire". It’s amazing. Would you like to say anything in closing?
Valčne De Santis: Thanks a lot for your attention. I am very glad that I could talk about our new album with you, but especially thrilled to know that you like it! Through your questions I could see a nice person, so it’s me who want to thank you for this good moment that I have spent with you. For the last words, I just hope people who listen to our music will like it. Maybe pleased to meet you one day! Who knows? Maybe one day CRUSHING BLOW will give a huge concert in your city!!!!!!!!!
Lot of kisses Brian!