We recently caught up with Hugo from one man wonder project Chad Valley and fired a few questions at him, here was the outcome of said fired words!
InMyKitchen: After spending half a decade and 3 albums with your band Jonquil, you decided to go it alone with Chad Valley. Why did you decide it was time to make an album without your band mates?
Hugo: Really, it was out of neccesity. I had been writing electronic stuff for a long time before Jonquil even existed, and there came a point where I realised that I had somehow created a few songs that all worked together, so I put a name to it. It was never started as a effort to ‘make it’ or whatever. I suppose its often like that with solo projects. They just kind of happen, and I think I was very lucky to get some attention very quickly.
IMK: Your busy touring as Chad Valley and I hear rumour of an album in the pipeline, are Jonquil still going as a band or is all of your attention now focused on Chad Valley?
Hugo: Yeah, Jonquil is still going, and we just finished our 3rd album, which is being mixed as we speak. So now i’m hard at work on the debut Chad Valley album, in between touring. I’m going to spend a bit of time in LA recording after this tour that i’m on right now supporting Active Child (i’m somewhere in Michigan at the moment) and then maybe to a studio I know in Norway which has a pretty special collection of synths. So the album I think is planned to be released in March 2012. It is hard work balancing the two bands. I just recently went full-time, so i’m able to put all of my attention to writing and touring with both bands, and luckily I love both of those things.
IMK: How would you describe Chad Valley to those yet to be hear your music?
Hugo: Fun, summery and sexy. People often say to me that they have sex to my music, which is awkward.
IMK: You are a big part of the music scene in Oxford. Tell us about what’s going on in Oxford at the moment, anyone we should be listening out for?
Hugo: The scene in Oxford is really unreal at the moment. There are so many bands who are genuinely great, and to cement this new uprising we created a collective of bands and artists called Blessing Force. There is a real incestuous thing going on too. Rose from Rhosyn sings on my song Now That I’m Real. All the members of Trophy Wife used to be in Jonquil. Sam from Jonquil has a solo project called Solid Gold Dragons. I could reel of a huge list of connections!
IMK: What does the future hold for Chad Valley both in the short term and the long term?
Hugo: Right now i’m on my way in the van with Active Child to our show in Minneapolis. We played Chicago last night and it was one of the best shows I ever done. Up their with the Way Out West one, in fact. I’m on this tour for another two weeks or so, and then i’m back home for a few weeks and then I have a UK tour supporting Friendly Fires, and all the time i’m working on the album. Next year i’m looking forward to getting a live band together, finally. Its going to be really exciting, and scary at the same time, because i’ve seen so many electronic projects totally fail when trying to turn it into a live thing, so the pressure is on to make it real good.
IMK: You have been doing some record and collaborations up in Norway recently for your album, can you tell us about any hot tips from the Scandinavian parts who we should be looking out for in the future?
Hugo: Well I recorded a song in Oslo with Anne Lise Froekdal who is in an amazing band called Harrys Gym, and she really has one of my favourite voices ever. I’ve always been a huge fan of Swedish music, to an almost obsessive point really. The Tough Alliance, Jens Lekman, El Perro Del Mar, Air France are some of my favourite ever bands, and they are all from the same city, which is crazy. There is obviously something about the place which influences really beautiful music.
Sweden is a place the i have romanticised for a very long time. And going there to play Way Out West was a really special experience. I was really blown away at the reception I got, and i’m really looking forward to coming back as soon as possible