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"Unsigned Band of the Month"

The Story So Far:
Drummer Ryan McWhorter and guitarist Colton Hull struggled for more than a year to pin down a successful lineup-before meeting vocalist Aaron Allen and guitarist Rowdy Pope in 2005 and becoming Valeyra. Now a five-piece (Cody Gatlin was added on bass in late 2007), the Southern aggro-rockers have done a stint on Warped Tour and shared stages with It Dies Today, Envy On The Coast and Greeley Estates.

Why You Should Know 'Em:
In the true spirit of DIY, Valeyra are self-releasing "The Great Ambition", an album the recorded with Russ T. Cobb (Bowling for Soup) on June 13. These boys may be from a place where boot spurs outnumber lip piercings, but that's not keeping them from being themselves. "Our influences range from Deftones to Dio, MxPx to Blindside - all thrown in a pot of Johnny Cash," explains Allen. "We just want to stay true to ourselves and do what we love. - AP Magazine


Valeyra - Valeyra E.P. (2006)
*Select songs available through myspace
Valeyra - The Great Ambition (June 13, 2008)
*Select songs available through myspace



Drive. Drink. Dream. For a band who practices in a barn in small-town Texas, could there be a more appropriate mantra ? Fueled by their DIY ethics and pride in their free-wheeling southern roots, post-hardcore quintet VALEYRA has managed to make some early waves in their career without the luxury of a big label or management.

"It has been an uphill battle," admits drummer/vocalist Ryan McWhorter. "It seems like if you're a band that's not signed, it's a lot harder to get people's attention."

The band has had its share of success already, boasting tours alongside The Sleeping, A Day to Remember and Secret Lives of the Freemasons. In a town of 400, however, starting and maintaining a band certainly isn't the typical chosen path for young adults.

"Colton and I were raised in a basketball-loving kind of town and they didn't like how we were spending our time on music instead of basketball or any kind of sport," said McWhorter.

"When you look like we do in a town where we live, going to your local Chili's or Wal-Mart with tattoos and whatnot, it can be a spectator's sport," adds vocalist Aaron Allen."A lot of the older folks don't seem to get it or want to understand it."

While these interactions inspired the song "How's Your Heart," the band has encountered some curious music fans and has built positive relationships with those who "get" them.

"We get a lot of support from friends here," says Allen.

"We definitely put a lot of hard work into building a fan base around Fort Worth," adds guitarist Rowdy Pope. "Touring is the only way to make it and we all learned that really quickly. It's brought us all closer as a band and as brothers."

The unusual backdrop, however, helped fuel the southern-infused attitude found on THE GREAT AMBITION, the debut full-length from VALEYRA.

We took six months [prior to tracking] to sit at home and write," says Allen. "We tracked in Atlanta with Russ.T Cobb. We got in there and everything started flowing together so nicely."

"We stayed half a block from a bar that helped us through tough times and create our sound," adds McWhorter. "I'm really excited to see what comes of the record. I think once it's out there people will catch on to it and really dig it."

The music has already gotten the attention of some influential people. Popular music rag Alternative Press recently selected VALEYRA as unsigned band of the month.

"Hopefully '08 will be our biggest year," says Pope. "We're trying to push this album as much as humanly possible and just get our name out there. If it were up to us we would tour constantly, but almost constantly is alright by me, too."

Look for VALEYRA to hit your neck of the woods this summer. The band promises it will be a party.