Alt-Rockers Red Valley Nursery Talk New Video Single ‘Failure’, Band Ethos, & More

As described in their artist biography, Red Valley Nursery “pulls the pin on a fun grenade and throws it right in your lap.” In listening to their music, it makes sense: it’s risky, chaotic, eruptive, yet enticing. 

From Baltimore, Maryland, this grunge-rock type band is most known for their raw tones, thought-provoking lyrics, and psychedelic breaks. This foursome consists of Steven Thomas (lead vocals, guitar), Nick Cove (backup vocals, guitar), Matthew Mayer (bass), and Dylan Schwacke (backup vocals and drums).

On September 8th, the band released their fun and gritty new video single, “Failure”. This single in particular is inspired by conceited individuals who make their way through the world believing that everyone else is beneath them. The band describes that the lyrics are written from the perspective of someone who exists within our world from this point of view. They asked themselves the question, “how does someone that’s a complete failure at human decency see the world around them?” 

We got to chat with the band and learn a bit more about the single, video, and their hopes for the future. 

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So can you share the origins of Red Valley Nursery and how y’all got together? 

We all played in bands within the Baltimore area. The local radio station, 98 Rock, hosted “Supergroup” Jams and we signed up for a song together. Chemistry was found off the bat and we locked in from there.

Your artist biography describes the band as ‘total controlled chaos.’ Could you elaborate further on that? 

Our music tends to jump from one feel to another in a split second. We really enjoy abrupt changes and shifts in momentum. It’s about creating a solid groove and then ripping the rug out from under the listener. They didn’t expect it, but they enjoyed the switch. 

Let’s talk a bit about the release of your new single, “Failure.” What’s the inspiration and influence behind the song itself? 

“Failure” began with some lyrics aimed to mocked people who thought their shit didn’t stink. You know, those idiots who think they are better than everyone. It was a satirical take on their point of view and how I’ve seen them operate towards others. 

How do you know when a song is finished? Do you often find yourself wanting to keep editing or re-recording tracks?

It’s almost unspoken. There’s a mutual feeling that settles in as we track and mix. After we test out little experiments, sounds, and background ideas, it’s a given. It’s like a period on a sentence to us. We know when enough has been said.

Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?

You’re damn right. 

The music video for it has a sense of satire to it. Could you talk about the vision behind it and how it correlates to the song?

The idea stemmed from the Covid lockdowns and the chaos around it. There was so much nonsense and uncertainty from every side and angle. We wanted to emulate the “failure” of that period of time in a ridiculous way. A local grocery store (shoutout to Eddie’s of Mt. Vernon) kindly let us film in the middle of the pandemic and that put the video on another level. 

What does a day in the life of Red Valley Nursery’s songwriting process look like? 

A lot of choking each other out paired with sensual moments. Honestly, most things start with a riff or vocal line. Then we set aside a day to hit record, bounce ideas off each other and marinate on it for a few. It’s been pretty smooth working as a unit. 

How do you begin your creative process? 

It really happens at any given moment. My brain tends to just spit things out and if I don’t write it down or record it, the thought will not leave me alone until I do. It could happen in the shower, as I’m falling asleep or in line at an Arby’s. 

In general, what messages or feelings do you try to convey through your music?

I’m sure this is cliche as hell, but it really depends on the song. We don’t really sing about sunshine and rainbows, but what we create isn’t necessarily meant to be dark either. We’ve tackled losing loved ones, addiction, anxiety, etc. in our work. It’s aimed to speak on growth and moving forward in life. On the other hand, we’ve written complete nonsense, obscene stories, and things that give you stink face. 

What does a dream gig look like for Red Valley Nursery?

Clutch, if you’re listening, we would love to open up for you all. We don’t suck too much. 

Where does RVN go from here and what might fans expect to see throughout the rest of the year?

We have an EP coming out soon, and after that it’s back to recording our next record. The lockdown allowed us to really focus on writing and improving our sound. We are taking a break from shows for the remainder of the year, but we plan on doing some touring and whatnot in 2023.

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