[Originally posted on March 2009]
Born in San Diego – Californian and now based in Portland – Oregon, Valentine Falcon is the absolutely-striking-on-stage singer of the art-punk band Get Hustle as well as the co-owner of a vintage store called Rad Summer. She’s recently been working on new pieces of collage and designing objects for an upcoming art show. Beyond her creative work, everything in Valentine’s world breathes passion and elegance.
Could you please tell us more about your background? How did you start making music?
I feel bad because I have said this so many times but Yoko Ono really got that ball rolling, I have always had a pretty huge voice. I would “joke” sing opera in parking garages (to hear the echo), I did choir and stuff. But I went to see Yoko just because it was a free ticket, I didn’t even want to be there. Her performance, her voice was so powerful (not in sound, but dimension/frequency, I was the “glass” she broke that night), fierce and true, it broke me…it broke my mind a little. I think I cried. I decided from then on I would sing… and I did.
Who is your role model? Or the most interesting woman you ever met?
I have had so many role models. Since a good portion of my time-a decade actually-ha, was spent singing many role models were other singers-I would listen over and over to them, try and embody what they had and make it my own. You know Nina Simone, Diamanda Galas, Betty Davis, Elvis, Jesse Jackson, Rob Tyner (MC5)… I have also been fortunate to play shows with other singers that really pushed me, such as Ida No (Glass Candy), Katrina Ford(from Celebration), my friend Faith, Honey Owens (Valet), Katilan Kennedy (Lost Lockets), etc. I’d watch them and I could feel where I was lacking in voice or presence, the next show I would fix it, or try to at least. There are a couple of ladies I know, that are insanely interesting, they helped me re-envision living. The first is Annette Peacock, she looks like she could be my mom-and I feel our voices and vibe are of a similar nature. She is a secret innovator like Tesla, she changed the perception of our music and yet no one may ever know it was her. I met her at the first west coast performance she’s ever played. Her and I were in the bathroom simultaneously-I told her how much she had inspired me, and what gratitude I had for her work, as I spoke she brushed hair out of my eyes like she was my mom! My friend Honey Owens is also probably one of the most fascinating creatures that I get to hang with. She is like a super spiritual wild cat she walks beautifully with love, fierceness, creativity, and timelessness. When I was focusing on conjuring the changes I would make in job, lifestyle etc, Honey appeared. She reminds me of Yoko Ono, but not, she has a very unusual style, in clothing, and thoughts, it’s like having a really cool “real” imaginary friend.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am super inspired by Native American culture, old Mardi Gras, the unknown-strange phenomena, ghost stories, psychic powers all that stuff. I get a lot of inspiration from people. When I go on my findings I do a lot of chatting, I ask a lot of questions, I am very curious and because of this I have gathered amazing tales. I also love words, I cut many words out and pictures, my boyfriend gets mad about how many scraps of paper are everywhere, I try to keep most of them in the basement, but I have piles of pictures and words, I feel they jump out in order to help me assimilate my next course of action, what I will be working on next creatively.
In what other bands / musical projects than Get Hustle are you involved? What are your other current occupations?
I haven’t done any other bands, Get Hustle needed to go on hiatus but we are planning on doing another record. Maxamillion and Mac both have other bands. When I do my art show there will be music that accompanies it that will probably be the first music I have ever done on my own, it doesn’t exist yet so it is dangerous to talk too much about it, lest it not come to be. I plan on doing an occult metal record with Get Hustle, probably not until end of the year.
I co-own a vintage clothing store and work there, I find treasures. I have always been a treasure finder, now I get to make money off it. It’s mostly clothing and such of the vintage and fashionable kind. I find very strange things too, that I hide (so it doesn’t lose its power of strangeness) and look at for inspiration. I really consider myself a designer-but I am in the process of up-ing that so I can design maybe as my full time profession whilst finding “next level” treasure-things that would go in museums, or create crazy inspiration from its power. I love the vintage store though; there are four of us, all ladies, and all power houses. I really couldn’t ask for a more lovely pack of “wolves” to roll with. It’s called “Rad Summer”. It used to be a soda fountain a long time ago, it still attracts that kind of energy, a lot of people come and hang out, there is an amazing mural being painted, everyone there is super creative.
Besides music, is there any other field in art you feel attracted to? A medium you like to use to express yourself?
Like I said I am attracted to all forms of art, but right now I am extremely interested in the process of creating, I have begun to feel things really are creating themselves-and the creation is only as good as the instrument, I was almost wondering if anyone could work on something I might have started if they were to tune in enough to what the project at hand is. I really think collaboration is the highest form of art, it requires so many levels of sense, and it is a microcosm for life lessons. I really like collage-it is eerie to me how super random pieces actually fit together as if it was a mystical puzzle you just happen to being putting together yet have no real hand in as the creator. Also the voice, it’s such a powerful medium!
Who are your favourite and most inspiring artists (of any kind) at present? Why?
It’s kind of odd because Bob Dylan popped into my mind-but I’m not necessarily a Bob Dylan fan. I mean I don’t hang out and listen to him, yet lately I have thought about his mastery of words and how intensely deep these unknown feelings, feelings that same ancient yet uncivilized, come through him… I don’t think he had experienced those emotions yet he channelled them. I love visionary artists people just compelled with vision but not necessarily educated in art, they remind me of the freedom of making stuff just because you want to, not because it has to mean something or be liked by others. Just rolling deep in gift of imagination, I love that shit.
What’s the latest project you have been working on?
Right now I am working on pieces for an art show I want to do. It is made of dream qualities, and the sub/natural/super conscious realm places we go in sleep or in imagination. I choose these reigns I want to be in, adorning them with objects and jewellery, walking with shadows, and with other people’s thoughts.
My partner and I did a shamanic drumming ceremony a couple of times. I don’t know if it was real or what but the images that come up are totally fantastic. This new project feels cut from the cloth of such a dimension. I want to communicate with silence and pictures with that world I visited…this is my ceremony to beyondness.Brushing the hair of the beyond, ha, ha.
What would be the best collaboration you could possibly think of?
If you mean in my life, I feel like Mac (from Get Hustle) and I. It is so other worldly to create with Mac, we are not in love in a romantic way, but to work with him is to feel a high super natural love. I have known Mac for almost 18 years, and he is always interesting and baffling to me. His aesthetic choices and what he creates in his own time is very strange. I am always inspired and intrigued when it comes to Mac because I never quite understand the source from which he draws inspiration. In the creation process you absolutely need to have people or elements that are able to take you beyond your normal perceptions, I think that is what makes collaboration amazing. That is what I have with Mac.
Where do you live now? What is the house you live in like? Could you describe your neighbourhood?
I live on the other side of a freeway wall, in North Portland, Oregon. I live in Minnesota Ave, but I always want to cover it up with the sign “Easy Street”. I have always wanted to say I live in Easy Street. I lived in this place for a few years, it has been a vortex of good against evil, the good prevailed (it’s a long story-but that’s the outcome of it all). The house is a one bedroom with basement, it shares a very thin wall with a neighbour that lives in a wheelchair, and I can hear her cough a lot in the morning when I get up. The neighbourhood is like out of a David Lynch movie. It is at a dead end, sometimes my neighbours at the very edge of the street-the very deadest end, peek behind the bushes whilst wearing their robe. Because I am by the freeway the large semi trucks shake my little house… I pretend they are enormous elephants stomping around. There are some people that grow weed down the street I think, and big cats that chill on my porch-the cool thing about my house is it is the most central to every place I want to be… 2-5 mile radius on every side will get you in the mix of it all. I decorate it with a lot of native rugs; my favourite piece in the house is this huge 1970′s Egyptian cloth wall hanging that was underneath my staircase in the basement, it came with the house, ha!
What do you like doing when you’re not working?
The lines of work and non work bleed a bit, but I do art, I might watch a movie. Recently I just finished a book (huge for me, I never read), “The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky”. I go to bed pretty early cause I wake up super early for meditation. Sometimes I might sew, play with stuff I find, pet my cats or my boyfriend, I like to hang out so once I get home after being out in the world I do human things eating, bath, etc. right now though just that art project I mentioned.
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured/interviewed here?
Annette Peacock, Katrina Ford and Joanne Burk (amazing artist Chromium Dumb Belle), they are all so powerful, so enchanted as singers (on stage and in their lives), and artists, mythical with their voices and hand of creation….Love!!!
File under: Archives