Track by Track with The Valiants ‘Nothing without Balance’

We get into it with a track by track with The Valiants  ‘Nothing without Balance’ a drop of sweet indie rock at its best.

In the serene backdrop of the Eastern Hills in Victoria, The Valiants emerge not only as a band but as a resonant soundtrack to life’s intricate moments – from peaks of elation to the depths of introspection.

Originating from this picturesque setting, The Valiants are a five-piece indie rock powerhouse that stormed onto the scene in 2021 with their debut single, ‘Fallout.’ Since then, they’ve been causing ripples in Melbourne’s underground music circuit, seamlessly blending robust guitar riffs with thunderous rhythms.

the valiants

Fast forward to 2023, and they unveil their inaugural EP, ‘Nothing Without Balance.’ This five-track production weaves a captivating musical and lyrical narrative, drawing from a palette of emotions and experiences. From the orchestral ballads of ‘Compromise of Heart’ to the gritty grunge of ‘Indifference’ and ‘Red Mist,’ each track paints a vivid emotional landscape.

Today, we venture into the album alongside the band, peeling back the layers of their creative process. It’s an intimate journey, offering a glimpse into the inspirations, stories, and collaborative efforts that gave birth to The Valiants’ unique brand of indie rock.

the valiants

You Have Always Known

What emotions do you hold with the song?

Antonio – I get to do a little bass part about halfway through the song so this is easily the best song in the EP hands down. 

Did a particular artist or style influence the music?

Billy – As a riff heavy song from a guitar standpoint, I was inspired to incorporate some slow droning Black Sabbath type riffage where I could. To me, this song is a testament to our diverse musical inspirations. Just when you think you hear ‘The Strokes’, the doomy guitars drone on to create a really unique sounding song.

To me, listening back to this song reminds me how much fun writing music can be when informed by a range of genres and inspirations. 

Jakeb – During the recording of this song, I had to learn to let go a bit of the creative process. All these songs in the beginning were written and demoed by me and each song I have written has always started with lyrics.

Excerpts taken from my journal, moments in my life that had caused growth and had great significance to me and at times it felt as though a lot of it was slipping away.

One story from that process was I had a clear idea on how to start ‘You Have Always Known,’ and I wanted, envisioned, that lonely electric guitar at the start, like the beginning of ‘Suck It and See’ by the Arctic Monkeys.

On one of the last days of recording we reached ‘You Have Always Known’ and the boys from Loud Noise Estate Ash and Ev suggested we start with acoustic guitar. I ended up having to go for a walk and sit by the ocean to contemplate what was worth fighting for especially without giving it a proper go first. 

Red Mist

What emotions do you hold with the song?

Antonio – This song has always been my favourite since I joined The Valiants. It was ‘written’ before I joined and I always had a lot of fun just playing along to it. No one seemed to share my interest in the song and I spent a lot of time trying to bring some changes to it to make it more fun for everyone else. Of course those changes being a drum & bass intro, as well as a weird jazz rock bass line in the verse. I think the reason this song is my favorite off the EP is because we nearly gave up on it a year ago, it was on the brink of being removed from the set entirely, but one day we just had a jam to it and it came back to life seemingly out of nowhere. 

Process behind it?

Magnus – This song is easily our oldest song and probably the only one we have that was started pre-covid. So I suppose that’s over 3 and a half years until release.

Was there any notable memories while recording or while writing the song?

Antonio – The bass line for this was actually heavily inspired by Jaco Pastorious – Come On, Come Over. It was a jazz piece I learned in high school with such a boppy and fast bass riff in the chorus that never stops moving and going from note to note. I spent a while trying to incorporate that style of bass into the “Indie Rock” flavor of music we serve. 

Jakeb – This song has been written for a long time. Magnus and I used to be in a band before ‘The Valiants’ and it just morphed into The Valiants as time went on and Red Mist as time went on also morphed and changed. I wrote the song as a reminder to myself what could happen if anger took over but in a general sense before taking it to Loud Noise Estate I had no love for the song.

It was boring and poorly written, it just felt indecisive; but after Ash and Ev had a look at it we turned it into this machine of a song that just propelled itself forward with heavy bass and steady drums and it finally turned into work I could be proud of.

I Never Know What To Say Till It’s Too Late

What emotions do you hold with the song?

Magnus – This is my favorite track off the EP. It’s just a really weird song and it feels like the most unconventional thing we’ve done. The chorus has a synth bass sound in it as well and there is no better feeling than cranking the low end up everytime we play it live.

Even during rehearsals, the soundwaves are so powerful that anyone sitting down within a 50 meter radius is getting a full body vibration massage.

Was there any notable memories while recording or while writing the song?

Billy – Recording this song really served as a reminder to the capabilities of the guitar as an instrument. The use of a 12 string guitar for the verse riff adds a whole new set of textures that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

In addition, Ash and Ev made use of a technique that gives the guitar a ‘wavy’ sound by physically pushing the guitar neck against the body. While subtle, making use of the guitar’s sonic range turned out to be fundamental in making the song what it is. 

Jakeb – This song is by far the one I am most proud of. I wrote it on a whim after going through a breakup (a lot of these songs are inspired by breakup type events, but I have found after a while the lyrics I have written have a far deeper and connected meaning, something I hope listeners can find for themselves).

The process of demoing this song went quick. I had the idea just sitting in my room playing guitar humming the melody and decided to just record what I could. I stayed up all night, recorded the main guitar riffs, and pieced it all together using the lyrics as a guide for the structure.

The next day I just laid the vocal track down and sent it off to the band and we had a really cool idea for a song together within a few rehearsals. It only changed a little bit when we brought it to Loud Noise Estate.

They suggested we added the whole piano section. I just took one of my poems and planted it in there rearranged it a bit to ensure it connected but yeah the process on this song was well rewarding and so fascinating to open up the whole process, providing things I wouldn’t have thought of and created what is in my mind the masterpiece of the EP.

Compromise of Heart

Process behind it

Magnus – This one was the biggest studio undertaking of the songs for all of us. The recording is really tightly layered with different orchestral and guitar tracks coming through.  

Was there any notable memories while recording or while writing the song?

Antonio – Compromise was the last song I recorded on bass as well, after learning how to use a pick to record the other 4 songs this was a nice rest for my poor forearm to go back to finger-style.

There’s a running joke in The Valiants about the mysterious activities that took place when we all left and Billy stayed back. I truly believe Ash and Ev took turns whipping him with towels while he recorded the solo over and over again. Pain is the only source of such a solo.

Magnus – If you want my take on the Billy story, there’s only so much I’m at liberty to say. All I know for sure is that the William Franes we left in the studio on that fateful night, has not been the same man since…

Billy – Compromise of Heart was the very last song I had to record on guitar. After a week of intense tracking and recording, my hand had completely cramped up rendering it nearly useless.

This paired with Ash and Ev’s meticulous guitar tuning methods made recording this song take way longer than anticipated. By this point, all the other boys had nicked off while I stayed back until the early hours of the morning to finish the last parts of the song.

I am forbidden under a contractual obligation to discuss anything about the events that transpired, but let’s just say the outcome of the guitar solo was worth it.

Jakeb – The grandiose EP namesake, this song also has been written for a long time. It’s based on the political landscape and the disagreements people have. Trying to find a middle ground is the only way to move on peacefully but most people are not interested.

It would seem they enjoy the conflict which frustrated me to my core but then I realized I have no control over anything except how I react to things.

But before I wrote the first few lines of the chorus, I was watching ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.’ With everything that was happening in the world, I realized how simple the answer could be and I wrote it into a track.

It began as a guitar heavy track. I was playing chords, and it was just another sort of filler song but Magnus and I knew it needed something more.

So we spent some time together trying to figure out what could be added and then Magnus decided to put his violin sound on the keyboard. All of a sudden we knew it was an orchestral rock ballad and that was what it needed to be.

The song itself took the longest to record because Billy’s lead parts needed to be perfect and his writing needed to stand out above the power of the orchestra.

We don’t really know what happened on that day but he was there recording with Loud Noise Estate, just him and them, all day, but the end product was amazing and I get chills every time Billy plays his solo.


Did a particular artist or style influence the music

Magnus – During the verses there’s a small keyboard melody hidden away. It’s pretty subtle so I’m hoping we’re clear on the plagiarism front, but it does contain a somewhat coincidental similarity to a couple of the melodies in the GTA 5 load screen music.

Clearly I must have fallen asleep to those sounds in the background a few to many times as a kid.

Was there any notable memories while recording or while writing the song?

Antonio – This song was recorded right after red mist for me, and Ash and Ev went absolutely ballistic trying to dial in some bass tones. There were about 10 pedals strewn across the ground, several markers to note the dials, as well as a gazillion plugins.

However, through what can only be divine intervention, my bass wiring just gave out halfway through the day and we spent 3 hours figuring out what the hell went wrong between the pedal spaghetti on the floor and the wall of plugins on the poor overheating mac.

We ended up just stripping it back to basics and it made very little difference in my opinion. All the gear heads who might read this will potentially have other opinions but they aren’t in The Valiants so who cares. 

Jakeb – Another old song that just needed a lot of work. I cannot even remember what I wrote it about to begin with; but now it is about not really caring what others think and to move on, do not make a fuss who cares I guess.

The song is fast paced. It is a lot of fun to play but in terms of being proud of where the song sits I’m not exactly sure I just hope the listeners are able to find joy or comfort in the work we provide.