Val Emmich says he has mostly fond memories of his time with the New Jersey bands Ben Trovato and Awake Asleep.
“I was hanging with my best friends in the world and just being creative,” recalls the 26-year-old Emmich. “I am very nostalgic for those times.”
He doesn’t feel the same way about his stint with Epic Records, which re-released his full-length solo debut, Slow Down Kid, in October 2004.
The North Jersey-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist goes as far to say he was “lucky” that he was released from his multiple-album Epic contract in May. In fact, he’s totally down on majors in general and their tendency to be conservative.
“If your music happens to fit the current trend, and they feel you are a safe bet, then a major label could be the best possible thing for you,” he says. “They have tons of promotional money to spend on your behalf, but those acts are the minority. If words like integrity, creativity, control and longevity mean something to you and your music, then it’s probably the wrong place for you.”
Emmich has gone the indie route for his latest solo album, Sunlight Searchparty, due Oct. 24 via his Web site and MySpace page.
“It’s full of songs where the protagonist is looking for answers,” he says. “It’s an album about life and all that it entails. It’s both my personal story about my experiences the last few years and a universal tale about everyone and anyone.”
Emmich isn’t preoccupied with Sunlight Searchparty‘s sales potential.
“I left a label so I wouldn’t have to think about those kinds of things,” he says. “I hope it reaches as many people as possible so that I can continue to make music.
“My hope is that people focus on the quality of the record, not how much it sells.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Val Emmich concert dates (schedule subject to change):
* Oct. 21: Maxwell’s — Hoboken, N.J.
* Oct. 28: The Saint — Asbury Park, N.J.
* Nov. 1: The Khyber — Philadelphia
* Dec. 5: Sin-E — New York