Once some strange rumours occurred in Japan... Valensia would be a computer-generated pop star! Just like Kyoko, the animated Japanese singer. Well, may be it wasn't that strange after all. Before his hit song 'Gaia', no-one ever heard of Valensia. Suddenly, he was just there, out of nothing. People saw his pictures. And they saw his video clips, which were almost completely computer-generated. But no sight of the man himself. No live glimpse of the man from the pictures and the video's. In Japan, Valensia had not shown his face yet.
Of course Valensia is not a bunch of binary data. Aldous Byron Valensia Clarkson (his full name) really exists. He was born on April 13th, 1971, in The Hague (The Netherlands). Long before he appeared in computer-generated video clips, he performed on the beaches of Spain. At that time he was just 7 years old. His voice and his guitar were his instruments, the sand was his stage while the sunbathers were his audience.
Obviously he didn't bore his audience to death, because already in 1979 he was offered a record deal in Spain. However, his parents rejected the deal as Valensia was not allowed to record his own songs. They also considered him too young for the tough music business. It must have been a disappointment for the young Valensia, who at that time already had his own repertoire.
But then, at the age of 20, Valensia was signed up by Mercury Holland. In the fall of 1993, his first single 'Gaia' was released. Within 9 hours after the release, Valensia came to fame as Holland's leading FM-stations played the song all throughout the day. 'Gaia' shot to the top of the charts, only held off the #1 spot by Meatloaf's megahit 'I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)'.
Valensia's debut-album arrived in January 1994 and was awarded with both a Silver Harp and an Edison (Holland's most prestigious music award). With the Gaia-video - the most expensive video clip ever made for a Dutch artist - Valensia became a pioneer in computer-animated clips in Holland. nternationally, attention was gained when the video was broadcasted on MTV Europe. Worldwide, 'Gaia' sold over one million copies.
Valensia's second album, 'K.O.S.M.O.S', was once again recorded and mixed at the famous dutch Wisseloord studios. Few people know this was the first dutch surround-sound-cd. In Japan, where the album was released before anywhere else, 'K.O.S.M.O.S' sold over 40.000 copies the day the album was released.
Initially, Valensia had not intended to become an on-stage performing artist. Simply because his complex music isn't that suitable for live-concerts. But in October 1996 he went to Japan to perform live on stage. Accompanied by a band of five excellent musicians, he started his mini-tour in Tokyo. It was his first live performance, well, leave alone the 'concerts' he gave on the Spanish beaches when he was still a child...
In 2000, Valensia returned to Japan for another mini-tour. Together with Robby Valentine he did three successfull shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. A few months earlier the first V-cd was released, a co-operation of Valensia and Robby Valentine. The V-tour ended tragically, for Valensia's mother passed away the day he returned to Holland. Therefore Valensia included a 'Requim pour Jacqueline' on his album 'Gaia II' (2000).
The second V-cd 'Valentine vs Valensia' was released in the spring of 2002. Two months later, Valensia released a new solo-album 'The Blue Album', including the song 'Alyssa', an ode to his new-born daughter.
A deal was then struck with Lion Music to release music that was harder, heavier and more pompous than previous albums...Metal Majesty was born.
The first album to bear the fruits of Valensia hard work was 'This Is Not A Drill'. Mixing the hard rock crunch of Whitesnake (1987/Slip Of The Tongue era) with the pompous arrangements of Queen the album was a big hit with lovers of melodic hard rock. This was followed up by Valensia's critically acclaimed Queen Tribute (released under the Valensia banner and widely regarded as the ultimate Queen tribute album).
Early 2005 saw the second instalment of Metal Majesty's metallic glory in 2005. Building on the framework laid down by This Is Not a Drill, 2005 saw even better song writing, musicianship and production.
Fans of driving pompous melodic hard rock with killer vocals, guitar and arrangements owe themselves to check out these 2 masterpieces.
Metal Majesty - 2005
Track by Track in Valensia Clarkson's own words
A track I wrote in 1988! Could have been on my debut album.. back in those days it still was called "We Rock", but I changed the lyrics and it's title.
Ready To Roar
This is one of the tracks I composed while recording. Written in the times Robby Valentine and I were at war. Nothing more creative than putting your anger into a song. These lyrics are quite funny, because it's basically the statement Robby wrote about what an evil person I was... He was right; I used his text for a song. It doesn't get more evil than this. But basically there was an underlying message, a private one. Saying it wasn't me who caused the trouble. There was a female involved. Valentine also wrote a song, a very nasty one, about me. That's true artistic creativity.
Love Will Make You Bleed
A new song, my first blues! I never thought I could sing bluesy, but it's not that bad at all. This song is heavily inspired on "Jellyroll" from Blue Murder. I have no idea why I wanted a song like that. I know I missed a track to get the 10 tracks. David doesn't even play drums. I edited his drums for "Hell Hounds On My Trail" into this song. It's the only editing on the album. I had to have one more song.
Hold On To The Night
This is another song I wrote in 1988 or 1989.. The chorus that is. A song in the vein of Whitesnake's "Crying In The Rain". Under normal circumstances I never would have recorded songs like that... it's too Whitesnake. But then again, if I listen to both songs, it is something else. It's always something else. I read some silly reporter saying: "Valensia's so incredible talented but he's just imitating Queen." Like an automatic sample reporters say this when they hear the name "Valensia". This time I could see it was nonsense, as I wasn't imitating Queen. And henceforth I know that MY style, the Valensia style, has been fucking original from the very start. You try finding a copy of my song "Tere", "Mayte" or a whole bunch of other songs I've written. There aren't any. People are slowly discovering it now. These songs you can rant at if you like. But hands off my Valensia songs. Nevertheless fun to do, "Hold On The Night".
A very personal track about private stuff. I wanted to hire a violin section for this song until I saw their prices. Then I decided to play the violins all by myself. Not easy, this violin.
Hell Hounds On My Trail
Another song that has been lying around for ages. I wrote this when I was still in school. With a friend actually... I believe the verse isn't entirely mine.
The 'Still Of The Night' feel I love; I love the break in that song, creating atmosphere...and Whitesnake got that from Led Zeppelin...and at the end it's all differently. It would be nice if silly reporters would finally see that this is the way composing is done. I love the guitar sound of this song. The slide from the guitar when the song starts is very nice, very powerful. Where have those sounds gone.
A lot of old material, when I come to think of it. No wonder I didn't have to write for this album. Again, this is a song which was written even before my debut album. The most complete song so far. I had everything written for it, even the lyrics. I didn't even change the guitar solo, which is still the way I played it when I was 16.
Alone, Unknown and On My Own
A new song; the last of the many. This song marked an era for me. The lyrics say so. When I wrote this song, I felt all was over and I had the desire to leave the music industry. And so I have left it. Wait... the chorus isn't new either... it's also from the old days, when I was 16 or so. The verse may be from 2002 or so... this is the way I always write.. I just glue things together. I love the second verse...the chords, melody and lyrics perfectly reflect the state of being I was in... "Lonely depression I just could not bare; I'm going to buy some friends and walk on air; I'm finished anyway so I just don't care." It's truly sad; an artist at the peak of his creativity and life, quits music business because there's nothing left to do. He rather retires than trying to maintain his career. I like that.
A bullshit song. It's nice anyway because I wrote it - haha - but it's nothing... no lyrics, no special stuff. This was written to practice recording with the initial Metal Majesty band.