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Fusing Metal And Jazz With VALTOZASH

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The words Jazz and Heavy Metal are unlikely bedfellows – some would say impossible.

The combining of metal undertones with a horn section would be offensive to some purists, but music isn’t just for the pure at heart.

Brisbane 17 piece jazz metal outfit Valtozash are one such band who has defied tradition and unashamedly thrown caution to the wind, featuring a 13 strong horn section to go with the regular instruments in an amalgamation that lends as much to musical adventure as it does experimentalizing.

This weekend, on November 14, Valtozash combine with Therein and Odius for a Sunday evening session at The Zoo in Brisbane, possibly one of the few stages in Brisbane that could comfortably accommodate a band of their magnitude.

On Friday, November 12 they play with Therein at Banshees Bar in Ipswich to kick off their double album launch weekend of festivities.

Composer Andre Bonetti joined HEAVY to chat about the wonderful world of Valtozash.

With two gigs in the one weekend, we start by asking just how good it will be to get back on stage.

“I remember shows!,” he began. “We were pretty lucky. We only play three or four times a year because there’s too many dickheads in the band for me to try and run (laughs). We didn’t lose too many gigs, but we went down from two gigs a year to one! It could be worse.”

Valtozash have been touted as the worlds first jazz metal group, a claim that would seemingly be hard to refute, but when pressed further Bonetti reveals that may not be the case.

“Actually, now that you mention it, as far as I was aware we were the only jazz metal big band in the world,” he measured, “but two months ago somebody pointed out there was a New York band that’s a big band and they play some heavy shit. I thought we were the worlds first, but maybe we are not…”

By virtue of the fact Valtozash have 13 members in the horn section it would be natural to assume that the jazz side of their persona was more prevalent in their music, but Bonetti argues that isn’t necessarily the case.

“It changes, he countered. “When we started out it was very jazz and just a bit heavy, and then I think I just got really stressed and maybe a little bit grumpy with where my life was at and shit got heavier and heavier, and now I reckon we are very metal, with a whole lot of jazz. Does that make any sense?”

In the full interview, Andre talks more about the band’s eclectic sound, the balance between jazz and metal, the sheer size of the band and the difficulties it poses, their new album to be released this weekend, a typical Valtozash show and more.

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