While most kids grew up with dreams of one day rocking out on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of screaming fans, Bobby Valentine was raised on the road between concerts and festivals. Today he’s the front man of independent sleaze rock band Guiltz N Pleasurez, which enjoys a small but devoted following on the London music scene.
The band’s first EP, ‘Out of Control,’ was released on July 1, 2013, and was well received by critics. Sleazeroxx.com called the EP “absolutely professional and fresh-sounding” with songs that “will slap you in the face.”
Fans of 80s hair metal can easily find traces of Bon Jovi, Poison, and Def Leppard in Guiltz N Pleasurez, but making it in the world of rock n’ roll requires more than trying to emulate childhood heroes. According to Valentine it takes that little extra you can’t really put your finger on.
“I do believe that your natural character and charisma play a huge part. Being a technical musician will only get you so far. It’s more about ‘you’ than how well you play, and obviously you must have dedication and drive,” he said.
Alex Grant, who’s part of the engine that drives the creativity in the band and also plays the keyboard, chimed in with a personal reflection on what it takes to succeed: “A simple, almost carnal hunger for success, and the knowledge that I wouldn’t enjoy doing anything else this much.”
Guiltz N Pleasurez formed in the early days of 2013 when Valentine, who was between bands, ran into pint-sized lead guitarist Rockie Steel from Scotland. The duo hit it off straight away, and before long they picked up Grant, Lee Downs on Bass, and Hungarian Dany Redlar on drums.
They shared the passion, image, taste in music, and an unclenching thirst for rocking out and partying like rock stars. During a night with the band when Jack Daniel’s was in the driving seat, Steel, who normally let’s his guitar speak for him, took a swig from the Old No. 7 and explained what it’s all about: “It’s all about the music! It’s all about the fucking rock, man!”
Beyond the stiff competition from upcoming bands, there are the old legends of rock like The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith to contend with. Also, the Internet has opened up a floodgate of bands that all dream of making it big.
“I don’t think that old big bands still touring makes it harder for new bands at all, it’s the Internet exposure and the nature of illegal downloads that does the damage. However, the Internet is an amazing tool, the best ever in history for exposure, but it also has fuelled an overload in music to the point where I feel there is too much choice and therefore the quality is watered down,” Valentine said.
There are plenty of new things in the works for Guiltz N Pleasurez. At the moment it’s all about getting the next EP out and a video for their latest single ‘One More Chance,’ which will premiere on May 4 2014 at the legendary ‘Our Black Heart’ bar & pub in Camden, London, but with new songs being written “all the time” there’s also a chance of releasing a full length CD before 2014 draws to a close. Without a doubt the band would love to afford going on tour if sales take off.
Lately the band has been talking about modernizing the sound while still staying true to the course. Grant chipped in the final word of why this is a monumental step forward: “You can have some success playing the same music as bands that have come before you, but in my opinion you will never be part of musical history if you’re just a glorified cover band.”