Six Questions with Shroud Eater's Janette Valentine

Truth be told, I came upon this heavy trio on a chance encounter at Churchill's one night. Ms. Valentine was an engaging young lady who represented in one quick conversation everything that I happen to like about heavy music. She also runs her own photography studio (Terribly Girly) which I recommend you check out.

True to her word, a couple of days later I received a care package from her latest outfit, Shroud Eater and I was completely blown away. This was some serious stoner metal in the vein of Acid King and Orange Goblin. I was hooked. We recently caught up with her and she was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.

Let's start with some basic stuff; who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?

Name's Janette Valentine, I'm a native Floridian, Pisces sun, Scorpio moon and Scorpio rising. Currently reside on planet Zarkon, and divide my time between playing bass in Shroud Eater and running my photo studio.

Please tell us about the formation of Shroud Eater and who's involved.

Shroud Eater's been about 8 years in the making. Jean Saiz (guitar, vocals) and I started jamming when we first met, we wrote some songs and that led to the formation of a few bands. Shroud Eater came to be when we met Felipe Torres. His heavy drumming style was a welcome change and we had instant chemistry. Now he's one of the girls, so to speak.

What are the difficulties faced by women in the metal scene? Any problems in South Florida? Is it true that metal's a "man's" club?

Although we've been described as a metal band we would say that the music we play is more of a combination of moody, sometimes psychedelic heavy rock. Luckily, the metal scene has been cool with us and we're able to float among different genres. Metal's always been a man's club, rock music in general has always been, really. As of now, we haven't really faced many difficulties, although, I'm sure that's likely to change as we become more active touring and such.

Dudes have been really cool with us, helpful, and respectful. It seems in any male- dominated field you have to work double to be taken seriously. Now, many will have different opinions about music in general in South Florida, there's a big punk scene but plenty of metal heads lurk in the bars. I say we need more metal in South Florida, would be cool if more bands would tour down here. Oh, and it's always rad to see more ladies at rock shows.

What future plans does the outfit have as far as recording and gigging is concerned?

We're really excited to record our full-length beginning in July. It should be ready to go by Aug/Sept. We're recording the bulk of the CD at Relax Bro! Studios in Miami, then venturing to Orlando to record a song at High Five Studios. Jonathan Nuñez will be mixing our shit. We're looking forward to putting more material out there because there's a lot of variety within the album. It's been kind of limiting to be judged based on 3 songs.

We're planning on doing some experimental stuff and really having fun with this. As far as gigging goes, we're planning a mini-tour of Florida, Atlanta and North Carolina with Deland, FL band Junior Bruce. More extensive tour plans will take effect in 2011 once we start getting the full-length out there.

I'm a huge fan of the EP and was wondering about the kind of records that you're into, give me your top five "I'd kill my lover for these" album list.

First off, thanks for diggin' what you've heard so far! And it's extremely difficult to narrow this list down but based on the stuff I grew up listening to, these are some of the albums I've listened to repeatedly and still find inspiring:

The Melvins - Stoner Witch
Black Sabbath - We Sold our Soul for Rock n' Roll
L7 - Hungry for Stink
The Cult - Love and
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me.

What advice can you give to aspiring girls and women out there who want to rock out?

1. Learn to play an instrument or several!
2. Write cool shit, be creative.
3. Be prepared to carry your heavy gear but graciously accept a dude's helping hand (yes, I need help rollin' my speaker cabs!)
4. Kill the stereotypes and have fun!

Shroud Eater with Junior Bruce, Murderous Rampage!, Hollow Leg and Consular at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 26th at Churchill's, 5501 NE 2nd AVE, Miami. $5, 18+ with ID. Call 305-757-1807 or visit

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Abel Folgar