Shane Henderson on life after Valencia and going solo
When you're young and involved in a job that consumes your life, it's pretty damn hard to have the foresight and understanding that it won't last forever. I myself have fallen victim to wide eyes and naive thoughts many times, but sometimes you just know when it is time to try something different. As simple as that sounds, that is pretty much what led to the recent hiatus of Valencia. There were no fights or harsh words, there wasn't even any drama (how boring, right?). We just realized that we were blessed to have spent the last 7-8 years doing something we love, meeting so many amazing people, building something greater than the sum of the 5 of us, and we honestly just didn't want to run the name into the ground. By no means are we gone for good, I truly believe that when all of us feel ready to approach this with open arms again we will. I think sometimes people need to see what they're missing to become excited about a band again.
Since the hiatus, my focus has switched from Valencia, to all things music. Literally! I have dabbled in producing, co-writing, music composition for commercial use, I've even been making hip-hop beats. My main priority however, has been a project i've been working on since I was 16, a project called Promise Of Redemption. It wasn't a very hard decision to make when I was faced with it. I love music, I think it is more powerful than people give it credit for, and to be able to change someone's life by simply expressing yours is an unbelievable power. The new music has been taking a pretty crazy turn back to my roots, but also staying true to the style that put me here in the first place. I'm anxious, nervous, proud, happy, and pant-shittingly excited all in one. I've added my friend (and latest member of Valencia) Trevor Leonard to the POR team, and we've been working on the new album at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA with Will Yip and Phil Niccolo.
The whole transitional process was pretty tough on me. I loved Valencia, its fans, and everything it stood for. It took a while to really let the fear of “holy shit what am I going to do now” subside, and when it did the answer was what it had always been. Just keep moving. So once January 1st rolled around, it was time to shake of the rust and get right back into the swing. There was only one problem, Valencia had a team of people behind it to really push it in the right direction. I had myself. While I had been through the gauntlet many times, and I understood the business, let's face it--I had no label, no management, no booking agent, no publishing deal. I was truly the only person I had to rely on besides my family and loved ones. It felt like I was staring up at Mount Everest, but sometimes when your back is against the wall you tend to do your best work, and I feel like the stress and pressure boosted my work ethic and reminded me that I can't take anything for granted. So I went back to writing the way I always had, with my heart on my sleeve and an honest look at myself.