Great Valley, “Heart of Vines”

Video by Joseph Miller-Gamble

In the great time capsules of what self-made culture meant in the afterbirth of the oughts, Great Valley will forever stand in rank and file with some of the most influential and inventive iconoclasts in the who-is-who of today's underground upstarts. The history runs deep like an alternate people's history of contemporary independent music, as we're still reflecting with fondness our past discussion last year around the release of The Lizards of Camelot cassette from NNA/Feeding Tube Records. Releasing the much-awaited Jaws of Life today from Peter Nichols' Spooky Town Tapes, Joseph Miller-Gamble compounds the swirls of lo-fi, guitar and organ DIY-psych of "Heart of Vines" into a visual feast freshly dubbed from the VCR.

In an HD mastering that displays psychotropic strobing flashes of altered VHS images, Joseph Miller-Gamble warps the steam of visuals to match the alien-analog sounds he makes with Peter Nichols. Various color configurations are blended and blurred around the framed assemblage of stock footage and home movies. Keeping the cassette curation on high bias, Great Valley opens Jaws of Evil's entrancing mouth for a journey to the heart that swings from the vines of home-edited video adventures. The psychedelic experience brought about by "Heart of Vines" hurtles the motion through a brain-melting bleed of colors, a plethora of DIY animation, bunny dances, abstract and artistic contrasts made with the film negatives, all of this hosted by some scarf-face covered strangeness sporting sunglasses. Keeping true to the code of the Great Valley, Miller-Gamble caters to the tape-based visuals in the same way him and Peter attend to the analogous facets from their stew of sound.

Once again, please welcome the Great Valley's own, Peter Nichols.

Give us the scoop on this Joseph Miller-Gamble, analog-tape-fried video for, "Heart of Vines". It's out there man, but resembles some of the various aspects of the great-Great Valley sound.

Jo Miller-Gamble is none other than the other half of Great Valley, drummer-singer-keyboardist-songwriter, also a mastermind of analog video and an always-hilarious, twisted, playful 'visual artist'. He made this video with a crazy slimy dose of vid feedback, and that's me dancing with a rabbit.

Give us the story on the jump from your recent release,The Lizards of Camelot, to The Jaws of Evil, what has the growth been like recording wise, where have you found challenges, and where you do think you have grown as an artist?

Jaws of Evil saga precedes Lizards of Camelot but got stuck in one of the sinkholes of the music industry on its way into the world and so it's only seeing light now. Which suits the material really. Jaws of Evil is an album about being lost in the jungle until flowers start to grow out of your fingernails and all the animals start chanting your name and you find true love in a hidden place under some rocks. It's kind of a darker, pricklier side of the fantasy that got polished into Lizards of Camelot.

Between busying yourself with home-room-made 8-track recordings, what gave rise to your faux boutique imprint, Spooky Town Tapes, and will there be more artists perhaps signing on to this fictitious imprint of interest?

Spooky Town Tapes once flourished as a home for the weird pop conspirators of the northeast and beyond, but now waits mostly dormant for its day to dawn again. Spooky Town was responsible for crucial releases (many of which are still available) from Happy Jawbone, Quilt, Guerilla Toss, Prince Rama, Mountainhood and more.

Can you give us the latest beat report from the scenes that comprise Brattleboro, VT?

Brattleboro is still the chillest place anywhere, it's so cool, we just hang out on the roof and look at the mountain, and the most incredible music is being made here by Ruth Garbus and Danny Bissette and Chris Weisman, and Bird Names is experiencing a dramatic renaissance, and there's even more crazy stuff being prepped for the world that the world doesn't even know about.

What have you found yourself listening to in your down time lately?

I can't stop listening to Jane Siberry's insane prog-pop album from 1984, No Borders Here, and Neil Norman's funky-ass covers of sci-fi theme-songs, and the beautiful madness of Ryan Power. Mixed in with a healthy dose powerpop this-and-that, and Prince

Great Valley's Jaws of Evil is available now from Spooky Town Tapes.

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