Back in the very first days of the Rockpit I remember listening to a bunch of albums I’d just bought on a trip to the US. One of the very best was ‘Strip Rock Roll’ by Asphalt Valentine. Sadly after that great debut there was nothing before an EP ‘Into The Red’ surfaced 5 years later in 2013 and now they’re back with maybe their best release to date ‘Twisted Road.’ We caught up with Joe Flynt to find out why so long away and how a Faces cover made it onto the new record.
Mark: Hey Joe!
Joe: Hey what’s going on?
Mark: Just listening to some great Asphalt Valentine, what a great album. I remember buying ‘Strip Rock Roll’ when it came out when I was over in the States and I loved it, but I have to be honest I love ‘Twisted Road’ even more.
Joe: That’s awesome, and it’s great that you’ve known about us for that long. We formed in 2005-2006 and ‘Strip Rock’ was our first release, but I agree we think that ‘Twisted Road’ is by far our best material, we couldn’t be happier with the record.
Mark: It’s a hard time to release a record at the moment with the way the world is?
Joe: Oh absolutely, and there’s no way to plan for that especially when you start doing a record it takes a while. I think we were recording for all of 2019, and we were so energised going into 2020, we really had great expectations of the record doing good and us being able to get back out and tour and really push it. But unfortunately things just didn’t go that way, but you can’t plan for that so we just got to do the best that we can – which is put out as much content to promote it as we can, and hopefully when things open back up, we’ll be able to get back out there because I don’t think with this one how old it is or how long it’s been out, as new fans discover it it’s still going to be a great record no matter when they discover it.
Mark: I think you’re right it has one of those timeless sounds and I can’t put a finger on a style per se, it’s just good music. And you also won me over with that cover of the Faces, and I have to say I’m a huge fan of the Faces – how did you discover the band, were you a fan as a kid?
Joe: Well for me not so much as a kid. I’d always known who Rod Stewart was but more as a solo artist. But in this band we have a wide range of tastes and our rhythm guitarist Bret, who’s been with us from pretty much the beginning, his musical tastes are really that more 70’s style Rock and Roll, so Faces for him was a big band. That song came about as we were contacted by this company from L.A. who were doing a movie and they wanted a band to do some cover songs and they gave us a list and that was one on there, and that never went anywhere. So we’d done all these cover songs and that one really stood out, and we’d always loved the Faces too and we just felt it had to go on the record.
Mark: It’s a great cover and amongst so many great originals. One question I have to ask, as I can’t put a label on this album is how would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard Asphalt Valentine before?
Joe: Well Mark, you got us there because that is the hardest thing for us, we do have a hard time describing ourselves because we do have so many influences that we put into our songs. There’s some old school Aerosmith, like you said the Faces, I love Metallica, I love old school Punk Rock like Social Distortion. We even love Pop, Michael Jackson and Pink, and Iron Maiden and all that stuff. So it’s really when we’re writing a song we’re not really preparing to go in a certain direction but when it all starts coming together everyone takes their influences and adds a little flavour to it, and we kind of stir the pot, and that’s how it comes out.
Mark: I think I said in the review that you’re a band that would fit on pretty much any bill and no one would walk away disappointed. There’s such great variety – there’s even stuff you can dance to on there – ‘Something More’ I love. But after living with the album for a few weeks now, ‘Shamefully’ I really can’t shake that song, and also ’Rain’ right at the end, two wonderful tracks amongst many others. Read the rest of the interview here: