Pop Culture

‘Slow Down Kid,’ you’re absolutely rockin’

From the land of Springsteen and Bon Jovi, comes a new generation of rock and rollers.

New Jersey’s latest, Val Emmich and the Rescue Effort, are hoping their latest single “Absolutely Still” is an absolute hit.

For three of the band members, leader Val, guitarist Anthony Bianco and drummer Eric Micali, it all started in high school. They jammed together in their parents’ garages, basements, even trying out the backyard deck.  Busted for noise complaints then, the band is now standing room only.  Jonathan McGarry, a bassist from Boston rounds out the group, joining up with the trio last year.

Val Emmich is the man behind the music.  He went solo with his “Slow Down Kid” CD last year, but realized he wanted that true band sound in his music.  Enter Eric, Anthony and John — a seemingly tight meshed group who now think and play on par with Val.

“I come to rehearsal with a song … complete … then we play it out...” admits Val, who definitely leads the group, but seems to be on a different wavelength. While the band checked their equipment, made jokes and shared memorable Van Halen moments, Val sat quietly, alone, on the side of the stage, lost in thought.  But a different Val emerged when he strapped on his guitar and stepped up to the mike, one, energetic and passionate about his music.  When the melody is flowing, he invites you in, not singing at you, but to share his intimate thoughts.  Val uses his music as a key to unlock his soul and prides himself on drawing from raw emotion.  “For me, writing is an emotion first … something has to make me reach for the guitar.  When it comes out it’s already written itself.” 

Val’s songwriting skills are being put to the test.  He wrote 14 as possible additions for the re-release of “Slow Down Kid” and collaborated with Better the Ezra’s Kevin Griffin on the band’s single, “Absolutely Still.”  The band is classified as a rock group but the members admit they want to be considered pop as well — turning that stigma back to its original meaning of popular rather than the die-hard’s version of sell-out. They want a universal appeal, something Val’s lyrics bring home.  He wants you to come along for the ride, and seems grateful when you do.  Fans even play a part in his journey.  Monitoring his website, Val often asks for their input, testing the waters to see what works or doesn’t.  Although his special thanks reads as small print on his CD, it speaks volumes of his integrity.  Val writes, “My songs would be mere skeletons without your input and assistance.”

After months in the studio, their so-called “lab” work done, Val and his band are hitting the road. “When you get out and play in front of people and they’re cheering and there’s a reaction. We’re like, “oh, that’s why we do what we do.”  Val continues, “there’s validation there and that is the best part of it.”

For more information on Val Emmich, visit: http://www.valemmich.com/.

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