In the last 11 years, female Canadian hard rock band Hunter Valentine has gone from gritty underground LGBT-approved rock group to reality TV stars, opening for Cyndi Lauper and playing pride festivals.
Now comes an indefinite hiatus so singer Kiyomi McCloskey can focus on the un-Hunter Valentine material she’s been writing while co-founder and drummer Laura Petracca focuses on the culinary pursuits she was studying when the band took off a decade ago.
Instead of disappearing, the band put fans on notice and launched a farewell tour this week. It stops at the Milestone Wednesday. They’re also releasing a new EP, “The Pledge,” with the most rocking songs McCloskey’s written of late.
“We were going to do a full-length. There were songs that were a departure from what we’d been as a band. It’s what Kiyomi’s writing,” explains Petracca from the band’s adopted home of New York. “Instead of incorporating what she is writing, we decided to pick the best songs. That is Hunter Valentine, sort of the next generation. We have a few where we tried something new.”
She continues: “I don’t feel like this is a breakup, though. We’ve been doing it for 11 years. They say there’s a seven year mark: After seven years, you get a new job. I know if we get festival offers, especially prides this coming year, we’ll consider it. We’ve played Charlotte Pride before and it would be amazing if we could do it again. I’m not putting my drumsticks away forever. A year from now, somebody’s going to need a drummer.”
Hunter Valentine broke through as an underground act-to-watch in the States in 2010 with a sound that was like the second coming of Joan Jett. In 2012 they released an album that was decidedly pop-y. The group appeared on Showtime’s “The Real L World.” And in 2014 MTV’s “Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project.”
Petracca says the Milestone was one of the few clubs that allowed them to film during the three months the band was filming “L Word” while on tour. She recalls the shenanigans the owner and staff did to try to get on TV.
Petracca is as excited about McCloskey’s new project as she is about returning to the kitchen.
“We’re definitely sad about, but we know this is the best move for us now. Kiyomi and (guitarist) Lisa’s (Bianco) new project is unbelievable. They’re going down a different road. I don’t want to give anything away. ... I think that’s going to be a great follow-up and actually (bassist) Leanne (Bowes) has been writing a lot of scores for film.
“We want people to know we’re not mad at each other and we’re not splitting up because we can’t stand each other. Kyomi and I have been best friends for 12 or 15 years. I can’t imagine in two months we aren’t going to call each other and “grab some whisky at the local.”
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday (Feb17).
Where: The Milestone Club, 3400 Tuckaseegee Road.
Details: 704-398-0472; www.themilestoneclub.com.