We are one day closer to Night of Giving this upcoming Monday! To celebrate, we're sharing another get-to-know-you with one of the bands, Salt Valley. Gabriel Gledhill, the bassist, answered some of our questions, and we're stoked to share them with you. Remember to rally all your friends and buy your tickets either online or at the door! All proceeds go to the Utah Food Bank. Good music for a good cause. Nothing better.
How did you get started with music?
I started music at when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I began with the piano but quickly branched out and took to the violin very strongly. After years of playing classical music in a large orchestra, I found an old fender guitar in my basement. I remember picking it up and just feeling like this was something I needed. From there, my love for guitar was born. Since that day, guitar took over, but I have ventured into playing the ukulele, mandolin, and cello and bass as well. Long story short — music has been a staple of my life since a young age and continues to be one.
How long have you been making music?
I began writing my own music at about age 18, but the first time that I actually performed music was not until I was 21 years old and played in a duo. We were okay, but I loved it. The dream of playing in a band finally came true when I was 25 and things have taken off from there.
How would you describe your music? What genre would you give yourself?
Our music is very real and honest, meaning that we never have sat down and said, “Hey let's write a 3 minute radio single that is what the people want to hear at parties.” There is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that it brings no passion into the music. Each song of ours has passion and meaning behind it, so that is why I use the words "real" and "honest" to describe them. With that said, our music is hard to put into one specific genre, and we take pride in that. We write what we feel and what feels good to us. If I had to most closely associate it with a genre, it would be a mix of alternative and singer-songwriter.
How long does it take you to write a song?
Writing music is a funny thing because it isn't like running a mile; there isn't really an average time frame it takes. I personally have many lines of random poetry that in that moment were important to me. Similarly, I have voice memos of dozens of guitar riffs, melodies, bass lines, etc. that are all saved away. I feel like it’s a treasure chest full of tools that I am building. And every once in a while, creativity kicks in, and it all comes together in under an hour. But the pieces have all been building over weeks and even months prior to that. Currently we are finishing a song that our lead singer Oli began years ago and never finished.
Tell about one of your most recent songs. Can you fill us in on the context of a favorite?
A recent single that we put out is called “In Time”, and I LOVE this song. I call it the ice cream song because ice cream makes me happy and so does this song. It is a song about patience, expressing the feelings that good things come in time, that you have to take whatever challenge that lies ahead of you just one step at a time. Funny enough, we did an animated lyric video for the song that actually features an ice cream truck that we all ride around in.
Here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkN7WqCcrxE
What’s your motivation?
Our motivation is simple: we want to have a positive influence on others. We unfortunately are fighting to make a mark in an industry that is ever-darkening. We simply want to be a light of positivity and goodness. That is half of the meaning of our name, Salt Valley. Yes, we all got together here in Salt Lake and that is important to note. But the other half that many don't know is that we want it to serve as a reminder to be “salt of the earth” type people, no matter where this journey leads us.
Who of other musicians do you look up to the most?
For me personally, I look up to two musicians in particular. As a study of the art of guitar, I look to John Mayer. If you want to grow to love the guitar, spend an hour or two watching John make the instrument sing. He takes a string of notes and creates an emotional feeling that he feeds to his listeners. It truly is a thing of beauty. But if I have to get to the roots of all my music inspiration, it lies with a man named Andrew McMahon. He is a brilliant writer but an even more passionate performer. The first time I saw him live, at one point he was on top of his piano jumping up and down and pouring all his emotions into a song that he had written about overcoming and dealing his battle with cancer. I felt inspired and that inspiration has never left to bring that type of passion into music.
Playing my first solo on stage, it was an encore at one of our first shows, and it was this mix of excitement and liberation — I was taking the first steps of fulfilling a dream of mine to be a full-time musician.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Park City, Utah. But fun to know, Oli (lead singer) and Jed (guitarist) are from London, and Derek is from California. Rather cool that we all ended up together.
Music isn’t easy by any means. What keeps you moving?
It all comes back to the desire to influence others in a positive way and also just the passion and joy that I feel with each note I play. It truly is unlike anything else for me. I live for it.