Chuck Shute Podcast

Francis Valentino (DLR band, Matthew Curry band)

January 18, 2024 Francis Valentino Season 5 Episode 406
Chuck Shute Podcast
Francis Valentino (DLR band, Matthew Curry band)
Show Notes Transcript

Francis Valentino is an American drummer and music producer. He has played with a variety of artists including Hellbound Glory, Matthew Curry and David Lee Roth. We discuss his career including touring with Kid Rock, playing at the famed Stone Pony club, working with David Lee Roth and more! 

00:00 - Intro
00:13 - Early Influences & Drums
04:40 - Boat Job
06:53 - First Drumming Gig
08:25 - The Stone Pony & Jersey Scene
12:30 - Southside Johnny
14:30 - Hellbound Glory Band
16:49 - Touring with Kid Rock
19:50 - Matthew Curry
25:00 - Red Rocks & Tom Petty
27:00 - David Lee Roth & Retirement
37:30 - Upcoming Tour Dates
39:57 - Nashville Scene
42:17 - Outro

Francis Valentino IG:
https://www.instagram.com/francisvalentino?igsh=MWRuZjloeGtucnphcQ==

Chuck Shute Linktree:
https://linktr.ee/chuck_shute

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Thanks for Listening & Shute for the Moon!

Unknown:

Have

Charles Shute:

you had long hair in the past?

Francis Valentino:

Oh, yeah, I've had it down, like, you know, middle back, I would say for different touring reasons. Like, early on, I just stopped getting haircuts on the road. That was kind of a fun time. But yeah, I had it down to like here and in a little farther. So

Charles Shute:

what is like your teen years? What was the music scene at that point? What year was that, like? 80s or 90s? Or?

Francis Valentino:

For me, it was I mean, I'm, I'm 35 right now. From you know, my, or you're young? Yeah, I know. It's weird, right? It looks old though. Now, it's, uh, I would say like 2005 to 2010 was like, you know, the formative teen thing where I was playing in bands and stuff. But, you know, went on the road, probably at 2019 20. And

Charles Shute:

so when you're when you first started getting into music, because I know you said your parents played like the classic rock, like the rascals and the Beach Boys and stuff like that. But what was popular, then? Because those are, those are not the best years of rock, like in the 1000s That's

Francis Valentino:

probably why I came out of it somewhat, you know, together because I just avoided what was going on completely at the time. I mean, I can't even tell you what was happening, like, beyond, you know, beyond some cool stuff like,

Charles Shute:

like Red Hot Chili Peppers. And like, maybe like Marilyn Manson was kind of big corn, stuff like that. I

Francis Valentino:

feel like, I remember, Queens, the Stone Age was coming out with stuff. Oh, yeah, they were awesome. And that was like a link to the rest of the good positive music world. So I just felt that and like, and stuck to that class. And we were looking at a time capsule, you know, a my buddies back then. Okay, that must

Charles Shute:

be why I thought you were a little older. Because I was like, oh, man, he's like, grew up on classic rock, and must be like, Oh, but it's just it was your parents showing you about which my parents showed me all that stuff, too.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, it was it was a combination of them, showing things but also just getting out of the way to you know, at the time, you know, when you're a teenager, I don't think you want to really listen to anything that your parents are going to tell you. So, and they totally understood that they're artists themselves. So they're painters and writers. So they know to stay out of the way with creativity. And let me let me find my own path in that. So.

Charles Shute:

So why, why drums and why not guitar singing? Because I feel like guitar and singing is I mean, that's what I tried to learn was guitar. And that was like the sexy instrument at the time. But why did you pick the drums?

Francis Valentino:

I'm really can't tell you, I just showed up that way. Like when I was three or four. my late grandfather, even at the time that he passed an 89. He was a multi instrumentalist. He played everything. It's our bass piano drums, saying, I kind of just got behind one of his old drum sets that I found, and for some reason, it worked. And that was good enough for me and I stuck with that.

Charles Shute:

Oh, so it's mostly you start off self taught. completely self taught. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

I have a maybe like two hours of formal instruction in life. And the rest is just a is the way it went.

Charles Shute:

Amazing, though. Yeah. Because whenever I've tried to play the drum, like I can't, I mean, I played like the snare drum in like, Middle School Marching man. And that was one thing, but like, when you have multiple drum heads in the foot pedals, and I don't think people realize how complicated it is to get do all those things at the same time, and then you also sing it while you play drums too.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, you know, it's like, an expanded version of something everybody can do, which is drive, and drive and yellow people. So it's kind of just corralling those abilities into a focused stream. You know, it's like, use your feet and your hands without thinking about it. It just one more thing like that, you know, repetition and just having a general natural, you know, tendency to be able to do that to do that helps. But we can all do things that are interesting. And like, we can all use all limbs in different ways. But for music, it's you know, definitely it's unusual. It's a little weird.

Charles Shute:

Ya know, you're not you're a sports guy. You never played sports, because that's like a lot of physical coordination to do all the drumming stuff. Play

Francis Valentino:

a little bit of baseball. That was fun. You know? 10 years of baseball growing up.

Charles Shute:

Did you just know that? This is what you wanted to do is music. For most 100%

Francis Valentino:

I can't tell you exactly why but it just it's been that way forever. That a there's been absolutely no other plan whatsoever. And no other intentions. I've never had any jobs to for one. That was as a funny story. Well, good.

Charles Shute:

To hear this story. What was the job? Yeah, I had one other job what wasn't really a job ever.

Francis Valentino:

I turned I turned 18 and immediately got arrested for drinking one beer in my hometown. So I had to get a job to pay off all those court fees and lawyer fees to get out of that. That's it. And what was the job? I worked at a boat dock in New Jersey filling up boats with gas. Not bad it sounds so bad. Great.

Charles Shute:

Did you get tips and like a lot of rich people coming in with their yachts and stuff? Or?

Francis Valentino:

Oh yeah, lots of that, you know was there in the area was like Central Jersey ripped by the New York Harbor inlet and everything like that Sandy Hook New Jersey. And that's Yat Sen are people going out to see people going up into the Hudson and stuff? So it was all kinds of cool things happening?

Charles Shute:

And what are you so when you look at that as a kid, are you looking at those people and being like, I'm gonna have a yacht one day are like, these people are freaking douchebags. And the ladder for sure.

Francis Valentino:

Is nobody can drive them. That's the thing. Like, you know, they either had a had a crew or they were trying to do it themselves. And it took them a half hour to park the thing so I could put gas in it. So that's

Charles Shute:

great. Yeah, I was just in Cabo. I was down in Cabo with my girlfriend. And, you know, it's on the water and we're walking by these docks. And there's just, I mean, there's the there's like a variety of boats, you got the little tiny boats, and then you have these giant. I mean, they're almost like, houses or cities on a on a boat. I mean, these yachts are ginormous, it's amazing that somebody could have that much wealth. They could own this giant. Yeah, it's kind of cool. But also, you're just like, wow, you're like, what does that guy do? It's gotta be a celebrity or, you know, finance guy or something. Like I picked the wrong career.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, maybe we're there or they're completely stressed all the time. You know, maybe that's like, having that many things of incredible scale. And incredible wealth is probably stressful. Like,

Charles Shute:

Yeah, cuz you're always competing. You're like, oh, Bill's got the 6000 foot. Yeah, and I only have the 5000 Damn it, you know, like, right, is that that's what might do. It's never enough for some people. Yeah, sure. And

Francis Valentino:

maybe they're just so stressed out in life that they need to have a yacht, you know, I really don't have to be that stressed. I really don't have to afford a yacht and just be less stressed.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, so playing drums. So was outside the box. Was that kind of like the first like paid gig that you got?

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, that was like my, my introduction into pretty much everything that came later. So that was my my first real band in New Jersey. I joined those guys in 2006. And we did pretty well around the shore area, we did the stone pony house band slot for a couple of years, went to Europe with those guys went to Florida several times all over the country, as well. And yeah, that kind of introduced me to everything that came later as far as wanting to keep going for sure. And it was also a formative experience, because we played so many bars. And you never know what was going to happen in the bar. You have to play anything. It could either be, you know, a request or it could be a fill time, or something bizarre can happen. Somebody can you know, somebody can cancel and you got to fill their slot so it's a good it's a good education for sure.

Charles Shute:

Did you have those gigs where it's like the Blues Brothers are like we explained two kinds of music here Country and Western. They got the fence and the beer bottles and shit like that.

Francis Valentino:

I played one venue ever with a fence ever. Not in that band, but it was a where we Altoona, Pennsylvania. That was years later, but they had a fence that a chicken wire fence. Wow. Because people throw beer bottles. Yeah, it was it was definitely like lift up from the past. Like, they didn't throw anything at us, fortunately, but that's good. Clearly somebody had been throwing things in the list. 50 years. That's

Charles Shute:

funny. So would this tell explain my audience the stone pony because isn't that we're Springsteen started it's a famous venue is and is it still there?

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, it's still there. It's actually the one of the strongest survivors of Asbury Park. It's been through everything. It's been through Asbury in the darkest days, and now some of the better days. So yeah, it's obviously most famous for the Springsteen connection. It's kind of like the cavern in Liverpool with The Beatles. But the jersey or US version of that, as far as rock and roll goes, one of the one of those clubs, but that's where Southside Johnny Asbury Jukes kind of operate out of still and they've owned that turf for 50 years now 45 of the years and it's really the lighthouse to old New Jersey music that's where it has to start it has to end it has to come from there and at least pay tribute to that place don't pony is a very special place. What

Charles Shute:

other like famous bands have played their got their start there? I

Francis Valentino:

mean, Jon Bon Jovi, of course because you know he's from the same area beyond him it's pretty much anybody you can think of any any act imaginable has been through there many times over the years. I mean, you can look back on like Stephens history and find he's done like 10 shows there, you know, before he passed of course, but you know, I, anybody it's funny. There's actually like a Van Halen connection to the Asbury Park boardwalk too, which also ties into that whole scene because of you know, Eddie's involvement with Kramer guitars, which is based in Neptune, New Jersey, which is is one town over from Asbury. So there's more I can even discuss about the stump pony that is intertwined in old music history and Asbury Park in general. That's

Charles Shute:

crazy did like Twisted Sister because I know they're a part of the New York scene. Did they play there too?

Francis Valentino:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, Long Island guys. Yeah. And

Charles Shute:

like what about like the you know, Skid Row did that because that was a New Jersey band to do they play that? Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

so Sebastian Bach is I think he's still a Jersey resident but those guys kind of popped out of Red Bank, which is my hometown. And that's one more cred to the area, I guess. But yes, you're right. Skid Row is a jersey stronghold as well.

Charles Shute:

Yeah. Cuz he grew up with with Bon Jovi. I mean, I just love all these little connections. And then yeah, that's all you got. They all played at the same place. That's crazy that I think off the checkout I'd ever been to Jersey of London in New York City. And I tried to do as much of it as I could and like five days I was there. It was amazing.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, it's a lot you know, you can do you can do a year they're not see if

Charles Shute:

it's one of the one I want to go to the Kevin Smith store to I don't know if it's still there. But like, I know, he's got like a comic book store secret stash or something like that.

Francis Valentino:

It's also in Red Bank, my hometown. Oh, that's right on bro Street. Redbank.

Charles Shute:

So did you growing up there? Did you see a lot of these musicians or celebrities? Like just hanging out on the boardwalk and stuff? randomly? Oh,

Francis Valentino:

yeah, sure. And that's speaking of like, you know, formative lessons and formative years, then you realize early on, treat these people like raccoons in daytime, leave them alone. They don't want to talk to you. They don't want to be bothered. So that's the nice thing with that and teaches it early. You see somebody leave him alone. And nobody's getting selfies. Hmm. No, no, no. I mean, people are not me. They

Charles Shute:

do they get pissed about that. I know. That's like an LA thing, too. Like when I go to LA, like went to the Comedy Store a while back. And it was like every comedian was like a famous comedian. And then I'm in the bathroom with a female comedian, Brian posts. And he's like, he's like a big anthrax fan. And he's in the bathroom right next to me. I'm like, I know that. But I was like, I don't want to ask for a selfie. But now I kind of wish that I did. So yeah,

Francis Valentino:

who knows? I mean, I'm sure just like anybody else. It's based on your mood at a given time. I'm sure these guys don't want to be bothered half the time. But you know, especially in the bathroom.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, that is kind of a I mean, if especially if they're going to the bathroom. That's you might want to wait at least until they wash your hands or whatever. But so yeah, so that one and you mentioned the Southside Johnny now you you played with them right to? Yes.

Francis Valentino:

So there's a like I said, He's the godfather of the jersey scene forever. He's the guy. He came before us as he became before Bon Jovi before Springsteen, and paved the way for them and everybody else that followed. So to get a chance to work with those guys, as you know, the best school in the world for me. I was invited to play on one of their albums called Songs from the barn, it's by Southside Johnny and the poor fools their Americana project, that 10 years ago, and that was kind of like another stepping stone and springboard into you know, whatever came next, and however, it came next, but I've learned more from those guys and I can learn from any school or any book that is a they are the absolute sort of Beacon of a have instruction, you know, non verbal instruction. Let's keep going. So you're gonna want

Charles Shute:

all these things I feel like they're stepping stones like so that that first gig that you got the outside the box, like, how did you get that? Because that that kind of led to the south side? And then you know, these other things? How did you get the first kit? Because I heard you thought you heard heard you say that you never auditioned for any bands.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, never do addition for anything beyond like just a little bit of kind of get in the room with someone so and see how it feels. It's less of an audition more of just a chemistry project at that point. But the first gig with OTV happened, they needed a new drummer, for whatever reason, which I still really don't know why they just kind of needed a guy. But Right Place Right Time, you know, I have a cousin who runs a deli in Spring Lake, New Jersey, Joseph deli, and one of the guys in the band his father was delivering produce to that deli, and voiced his concern that his son's band needed a new drummer. And I happen to be in the card somehow, and my name got brought up and got into the band. And

Charles Shute:

then you're in that and then that leads, so TV and then and then to explain to my audience, this other band that you were in hell bound glory because you guys toured with Kid Rock and Buckcherry and you called it a grunt tree. It's like grunt country.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, it's not an official term yet, but you know, might make hats or something, but uh, yeah, hell bent on glory is I guess by nature, a country band that pulls from all areas they pull from metal they pull from, obviously, grunge. They'll pull from hip hop, they'll pull from anywhere. And one of the most eclectic bands I've ever been in My entire life and some of the coolest people I've ever met too. Leroy, Virgil's, the singer and frontman of that band, and he is a he is a he's a very, very brilliant writer, amazing writer and amazing singer. And I did probably five years but those guys on the road, and I'll never forget it, you know, very, very cool stuff very, a very unique world to to dip into and learn about that whole scene because it's very different than most other scenes.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, well, and then because they're actually from Aberdeen. Same place as nirvana is from exactly do you ever been to ever I see. I'm from Washington. I live like, two hours. Seattle area outside of I've been averaging a couple of times. My girlfriend, I took her there, and she thought it was beautiful. But I was like, Well, this is the summer because usually it's very dark and dreary.

Francis Valentino:

I've never been there. We've been there like 10 times and for some reason it keeps shaking us off like something will happen. It'd be like, you know, the venue closed or something like that, like or blizzards coming up through the over the mountains from Reno or something like that some weird thing. We've never made it to Aberdeen as as that band, you know, in that time, but uh, I'd like to go. I mean, it's definitely like a place where, you know, speaking of like, pilgrimages is like, the cavern, this is one of America's most important place, musically Aberdeen, you know? And that whole region, so I'll get there.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, definitely check it out. If you want to like see it when it's like more beautiful in the summer if you want to see it. Like when it actually like this is the real Aberdeen I feel like you got to go in like October, November when it's all dark and dreary. Be Kind of cool.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, count me in. I'll fly out there for for anything at this point. Yeah.

Charles Shute:

So Yeah. Talk about those years, though, that you toured with held on Gloria because with Kid Rock and stuff did you become friends with those guys at all? Like I had Kenny Olsen, the guitar player? I don't know if he was the guitar player when you toured with him, but he's pretty cool guy.

Francis Valentino:

Marlon, was that with us? I think there was another guy too. It might have been Kenny. I'm not sure we were living two totally separate kind of oil and water travel. You know, plans. We were the opening band for one of three. So it was us Buckcherry then Kid Rock. And most nights we ran it there by the time Buckcherry went on, you know, to get to the next town and all that. So yeah, we got to meet those guys a little bit and hanging out. We had a pretty cool night in New Orleans. We all stayed there one night and like I guess they got like a big townhouse as a rental. And they invite us to the pool party. That was fun. But you know beyond that it was really business like and just kind of, you know, come to your job. Don't blow it. And then we'll see you the next year. Wow, that

Charles Shute:

sounds amazing. Pool Party New Orleans with Kid Rock and Buckcherry that sounds like a lot of fun.

Francis Valentino:

It was once one special night that was that I remember like everything up until midnight. And for that one and then I remember being in Birmingham somehow. I don't know what happened. Have

Charles Shute:

you ever seen kid rocks house? Like he has like a replica of the White House or the Oval Office? It's really bizarre. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

I've heard about it. I'm that's in Michigan, I'm sure. But uh, yeah. He's an interesting guy. He's, uh, you know, I think he goes as Bob.

Charles Shute:

Right. Bob Ritchie, I think is his real name.

Francis Valentino:

You know, at the time a very, very sort of calm dude just hanging out doing his thing and going to work.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, super talented. I mean, because you talk about like, with help and glory, it's kind of the same thing like we're he does country and he does rap. And he does rock and he's kind of all over the place. I like that kind of eclectic sound for bands. It's I mean, if they can pull it off, you got to be talented to do it. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

there's a song we did with her banglori called college girls that's out on Spotify and everywhere that I believe can rock had a hand in producing. I lent my my drumming to it early on, then it took its course and went up to up the ladder in the production process. But I think he has a hand in that. And that's kind of like a collection of things that represent Him. And Elbaum glory just it's a hodgepodge in a good way. Cool.

Charles Shute:

That's really cool. Did you guys also tour with ZZ Top.

Francis Valentino:

We did two shows with EZ top and Kid Rock at Pine knob in Detroit in 2013. So the rebel soul tour that we did with Buckcherry and Kid Rock was three months early in 2013. And then Kid Rock called us back for like the blowout hometown shows in Detroit later that year in the summer. And those were Yeah, that was us. ZZ Top and Kid Rock, and two shows. I'll never forget those fantastic nights.

Charles Shute:

That's awesome. And then so then that somehow led to you getting the gig with Matthew curry or how did that one come about?

Francis Valentino:

That was just a management thing. At the time, hold on. GLORIA had a manager That was also getting into managing other artists. And Matthew was one of those artists, he was a, the up and comer and they needed a band and some downtime was going on with hellbound. So I kind of just got the call, flew myself out to Chicago and met Matthew and those guys. And we actually hit the road the next day to go to the Troubadour in LA, we've rehearsed once, jumped in a van and drove three days together. So no better way to meet each other than that. So you get to know two other guys really well. You know, stuff.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, that's cool. I was just listening to him on Spotify, right before the interview. I was like, Oh, this stuff is good. I don't know. I can't recommend what people like if you know if they are following you for David Lee Roth, or I don't know if it crosses over, but it does. For me, I thought it was great. It's kind of like Tom Petty, kind of classic rock kind of blues East. I liked it. It was really cool. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

he's, uh, he's great. You know, he's my, you know, he keeps me working more than anybody these days really. And myself, him and the guys in that band. That's, we're, we're very much a brotherhood at this point. And we kind of operate out of that circle with everything. And mass cool enough to kind of let me bring some of my friends into the mix too. Like keyboard player Mark Masefield, for example. He's from Jersey from my original band. And that's what the box and he actually plays with Dave Hall is now a great singer, songwriter. Check him out. But uh, yeah, man, it's like sort of a breeding ground for all things, music and all things cool. Like, it's an open door very, very family oriented. And we get to do we can play we want in that band. We can do we want, you know, and I love being in the room with those guys.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, I mean, they must be a fan. Or these, these bigger bands must be a fan of Matthew, because you open for Doobie Brothers Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, all these, these guys must be a fan of him, or they Matthew just has really good manager or something like I don't know how that works. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

I think it's a little bit of both. early on. We were doing those tours 2015 1617 With doobies, Frampton all those guys. And I think it probably started in the management zone, like, you know, here, let's put this young guitar player on these obvious gigs. But I think that met one of those guys over two, I think he he made friends with, you know, all the aforementioned guys and, and they saw something in him that reminded them of themselves. And they kept bringing us out, you know, even beyond the management's hand. So another really cool time period for Matthew and for all of us.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, well, I saw this picture you posted on Instagram. I was like, You guys played this festival in Telluride. And it just looks so beautiful. I was like, Wow, is that like, one of the most memorable gigs that you had?

Francis Valentino:

It is. First of all, you're at 9500 feet, I think, or a little more, depending on which part of the mountain you're on. And so it's a whole different balance of playing cars for singers. It's your you're not getting the oxygen that you need, usually. And the man thought

Charles Shute:

of that. I mean, I heard of that with a with like football, sports and stuff. They say all you don't get as much oxygen I didn't think about it was singers, though,

Francis Valentino:

as singers, and for me, it was a drummers, you know, relatively physical. So, yes, you're in this incredible environment up in the mountains. It's beautiful. And in moments, the veils pulled over that, with this sudden need for oxygen. They give you one of

Charles Shute:

those, like see where you stayed in? What is the town and it's right on the board Durango and they had the little oxygen like tanks that you could borrow and you could like, like sucking the oxygen if you need it. I was like, I didn't think Durango was that high up. But So

Francis Valentino:

yeah, those oxygen tanks are basically as common as water bottles in the cooler. They're just you need to get hidden. You know, your back. For me, though, like playing at a mountain. I mean, that's the weirdest and most interesting landscape ever to play at because the stage is facing. It looks so

Charles Shute:

cool. The picture you posted. I was like, wow, I want to cut. What does that is player rep. Ride Festival. It's called right?

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, right festival.

Charles Shute:

Dakota that looks amazing. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

it's uh, we've been we've been lucky that a couple of years we've done the headliners have been Pearl Jam and Sheryl Crow. So as a whole big thing, like you played with them. We opened the day. So we were the first or second band. And yeah, so those guys were the headliners. And like, seeing that in the mountains is very different than seeing it on flat land or anywhere else. Because it's, you know the story. It's there. Everybody's up there for the right reason. Everybody's traveled up a mountain to go see music. And it's not like he went there by accident. So what a dedicated fan base and like, super focused, and everybody's just really just completely consuming the music. And that's nice to see You must be part of two.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, I want to see a show at Red Rocks two that was on my bucket list. I was gonna go see Tom Petty at the Red Rocks, but it was like 400 or $500 for just like the basic ticket not like, you know, front row, this was like the cheapest ticket I could find was like 400 bucks. And I was like, I, I can't afford that. And then he died, like, three months later or something like that. I was like, Shit, I should have just pulled the trigger. And

Francis Valentino:

it's a bummer right after the end of the tour. You know, that was like, at least he finished the tour. But I one of my all time favorites, Tom Petty. I've seen him like 10 times, all over Jersey, New York and things like that. But all What a loss. What an absolute loss that is that's that's going to become musical language and become standard musical dialogue. In the next 500 years. Tom Petty's catalog is that important isn't ever going anywhere. It's it's permanent.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, you talk about like going back to like celebrities walking out, I heard he did not like being a celebrity. He didn't like going out to dinner, because he got the dinner. And people would come up to him and say, Oh, my God, you're Tom Petty and like, it made him like super uncomfortable. So like, I think he just didn't go out very much. From what I understand. It'd

Francis Valentino:

be you know, I get that I can see him being like that, you know, super kind of. I mean, privacy is everything. I imagine that point. So if you don't have that you have nothing. The rest of your life is on broadcast. So it's gotta be, you know, your own little world on your own terms. So I totally,

Charles Shute:

and he's so unique looking like I felt like it'd be hard to disguise yourself and I would have made a few would have lived a little longer. You could have lived through the pandemic and just put a face mask on. And then like nobody wouldn't assume. Yeah.

Francis Valentino:

I think a lot of guys probably were among us during the pandemic, and we didn't even know it.

Charles Shute:

Right. I would think that would be like the best time to be a celebrity. You're like, Oh, can we keep this pandemic? This is amazing. I can go outside. Nobody cares who I am like, would have been nice. Yeah. So then Oh, yeah. So then explain how you got the David Lee Roth gig. So you got a call from the bassist?

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, bassist is Ryan Wheeler. And he's the musical director for our band. And at the time, it was really just more of the same, right. So like, they needed a new drummer, for whatever reason, something had happened in the camp, and they needed a new guy. So I was kind of just next on the, on the list, and I got the call and jumped in the seat. And how did

Charles Shute:

they so Ryan knew you or Dave, was he aware of you? Or how did they know of you?

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, Ryan was aware. I mean, I've known him for a long time and worked with him on various things. And he's from New Jersey as well, originally. So that's how we know each other. And I think the idea of, of not taking any more chances, at that critical moment, like they had lost the other guy, for whatever reason, and they needed somebody who could definitely played with this band definitely play with Ryan in the rhythm section. And I've done that before. So I think I was a safe bet in that moment, and maybe not intentionally the permanent fix, but I came into the job, and then I kind of just got asked to stay.

Charles Shute:

Was that intimidating? The first time you you meet Roth? I mean, because you've been in other bands, and you've played with all these other big artists. But this is like you're you're playing in the band for David Lee Roth. I mean, he's one of the biggest rock stars of all time.

Francis Valentino:

I don't know, it really wasn't any different than meeting another band leader. You know, in that moment, you have to treat it that way. Because it just really is that this is the man who's going to be fronting the presentation that you're part of, and it's your job to kind of drive the car and it doesn't really matter who's up there. You got to do the same job no matter what. And that's all true.

Charles Shute:

He's such a unique guy from what I hear. I mean, I read our mutual friend, I'm gonna read Barron's book about I know so much about David Lee Roth. I feel like now and I mean, I've heard other stories from other people like Desmond Child that said, you know, he went to go meet him and he comes in with these like two strippers with him like, he always brings strippers with him. What did he bring strippers when he met you the first time,

Francis Valentino:

and he'd gotten a single stripper yet? I don't know what's wrong? Nothing. No strippers? Wow. I guess I gotta hang out a little bit longer to get the stripper than the midgets.

Charles Shute:

Oh, maybe he's, maybe he's grown up a little bit. Maybe he's, he's matured different.

Francis Valentino:

I mean, he's a very, very, very good guy to work for. I can say that. Yeah, that's

Charles Shute:

awesome. I love it. So how you haven't done a lot of shows with them. But how were the shows that you did you guys open for you? Were you were able to do some of those shows that were you open for kiss, right? We

Francis Valentino:

did. I think it was 29 with Kiss 29 with Kiss and we were scheduled for Vegas that year. Obviously pandemic took a chunk out of that. Yeah, it was great. You know, it was everything. You'd want it to be everything you'd hope it to be from our perspective and Have a total pleasure to play those songs and a total blast. And those songs let you play them too. You can you can take those wherever you want, and they'll behave. And they're, they're just they're made that well, the whole catalogue is just rock solid. So you can, you can play it as hard as you want, and it'll always take the punch. I've

Charles Shute:

never seen a Roth solo show, does he allow you to do a drum solo? Or is it guitar solos? Or is it just the songs?

Francis Valentino:

If the songs were playing? You know exactly what you'd hope to hear? Just one after the other rapid fire, you know, keep moving. And certainly no drum solos, I hate drum solos personal Oh, really?

Charles Shute:

You don't like you? Like you don't aren't a fan of any drum solos like llege, John Bonham, or neil peart or any of those guys that are in the past that have done the drum. So the Tommy Lee like, upside down, roller coaster drum solo,

Francis Valentino:

I totally love those appreciate those. And that's like, that's an incredible art form. That's like, that's like a different kind of art, you know. So that's, that's what those guys do. And that's, you know, an amazing feat. But for me, I like to play songs. I stick to the songs and stick to the groove and do my job that way. That's, that's where I like to work from.

Charles Shute:

You don't like to be do do stick twirling or anything you don't like to be noticed.

Francis Valentino:

I mean, notice there's not bad but as far as like, notice for the wrong thing. I'd rather be you know, within the music instead of on top of the music. That didn't make sense. Have

Charles Shute:

you ever seen Zoltan chaining? I don't think so. Oh, after we get off this interview, look up on YouTube Zoltan Cheney, drummer he played with he played with slaughter, and he played with Vince Neil. And that guy is crazy. Like he he's like animal from the Muppets. Like he's just all over the place. He's like, stands on a stool like jumps. And it's just he's so physical. It's really fun to watch. I don't know if technically, he's a good drawer. I couldn't tell you that. But I know he's very entertaining to watch. And I like those kinds of drummers. But it sounds like you kind of like to let play it a little cooler. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

I mean, it there's a place for everything. Like I whatever your thing is, do it to the max. It's awesome. Like it Yeah, we should all do that. If you have something run with it as far as far and fast as you can, but my version of that is just I love playing songs. I love playing music with other people. That's it. I have no real desire to be anything more than that.

Charles Shute:

And Roth cut, does Roth direct you when you're playing with him, Hey, play it like this, do this, like you know, cut that out? You know more cowbell whatever, like does he tell you how to play the drums at all? Is it just like, hey, do your thing.

Francis Valentino:

It's a lot of do your thing. A lot of go out there and just kind of you know, you know this, so just go do it. But yeah, we rehearsed. You know, we rehearsed for the other Vegas residency that was also canceled. At the end of the pandemic. We rehearse for six months for that one. And that was, that was like going to the dojo. That was awesome. We did a lot of a lot of work on the show. And it was going to be a really, really cool show.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, I'm so mad. My you know, like our friend Darren was gonna fly down for that I had another friend that was gonna go to that. And then I was kind of thinking, well, maybe I should go. Because Vegas is only five hours from me. I'm in Phoenix now. And it's like, or is there any chance those shows will be rescheduled?

Francis Valentino:

I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine right now. I haven't heard anything. But uh, it'd be nice.

Charles Shute:

Because it was what was it? 20. Was it 2021? No. Was it March 2021. It was originally. When were they originally supposed to go? 2021. Right.

Francis Valentino:

Originally, they did some beat that was before I was in the band. They did. February, I think, or January, one of the other. Right. Then we had March 2020 mid kiss tour. That got cancelled, of course. And then we had a rescheduled and sort of rebooted New Year's plan for 2021. Going into 22. Yeah, that's on

Charles Shute:

December 31 2021. shows the House of Blues. Yeah, that would have been amazing. Yep. Cool venue. Yeah, I've seen I've seen Steel Panther there. They used to have three shows at Mandalay Bay House of Blues. It was literally free. I mean, of course the drinks are like $15 or whatever. But it was awesome because I go see Steel Panther every time I'd see him. It was a different show I've ever seen Steel Panther.

Francis Valentino:

I haven't I I'm a big fan though. I've just stayed tuned to their world. And the huge fan.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, I think I would highly recommend it. Because it's such a different kind of thing. It's yes, there's the music and they do the covers. Phenomenal and they do their own music. And it's funny, but then it's like they do this little like comedy routine in between the songs. And like I said, I've seen them. I don't know like 20 times it's I mean, it's always a different bit. It's never the same stuff that they just have like lines. I don't know if it's like scripted the day before or they just Do it on the spot. But it's always different. It's amazing as

Francis Valentino:

to be live music, right. But we lost that for a couple years in the pandemic, which was, you know, it was horrible then but it also it's like, you realize how much you missed it how much you love it. So it might have been a good Wake Up Call in the long term. So we admire and treasure these things a little more as they come at us now. Absolutely.

Charles Shute:

Well, are you still so you're still technically the drummer for David Lee Roth band? Right. I mean, if it can, he has not officially retired? No, he said he was going to, but like he just kind of canceled those shows. And then he never did like the final retirement shows.

Francis Valentino:

No, no, no retirement yet. As far as I know, unless it's a you know, let's it's a silent retirement. But, uh, now Yeah, with the band is still the band, as far as I know. And it's sort of a, you know, a time capsule now. If something happens down the road, I'll be there. If not, it was great. Oh,

Charles Shute:

man, I hope it happens. Like I feel like I got I've never seen Roth solo. I've only seen him one time with Van Halen on the reunion. And it was it was good. But of course, I was in the nosebleed. So I think be cool to see the solo. And then you can hear all the solo songs too, that he obviously is not going to do those with Van Halen. Yeah,

Francis Valentino:

it was a lot of fun to play gigolo. Of course, that was like a highlight for me every night, so I recommend seeing it if it ever happens again. Yeah,

Charles Shute:

you said Unchained was the kind of the only one that was a little quirky to play.

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, you know, it was a it was one of those things like the only thing in the set that was like, interesting to to navigate. And it was like early in the show, so it was no problem but like, and after that, you can just lean into it and have fun, but yeah, unchained you gotta watch a little bit. It's not as easy as you think.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, I would think I wonder too, like, because you know, he's here that he said he's gonna retire and those were the retirement shows. But also like, he could just be like, You know what, I don't want to retire and he could come and he could write new material. That would be fun if you actually got to record with David Lee Roth.

Francis Valentino:

We recorded the live stuff in Henson which was Yeah, yeah, I mean sure anything

Charles Shute:

new material though that there was nothing new on that one. Right. It was all it was.

Francis Valentino:

We went in there and did a couple hours. And we just played the set that was it. We did it live under percent and that was that it came out the way it came out. And I had a blast.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, that's awesome. So then you're so right now you got shows lined up with Matthew curry. Is that anything else that you have on top?

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, I have a lot of Matthew carry shows we're leaving for a tour. On February 1, we're going to Florida that's going to take us around the whole east coast as well. Including a cruise the rock legends cruise which leaves from Miami and goes down to Dominican Republic

Charles Shute:

I was looking at I think I wanted to go to that but I think it's sold out Same with the monsters are all these cruises are sold. I didn't realize I've never been on a cruise. I wanted to go and I'm like, Oh, I guess you got to like, buy these tickets like the day they come out or something. There

Francis Valentino:

might still be a few tickets or cabins left for rock legends cruise. If you would take a look at that. I can send you some links as well.

Charles Shute:

Definitely check that out. Yeah, cuz I've never been on a cruise. I was wanted to do it. That'd be fun. Isn't it Sammy Hagar playing that one too?

Francis Valentino:

Yeah, exactly. He's the he's the headliner to get Rick Springfield, Billy Gibbons and a ton of others to you know. So that's cool. It's literally a captive audience. Everybody's in the same boat. So you, you get to know everybody really, throughout the course of the five days in the on the water. So it's like nothing else. I mean, it's pretty cool. I've so I've made some great friends on the boat over the years. And like, I'm looking forward to seeing them and seeing new people and meeting new people and, and playing the shows. But other than Matthew, I have a few really cool things going on as well. We're planning a tour of the Netherlands, with an artist named Joanne bird, who's a Dutch artist, singer songwriter who, thankfully allowed me to produce some of her new music that is coming out later this month. So we're getting that together, putting the whole show together and preparing for that release.

Charles Shute:

Yeah, cuz you're a music producer, too. You play a little bass and a little piano. You produce the latest, Matthew, are you CO produced with Matthew curry, his latest album? Yes,

Francis Valentino:

open road by Matthew curry. I CO produced that with him. We did it in Illinois in his hometown. And really got everything we wanted to put on the record in one place. So that was a nice and nice process. Speaking at Tom Petty, we kind of we took that model of like, chill that recording relaxed, doesn't make it a clubhouse environment and go work. So very proud of that record. Where was it recorded? Bloomington, Illinois.

Charles Shute:

Okay. So do you record things because you're in Nashville now? Right? Yeah, you record things down there is there I'm assuming there's a lot of studios down there. Yeah.

Francis Valentino:

Endless studios. I think they're building new ones literally every day. I mean, it seems like something new pops up all the time. But this is a great place to work. If you have something you need to get done right now you can do it right now. Just make a few phone calls and, and you'll be working in no time and like, it's it's like an assembly line for music here. You can get anything you need at all hours. It's great. Do you network

Charles Shute:

with a lot of other Nashville musicians like hanging out with them and or see them out? And about? Oh, yeah,

Francis Valentino:

I got plenty of, uh, you know, acquaintances and friends down here over the years. It's a people I've met on the road who've also moved here, people who I've known from Jersey who move here. Yeah, and just kind of get together and jam and see what happens. In fact, I'm headed to New York tomorrow to do a show with an artist named vibe and Seibon in the sunlight band. And he's a former East Coast guy from Virginia. And just through hanging out and jamming in his house, we kind of stumbled into this pretty cool project that he was nice enough to bring me into. So we got some nice shows with him coming up to Oh,

Charles Shute:

that's awesome. Well, I look forward to following your career and seeing what comes up next. And hopefully some of those Roth shows. Hopefully it comes back because that would be cool to see. But whatever else you're doing, it's on the fan. I'm a fan of Matthew curry. Now to just listen to him. I was like, Oh, this is awesome. I love this stuff. So yeah, I'll have to check that out. If you guys hit Phoenix,

Francis Valentino:

we usually try to, you know, become last week go to LA and hopefully on the way out there. We'll we'll see.

Charles Shute:

Which venue do you go when you go to Phoenix?

Francis Valentino:

Will Tempe we did a What's that called?

Charles Shute:

Marquise? Marquise. Yeah. Okay, that's a pretty good big size venue, then. Wow. And

Francis Valentino:

we booked them for people there a few times. He opened for hinder. Oh,

Charles Shute:

I had the drummer I think the drummer fender on, Cody. I think his name is could be I think so. They're cool. All right. Well, thanks so much anything else you want to promote?

Francis Valentino:

That's it for me and again, to keep an eye on the schedule. You know, Matthew curry, Joanne bird from Holland. Keep an eye on her career. Great things are happening for her. And you know, beyond that. Every day is a new day. So keep looking for new stuff.

Charles Shute:

Sounds good. Thanks a lot. I'll see you later. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the full podcast episode. Please help support our guests by following them on social media and purchasing their products whether it be a book, album, film, or other thing, and if you have a few extra dollars, please consider donating it to their favorite charity. If you want to support the show, you can like share and comment on this episode on social media and YouTube. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can give us a rating and review on Spotify, Apple podcasts or Google podcasts. Finally, make sure you're subscribed to the Show on YouTube for the video versions and other exclusive content. We appreciate your support. Have a great rest of your day. Shoot for the moon