Higuera is a five-piece alternative band from California who formed in 2013. They’ve played numerous shows along the West Coast in venues ranging from The Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle to a California house show in the middle of nowhere. Vocalist and main songwriter Valley Taylor says Higuera is committed to creating genuine, quality records: “no hype, no bullshit and writing and playing music for the sake of music,” he says. Taylor, who has always been passionate about music, went from working as a pastor in North Carolina to becoming the lead songwriter and creator of Higuera. I chatted with him about this experience, inspiration behind his songs, and more.
A Perfect Playlist: Tell me a little bit about how the band got started.
Higuera: Well, the band actually formed back in 2013 after I got divorced. I moved from San Luis Obispo, CA to Los Angeles and started a band called “thrdvsn” with some people I had met on twitter. After a few years of altering the line-up, style, and manager of the band, we finally settled on our current sound and name “Higeura.”
APP: How would you describe your sound?
We’re currently working on our first full length album, and our producer Sam Pura (he’s worked with bands such as The Story So Far, Basement, and State Champs) said that a majority of the songs have a “Cowboy Bebop” vibe to them. Since I write all the songs and then present them to the band, they all start in a very folk singer-songwriter-like style and then evolve a bit as the rest of the band contributes.
APP: Who in the music industry inspires you?
H: I’ve spent most of my time deeply embedded in religion in the past, so I didn’t listen to anything but contemporary Christian music and instrumental bands until I left home for Bible College, ironically enough. Because of my musical upbringing, I don’t really have a lot of friendly sentiment towards most of the music industry and generally don’t feel inspired by any artists in particular. That being said, I really enjoyed the new Bon Iver album and Frank Ocean’s new music. I admire the work itself in making an album more than anything.
Hopefully similar to where we are now, but with more of a platform. I hope to be touring with bands I enjoy and have my tracks featured in more TV shows and movies.
APP: Thoughts on this year’s Grammys? Best performance this year, in your opinion?
I totally didn’t even watch the Grammy’s this year or last year. I think 2013 was the only year I’ve ever watched them. I did, however, watch Lady Gaga KILL the halftime show at the super bowl if that counts.
APP: I love your song “Thermopylae.” Tell me a little bit about it–what was the inspiration?
H: I wrote that song while I was working as a pastor out in North Carolina. It was a really good time for me. I had just gotten off a 6 month long road trip, and I was loving the idea that freedom is nothing more than a ball and chain that costs so much. The song is about how you really just have to let go of everything in order to truly be free.
APP: What do you hope fans will get out of your music?
H: I’m hoping fans will be inspired by my music to go out and accomplish all the crazy dreams they can think of. I’d also like for people to reevaluate the situations that life throws at us as they listen. Often times, I write from unique perspectives that I’ve spent years observing various lifestyles to gain insight into.
APP: You mentioned you’re working on a new record. Do you have a release date set for that?
H: We’ve been living and working at The Panda Studios in Fremont, Ca working on our first full length since Halloween of 2016. We’re hoping to have the album finished by April, but we are really taking our time on this.
All photos are from the band’s Instagram.
Check out Higuera here: