Who are we chatting to and when did you first start making music? My name’s Dean Valentino – I front Slowcoaching. I think I started playing music heavily during early high school when I had a real life goal to be Jimmy Page. I started writing my own stuff a little later and have been doing Slowcoaching for about two years now.
What do you reckon people will say you sound like? Our sound has mainly been compared to dream pop stuff such as Wild Nothing and DIIV; sometimes The Smiths, who are admittedly my biggest inspiration. Although I think we have a long way to go before seriously being compared to any of those names.
What do you love about making music? I love the freedom of it, because you never really have to box yourself in or do something that is “correct”. I also really, really love hearing things that other people work on – it’s insane how many incredible ideas are floating around that sometimes never get heard.
What do you hate about the music industry? I wouldn’t say I really hate anything, but there are some things that can definitely be improved and a lot of them are currently being acknowledged. I find it more frustrating when people perceive the music industry as a hobby or when ‘exposure’ is considered adequate pay for an artist. I think the music industry itself though is moving forward and acknowledging some really important issues of late, especially in regards to the ever-growing list of amazing, non-male talent out there.
What inspires your music most? At the moment I’d have to say it’s travelling. I don’t get to do nearly as much as I’d like, but I’ve been finding that even the smallest of trips has helped me piece together ideas that I couldn’t have done in my bedroom. I like the idea of finding new songs in different places – almost like a treasure hunt.
If you could travel back in time and show one of your musical heroes your stuff, who would it be? Probably someone like Bowie, or George Martin. Someone who could really pick something apart and inspire a completely off-the-grid way of thinking.
What can a punter expect from your live show? Lots of fun. We’ve all become really good mates since we started playing live together so it’s always a genuinely fun time when we get to do a show. We’re all really looking forward to St. Kilda Festival too, so it should be a ripper.

Slowcoaching will perform at St Kilda Festival on Sunday February 11. Catch them on the New Music Stage from 5.20pm.