August 17, 2008

When Darkness Falls is Ready for Its Day in the Sun

By Aurelio Sanchez Journal Staff Writer

They're just taking the good old American band's road to rock 'n' roll fame and glory. That it's a Native American hard-core metal band of brothers from Acoma Pueblo makes not a bit of difference.

"They're all related to each other; six guys that create one sound that is like a unit. They work real well together and they definitely have 'it,' whatever 'it' is," said Tim Griffiths of indie label Mysteria Records, which signed the band last October.

The band took the name When Darkness Falls when the members learned their first choice, "Tormented Soul," was already taken by another Native band.

When Darkness Falls will be the opening band for KZRR 94 Rock's Sky Metal 2008 concert on Saturday, Aug. 16, at Sky City Casino Outdoor Center at Acoma, featuring RATT, Slaughter, Great White, Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys and Bango Tango.

"We started out like most other bands," drummer Pat "Bucky" Vallo said. "We played cover songs from a lot of our favorite bands. But after a while, we got bored with that."

The members started writing their own songs, and became part of the music scene in Albuquerque, following their first gig in January 2005 at the Golden West Saloon. The other members of the crew include lead singers Brandon "Turtle" Valdo and Zachary "Zack" Garcia, bass player Lawrence "Jay" Garcia, rhythm guitar player Larson "Dutch" Valdo and lead guitarist Rollin "Ro" Valdo.

In four years, the group has played more than 60 shows, one of its biggest in December 2005 when it played before more than 1,500 at Isleta Pueblo to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Late last year, the group started working on its first CD, the recordings made at Rancho Digital Studios/ Stepbridge Studios in Santa Fe. They were then sent to Groove 5-0 Productions in Hollywood, where the music was mixed and mastered by Robbie Tarango. Tarango has credits with Tiffany, George Lynch, Dokken and Lynch Mob.

In June, the group released the CD, "A New Defense," which Vallo said has been selling well.

Sky Metal 2008

WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16

WHERE: Sky City Casino, I-40 exit 102, approximately 45 miles west of Albuquerque

HOW MUCH: Advance general admission tickets are $30 and are available by calling (888) 759-2489. Tickets are $40 on the day of the show. All ages welcome.

(c) 2008 Albuquerque Journal. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.