Last week’s Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project saw a lot of changes within Hunter Valentine. Aimee ultimately broke down and told the band she was going to quit. On tonight’s episode the group reacts and, with Linda Perry’s guidance, decide how to move on without Aimee.
VH1 recently chatted with Hunter Valentine members, Kiyomi McCloskey and Laura Petracca about their experiences on the reality show, living in a house with a diverse group of artists and what exactly we didn’t see between them and their former bandmate.
What was it like living in the Make Or Break house with such a diverse group of musicians?
Kiyomi: I think it was a really solid group of nice people. It was just a bunch of people really, really focused on making music and that was cool to be around—and very inspiring.
What was it like to sort of deal with the drama in your own personal group in the house, with the cameras? Did it feel like tensions were exacerbated?
Laura: That was hard, for sure. And it was hard for me too, because being sort of caught in the middle because you know, a lot of the issue was first writing with Aimee. [We] never really had songwriting experience with her and then seeing Kiyomi and her just, it wasn’t even that they weren’t getting along – it was just mostly everything we tried it was way over thought. In songwriting there are moments where things just don’t work out.
Kiyomi: To be honest with you, before we left—because we hadn’t written with Aimee at all — her and I decided to get together and kind of like practice songwriting. And there was not a single issue. [Laughs] We wrote more than half of a song and she left my house being like, ‘I think that went really, really well. I think we’re gonna be great and be fine!’ And then you know fast forward to the lights, camera, action and it’s a whole other story. Yeah, it kind of sucks the way that people behave having cameras on.
Kiyomi, do you feel like you’re being portrayed accurately? Do you feel like you’re being vilified in the Aimee situation? Did you both feel like Aimee got more support in the house than you?
Kiyomi: I think that both Laura and I really did hear out every single idea that Aimee had but she wasn’t happy with herself and she wasn’t happy with presenting those ideas to us. She wanted to be doing them on her own. I think that I was actually very, very open. There was a day where we worked on a song where she was the lead singer; they didn’t really show that. So the only thing that I can do is know what I did when I was there and I know in my heart that I was very open to her ideas and to trying to make it work. If they try to turn it around and vilify me, like you say, then there’s nothing I can really do about it. I actually think she kind of looks more like a jerk than I do but that’s just me. [Laughs]
Laura: I feel like she was telling everybody else how she was feeling but not telling her own band. So I feel like a lot of people knew what was going on except for Kiyomi and I.
Kiyomi: Yeah, I mean, it’s funny and ironic if they’re going to turn it around and make her look like the victim because we gave that girl everything that we had. We didn’t really even have to bring her to have this opportunity on the show. We were gonna go on our own. But we believed in her talent and her ability, so we did. We believed in her honesty, too, which was obviously not there so much in the end. I think that it sucks if they don’t show the struggle that kind of we went through with her and only show her being victimized in a way.
Aside from your group, who else in the house were you guys rooting for? Who did you connect with most?
Kiyomi: I think we all thought Anjuli was a star from the minute she walked in the door. [laughs] So we were all big fans of Anjuli, for sure. We love the VanJess girls. I mean, everyone’s so different that you have a special place for them because they’re all so different. But we still talk to the VanJess Girls quite often. We can’t find Gabriel [Mayers] on the subway platforms; we haven’t seen him in a while.
Laura: I really liked when Omar came in, I kind of really thought that it was good to have a diverse band because we had—you know, everyone’s pretty diverse—it was good to see them kind of on the same wave as us. But they’re like two-piece punk, kind of sloppy, grungy and like I sort of felt like, ‘Oh, thank god there’s somebody that’s gonna relate to me.’
What can we expect next from Hunter Valentine?
Kiyomi: We’re in the studio right now. Our idea is to work on an EP and then put more of a full-length out later. In between that we’re doing a national tour with another band—we’re not saying exactly who yet but we’re gonna be out for 6 weeks pretty much, hitting every single city that we can across America. And we’re hitting Canada as well. So we’re gonna be really busy in the next six months. Back to the grind.
Laura: We’re also going to be releasing a music video at the end of the summer. So yeah, that’s another thing to look forward to.
What do you make of the breakup from Aimee for Hunter Valentine? Check out an all new episode of Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project tonight at 11 PM ET/PT.