On a cold and rainy November night in London, an idea was born. A city known more for it's proud, ancient history than it's birthing of the electronic music and rave culture had grabbed hold of two individuals and seeped within their consciousness. It was here, surrounded by countless stoic and towering remnants of the past that Chris Qualls and Lauren Baird began to think about their future.
In 2007 Qualls and Baird found themselves adrift after their previous band A Kiss Could Be Deadly (Metropolis Records) had fallen apart and the duo took a job as touring musicians. In their hotel room one night, one small act became something much bigger. Qualls quickly composed and produced the track "A Night With You" hoping to capture the excitement of the London nightlife they had recently experienced. During sound check the next evening, Qualls and Baird performed the track to what they assumed was an empty venue. Little did they know that the headlining act was watching their performance and asked the two to play the song every night of the tour.
The positive response from the crowds was immediate and unexpected. Qualls posted the song on MySpace under the name Electric Valentine and soon the band was getting thousands of plays a day.
The infant Electric Valentine soon said goodbye to merry ol' England and returned to their studio in Orange County, California. Further developing their sound, Electric Valentine began performing in countless Los Angeles nightclubs. Soon local DJs discovered the dynamic act and "A Night With You" worked it's way into the ears of those who found Qualls and Baird's healthy serving of electro-pop able to satisfy their hunger for big beats and even bigger hooks.
With their local presence growing by leaps and bounds, Electric Valentine decided to take their sound on the road. Recruiting drummer Ryan Seaman (I Am Ghost, The Bigger Lights) they set out across the United States playing numerous shows for enthusiastic crowds. After one such show in Las Vegas, the group received this bit of praise from Hits Magazine:
"Electric Valentine: This new wave duo composed of Lauren Baird and Chris Qualls is tearing up the dancefloor with catchy tracks like 'A Night With You' so don't keep 'em waiting. Lauren engages attention from the first note, and it is clear that she possesses raging star power. You can barely take your eyes off of her long enough to watch Chris, but his show is just as impressive. Even more amazing than the live performance is the stereo quality sound that comes from this outfit."
As the bands popularity increased, Qualls skills as a producer were soon in demand. Taking a cue from Hip Hop culture, Electric Valentine started recording songs featuring artists that Qualls worked with. Songs like "The First And Last Time (ft Breathe Carolina)" were recorded in backstage rooms on tour.Â Others like "Addicted (ft Jeffree Star)" and "Electric Ghosts (ft Watchout! There's Ghosts)"Â were created in the group's Huntington Beach studio. In December, Electric Valentine released all of their collaborations as the "Friends with Benefits" EP which excited the fans of all the bands involved. The release was soon selling thousands of copies a week on iTunes and "Electric Ghosts" even cracked the top 20 on the iTunes dance single charts.
To promote the "Friends with Benefits" EP, Electric Valentine recorded a cover of Stacey Q's 1986 Â hit "2 of Hearts"Â with their friends Ultraviolet Sound.Â The song started picking up heat on the internet and was featured on such blogs as perezhilton.com
, Pop Justice and arjanwrites.Â Â It also appeared on the nationally distributed Ultimix #144 and received radio play on numerous specialty shows.Â The band closed out their first year by reaching a personal milestone, crossing the "one million plays mark" on MySpace on New Year's Eve 2008.
Electric Valentine spent 2009 increasing their already prodigious work ethic. Qualls began producing their first full length record "Automatic" in January of 2009, interrupting their work in the studio every other month to go out and tour for their fans. With a stream of new songs and remixes keeping their online presence high, Electric Valentine set out to promote their August 18th release of "Automatic". Â The debut album did extremely well, reaching the #7 spot on the iTunes Dance Album charts and receiving airplay on both college and commercial radio. The reviews online and in print all praised the amazing vocals, catchy songwriting and spakling production. Songs off the album were featured on MTV shows such as "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" and "The Real World: Cancun". Qualls and Baird hit the road with drummer Liam O'Neill for a string of tours that spanned the entire world. They did 10 weeks in the US then a two week Hennessey VSOP-sponsored run of China.
In 2010 the band won the Orange County Music Award for "Best Electronic" and Qualls was nominated as a finalist in the international songwriting competition. Heartbreak struck in April when thieves broke into the EV studio, stole their computer, gear and backup hard drives, leaving them without any of the new material they had been working on for months. As of May, the group is determined to re-do everything they lost and to make it bigger and better than anything you've ever heard from them