What do you do when band members leave, your beloved amp blows up and you feel the curse of the Band of the Year lay its chill dread hand upon your shoulder?
For Ben Miles this was the fate that befell him shortly after this rock outfit, Valve, were crowned the area’s top act in the Derbyshire Times batle of the bands contest.
But after bleak few months when it seemed everything was going wrong, the threepiece line-up got back together, ditched all their old songs and set about playing their material in a weird tuning system.
The result is a revitalised Valve who are hitting the scene again and are set to record a new concept album - based on Dante’s Inferno.
“The old material was all over the place there was some punk, some heavy stuff, then stoner rock - it was like a John peel playlist.
“Now all that old stuff’s gone, which was hard cos we’re really proud of it.”
But the band’s hiatus and clearing away of pervious material has allowed Valve to hone down what the band is about and set a more consistent sound.
And with a their alt-tuning sound, they also found the perfect subject material in the poetry of Dante’s Inferno.
“A good friend lent it to me and when I read it I realised it was perfect.
“We’re not trying to do it exactly, more to capture the spirit and feel of it,” explained Ben. “There are different messages: the religious, the political and personal.
“We’ve started to record bits of it at home nd we’re looking to record it properly this year, with a working title of From Ignorance To Bliss.”
You will get a chance to hear some of the Dante material when Valve play Sheffield on Monday- which also happens to be Ben’s birthday.
“I always try to have a gig some tome around my birthday, but this year it’s on the day itself.”
And as well as hopefully getting some gifts himslef next week, Ben’s handing stuff out himself, with fans signing up for the band’s mailing list getting a free CD of live recordings.
Vavle play Menthol Man, West Streety Live, Sheffield, on Monday.
If you Ben, wish him a happy birthday