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Talking with Rod Pardey, aka Romance Fantasy’s Michael Valentine

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Rod Pardey, aka Michael Valentine, center, and Romance Fantasy play the Royal August 16.
Leslie Ventura

The Details

Romance Fantasy with Trevor & The Joneses
August 16, free
Royal House, 735-6117

It’s been five years since alterna-crooners Romance Fantasy played in Vegas. Part-time poker player and LA resident Rod Pardey returns for one night as frontman Michael Valentine at the Royal Resort on Thursday.

What’s the story behind Michael Valentine?

Ronnie Vannucci [The Killers, Big Talk], an old friend of mine from high school, asked me if I was playing any music. I said “I have this whole alter ego thing I’m thinking of doing,” and he was very encouraging. Because he gave me his vote of confidence, we decided to run with it.

Why have an alter ego at all?

When I was younger I wasn’t really feeling secure enough as Rod Pardey to write love songs. I felt, “Maybe if I create this cool alter ego, he could pull it off.” I don’t know everything there is to know about romance and stuff of that nature, but Michael Valentine does.

Killers fans might recognize your name in the title “The Ballad of Michael Valentine” from their 2007 B-sides album Sawdust.

I never actually talked to Brandon about it, and Ronnie surprised me one day and said, “Guess what? Brandon is writing a song called ‘The Ballad of Michael Valentine.’” I remember joking, “Well, if you’re going to take away my drummer, at least you’re doing it with a lot of class.”

Almost 12 years after forming, could Romance Fantasy have another go, now that it’s almost trendy to like bands like The Smiths?

If I were 25 and I had a lot of confidence, maybe. When I was in high school, the two people I liked the most were Morrissey and Woody Allen. When I was young, nobody liked them. When a movie like 500 Days of Summer came out, I was like, “Wow, my tastes are not unusual at all anymore.” I don’t know how I feel about it. I’m glad that my taste is validated.

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