INTERVIEW – DARLING

James

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Darling band

Worthy of much more than just a fleeting glance, Dublin Rock duo Darling formed from the ashes of The Kinetics, are due to take the stage of Whelan’s on the 1st of May. With a reputation built up over the past few years the band are set to continue their tour run. They completed their first headline gig of the year in The Sugar Club and were featured on RTE2’s The Word and TG4 Ceol ar an Imeall. We caught up with Gary to see how the year has been for the band, what their expectations are and what they have planned for the future.

How has the ending of The Kinetics affected you both in terms of continuing your musical partnership?

I kind of realised that by the end I was really enjoying writing music with James, so when the Kinetiks reached its conclusion there was no real doubt in both our minds that we weren’t going to knock it on the head. We were both really keen to keep it going. Darling was always going to be just us writing songs together.

In terms of song-writing is Darling more musically free? Do you feel more able to express your true musical interests compared to when you were in your former group?

Yes, I’d think that’s fair to say. What you develop as a writer is that you become less and less concerned with what is cool or current. We have our own sense of what we would think is a cool tune, and as you progress as a writer you become less and less bogged down with what you should be writing, and just write what you feel like writing.

You have recently supported ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ and ‘Embrace’, how did you find the experience?

The ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ gig was exciting because it was at the Olympia. We grew up going to gigs there and we were the only support act to a sold-out show. Pus Echo and The Bunnymen are a band I’d look up to hugely. The crowd as great too, there was no fans waiting to be impressed, they seemed to be very open to other bands. We got really good feedback from that gig alone, which was unbelievable. We felt really at home playing at the Olympia; it’s where we’d see ourselves playing more often in the future. If we weren’t playing at the gig, I probably would have been in the crowd!

Had either of the bands any words of encouragement for you as an upcoming act?

Well the Guitar player from Embrace actually got in touch with us after the gig and said he was really impressed. Everyone says the same thing: just work as hard as you can and don’t stop writing. It’s what we get told, time and time again: just don’t stop writing.

Your second E.P, ‘It’s Just One Look’, gained the attention of Stephen Lipson. Did it come as a major shock when you received an invite to London by Stephen to work with him?

You know sometimes you get these emails or phone calls that make you feel ten feet tall. Like being asked to support one of your favourite bands, or asked to go on a certain TV show. The Lipson thing was just one of those moments. It was hard work, and kind of terrifying. I mean it was intimidating because of the people he’d worked with before. The last time we were with him he was only back from working with Pharrell Williams and Johnny Marr (former guitar player of The Smiths). You sort of have to be on top of your game if you’re following the likes of Johnny Marr and Pharrell. So me, James and Stephen huddled around a desk and started to work on the guitar parts and backing vocal ideas.

Are there any upcoming Dublin bands that you like?

I suppose when it comes to Irish bands my head is in the sand a little, but James Vincent McMorrow is someone we’d look up to. I really like that tune I heard by The Academic lately. Jape are also great and I hear All Tvvins are coming out with some really cool stuff too. I think Ireland is producing some really good music at the moment, it’s a really exciting time to be part of the scene.

What are your plans for the rest of the year after the Whelan’s gig?

Well we’re going to be working on our album actually. We’re going into the studio at the end of this month to start chipping away at the rest of it. We’llbe on the Saturday Night Show with Brendan O Connor in April performing ‘Just One Look’, which is going to lead us nicely into the Whelan’s gig. Our track has also been listed on FM104 for the month of April as well, which means people should be hearing a lot more from us over the next couple of months! We’ll also be playing a couple of festivals over the summer as well. The main focus for the year is the album, though, which will be released sometime next year.

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