Q&A with darkDARK: "We Wanted to Make a Record That Takes You to Different Places"
darkDARK are about to make a name for themselves with the upcoming release of their debut EP next month. The Los Angeles/Austin based duo is not your run of the mill pop band, with a darker, more dramatic sound that seems to fit their name perfectly, created by unconventional songwriting methods. Currently based in separate cities, Genevieve Vincent and Chris James crafted this collection of songs by sending music back and forth, occasionally meeting up in person to overcome writers block or other songwriting obstacles. The result are some otherworldly and mind-blowingly gorgeous tracks that set this duo apart from the pack. Read more about darkDARK and their upcoming EP, Heathered below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about darkDARK for anyone who might not be familiar?
Yea, definitely. We're an electronic production duo, so we're both producers, musicians, and singers on the project. We write dark synth-based pop, with a lot of random influences - one foot firmly in the pop world and one foot in the electronic one.
darkDARK is technically based out of Los Angeles and Austin, as you both don’t live in the same state. When you’re writing music together, what is that process like and how does it differ compared to writing with someone who is in the same room as you?
Working in different states has its ups and downs. One of the good things about it is that you can take your time, write when you feel inspired, even if that's at different times. Also sending stuff back and forth over Dropbox is kind of exciting. When you put an idea in and the next day it emurges as an evolved version, it's like, damn - why didn't I think of that! We're always pushing each other creatively and producing each other. Another positive thing is that it's way easier to critique each other's work when you're doing it over email - haha!
Drawbacks are basically that it's just so fast to write in the same room. Like, we were struggling with lyrics to "Fake It" for a while so we met in Austin to work. About an hour into sitting in the same room, we nailed the lyrics and were tracking them.
How did you come to meet and begin writing music together?
We were introduced over email by a mutual friend. The first thing we produced together was a remix for Universal and I think at that point we immediately realized we worked well together as producers. We were really on the same page with the vision of the end result, so we decided to work on some original songs. We just found an easy rhythm with writing and producing each other's ideas, and that's what makes it fun.
You just recently released your new song, “Restless.” Can you tell us about what inspired the track?
For the sound of it, we just wanted to create something that made us feel something. Something that pulls at the heartstrings a bit, not entirely happy, but exciting. We wanted the beginning of the track to sound simple, like moonlight, when it starts off. But as the lyrics unfold, it breaks into this beat, opens up, and really takes you somewhere unreal, heated, and impulsive.
“Restless” also features guest vocals from Haley Bonar. How did this collaboration come to be and how did you know that she was the right voice for the track?
We were introduced through our mutual friend Caitlin Veich. We had remixed one of Haley's tracks before, and there was something so soulful and sincere about her voice. She has this depth to her sound that not a lot of singers have. It was really exciting to hear her first sing on the track, because a line in we knew this is really special. You just kind of feel it when it's right, and then you don't fuck with it.
“Restless” comes from your upcoming EP, Heathered. What was the inspiration behind the EP? Did you have any goals in mind when working on it?
We wanted to make a record that takes you to different places. We spend a lot of time picking out each sound and using production to try to make each song a world for you to step into. Overall the album is five stages of a relationship - it's everything from the first moments with someone which are so magical and fleeting, to the times where you've forgotten who you both are, maybe even forgotten why you came together in the first place.
Can fans expect to hear any more new music before the EP releases?
Yes! Our last single from this EP "Shelter" released on the 9th of February, and look out for a VR video for it after that.
What does the rest of 2017 hold for darkDARK? Do you have any other big plans for the coming months?
We're also putting out an animated video for "Stay Close" (off the EP) in the coming months, and we're working on new tracks, collaborations and remixes.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for having us!