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A Darlings Interview

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Not too long ago, Grant (aka. The Gumshoe of The Gumshoe Grove) and I pieced together some questions for Darlings, one of our mutual favorite bands from 2009.

Some were a little odd, some funny, some flat out dumb.

They were kind enough to provide us with some answers, no matter how ridiculous the questions. Here is the result, unedited and unfiltered. Enjoy…

Before we kick things off, here’s a song to listen to as you read. It’s off their debut LP, Yeah I Know, out now on Famous Class Records. Check it:

GG: First off, is “Eviction Party” based on real events? Things get pretty specific and it’s a song I think has resonated with people so I’m curious as to how the lyrics came about.

JOE TIRABASSI (BASS) – I got evicted from this apartment I was living in on 1st Ave. in the East Village. The place had gone to shit, and we knew we weren’t getting our security deposit back, so we decided to throw a big party. It got out of hand, to say the least. It really brought out the dark side of everyone. Girls pissing in closets, dudes ripping light fixtures out of the ceiling, a BBQ used as a plaything…seemingly mild-mannered people doing a 180 and releasing their inner wild child.

PETER RYNSKY (GUITAR/VOX) – Yes, these things actually happened. There are no lyrical exaggerations in the song. Somebody actually threw a bottle at my face. Brian drunkenly crowd surfed at a house party and it might’ve been the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Just picturing it in my head still makes me laugh.

MATT SOLOMON (DRUMS) – The lyrics were inspired by a specific event, but i think the more general idea of the song is to express a sort of youthful recklessness—you know, getting drunk with your friends and not thinking too hard about the consequences (or the security deposit). In a lot of ways i think that goes along with the vibe of the album as a whole.

GG: The packaging for “Yeah I Know” is elaborate. Could you tell me a little bit about what went into it and where the ideas for its contents came from? (Very innovative.)

JOE – My roommate and I designed the packaging. It’s all old family photos, so it’s our parents when they were our age. Our parents were all a lot cooler than us.

MAURA LYNCH (GUITAR/KEYS/VOX) – Most Famous Class releases come with comic book/zine inserts. We dug through our parents’ old photos and found things that we thought went along well with the music. It was really fun process coming in with tons of photos and editing them down to 10.

FP: ‘Yeah I Know‘ was my summer album. The video for “Teenage Girl” in particular defined how a summer pop song should both sound and be represented on film. Do you find your music associating better with a specific season, and if so, what are your plans for the “off season”?

JOE – I really dislike the heat, but I can see why people enjoy it. I guess it’s summer music, because most people love the summer and need a pop record to go along with it.

PETER – If it had come out in spring it would probably feel like a spring album. I tend to associate music with whatever climate is happening outside the first time I hear the music.

MATT – It’s definitely a fun record, and that’s sorta what we were going for. Summer in new york is a really fantastic time to be alive and playing music with your friends.

GG: How does one go about establishing such a following in NY city when so many bands are trying to do the same? How did you guys “break out” of the herd as it were? Would you say you’ve done it or that you’re still trying?

JOE – I don’t think we’ve “broken out.” We’re still begging our friends to drive us to shows.

MAURA – For us it’s just been a matter of playing shows every week or so and trying to get better and better. We were lucky enough to have that L Magazine thing last spring and I think that brought us to a whole new group of people.

MATT – There are a million bands in Brooklyn doing making good music. We’ve been lucky enough–and i do think that some of it is simply luck–to get some attention. But our approach hasn’t changed. Cool hair will always sell records.

PETER – As long as the whole band continues working full-time day jobs I’d say we’re still trying to “break out.”

FP: The whole garage pop scene seems to have blown up this year. Has this altered the way you create music, and has it affected your fan-base?

JOE – We have a fanbase?

PETER – No, there was a lot of excellent garage pop music predating 2009 that had a big influence on us and will continue to do so. I don’t think people really associate us with the lo-fi garage pop scene that got so much attention this year.

MATT – The songs on the record were all written and recorded before Wavves broke out, so what exactly are you implying??? But no, honestly, it hasn’t changed anything, except maybe how we’re written about online.

GG: Do you guys wear giant overcoats when you play or is that a record-cover thing only?

MAURA – The cover of our album isn’t us—it’s actually Peter’s stepdad’s band from Moscow in the 70s. And I think it’s safe to say we prefer t-shirts.

FP: Any plans to tour the West Coast?

MAURA – We would love to at some point. Peter is from California and we have friends in Los Angeles we’ve been wanting to see.

GG: Darlings … can you tell me where the moniker came from?

PETER – I think Matt proposed it. I’m not sure why it stuck.

MATT – It’s just a throwaway name. Easy enough to remember, i guess.

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