Paul Hebert

Interview: Chris Kranes of The Darlings

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Local punk rockers The Darlings are hard at work in the studio putting the final touches on their first full length album, but bassist Chris Kranes took some time out to discuss the progress of the album, their success at the Ernie Ball Battle of Bands, and his disappointment with not being able to order skin flutes with his Guitar Center prize. Why a major label hasn’t jumped on this powerhouse yet, baffles me completely, I would catch them at a local show before it is too late. The band is comprised of dueling guitars of Buddy Harris and Josh Kearney, Harris also lends his powerful vocals to the group, while the rhythm section is comprised of Kranes and Josh Fasen on Drums.

SoCalMusicToday.com: Tell me a little bit about what is happening with The Darlings now, you guys have obviously taken some big leaps since the last time we talked (early in 2009).

Chris Kranes: Yeah we have been working on this album. It is our first full length album and we are really stoked on it. We have almost all done, we have about 9 or 10 songs so far and we are going for around 14 so we got it over 3/4 of the way done. We have been kind of under the radar just doing one-off shows here and there because we have been working on this album, so we are just waiting for this thing to drop so we can start touring and shopping it to labels, because you know we are still unsigned.

SCMT: Do you have an ETA on when the album will be ready?

Chris: We are looking at February pretty much. We are trying to get it out by then, but it could be March, we don’t have a solid date yet. We are shooting for February on that though.

SCMT: So are you going to release it independently and then try and pick up a major label after that, or try and get a major label secured before?

Chris: Honestly we are trying to get at labels now with what we have so far, and give them a little taste of what we got. It would be awesome to release it on a label, an Indie would be nice or a sub of major would be nice. I mean you gotta walk before you run. If we got on a major that would be crazy, it would be awesome but a good independent would be good distribution on this album. We are trying to get it out there to labels with what we got before we are all done, because it would be awesome to release the full-length on a label, so we are trying to do that.

SCMT: Obviously you have had some pretty major success with the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands competition, tell me about how that came about and what the experience was like for you guys.

Chris: It was crazy winning. The last thing I won in my life was a hash brown on a McDonald’s cup, so it was crazy winning it. The other bands were really good, so it was some stiff competition, but we played our hearts out and we got all our friends and fans out there. It looks good when everyone is going off. We just practiced a lot and getting ready for the show. It was a good experience, I can’t believe we won, because the other bands were good too, and when they announced us and said “the winning band is from Hermosa Beach” we were all just stoked and people were pouring beer on us like when a coach wins the Super Bowl it was just crazy. The prizes are real crazy too, the Guitar Center thing and the 2 weeks on Warped Tour and all endorsements, we haven’t really registered it all yet.

SCMT: Any idea what you are going to do with the Guitar Center prize ($15,000)

Chris: Just put down that we are going to order a bunch of skin flutes, we wanted skin flutes but they are on back order. No.. We are going to get guitars and equipment and maybe a backup amp for us, I know tall Josh wanted a keyboard and just random stuff. We are going to split it four ways and we are each going to have around $3700. I know I am going to be getting a bass and amp from there, but we haven’t fully decided. Everyone is pretty much going to get guitars, I think Josh is going to get a DW Drum kit.

SCMT: So you guys will be going out on the road with all new gear.

Chris: I know, I’m stoked.

SCMT: Just in time to tear it all apart and get it some road use on it.

Chirs: I know, we have already tried to get good equipment. We all work and put all our money into our equipment, so we already have decent stuff but it is just awesome to be able to have backup amps and brand new guitars and recording equipment and it’s a blessing we are really thankful.

SCMT: Any thoughts on what part of the Warped Tour you will be on? Will you be on in the beginning so you can hit all the California dates, has that been decided yet?

Chris: It hasn’t been really confirmed where we are going to be get put. If we had to pick it would probably be West Coast or Mid West, but you have to branch out from where you start. To do East Coast would be cool, but if we had to pick it would be West Coast or Mid West because we need to branch out from where we are at. Who knows when the next time we will be on the East Coast, but hopefully pretty soon. So, we are not sure yet, but we would like to do the West Coast or Mid West, but anything would be great.

SCMT: Maybe do that last leg and pickup the Carson show and up the West Coast, You gotta play in the Hometown.

Chris: I know definitely, totally. Yeah? We want to get out, we have been out of state a few times, Vegas, and that one Warped Tour a couple of years ago we did Florida and Atlanta. It would be nice to saturate the immediate West Coast or Mid West, that would be our most strategic move.

SCMT: Maybe you’ll get on at the beginning and just blow them away and they will have to keep you on for the whole thing.

Chris: Yeah totally. Who knows that would be awesome if they kept us on the whole thing. We are thankful for those 2 weeks. It would be great, especially since the album will be out. The album will be out in February or March at the latest so it is perfect timing.

SCMT: You guys are in line with another Orange County band Pennywise, where you have this opening trailer for the Anaheim Ducks, how did that come about?

Chris: Our buddy is in with FOX and he puts together some stuff for FOX. He showed the guys, some of the guys on the team, our stuff and they liked it, so they gave him the go ahead to chop up a little trailer for before the game. So we pretty much had an in with FOX. We were so stoked when that happened, it is a huge thing. Hopefully the Ducks do good this year, because the more they play the more that trailer gets aired, so were rooting for them.

SCMT: How has your website traffic been since then?

Chris: I got a few calls the first time it came out, a bunch of people from my work were calling and saying how they thought they heard our song on there, and when they looked up and saw the myspace URL on the TV. So it was pretty cool.

SCMT: So is your myspace getting more views now because of it?

Chris: Yeah it has been growing. Ever since Facebook and Twitter came out it started to water down MySpace but it is starting to pick back up because it is the only website that still has the player on it. It is starting to pick up and we are gaining plays from doing shows and that Ducks thing has made a little impact for sure.

SCMT: Congratulations on winning the Battle of the Bands, that is going to be huge for you guys, I am hoping you do the West Coast warped tour so we can check you out, but I am partial. Keep doing what your doing, and much continued success.

Chris: Thanks again for all the support.

You can catch The Darlings Live this Saturday with Guttermouth at The Vibe in Riverside and on January 30 at the El Rey Theatre with Strung Out, for more information visit www.myspace.com/thedarlings

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