Paul Hebert

Local Punk Rockers – The Darlings

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Up and coming local punk rockers are rapidly gaining popularity using do-it-yourself tactics. These Los Angeles natives provide a unique blend of old punk with modern chorus hooks that make for a sound that is refreshing in today’s market of over produced music.

Recently I talked with lead guitarist Josh Kearney and bassist Chris Kranes to discuss their upcoming album and tour schedule. Tell me a little bit about the band, how would you describe yourselves?
Josh Kearney: We are not really re-inventing the wheel; we draw a lot of different influences. We all listen to different types of music, and it’s music that we grew up with and love to play. You gotta basically keep music around in this scene.

Chris Kranes: Our singer is influenced a lot by ’50 and ’60’s old school rock and roll, and we like Social D, Rise Against, and old school to. All our influences sort of mesh together and it creates our sound.

SCM: You have only been together for 3 or 4 years, right?
JK: Since 2005

SCM: That is relatively quick. A lot of bands will take a lot more time to really develop, did you know each other prior to putting the band together or did you just gel right from the start?
JK: Me and (Chris) Kranes went to High School together and Bud (Buddy Harris) lived next to one of my good friends. We would be over there partying and then he just came and started hanging out, and I was like “Oh you play guitar, I play guitar too. Let’s start writing some songs” and the band was formed.

CK: I used to be in a band back in the day and our current drummer was in another band on the same block and we all used to hang out, but we never imagined we would be in the same band.

SCM: So then you guys kind of all knew each other before forming the band?
JK: For Sure. Yeah

SCM: You have a 7 song EP that is out Now, which you released independently. How is that going?
CK: We did warped tour last week and we sold all the CD’s that we had, so they are going pretty good. We actually are working on the Full-length right now.

JK: We have sold a bunch on iTunes too which is good.

SCM: When is the full-length going to be out?
JK: We are going to try and put it out by the end of this year. We are trying to get it going, we are recording 7 songs right now that are pretty much done, so now we are just writing more songs.

SCM: How come there has been no major label interest? Your sound is awesome and I cannot understand why a major has not picked you up.
JK: There are people who have definitely shown interest, but I think a lot of people just are not signing right now. The economy is so bad and ticket sales are down, so I think the way to go now is DIY (do it yourself). Build yourself up so that the labels do not have to do as much work and put as much money into you.

SCM: You guys have done some pretty big gigs with Pennywise out in Vegas, do you have any other big gigs like that coming up anytime soon?
CK: There are a couple of things in the works but nothing solid yet. We are trying to focus on finishing the album right now.

JK: We are doing our first headlining show on August 15th in our home town. So that is going to be poppin at this spot called the Brixton. We have played there before with Strung Out, Gutter Mouth and the Circle Jerks and bands like that so that should be pretty cool.

SCM: What is the next step for the band?
CK: After the album, hopefully get on a tour and just get out there more and promote. Try and get on the road is our goal after we finish this album.

SCM: Now you did the Warped Tour in ’08 and you have only picked up a few stops in ’09?
JK: Yeah we did Ventura this year and then we are trying to pick up some more when it comes back to LA.

SCM: Cool, we will be at the Carson one
JK: Yeah we are trying to get on that and all the California dates.

SCM: Carson is practically in your back yard
JK: Exactly

SCM: So where are you recording at? Here in LA?
JK: We actually do all our recording DIY. Where we practice there is a room right next to the garage and we have a snake running out. We’ll record the drums in there, the guitars and bass, bring them in the house and record on Pro-Tool and then have one of our homies mix it for us. So everything is DIY.

SCM: Wow, that’s impressive.
CK: Yeah we just did a video too. We filmed it with Josh’s camera and had our buddy chop it up and stuff. We are trying to work with what we can within our budget.

SCM: Now I saw your latest video up on your myspace and that is about as professional looking as it gets.
JK: Yeah we filmed that with my camera and just had my homie edit it. It is really cool because all your friends get involved doing something like that.

SCM: I can’t believe you did that yourselves, that’s impressive.
CK: Yeah thanks, we are stoked at how it came out for Free. It is really cool how it ended up.

SCM: How has the reception been, you did Warped and sold out of CD’s in Ventura, but how was the crowd reception? Warped is really weird depending on where you are you can either have a crowd or not just based on where you are located?
JK: We played the Ernie Ball stage which is a smaller side stage but we are endorsed by Ernie Ball which is cool. We had a lot of foot traffic and we had a good crowd. To this day we are getting friend requests on myspace like “Oh we saw you at Ventura” so that is pretty cool.

CK: This year was a lot better too, I think . Last year was all emo and screamo but this year we have NOFX and Bad Religion on this one.

JK: Guttermouth and Adolescents, it’s a lot more punk bands so it’s cool.

SCM: Yeah it’s definitely a lot more punk Warped tour this year with the Old-School punk stage, that’s all that there is.
JK: Right

SCM: What is the next big step other than trying to get on a tour. Your doing twitter and you have your myspace, but what’s next?
CK: We are trying to exploit the internet, we have a facebook. Myspace is kind of going down, everyone seems to get less traffic on it, so we are just trying to expand on all the new websites. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and anything like that. With the internet you can’t lose, so we are trying to exploit that a lot. We’re just trying to get out there, put stickers up and spread the word you know, anything we can do within our budget.

SCM: Well thanks for your time guys, anything that we left off that you want to say?
JK: I just want to give a shout out to all the bands that have helped us out along the way mostly like Pennywise, the guys at Strung Out, Street Dogs and all these bands we are playing with more than one time. They look out for us and give us more shows and help out.

CK: They have been extra supportive which is pretty cool.

SCM: Street Dogs were just here recently with the Offspring.
JK: Yeah they took a day off the Offspring tour and did a day with us. So that was pretty cool.

You can catch The Darlings on July 25, at the Cobalt Club in Canoga Park and at the first headlining show on Aug. 15 at The Brixton in Redondo Beach. You can help The Darlings get on the Warped Tour by voting for them here.

For more information on The Darlings visit them online at myspace, Facebook or Twitter.

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