Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Darsombra Interview

I've been a fan of Brian Daniloski's music since his days in Meatjack, who were a staple of both CBGB's and my college all-nighters. With Darsombra, he took the slow menace of Meatjack and distilled it into something meditative and transcendental - coinciding with my own growing interest in doom/drone. I'm a sucker for music that pushes boundaries, so I e-mailed some questions to Brian, which he was kind enough to answer.

Dreams of Consciousness: How would you describe Darsombra?

An eargasm! An organically morphing entity. Currently Darsombra consists of two randy traveling minstrels roaming the globe in search of fun times with good people, good hiking trails and places to practice yoga, and epic food, all while putting on a mind altering audio-visual rock and roll show.

DoC: Darsombra makes fairly unorthodox music. What is your writing process like? Is there anything you wouldn't do in the context of Darsombra, musically speaking?

Sometimes I get a feeling, not even a melody or anything tangible as such, and I grab my guitar and/or some effects pedals and I try to convey that feeling. Other times I do indeed get a melody in my head from the aether and I try to translate that. Still other times I'll just jam for fun and something usually comes out of that. As far as the context, anything goes if it feels right. It's honest and always reflective of where we are currently.


DoC: At times the songs take on a meditative quality. Is there an intentional religious/spiritual element to Darsombra?

I do like to cultivate a meditative and spiritual quality to my music not only as a personal reflection and for my own enjoyment, but also as an invitation or an offering to the audience. If we can help people to another state of consciousness, or just to relax, with our performance, that is a good thing.

DoC: You recently embarked on a massive U.S. tour, including shows with Floor and Hot Victory. What was your favorite moment? What was your least favorite? Do you see yourselves going on another long tour like this again?

We just played 10 weeks of shows across the U.S. and we had a blast! It's very hard to name a favorite moment because there were so many of them but some highlights for me were: playing on a boat designed as a traveling theater stage in the Louisiana bayou, great hiking throughout the southwest, taking mushrooms in the redwoods, co-ed naked hot springs in California (somebody's gotta bring that to the east coast!), and of course ending our tour by playing a string of shows with Floor and Hot Victory. Least favorite. . . probably Ann getting food poisoning in Nebraska, or when we had to throw away our moldy bedroll at a rest stop in Washington. It's tour. Shit happens! Sometimes literally in your pants. We plan to do another tour like this the same time next year. There were still so many places we didn't get to visit. America is big!

DoC: How did Ann Everton become involved in the band? How has Darsombra changed since she joined?

It evolved very organically. Ann is a video artist. We were asked us to perform a collaborative piece at an event with Ann providing visuals while I made music. Instantly we realized how well this worked and decided to bring this element to Darsombra. We travel well together so it worked out great. A little later, at the coaxing of a friend, Ann joined me onstage, initially just to add vocals. Ann is a natural performer. Again, instantly we realized this worked really well and was fun. So we brought a synth and percussion into the mix. The sky's the limit.

photo by Jackson O'Connell
DoC: How important is the visual aspect to Darsombra's performance?

Pretty important. It's part of the whole performance at this point. We still do occasional shows in the outdoors in the daytime where projections aren't visible and we still have fun playing, but it really is something special in the dark with the visuals. There's an added cinematic dimension that we enjoy.

DoC: What do you want the audience to take away from Darsombra's live experience?

I remember a really good response in Indianapolis on this past tour--after the show, a woman came up to us and told us she wanted to buy some music to take home and fuck her man to. . . and then, a moment later, her man came up and told us how he was going to go home and fuck to our music! Glad they're on the same page! We're content just to make other people happy or feel inspired. I think inspiring others is the greatest compliment--though turning people on is of course a compliment as well!


DoC: How much of what you play live is improvised?

In a usual performance, most of the music is composed and, at times, in sync with the visuals, with a few places for improvising built in the overall compositions. Once in a while we'll do improv sets for special occasions, and we're trying to add in more room for improvisation overall when we get the chance. We have a performance coming up where we'll be inside a large outdoor installation constructed of found material with a bunch of handmade found material percussion instruments inside for the general public to explore and play. For that we will be improvising off of the sounds going on around us.

DoC: And now, my obligatory Meatjack question(s). [Sorry.] How do you feel when you look back on the band? Do you think Meatjack was appreciated during its time? What do you think their (your) legacy is?

I feel proud of what we did with Meatjack. I thought we were a damn good band (in my humble and unbiased opinion). I do feel that Meatjack was appreciated during its time in its own way. I laugh when people say "I hope you make it!" whatever that means to them. I did make it! I'm making it every day! I don't count heads. That has never been my goal with making music. It takes away from the fun of what I'm doing. If only 3 people appreciate something, I feel that it's just as valid as something appreciated by 3000 people. So yeah, I think Meatjack were appreciated, by a small and wonderful group of freaks! Legacy, that's a hard one. I guess we were one of a smallish group of bands that were operating in some sort of music underground, playing at the cutting edge of one of the myriad offshoot sub-genres of metal. Of the time and well played.

photo by Bronson Karaff
DoC: What does the future hold for Darsombra?

We're currently working on new material. We're playing the Kansas City Psych Fest in October with a few U.S. shows around it, and working on a European tour for right after that. Next spring we plan to do another big U.S. tour.

www.darsombra.com

Darsombra on Facebook

Darsombra on Bandcamp

Darsombra Tumblr


Dreams of Consciousness is on Facebook.

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