Virgins Fill The Darkenin Heart Questionnaire

Darkenin Heart

What do you consider to be the darkest piece of music you’ve ever heard?
I think there’s a lot of music out there that comes from a psychological dark place. Just pick up any NIN record for instance. But I think the darkest piece of music I’ve ever heard is the Bedlam in Goliath record by the Mars Volta. So, the story goes, that while in Jerusalem Cedric and Omar bought this antique-talking board-ouija board style game. They proceeded to use the board, then through the use, three various voices/spirits/entities came through revealing themselves under the guise of ‘Goliath’ a male spirit, a female spirit and her mother. Cedric used their communications with Goliath to write the lyrics for the album. In the process of creating the album, their studio flooded twice, their engineer had a nervous breakdown and tracks would randomly disappear. To help break this ‘curse’, Omar broke the board in half, took it into the desert and buried it.
Listening to some of the lyrics, with that knowledge in mind are pretty terrifying.

‘This is a list, they're my demands Suffocate the inkwell, "I am legion," said the pen Her seraph snout and cruciform limp’ ‘Folding wormholes My time is riding in the alphabet’

I am not a religious man, but I’d respect whatever darkness brought through to our world enough not to mess with it. My feeling is, you buy a Ouija board in a curio shop in Jerusalem and you’re asking for whatever sweet hell you unleash.

Is it a case of never let the truth get in the way of a good story or something much more horrific?

How would you characterize your own music?
We’re a shoegaze band, I think sometimes people see that as a dirty word but when I started this it was very much with the intention of being a shoegaze band. I know way back when, it was a slur against those kinds of bands, but it’s something we fully embrace. In terms of what that means, there’s a lot of fuzz, a lot of reverb, a lot of guitar pedals, it's heavy but floaty at the same, with gossamer wanting vocals and there’s a lot of melody and pop influence buried amongst the walls of fuzz. There's a sensuality to our music, its very textured and we like to juxtapose different elements against each other. Lyrically it covers a range of things, love, sex, death, loss, redemption, sometimes all at once.

What are your musical aspirations?
My musical aspirations center around being able to continue to allow the band to exist and grow. Writing and playing live are the two most important aspects of making music to me. Writing, is the exploration and discovery of something that comes from nothing. Its getting out of your own way and allowing your subconscious to present ideas to you. Then it’s up to you to take, shape and mold that into something. Sometimes it all comes out full formed, but the excitement is in the chase, approaching things in a new way, opening new doors rhythmically or melodically. Live, is the immediate connection and release, it’s the environment in which all those songs are meant to be heard. Letting the music fill a room and envelope you. I love recording and I love the process of releasing music, conceptually and creating art for it and the campaign around it. Similarly, the thrill of hearing our music on the radio or holding the vinyl is immense but those things are enablers. They enable us to keep playing live, and keep a fan base engaged and they’ll last and become the representation of the band that goes beyond us.
I’d love to continue to see us grow, reach new people, play new places and find new paths musically, we’re always writing, always pushing forward.

What are your main musical inspirations?
Slow Crush are my main inspiration for all of this. Their Aurora record set me on this gazey path! I continually go back to their stuff, the sounds, arrangements and the mixes of their records are a constant source of inspiration. Then, of course, My Bloody Valentine, they truly stand alone in this genre, and Loveless is a once in a human-existance, nevermind life time kinda record. I love Slowdive and Nothing as well. Each band has their own approach to all this while pulling from the same playbook. I also really like Lana Del Rey, and the space and melodies on her first few records are something I constantly harken back to. I try and incorporate things outside of music into our music as well. Sophia Coppola’s work is something that’s very influential for me.

What are your main goals in life?
Don’t fucking waste it. If you want something go after it. If you want to be something just be it. Don’t let people stand in your way or dictate to you what can or can’t be done.

What motivates you to create?
I think it’s a deep seeded drive in me, there’s something in me that has to come out, I get weird when I don’t get the chance to play guitar or play drums. It’s an itch that constantly needs scratched, maybe there’s a cream for that? I know for some people can come to it then walk away and leave it for a while and that’s a necessary part of their process. For me I need to do it constantly, so I’ve various different avenues that allow me to do that. I think what it comes down to is I love it, it’s the thing that brings me the most joy in the world, so why not go after that as much as possible.

Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?
I can be both! Part of me loves getting up early and being productive while it's quiet but you get other things done in the dark.

Besides music, what other art forms would you like to explore?
Well, I do the art for us as well, I’ve kinda taught myself how to do that through necessity really. I don’t think anyone else can get as close to the idea in your head as you, it’s just developing the skill set to do that. So, I’m figuring how to get closer and closer to that the more I do it. Learning digital design was challenging. I’d love to do more video stuff, maybe try some short with a bit of a narrative, even if it’s for a music video for us. That’s really the next thing I’d love to do. I’ve a few ideas percolating!

Which is the very first record that had a big impact on you?
Nirvana – Nevermind, they’re really the band that made me want to be in a band. I was too young to experience that whole thing when it happened but when I got turned onto ‘rock’ in secondary school they were my band. It’s a stunning record, that even today, still holds up. The production is amazing, balancing so many different things, the punk rock fury, the pop sensibilities, retaining the energy of the exorcism of whatever the band had to cleanse themselves of, while making it accessible.

What is the best decade for music?
Hopefully that’s an evolving thing, one feeds the other. There’s a lot of fantastic music coming now. So many great bands, the shoegaze scene in particular is unreal right now, Glixen, Blushing, Velvet, Wisp, Glimmer, Bleach Lab, Whitelands, Deary.. I am a fan of 90’s stuff though.

What do your future plans include?
We just released our new single ‘s o f t e r’ and we have our album ‘nothing hurt and everything was beautiful’ coming out April 11th through Blowtorch Records on starburst vinyl. We’re going to play a bunch of shows and go on tour to support this. And work on lots of new music in the background!
nothing hurt and everything was beautiful releases April 11th via Blowtorch Records

Album Launch Party:
April 26th, Dublin – Sin E
April 27th, Belfast – Deers Head
Band photography by Ebony Alexander
All questions answered by Michael Smyth

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