Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Those Darlins' world of music

Tennessee southern rockin' darlings Those Darlins will be returning to Louisville this Saturday to perform at the 10th Annual local Lebowski Fest, sharing the Garden Party with The Seedy Seeds, How I Became the Bomb and Junk Yard Dogs. Their latest album, Screws Get Loose, is currently shakin' up turntables from here to Tokyo and back again.
LEO spoke with Jessi Darlin.

LEO: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard you yet?
JD: '50s and '60s rock 'n' roll meets 70s punk plus a buncha gal group pop sensation from the South.

LEO: How challenging is it for you to channel older sounds, and make it sound modern and relevant?
JD: Not very challenging. We are modern people who listen to a lot of classic music. We just mix the two, always trying to stay true to our real life experiences.

LEO: How do your surroundings inspire your music?
JD: Well, I write songs about me and things that happen to me. So I'd say surroundings are a good portion of inspiration. I grew up in rural Kentucky and have lived in Tennessee for awhile. My rural upbringing and the musician friends in Nashville, Murfreesboro and surrounding cities like Atlanta and Memphis have influenced our music a lot. Our music can sound like a mix of that rural and urban Southern music.

LEO: How much do you feel inspired by other forms of American pop or ethnic music genres?
JD: TONS. It's all up in our sound. We love country, soul, and Chuck Berry. Lately, I have been listening to Jamaican rocksteady, Peruvian descarga, and afro high life.

LEO: In the studio, how much do you try to capture your live sound? How free do you feel to experiment with sounds you might not be able to recreate live?
JD: In the studio, we try to capture our live sound, and then when we play live we try to capture our studio sound. It's an ongoing battle to make the two work together.

LEO: Do you read your reviews? If yes, do you find that helpful?
JD: Mostly no. Occasionally, someone mentions that a particular review was written well and I read it. I don't even have Google alerts on Those Darlins. It's just too easy to get caught up in what everyone else thinks about you. I like to make music that I like and I don't want to be thinking about, "Oh, will this get a good review?" when I am writing. Thinking more about turning myself, the band and fans on.

LEO: How much popularity and fame do you want to achieve? Is there a level where it could get to be too much?
JD: Famous enough to continue playing music and doing what I love for the rest of my life, but not so famous that I need bodyguards to go the grocery store. But if for some reason we did become insanely huge sensations and got filthy stinking rich, there's a lot of causes I would love to throw ridiculous chunks of money at. There are so many people suffering in this world and there’s so many bright ideas that need funding that it would be pretty great to be able to make some dreams come true.

LEO: What do you hate most about the music business?
JD: I hate the standards of mainstream radio. I hate that turning on "rock" radio means hearing some dude sing like a dying dog with a wall of cheesy distorted guitars behind him, or that "pop" radio is just some oversexed icon with a big dose of Autotune, or when you turn on "country" radio you aren't really sure if you are still on the pop radio, or when you listen to rap and r&b radio you think, "Oh wow, I love this song! Can't believe it's on the radio," then it just turns out it's a sample. So many people have no idea there is a whole other WORLD of music out there! Music that everyday people make, not just some money-making machine!

LEO: What do you think about Louisville today?
JD: I think Louisville is a very cool place. I love playing there, there's great food, lots of great art... Enjoyable place to be. Plus, I get to see my family every time we play there, so obviously that makes it one of my most favorite stops.

Those Darlins with The Seedy Seeds, How I Became the Bomb and Junk Yard Dogs
"10th Annual Lebowski Fest Louisville: Garden Party"
Executive Lawn
911 Phillips Ln.
Saturday, July 16
4 p.m.
$12 adv. $15 DOS

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