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Interview: Darlia

24th March 2014

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“That was weird”.

DarliaI have just witnessed the weirdest performance ever.

New rock prospects Darlia are officially ‘to loud for London’. The decibels of their session for Gigwise, in the empty upstairs of Vibe Bar off Brick Lane, shook the businesses of the local vicinity to their core. There was panic in the air – this had to stop.

The band then had to perform their second run-through unamplified, as if muffled – a truly strange rock happening.

Rock without the volume.

Introverted and shy (maybe awkward) front-man Nathan Day is visibly shaken and perplexed by this weird occurrence. None the less we sit down to a chat about Darlia’s place in the current rock landscape, as part the new rock vanguard with the likes of Drenge, Royal Blood and Superfood, their influences and throwing shoes.

It’s a week later now, and the weird things keep happening.

After listening to the recording of our chat, it has now disappeared from my phone!. The notebook with my few scribbled notes has every page except the one with notes about Darlia.

What kind of voodoo madness is this? I can piece together elements of the chat to form a understanding of this old band trapped in a new bands body – despite their protestations Darlia have the rock sound of 1994.

But don’t call them grunge!! Never call them GRUNGE! Day shuffled in his seat at the suggestion they are the “best grunge band in Blackpool”. 

He has that classic rock star detachment from the music around him – they are not like any of it old or new, despite the obvious cues from 90s rock.

At just 19 Nathan was not even old enough to have witnessed the precursors to their sound first hand.

Day himself doesn’t listen to music at all. If he does it consumes him totally and he can’t function. Because of this he doesn’t go to gigs, the concept of watching a band in a throng of other people is a strange concept.

So his route to music is to make it himself, putting his all-consuming engagement with it into the direct making of it. A true transcending artist, alone in the musical universe but positioned with many others – is it real or contradiction?

All this makes Darlia’s very obvious influences hard to understand. Nathan explained his theory they had learnt this music as youngsters, through osmosis – like it had seeped into their subconscious not as a thing they actively loved or experience.

They are the result of the music tastes of their own unconscious minds!

In this way Darlia could be said to be making metaphysical rock.

It’s not just the sounds that have a familiar air for a rock band. They have the classic breaking out of a desolate town back story, and Day recalled the eeriness of out-of-season Blackpool, devoid of holiday-makers and in most cases a decent music scene.

The three piece are now Manchester based, to escape and succeed. A tale as old as time.

Also, there’s a tangible angst flowing through the whole shebang and Day has the whole fractured, tortured persona thing down. There’s enough emotion to make teenagers cry and enough crushing riffage to start a few mosh-pits.

Certainly watching them live they have chops to succeed, and success is indeed coming thick and fast.

Rock is making its way back into the commercial realm and with mainstream DJs like Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe spinning the grooves off their records, Darlia are at the top of this new mainstream rock ascent.

This, all in all, is the remnants of my time with Darlia, My truth of Darlia.

Of course I could have it all wrong!

There of clearly cosmic forces at work here that I am not in control of.

The spell of Darlia is one of incredible new rock, and one worth falling under – even if understanding it can be a challenge.


Check out the band at the following dates:

28th March – Sound Control, Manchester 

29th March – Unit, Southampton 

31st March – The Cellar, Oxford 

1st April – Water Rats, London

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