The Darling Fire - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the chance to interview Jolie and Jeronimo from The Darling Fire. Check out the full interview below.

First off, thanks for the interview.
Jolie: Glad to do it!  Thank you for asking.

For those not familiar with your band, you're sort of a supergroup of members from a lot of bands.  You have ties to Further Seems Forever, Rocking Horse Winner, Dashboard Confessional, as well as a couple others.  Can you tell me how the project came together and how everyone got involved?
Jolie: Well, originally Jeronimo and I began writing music casually.  We had no specific plans for it at first - we just wanted to write music together and to learn how to record at home.  Once we had a couple of demos recorded, we sent one to our longtime friend, Steven Kleisath (drummer for Further Seems Forever, Shai Hulud) to see if he'd be interested in writing drums for it.  He was excited about it and said he could see the potential, so I would say at that point it began to escalate.  We wanted to have two guitar players, so we realized we'd need to bring in another guitar player and a bassist.  We asked Matthew Short to join - he was around during the days of The Rocking Horse Winner - and Gregg Moore was an old friend of Steven's, so he was brought in a little while afterward.  The first song we sent Steven actually made it to the upcoming record, which is pretty cool!

With Jolie doing vocals and being so well known for Rocking Horse Winner was there ever a thought that maybe the new music would ever be for a new Rocking Horse Winner album or did you know right at start you wanted something fresh and new?
Jolie: Actually, this was a brand new thing from the beginning.  We never intended for these songs to be for The Rocking Horse Winner.  The sound is definitely different from what we did back then.

Jeronimo: When we started writing, we wanted to do something heavier than Rocking Horse.

You have a new single and album that was recently announced.  What can you tell me about the songwriting process for this new album?
Jeronimo: For this upcoming album, I would usually start the writing process, program the drums, write some of the guitars, Jolie writes and records her parts and then we present it to the band to add their finishing touches - such as writing the drums, writing the bass and adding some of Matthew's leads.  Their touches always add so much.

Can you tell me about the new single and why you chose it as an introduction to the album?
Jeronimo: "For the Loveless" is a song for the Hikikomori, a segment of the Japanese population that basically isolate themselves from society.  We felt like it was a good representation of the band sonically, so it would be the best introduction to what we'll be presenting in full this summer.

I listened to the new single and I think the music sounds really powerful.  It's coupled with a really strong and thoughtful vocal performance.  How did you find the sound of the band?
Jeronimo: We set out wanting to do something a little heavier and we just kind of stumbled upon this sound.  I've always been drawn to heavier music, so that's what I wanted to write.

Jolie: When Jeronimo would write a song, he'd have an overall sound in mind, but he would tell me it has a different feeling after I put my vocals over it.  We basically just wrote what we would want to listen to ourselves and what came naturally.  We weren't specifically going for this particular sound that resulted.
The album is coming out on vinyl and I really like how the artwork and vinyl variants work together and compliment each other.  Who came up with the concept for the artwork and how did you decide the vinyl variants for it?
Jeronimo: Regarding the artwork, we wanted something a little dark and moody and we really liked Landland's hand drawn approach, so we asked they to design our cover.  We're really happy with the result!

Jolie: We can credit John Frazier at our label Spartan Records for the vinyl variants.  He has a great eye for that side of things and we love the colors he chose!  He wanted to pick from elements of the design - the night sky, the fire, the trees...we feel they complement the cover well.

You have Steve Kleisath in the band.  From everything I've ever heard in terms of music, as well as people who have been in bands with him, it all stacks up to him being such a prolific drummer.  What is it like having him in the band and is he really as good in practice and during writing as everyone says?
Jeronimo: Steven is ridiculous...he learns songs super fast and he doesn't even need to be behind a drumset to learn them.  He can tap on his legs to come up with parts.  The guy's a machine!  Along with all of that, he's one of the nicest people we've ever met.  We're super lucky to have him.

Jolie: In fact, two of the songs that made the upcoming record were written just that way - on his knees in our living room - about a week before we went to record with J. Robbins!  The first time we played them all together with drums was in the studio...

I watched some of your live performances on YouTube and the band seems to have a great energy.  What do you aspire to achieve with your live show and what can people expect when they come see The Darling Fire?
Jeronimo: We hope to entertain! Hopefully people will have a good time and like our style of rock and roll. Expect to bring earplugs...

Jolie, you appeared on some songs for what became these huge Dashboard Confessional albums. At the time of recording them did you get a feeling they were going to be big?  What was working on them like?  Do you still keep up with Chris Carrabba?
Jolie: At the time, a good friend asked me to sing on his albums and I'm so happy for him and his success.  I had a lot of fun doing that - it was one of the earliest things I did and I have a special memory of that time - and yes, Chris and I still talk on occasion.  I still call him a friend.

I guess that about wraps it up.  Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions.  Do you have anything else you would like to add?
Jeronimo: Thank you to anyone who has pre-ordered the album or has supported us in any way!  We'll see you on the road...

Pre-order the band's album 'Dark Celebration': HERE.

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