The Dark is a Berlin based rock music project originating in Los Angeles, CA in 2015. Their music will remind you of bands like ‘The Killers’, ‘White Stripes’, ‘Foo Fighters’ and ‘She Wants Revenge’. When listening to this group there’s no doubt it will get immediately stuck in your head.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in Turin, Italy a city of sinister legends and fine quality chocolate production. I remember my city back in the 90’s: heroin consumption was at its peak while grunge and nu metal were collecting hearts and souls all over Europe. I used to listen to Bowie and Morrison when I was a kid and then I discovered the music of Nirvana and NIN. Living in Turin started to suck at some point, also because of the close-minded, boring mentality typical of a catholic city from the north. I was already an outsider and couldn’t fit in anymore, I needed to get the hell outta there. London and Amsterdam felt like suitable options but I really never felt in the right place. I was already touring a lot back then, mainly Europe and Russia. Coming back from tour has always been complicated. I used to feel very lonely and left alone with my demons. Givin’ in to narcotics and casual sex sounded like a good way to forget about my real problems. I started traveling a lot back and forth to Los Angeles. At first it was like a dream. Everyone seemed really cool, Cali girls were hot and everything was different from what I was used to in Europe. I decided to move to LA and say kiss goodbye to my old life ready to start a new, exciting one.
Could you share a good musical story from your past to the present:
I shot a music video for my single “My Decadent Thursday” directed by Chad Michael Word and started playing shows immediately. It didn’t take too long to get noticed by Jonny Coffin, owner at Coffin Case. He invited me over his quarters in NoHo and we discussed music and opportunities. He suggested it was time for me to start a new band that we decided to call The Dark. He helped me to move my first steps toward the right direction. Unfortunately everything takes a huge amount of cash in LA and soon enough I found myself with no possibilities to finance my career as an artist anymore. I went down another downward spiral, I almost died a few times under different circumstances. You see, my hopes were taken away too soon and I could hardly find motivation in music. This is also because I’ve never went to play for another band, I’ve always tried to do my own thing following my own ideas. So at some point I packed my shit and moved to Berlin, the place to be. Here I found joy in writing music again, I started creating new material everyday until I was able to put together an album. I decided I was gonna mix it and master it, everything needed to sound authentic in order to capture a unique moment that will never repeat itself again.
What’s new and exciting in the The Dark world?
I was able to get The Dark signed with Eventmanagement-FFM which I would like to thank for their interest in this project. We are planning a tour and a few festival appearances in Europe for now. We are going to spend the entire summer rehearsing a great show. I truly believe this band will conquer many hearts on the road. It’s been a secret until now that I’m willing to reveal to Dark Beauty, I’ve already wrote a bunch of demos for the second album and it sounds sick. The exciting thing about my life as an artist these days is that I never spend a single day without making art. It has become highly addictive and I’m always fascinated with a new challenge. I have the ambition of leaving a mark with The Dark and say things that nobody else dares to say anymore. I’m ready to do what feels right and I never want to sound exactly the same with each album. The music I make reflects the way I live my life. I never stop looking at things from a different point of view and that’s the core of my art. I like to experiment with music in the same measure, I never get tired of trying new things in life, especially the ones just a few others would dare to try.
Where did you record the new album?
I decided this album should sound dirty and sexy like the place I live in. I made a home studio in my penthouse in Kreuzberg. I have a very nice view of my neighborhood from my window, it’s a melting pot. Berlin has its own ecosystem and everything works out in mysterious ways the end. It’s an old building facing one of the most infamous subway stations in town, this place is a fuckin’ circus. Nobody gives a fuck about the way you look in Berlin, anything goes, you could walk down the street with your dick out without getting arrested. Bordellos and sex clubs right next to a mosque, the old soviet buildings facing the new generation glass houses and everyone gathers by the river during summer. Public sex is really not a problem, there is plenty of tolerance and this place is filled with talent from all over the world. I let this Berlin inspire me to Write. Live. Create. Destroy. I gave it permission to take my soul and fuck me to the bone until I became part of it.
Any magical moments during the recording sessions you can recall?
The magical moment happened once when I was finally able to get the first mix done. I went for very unusual sounds. For example I processed my guitar sound very harshly with lots of compression and a shit load of digital fuzz. That managed to create a great impact but also lots of air on the super high ends that had to be removed without affecting the tone on the mid/high ends. It also needs to be said I went for a overall A# tuning for all instruments. I play rock with my own rules and I like to do things other will call me crazy for. It’s been very hard task managing to obtain a balanced sound using all this saturation and distortion. I even think some music magazine writers have mistaken my guitars for harsh synth sounds. Generating a general sense of chaos and confusion about my art amuses and flatters me at the same time. I also had some other sound guys way more experienced than me telling me I was nuts and I would have end up ruining my own record because they thought my sound was wrong. I promised myself I would have proved them wrong, all of them. There was a moment when all the frequencies of the music came together and magically revealed the signature sound of this album. That’s also the moment I felt my dick getting hard in my pants.
You have a new music video ‘Dirty Girl’ with a cameo from Lola Las Vegas. How did you cast her in the video?
I remember scrolling through new Instagram profiles. I spend lots of time on social media, if you are an artist and you don’t then you definitely should because that’s where everyone is right now. Anyway I found her picture through #AlternativeGirl and I saw this very impactful, sexy shot. A very simple flash shot with a glamour/trashy/editorial style. That’s definitely my favorite style in photography. I immediately thought she would have been perfect to have a role in our Dirty Girl music video. I was finished writing a script for it and I had a very precise style in my mind. I got very curious so I went checking out her profile and also found the name of the photographer who shot her, a guy named Fabzblack. His pictures were dirty as fuck, very powerful content. I was simply mesmerized when I found out such a great photographer lived in my same town. A few days went by and I decided to post a few provoking pictures on The Dark page as I was getting ready to start the album launch. I think he saw a picture of me very androgynous wearing a woman’s dress and he got interested in me. He wrote me the day after and I remember I was very excited to see he liked my style. He sent me a few very cool moods and showed up at my doorstep to take photos of me. We built a great set in my living room, I wanted to capture a moment of decay to show everyone what Live. Create. Destroy. was about. We made great art together and I asked him if he wanted to shoot my next music video for Dirty Girl. He introduced me to Lola Las Vegas, a great model to work with, very professional and fun at the same time. I think you could say it was destiny, we were all meant to combine our talents together and give life to amazing art.
There’s been a void of rock stars in the music scene as of late. You guys are doing a killer job carrying that Rockn’Roll tradition. Do you think it’s something your born with and in your blood?
I can only speak for myself, I was born a leader and a rebel. This combination plus my passion for loud vocals and noisy guitar riffs made me the person I am today. Acting like a rock star doesn’t make you one unless you have something real to show and things to say that people wanna hear. I love to provoke and to do things my own fashion. I honestly never gave a fuck about what others think of me even if at the same time I’m a huge attention whore and I need people’s love. This obviously caused me pain and loneliness, I’ve never felt understood or accepted, when I was a teenager, girls didn’t wanna go out on a date with me because they thought I was weird. Part of my family have always rejected me, I’ve been called a faggot a million times and many tried to take me down physically and psychologically, unfortunately it has often happened with the ones who were supposed to be friends or lovers. So I decided I was gonna have my moment one way or the other, like in the Bowie song Heroes. A few years ago I was hanging out backstage before hitting the stage in front of 50K people opening for Iron Maiden and I simply thought I was born to do this, it felt natural.
Who are some of your musical heroes?
I have many but the ones that stick out the most are Bowie, Jim Morrison and Peter Murphy.
Tell us about some memorable shows you performed in Hollywood and why they stick out:
We played some sick shows in LA, partly because every venue has so much rock and roll history you can’t help but feel that. I’d have to say opening up for Peter Murphy at Club Nokia was my all time favorite shows. He’s been a hero of mine as far as I can remember, when he complimented my performance after the gig I told myself I’ve officially made it.
Where would you like to be in 2 years?
I want to be on a spaceship playing music for sexy alien gods but if that doesn’t happen I’ll settle for a nice life touring the US and Europe 3 albums deep.
First another music video, then some collaborations, touring and I’ll end the year with a second album and maybe some covers too, why not?
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
I’ve always had darkness inside of me, I think a lot of people do. Some try to hide it, some try to mask it or fill it with material pleasures. Yet only when you truly give into your darkness can you see yourself for who you are truly meant to be. When you accept that your darkness is a part of what feeds your art, your desires and your passions, will you find the beauty in that. It’s why I named my band The Dark, it’s such a part of me and everything I do creatively. I want others to never be afraid of embracing the dark beauty that hides inside of them.