Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Kris Fiore on the guitar, Adrian Gray on the bass, Dam Fanti on the drums and…me…singer / guitarist Brandon Ashley.
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to The Dark? How long has The Dark been around?
The Dark has been around since 2015. I started the band when I used to live in LA, before relocating to Berlin Germany. Before then I had this band called Brandon Ashley & The Silverbugs which I made two records with and toured for 3 years all around the globe. I’ve rarely offered my services to any other band or brand, I’m a visionary and I need to be doing my own thing. I also play in a different act called Corlyx, a female fronted band which I co-produce and play the guitar for.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Back in the day Mr. Jonny Coffin from Coffin Case reached out to me and invited me over to his office in North Hollywood to talk music and opportunities. He noticed me because I had just released the music video for my solo single “My Decadent Thursday”, the song I’m the most popular for still to this day. He suggested it was time for me to start a new band. After brainstorming for a while the name The Dark sounded like the right one. I thought at first:”Too bad, it’s probably already taken”. Surprisingly it wasn’t and we were rapidly able to gain momentum and a decent fanbase while opening shows for names like Peter Murphy, Orgy, Wednesday 13. We stayed The Dark since then and even now more than ever while working on getting our brand established starting with Berlin.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
I am the main writer for The Dark. I have collaborated with other artists throughout the time and I’m thankful for it. Our debut album “Live. Create. Destroy.” it’s a very serious affair for me. It’s my death and resurrection. This record is a collection of songs inspired by a decade of madness. Pain, love, anger and struggle gave life to an insightful work describing the path I went through in order to become the artist I am today. I had to finish this record in order to let the demons rest…at least for a while.
The song Lost At Sea was written to remember my father Renato who died tragically on a expedition in the Mediterranean Sea when I was 18 years old. Him and his father, my grandfather sailed on a voyage from Italy to Greece during the night, a storm hit and they were never heard from again. I am the last of our blood line.
My relationship with my father was always very complicated, but he was the one who gave me my music gift, he was a jazz pianist, he lived an exciting life and met his fate in the exact way he chose to live.
It took me years to recover from this traumatic event and writing this song was one of the most important accomplishments in my life, I hope somehow, he can hear it from the afterlife.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
This album was inspired by my biggest passion which is 90’s rock. I wanted to come up with a memorable sound, shit that nobody’s got balls to do these days like using a heavy fuzz on all guitars, filtered vocals and drums with heavy processing mixed with in with the other acoustic elements. It’s been a tough one to mix and master but I’m happy with the result. My biggest inspiration for this album are the first works by The Killers but heavier, a decent dose of grunge sounds mixed in with super catchy vocal melodies.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
I decided I wanted to be a rockstar when I saw Bowie on the TV the first time. I was eleven I think. I liked his androgynous sensuality and his ability to provoke people back then. His style inspired me not to be afraid of what other people think or say. Jim Morrison’s character seduced my teen years and officially marked it as the first steps into my music career.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
I came to appreciate taking care of myself after several years when I wasn’t exactly living a very healthy lifestyle. So yes lots of ginger tea and vocal warm ups with scales, daily workout and a nice dose of sleep every night. I try to reach the right energy balance prior unleashing the beast at the right moment when I hit the stage. We gather a few days in advance and practice our setlist trying to pay attention to the detail and gradually build momentum as a band in order to reach our top performance on the day of the show.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
The day I opened for Iron Maiden was definitely the biggest day of my life as a musician. It was ‘Rock In India” in 2009 in Bangalore, India. A huge festival I played at in front of 50.000 souls. The last thought I had before showing up on stage was…I’m ready for this, I was born to do this. Followed by one of the most exciting shows of my life when The Dark opened for Peter Murphy at Nokia Club in Los Angeles. I must confess to you…when he walked towards me on stage during sound check I felt excited like a virgin on her first date. It doesn’t happen everyday to have the GothFather giving you compliments about your music. For the occasion we also performed at the Andy Dick show in Beverly Hills, and had a shitload of fun doing it.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Currently speaking I’d like to tour with the guys from Palaye Royale. I like their sound a lot. They sound fresh without trying too hard. I also think touring with Janes Addiction back then would have been fun. I’m sure me and Dave would have ended up in the bathroom doing drugs together.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
This record is a step more towards Alt Rock then the last albums I released and I want any of my old fans and new fans to be open to the new sound I am currently pumping out. It has a dark edge for sure but it might not be as Goth Rock as I used to be. I hope evolving as an artist and exploring new genres is a welcomed delight. I also would like to thank you for this fun interview and everyone else out there who have been following us and believing in our music. It’s a nice feeling to wake up knowing that your music matters to someone else.