Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Shoegaze and hard rock may seem like odd bedfellows, but after hearing The Darling Fire you’ll immediately recognize that in the right hands – and vocals – the combination not only works, it works really well.
Hailing from South Florida, The Darling Fire recently released their debut album, Dark Celebration, on Spartan Records, and while it’s the first release for the band, the Jolie Lindholm fronted group is made up of veterans from the scene.
During their recent tour, the band tore it down on back-to-back nights at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC. The shows acted as a statement that The Darling Fire are no side-project – they’re a full time band, and they’re the real deal.
Here are eight things you should know about The Darling Fire.
They’re an indie rock Voltron
You’re probably already familiar with the members of The Darling Fire, as they’re essentially an all-star team of artists.
Consisting of Jolie Lindholm (vocals, guitar), Jeronimo Gomez (guitar), Gregg Moore (bass), Steven Kleisath (drums), and Matthew Short (guitar), the five-some have a collective resume that includes The Rocking Horse Winner, Dashboard Confessional, Shai Hulud, Further Seems Forever, and As Friends Rust.
The band started when Jolie and husband Jeronimo started writing together, and learning how to record. After penning their second song, “Omaha,” Jolie remembers, “We decided we were looking for heavier drumming, and we knew Steve was the perfect candidate for that.”
From there they reconnected with Matthew Short, and Steve asked his old friend Gregg Moore if he’d like to join the band, as well.
Just like that, their roster was set, and they were ready to go.
Their sound is a result of great minds not thinking alike
The Darling Fire have a shoegaze meets hard rock sound, and Jolie explains how it was created, saying, “Jeronimo and I wanted to do something heavy, with sick guitars, but it’s weird, because he would give me a song, and I would put my vocals over it, and he’d be like, ‘That’s not what I heard at all.’ It changed it completely in his head … in a good way, though … It just kind of turned into this thing.”
This thing being an entirely brand new sound.
Their live show rocks hard
“I think when people hear us, or they come to the show, they don’t expect the intensity,” Jolie says of the band’s music, “they don’t expect it to be like that because Rocking Horse was a lot softer.”
The Darling Fire recently completed a tour, and for their second NYC date they had three bands from the state of NY – LTrain, Marquee Grand, and Previous Love – all of which are known to rock hard. This, Jolie says, was no accident.
“We did that intentionally. We wanted to have the show be like that, and the other bands were all amazing. I think the whole thing was like a barrage of sound.”
The initial fan support surprised them
“Rocking Horse hasn’t been together for a very long time,” Jolie notes, “so I didn’t think that people would really even remember who we were, to be honest. The fact that there were still people listening to our music was pretty cool to find out. I had no idea.”
Their debut album, Dark Celebration, is truly a celebration
What is a dark celebration, you ask? Jolie explains the title of the band’s debut album, saying, “We all went through some shit over a few year period prior to getting together, so basically this album is celebrating coming out of that shit that we went through. It’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing – taking those things that happened and making them into something creative.”
The video for “Saints in Masquerade” was filmed over the course of just one weekend
Sometimes everything lines up perfectly, and that was the case for the creation of The Darling Fire’s video for “Saints in Masquerade,” which was filmed over the course of just one weekend.
Jolie remembers, “It was a very intense, fun experience, and everything just aligned. We were able to get access to the bowling alley, which had the arcade. That was through my husband. They let us go there very early in the morning before they opened, and we thought we weren’t going to have enough time, but we actually only spent two hours. For that two hours we were able to pull off all those shots.”
Their good fortune continued throughout the weekend, as she adds, “The lighting was lent to us by somebody here in the scene who is an old school punk rocker, and he just loves supporting local bands … The projector shots, when that was happening it was magical that night. It was just insane how that worked out.”
The “Saints in Masquerade” video is also a family affair
The kids in the video, and their parents, are actually members of Jolie’s family – the kids are the children of Jolie’s sister and brother-in-law, who are also in the video playing the roles of the parents.
This bit of casting provided the band with another added bonus.
“I asked them if they wanted to be in the video,” Jolie remembers, “and then they offered their home, which you see in some of the shots. They own a business where they sell vintage furniture, so they have all of those things in their home already, so it just worked out perfectly for the shot.”
They’re finding the promo game has changed significantly since the days of their previous bands
When The Rocking Horse Winner was in its prime, the concept of how a brand promoted itself, and kept in touch with fans, was vastly different.
“For Rocking Horse we has a little bit of a street team through snail mail,” Jolie recalls, “I think we had maybe MySpace, possibly, at that time … maybe not even. So there wasn’t as much of an online presence.”