Darla And The Blonde Interview

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Pop, Folk and Prog all encompassed into on EP, have to be kidding me, right? Not today! Darla And The Blonde have something else to say about that. It is a genre, and they play it perfectly. Eugenia is their newest release, and it is a journey. The Alternative had the opportunity to speak with the band. To support the band’s EP out, if in their area, go to the EP release show in the U.K.

Darla And The Blonde, welcome to The Alternative! How are you doing today?

Very well thanks Sean, cheers for the interview. You’re talking to Nina, who’s the band songwriter and rhythm guitarist. You’ll also hear me doing backing harmonies to Jen’s most awesome lead vox. 

From what I’ve heard, Eugenia transcends a few genres, running with dark melodies while also possessing reflective parts, how does a song come together with the variety of influences? 

I normally start with some ideas for a main melody & harmony for a verse, a chorus and maybe a middle 8. That melody can come from all kinds of influences – I am a recovering Folkie, but my music taste is really eclectic, and quite retro. I will then take that idea to the rest of the band who help turn it into something that always sounds ‘Darla’, maybe by messing with the structure, adding a few chords, sections, riffs, or whatever they get inspired to add. That’s the practical side. I really lean on the guys to create the overall arrangements and sound, especially Tom who’s also a producer. In terms of where I get my ideas for songs, a lot of the time its from literature, movies or interesting stories about women. I write all the lyrics. 

Syncopation seems to be a key aspect to the music, kind of going along with the above question, is that planned or does it flow rather naturally into the songs? The rhythm section is great.

A lot of that comes from the rhythm section, which is Tom our drummer and Craig our bassist. They’ll take a song idea and really help with structure, bringing out or adding dynamics to the songs, which is kind of vital for our dramatic vibe. I think it does come naturally as most of our stuff has an offbeat edge to it so it really needs an interesting approach to rhythm. We don’t want the listener to feel too comfortable. We know that’s kind of challenging, but we find it interesting.

What is the band like now that the EP is shy of two months from being released? Nervous? Excited? (editors note: the EP is out now)

Both I think – definitely excited as we’ve been working on the songs for a good while and it feels great to get a product out there that we’re all proud of, and that’s getting some good reviews. We’re also working hard on developing our live act – it needs to come naturally but we want to deliver on the drama of the songs, by ensuring we put on a good visual as well as audio show. We’re already looking past the EP launch though – we see it as an step one really, to getting better gigs, tours and so on and growing our fan base. 

Darla and The Blonde seems like literary readers, what’s been a good book that anyone has read recently?

I’ve been reading some cool music books lately, rather than the more usual fiction. I’m enjoying Greil Marcus’ History of Rock n Roll in 10 songs, and just also finished Tracey Thorn’s Bedsit Disco Queen. I love books about female musicians – Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine of the Slits is also a great, funny, read. 

What’s your favorite toppings to put on a pizza?

Personally, I’m a massive fan of seafood pizzas. If you’ve ever in Stoke Newington, London check out Il Bacio the Italian restaurant, the pizzas are the best. The Darla crew also like burgers though. We had a burger session last night. Mmmmm.

What is up next in the year for Darla and The Blonde?

Next year, we’ll be recording some new songs, hopefully for an album, and definitely getting out & about playing festivals and gigs across Europe we hope. We just love playing live, and want to do as much of it as possible. 

Last words?

Come see us play! Follow us on Songkick for news of our next gig, or on Facebook for news and pics of Jen wearing all kids of shazzle. Oh yeah and buy a CD and/or download at Bandcamp, and help keep us supplied with burgers and beer.