Darlia, straight outta Crackpool, have jumped quickly into the limelight, with their creepy single Candyman and with their amazing Knock Knock EP. Ahead of their upcoming Splendour in the Grass show, we axed ’em a couple of questions.
Happy: Tell me about your experience growing up. I read that you had a hard a time in high school and found a lot of solace in music. Is that true?
Darlia: I’m not going to wallow but I’m also not going to lie about it. But yeah it’s true. During early primary school (up until year 5) I felt like a total king. (Short story – one day every single kid in the class was given a ‘role’ for a role-play game throughout the whole day for a pretend town – police, bin men, shops, chefs, and a king & queen. I was given king role but swapped with one of the bin men because I felt sorry for him.) Then I don’t know what happened but everything changed. I was bullied quite bad and after 2 years, I found out the guy was telling everyone I was bullying him so I was being punished every day without realising it. I think that inserted the mindset of injustice and it propelled from there.
Happy: And you guys started Darlia after a six-month stint working as cleaners at your old high school? How was that experience?
Darlia: To be honest I’m glad we did. I knew Dave for several years but never spoke until we were cleaners together. It was actually really fun because of the shit we’d get up to but it was also quite tense. Dave expressed interest in leaving for uni soon – so I saw I had a small window of time to convince him to stay in the band and for good things to happen. Nobody can ever think or say we were posh boys from London who knows someone who writes for NME so starts a pretend rock band. We were cleaners from Blackpool unleashing my catalogue of songs I’d collected since ages 9/10.
Happy: In the Sydney indie music world, there is a definite Britpop, 90s Manchester revival at the moment. Is there a similar sort of trend happening in the UK, from your experience?
Darlia: That sounds like a description of us, does it not? There isn’t really a revival that specific in my experience. There does seem to be a resurgence in guitar orientated rock though.
Happy: Did you start performing in Blackpool? What is the music scene like there?
Darlia: We started off playing in small venues in Blackpool. Funnily enough we kept getting gigs but the venue would close down before we played. There is no music scene there. It’s as dead as a dad joke at a barbecue. That’s why we left for Manchester.
Happy: I wanted to ask you about the almost horror element that runs through your music and aesthetic. Was your track Candyman (as well as the clip) inspired by the film?
Darlia: The track and video wasn’t inspired by the film. I haven’t even seen the film! I wanted a horror B-movie slasher sort of video but to be over the top on purpose.
Happy: Considering you’ve been together less than a year, you guys have been really well received in the UK. Heavyweights like NME and The Guardian are all over you like a rash. Was it a sudden onslaught of success for you?
Darlia: It was yeah. Dave said to me, within a week or two of us starting to play music ‘Nath, if you can get us a gig in Manchester (We were in Blackpool at the time) – I’ll love you forever‘. I don’t think he’d expect that within a few months we’d have a record deal, be LIVING in Manchester and travelling the world.
Happy: You’re coming out to Australia for Splendour in the Grass, which is really exciting. Do you know much about the music scene over this side of the world? Are there any other bands on the bill that you’re excited to see?
Darlia: I don’t really know anything about the Australian music scene to be honest. I like to go into some things unknown. It makes the whole experience more noteworthy with no pre conceptions.
Happy: What makes you happy?
Darlia: This is getting deep. The excitement of finding out what ‘content‘ is. Darlia’s Knock Knock EP is out now on iTunes. Pick up a copy and check em out at the links below and of course, at SITG! FIND OUT MORE ON