Words by JENZ
"There is an incredible amount of trust going on right now," I say as I am led into an unmarked white van by two strangers I've never met.
"Wait - are you gonna kill us or are we gonna kill you?" Tim Presley says with a glimmer of wicked in his eyes. Oh, boy...I'm having second thoughts about this interview...
Presley, band mate Rob Barbato, and I climb into their tour van parked outside the Rickshaw in San Francisco to talk about E-40, hometown appreciation, and their band Darker My Love's new record 2. The boys were in the middle of a SF/L.A. residency when we poured into their rental vehicle and warded off curious stares from passer-byes who I'm sure were wondering what we were talking about huddled under a dim car light.
2 is an album full of beautiful melody and rightstuff shoegaze with a dash of psyschadelia and indie to boot. It's both a record to spin for my summer porch nights and to bury my head in the nook of a man interest, and I love the duality it brings. Presley and Barbato were kind enough to shoot the shit with me on nothing really related to their own music, while laughing about nonsensical crap about every four minutes.
JENZ: How is this tour going for you after recording?
TP: It's kind of worse in a way, actually. You think you're on a full tour. You play two shows, then relax - you get momentum while on tour, you know?
RB: I mean, I like vans in general, so, it's all cool. Our other van was terrible; it got the shakes when it went up and down hills.
JENZ: Why the California residency idea? And for free? What possessed you to think caravanning up and down the coast for three weeks was a good idea?
TP: We're playing the new record...
RB: People can see us and be like "Hey, I saw this band last week, they're playing another free show next week. Awesome! Go!" Or something similar.
TP: I mean, it's also definitely a hometown appreciation [some members used to hail fro the Bay Area]. If I could make every show free, I totally would, but that's not how it all works out in the end unfortunately.
RB: Not too many bands do residencies anymore...it's something you saw much more frequently in the 60s, a sense of camaraderie. Maybe we're trying to bring that back.
TP: [Gas] is so gnarly now...it's gonna be hard to pull this off, but buses are OK for this kind of thing.
JENZ: Tell me about the seating arrangement in here - does someone like to sit in the sun all the time? The left side only?
TP: Andy [Granelli, drums] usually drives... Jared Everett [guitar] is usually asleep. I am so shotgun.
RB: I like to be up in front to be apart of conversation...or lay down. Whichever is better.
JENZ: It kind of reminds me of a van for a 16-piece meringue band. (My phone goes off; the ring tone is Bloc Party's "So Here We Are.") Shit, sorry about that.
TP: It's OK, we got Lil' Wayne as ours.
JENZ: Shut up.
TP: Yep...he is a great rapper man. E-40 is one of my favorite guys of all time. I gotta represent the V-town pride.
JENZ: So what you're really saying is that you want to do a collaboration with him? What would that even sound like?
TP: (eyes light up) Dude! Like this! [starts beatboxing a bass-filled jam, which also includes pretending to be semi-ghetto] Maybe heavy funk, rap. 1985 New York sound? Who knows. The possibilities are endless.
RB: We'd just sit around and we would rap. C'mon now.
JENZ: Would you bring back hyphy?
RB: Hyphy is still around... maybe we could bring it to rock though. Like Too $hort, bringing it all in. None of this Limp Bizkit shit, hell no. Or Too $hort and E-40 can sing, and me and Tim could rap.
TP: Dude... if you could make that happen... you will not be let down.
JENZ: What are you listening to while you drive?
TP: A guy named Kevin Ayers... very whimsical stuff.
RB: Tom Petty, The Kinks, Peter Gabriel - who I'd also like to point out that he titled his albums in a sort of chronological way and [they] didn't give him shit about that.
TP: What's really fucked is if we call our next record [which would be our third] 4.
RB: It's a curveball! Shit! Or maybe we should just call it Curveball. Yeah!
Darker My Love finishes their California residency this week, playing the Independent in San Francisco tonight and at the Troubadour in Los Angeles tomorrow. A full tour will begin at the end of August.
Darker My Love San Fran/LA Residencies
08.05.08 - San Francisco, CA (The Independent)
08.07.08 - Los Angeles, CA (Troubadour)
Dandy Warhols w/ Darker My Love
09.09.08 - Minneapolis, MN (First Avenue)
09.10.08 - Madison, WI (Barrymore Theatre)
09.12.08 - Chicago, IL (Vic Theatre)
09.13.08 - Toronto, ON (Kool Haus)
09.14.08 - Montreal, QC (Club Soda)
09.16.08 - Boston, MA (Wilbur Theatre)
09.17.08 - New York, NY (Terminal 5)
09.19.08 - Brooklyn, NY (Music Hall Of Williamsburg)
09.20.08 - Philadelphia, PA (The Fillmore at TLA)
09.22.08 - Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
09.23.08 - Atlanta, GA (Center State Atlanta)
09.26.08 - Lawrence, KS (Liberty Hall)
09.27.08 - Denver, CO (Gothic Theatre)
09.28.08 - Aspen, CO (Belly Up Aspen)