Recently releasing their debut album, “Dark Celebration,” The Darling Fire brings a heavy, yet intimate sound to the indie scene. Comprising of indie rock veterans, Jolie Lindholm (vocals), Jeronimo Gomez (guitar), Steven Kleisath (drums), Greg Moore (bass), and Matthew Short (guitar), The Darling Fire was born of both “deep struggle and deeper friendships.” The Florida scene natives came together after years of individual success and collaborated on an album that is considered to be, “ energetic, powerful, melodic, and heavy.” Dark Celebration lives up to those claims and provides listeners with a cathartic experience. The album demonstrates their years of experience as musicians honing in on their craft. Lindholm’s enigmatic vocals are a powerful force on the album and counterbalance the heavy instrumentation behind her. If you enjoy bands like, Brand New, or even Lindholm’s previous band, Dashboard Confessional, you’ll love The Darling Fire. Overall, “Dark Celebration” is a captivating experience and it is the perfect album for a night time drive.
Check out our interview with The Darling Fire’s vocalist, Jolie Lindholm and where the band is headed next.
Q: You all seem to come from years of music experience from different bands, how do you think this experience has shaped you as artists today?
A: Yes, we’ve all come from different bands, but basically a collective scene. I think having varied backgrounds musically has brought us a sound that’s different from what I was used to working with. Our past experiences have led us to this point – where we are appreciative of everything that comes up for this band and are embracing it. At least for myself (Jolie), I realized that I didn’t do that with past projects and just kind of let things happen around me, without really paying attention to or appreciating the little things. I’ve also learned to be more free with my expression and have given more of myself to these songs.
Q: What brought you together as a band?
A: Jeronimo and I decided to start writing music, following a series of very difficult events. We sent our second song, “Omaha”, to Steve — an old friend of ours — and he could see the potential. We knew we wanted his heavy drumming for this. We then brought Matt along for the ride after flirting with the idea of putting together a band for these songs we were writing. Gregg was an old friend of Steve’s and he suggested we bring him in — I’m so glad we did, because these guys are all so talented and I’m lucky to have them.
Q: Who are your influences?
A: This is a difficult question, because our influences are pretty varied. Personally, I listen to everything from classic rock, to synthwave like Electric Youth, to Killing Joke (introduced to me only recently by Steve), to current favorites like Teenage Wrist and Gleemer. Vocally, I can’t really pinpoint specific influences…what comes out is a melting pot of what I’ve been soaking up since I was very little.
Q: You recently released your debut album, what was the process like? Is there a collaborative creative atmosphere or does everyone write their own pieces?
A: With this album, the basic structure came from home recorded demos that Jeronimo and I put together in our lab and then Steve and Gregg would further shape the rhythm sections to be added later in the studio and Matt would add leads here and there on some of the songs. There are actually several other songs we wrote that didn’t make the cut for this album, as we were developing our sound. Side note: two of the songs – In Twilight and The Constant – were written a very short time before we recorded with J. Robbins and weren’t played on an actual drum set until we were in the studio. That was the first time we heard what Steve had for those two.
Q: Coming from multiple bands, how have you all concentrated on a specific sound? Listening to your previous bands, it seems as though you created a more cathartic sound on this album, was this a gradual change for the band?
A: This band definitely has a heavier sound than I was used to singing over. The tuning for the songs is also different than what was normal for me, so there were some challenges at first. What’s coming out is just what comes out based upon our individual influences – we’d write something and then we’d listen back and do a litmus test – “I like it, but does it have the “fire”?”…
Q: What are you bringing to the rock music scene that hasn’t been heard before?
A: Well, I think every band is going to have their obvious influences. We’re just doing what comes natural and it may not be what’s typically heard with softer female vocals that aren’t operatic in style. The music isn’t soft like my previous band the Rocking Horse Winner was, but I guess it has similar hooks.
Q: What track are you most proud of?
A: That’s another tough question. I guess if I have to choose based on the one that means the most to me personally, it would be “Saints in Masquerade”. It’s also the one I put the most into for live performances.
Q: What was it like shooting the video for “Saints in Masquerade”?
A: That was such an awesome experience…Ian Fursa was so great to work with and we had fun creating a piece of art together. We pulled off all the shots in one weekend – two days! I was skeptical that we would be able to achieve what we had in mind, but we collaborated with him just a couple of weeks prior to the shoot, he flew down and things just fell into place. A local bowling alley allowed us to shoot there very early before opening and my sister offered her home. She owns a vintage supply company (The Modern Historic) and owns all of the props you see in the video. She, her husband and my nieces all starred and did such a great job. We were so lucky to have these things available to us. Magic happened the night of the projector shots and we were so happy with the finished product. He did a fantastic job bringing together all of the elements and overall look we wanted for the song.
Q: What is something you want listeners to know about your live performance?
A: I would have to say that I think we come across a lot more intense live than we do on the record. That’s what we’ve been told. We put everything into our live performances.
Q: Where do you see the band in the next few years?
A: We’re still writing new songs – one of which we’re already playing live – and we hope to be touring full time within the next few years…that’s the goal!
Haven’t had the chance to stream Dark Celebration yet? Click here now to give it a spin and experience a new wave in indie rock. Many thanks to Jolie and The Darling Fire for taking the time to chat with us about their background and all of the awesome things below. Don’t forget to subscribe in the sidebar (desktop) or at the bottom of the page (mobile) to stay up to date with all things from the site!