How did you all meet?
Mark: Do you wanna take this one?
Darren: OK bro. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, no no no haha, but it was a while ago.
Mark: Fuck me, yes it was. We actually spoke about this at rehearsal last night.
Darren: Yeah, we’re looking at over 20 years ago. I was in a band called Happy As Larry and Mark was rehearsing in the same building in a band called This Black Static. Well, HAL were rehearsing one night and in came Mark and offered his services as a singer.
Mark: Yeah, I’d been listening and I couldn’t hear whoever was singing for them at the time. Turned out it was the lead guitarist but he was happy for me to step in.
Darren: And after a while Mark nabbed me to play rhythm guitar in TBS, so we were both in both bands.
Mark: And the rest as they say, is history.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Mark: My first albums were One Step Beyond by Madness and Kings of the Wild Frontier by Adam and the Ants, but that was when I was really young. It was around 12 where I discovered heavy metal and it was all I listened to for years. Everything had to have distorted guitars and the blokes had to have long hair just like me hahaha.
Darren: I grew up listening to my dad’s old Beatles albums. I constantly had them on, and he had a guitar that he never played so I picked it up and taught myself. Although I felt more comfortable playing it left-handed, even though I’m right-handed, so I restrung it to suit.
What made you want to be in a band?
Darren: Playing music is the best thing ever, and playing it with other people is brilliant. And there’s always the sex and drugs that go with it hahaha. Or you think that’s what goes with it when you’re a kid.
Mark: Yeah, singing in a band when you’re 18 definitely helps with that hahaha
What has been your best gig?
Darren: We did a charity gig in a pub in what used to be my local village when my wife was still here. She passed away through cancer and that’s what the gig was.
Mark: Was a cracking gig. The pub was filled to the rafters, people were singing along at the top of their voices, dancing, and we raised a fair bit for Cancer Research UK.
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
Mark: Well, funny you should mention it, our latest single is out now and it’s called Unsprung. It’s a nice tune with some great orchestration. We recorded it with a full band feel as opposed to our intimate live sound.
Darren: And our album, Grow, has been out a while now. 11 tracks for your listening pleasure, but really it should have been 10 songs with a bonus hidden track. Unfortunately hiding a track on a digital release is not easy hahaha.
Mark: Don’t forget our original single, Heaven’s Door, which if anyone purchases from Bandcamp, we donate that money to Cancer Research UK.
Describe your music in 3 words.
Mark: Acoustic, Relatable, Cool
Darren: Emotional, Enjoyable and Epic
What makes your band stand out from others?
Darren: I don’t know that we do? Does anyone really stand out from the others? We’ve spoken about this in practice and our harmonies do kind of make us different to the other bands playing.
Mark: Our album is a journey and our new song is a continuation of that journey. The album should be listened to as a whole. There was thought that went into the run order and to be honest, even though it’s a cliche, I genuinely don’t think we sound like anyone else.
What are your plans for the rest of 2022?
Mark: The usual things that every other band is doing… rehearsing, writing, recording and gigging.
Darren: London in March, festivals in April and August. We have some new songs on the go and like Mark said we’ll hopefully get in the studio to get them down.
If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
Darren: Apart from the music? Um…
Mark: That the band was made up of two long term best friends who were generally nice guys.
Darren: Yeah, that’ll do but ideally we’d like the band to be remembered for the music.
Any gigs coming up?
Mark: As Darren mentioned, we are returning to London in March. Can’t give the full details just yet, but if anyone is interested please follow us on any or all of the socials.
Darren: The follows and likes and shares are always appreciated.
Mark: Well, thanks for having us, it’s been a blast.
Darren: Yeah, thanks for chatting, I’ve enjoyed it.
By Siân Parker