Darling Down
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Darling Down

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"Local rock quartet Darling Down has a lot to say"

MARSHALL -- On the opening track of Darling Down's soon-to-be released debut album, vocalist and Kalamazoo resident Amanda Legault sings about a fed-up woman who's tired of being told what to do:

"She's got a lot to say/
But no one's ever heard her/
That's why she cries herself to sleep."

Don't expect Legault or the rest of the alternative rock band to be ignored like the woman in the song much longer. The foursome will release its self-titled debut album this weekend, highlighted by the previously mentioned track, "Screams."

It's a polished album that calls to mind Evanescence with its distorted riffs and edgy, soaring female vocals. It's an eye-opening debut for Legault, drummer Ryan Hudson, guitarist/vocalist Dustin Claud and bassist Rick Brott.

Claud and Legault met in Monterey, Calif., more than a year ago and moved back here to form a band when things weren't happening out West.

"My quest and journey for music led here to Michigan," Claud said.

"Which is completely backwards for most people," Hudson said.

Legault, originally from Jackson, and Claud posted ads at Guitar Center asking for musicians about a year ago. Hudson knew Legault from high school and expressed interest in joining, although the two hadn't spoken in some time. The trio had instant chemistry. Brott won the other three over at an audition. Within the first couple weeks, the newly formed band turned its sights on a demo.

For the full-length, Hudson relied on his friendship with Sponge guitarist/vocalist Andy Patalan, who the band calls the "wizard," to produce it.

"He made subtle changes to the vocal patterns to the guitar parts or the drum parts or whatever. That really brought it all together," Hudson said. "He's been a major help."

The band, with most of the music and songwriting coming from Claud and Legault, respectively, will hit the road behind the release, including a show at The Corner Bar Aug. 22. The band described their live shows as high-energy with Claud showing little regard for others on stage.

"I've almost knocked her (Legault) out completely," Claud said.

"We definitely get into it. Everybody knows what every song is about and they can bathe in emotion," said Legault, who is also a member of the Killamazoo Derby Darlins.

For more: www.myspace.com/darlingdown - Kalamazoo Gazette


"Darling Down airs anger in song"

MARSHALL — Darling Down's music — the distorted guitars, the chunky rhythms, the operatic screams — is about working out aggression.

The Marshall-based quartet's songs, lyrics pieced together from ideas written on Post-Its, are often angst-ridden inquiries of relationships, friendships, love and life. To the musicians, screaming through song is better than screaming at the world.

"That's just life coming out," vocalist Amanda Legault said. "I think everybody goes through hard times. We have the happy songs and then we have the angrier songs, and it's just all about life."

"I think it's like an outlet," guitarist Dustin Claud said. "That's for all of us, that's the one that we click, we all find is, like, our outlets to get rid of all that (anger). We just, aagh, whatever comes out when we pick up our instruments or write stuff, whatever, that's basically what we roll with."

Darling Down formed about nine months ago, when Legault and Claud, who met while stationed in California in the Air Force, moved back to Legault's hometown and put out an ad for a band. That ad netted drummer Ryan Hudson, who also runs the band's Marshall studio, and bassist Rick Brott.

The sound they created is part California emo punk and part Midwestern rock and metal. It's quick, palm-muted verses in low tunings, hard-hitting distortion in the choruses and thick, melodic breakdowns, all delivered with Legault's sultry, soaring vocals.

"We're like a mutt band," Claud said.

With titles like "Shatter Your World," "Revenge is Sweet Like Cherries" and "Life Without You," the band spends a lot of time on the worried world with hopes that, as they do in ruckus performances, help listeners deal with stresses.

"I hope they can relate to it," Claud said. "So they can realize, 'I'm not the only person out there that feels like this.'"

"We've all been there, at one time or another," Legault said.

With its cross-coastal sound, Darling Down also hopes its listeners take away an appreciation for the uniqueness of its music.

"I hope (listeners) come away with something different than everything that's out there right now," Brott said.

Darling Down is now working on the full-length follow-up to its three-track demo. It hopes to independently release the album, not yet titled, this summer.

To the musicians, the band is not an outlet alone, but a thrust toward a career. Hudson said he spends a lot of time on the phone, online and attending venues, making connections to ensure the band gets booked.

"People take you a lot more seriously when you're professional," Hudson said. "I've tried to quit music and I've found that it's like a bad drug habit, I can't. So I figure, if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it right, spend all my money and hope something good happens."

"This is sort of like a life choice for us," Claud said. "We don't have careers because we want this to be the career."

"Lots of sacrifices both personally and probably professionally as well," Hudson said. "So hopefully it pays off."

Justin A. Hinkley can be reached at 966-0698 or jhinkley@battlecr.gannett.com - Battle Creek Enquirer


"Darling Down airs anger in song"

MARSHALL — Darling Down's music — the distorted guitars, the chunky rhythms, the operatic screams — is about working out aggression.

The Marshall-based quartet's songs, lyrics pieced together from ideas written on Post-Its, are often angst-ridden inquiries of relationships, friendships, love and life. To the musicians, screaming through song is better than screaming at the world.

"That's just life coming out," vocalist Amanda Legault said. "I think everybody goes through hard times. We have the happy songs and then we have the angrier songs, and it's just all about life."

"I think it's like an outlet," guitarist Dustin Claud said. "That's for all of us, that's the one that we click, we all find is, like, our outlets to get rid of all that (anger). We just, aagh, whatever comes out when we pick up our instruments or write stuff, whatever, that's basically what we roll with."

Darling Down formed about nine months ago, when Legault and Claud, who met while stationed in California in the Air Force, moved back to Legault's hometown and put out an ad for a band. That ad netted drummer Ryan Hudson, who also runs the band's Marshall studio, and bassist Rick Brott.

The sound they created is part California emo punk and part Midwestern rock and metal. It's quick, palm-muted verses in low tunings, hard-hitting distortion in the choruses and thick, melodic breakdowns, all delivered with Legault's sultry, soaring vocals.

"We're like a mutt band," Claud said.

With titles like "Shatter Your World," "Revenge is Sweet Like Cherries" and "Life Without You," the band spends a lot of time on the worried world with hopes that, as they do in ruckus performances, help listeners deal with stresses.

"I hope they can relate to it," Claud said. "So they can realize, 'I'm not the only person out there that feels like this.'"

"We've all been there, at one time or another," Legault said.

With its cross-coastal sound, Darling Down also hopes its listeners take away an appreciation for the uniqueness of its music.

"I hope (listeners) come away with something different than everything that's out there right now," Brott said.

Darling Down is now working on the full-length follow-up to its three-track demo. It hopes to independently release the album, not yet titled, this summer.

To the musicians, the band is not an outlet alone, but a thrust toward a career. Hudson said he spends a lot of time on the phone, online and attending venues, making connections to ensure the band gets booked.

"People take you a lot more seriously when you're professional," Hudson said. "I've tried to quit music and I've found that it's like a bad drug habit, I can't. So I figure, if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it right, spend all my money and hope something good happens."

"This is sort of like a life choice for us," Claud said. "We don't have careers because we want this to be the career."

"Lots of sacrifices both personally and probably professionally as well," Hudson said. "So hopefully it pays off."

Justin A. Hinkley can be reached at 966-0698 or jhinkley@battlecr.gannett.com - Battle Creek Enquirer


"Darling Down a mix of influences"

You get one guess which member of Darling Down is the lead singer based on this photo of the group.

OK, that was an easy one. It is indeed the group’s lone female, Amanda Legault of Kalamazoo. But trying to guess her biggest musical influence is a bit tougher. Ask her and she won’t name such obvious gothed-out vocalists as Amy Lee from Evanessence or Hayley Williams from Paramore.

Legault is a huge Barbra Streisand fan. Always has been.

“I like her makeup, her look from her earlier movies … and her lungs,” said Legault, a Hanover-Horton High School graduate.

That’s just one example of the odd collection of influences that go into this alternative rock quartet, which also includes drummer Ryan Hudson and bassist Ricky Brott of Marshall and guitarist Dustin Claud of Kalamazoo.

“Dustin grew up in California with the punk scene out there, Rick listens to a lot of heavy metal, Ryan is the alternative pop-rock and I grew up listening to Broadway musicals,” Legault said.

The music takes her melodic vocal lines and melds it with chugging guitar riffs for a sound that’s simultaneously sad and angry, pop and metal, masculine and feminine.

“It’s not soft rock,” Hudson said.

The band started, as so many do nowadays, with a flyer that Legault and Claud posted at Guitar Center in Kalamazoo.

“After several failed attempts to find a drummer, Ryan called up and said, ‘I think we went to high school together,’” Legault said.

The group performs strictly original material, most of which starts with a “rough draft” by Claud.

“If Amanda works well with it … I show it to Ryan and Rick and we go from there,” he said.

They released a self-titled debut CD earlier this month, recorded mostly at his home studio with Andy Patalan of Detroit rock band Sponge at the sound board. They are having a second CD release party next weekend in Hillsdale. The plan is to keep playing as many shows as possible and pushing the album.

“We plan on conquering the world at some point,” Hudson said. - Jackson Citizen Patriot


"Darling Down a mix of influences"

You get one guess which member of Darling Down is the lead singer based on this photo of the group.

OK, that was an easy one. It is indeed the group’s lone female, Amanda Legault of Kalamazoo. But trying to guess her biggest musical influence is a bit tougher. Ask her and she won’t name such obvious gothed-out vocalists as Amy Lee from Evanessence or Hayley Williams from Paramore.

Legault is a huge Barbra Streisand fan. Always has been.

“I like her makeup, her look from her earlier movies … and her lungs,” said Legault, a Hanover-Horton High School graduate.

That’s just one example of the odd collection of influences that go into this alternative rock quartet, which also includes drummer Ryan Hudson and bassist Ricky Brott of Marshall and guitarist Dustin Claud of Kalamazoo.

“Dustin grew up in California with the punk scene out there, Rick listens to a lot of heavy metal, Ryan is the alternative pop-rock and I grew up listening to Broadway musicals,” Legault said.

The music takes her melodic vocal lines and melds it with chugging guitar riffs for a sound that’s simultaneously sad and angry, pop and metal, masculine and feminine.

“It’s not soft rock,” Hudson said.

The band started, as so many do nowadays, with a flyer that Legault and Claud posted at Guitar Center in Kalamazoo.

“After several failed attempts to find a drummer, Ryan called up and said, ‘I think we went to high school together,’” Legault said.

The group performs strictly original material, most of which starts with a “rough draft” by Claud.

“If Amanda works well with it … I show it to Ryan and Rick and we go from there,” he said.

They released a self-titled debut CD earlier this month, recorded mostly at his home studio with Andy Patalan of Detroit rock band Sponge at the sound board. They are having a second CD release party next weekend in Hillsdale. The plan is to keep playing as many shows as possible and pushing the album.

“We plan on conquering the world at some point,” Hudson said. - Jackson Citizen Patriot


"Band with local roots to play at Hillsdale venue"

Hillsdale, Mich. —

Two Hanover-Horton graduates are returning to Hillsdale with their band, Darling Down to release their self-titled CD Friday.


Amanda Legault, 24, currently of Kalamazoo, and Ryan Hudson, 27, currently of Marshall, are coming back to share their music.


“I’ve played music with a lot of people around here over the years,” Hudson said, “It’s great to have a venue to actually play at.”


Dustin Claud, 25, of Kalamazoo and Ricky Brott, 27, of Marshall round out the band and will be playing at Time Out Sports and Spirits Friday starting at 9 p.m.


Hudson said the band has been having a few smaller release shows instead of one big one because it is harder to get people to travel a long ways anymore.


“So we’re bringing the music around to people,” he said.


CDs will be available at the show and online at www.darlingdown.com.

Q: How did you all meet?
A: Ryan: Amanda and I grew up in Horton so we split our time between Jackson and Hillsdale.
Amanda: I moved to California for a while and came back with Dustin. We put up a flyer at Guitar Center saying we were looking for a drummer. We had almost given up when I got a random phone call from Ryan saying “Hey I think we went to high school together.”
Dustin: I was skeptical at first because he’s short.
Ryan: People don’t take me seriously because I’m short...
Ricky: They found me on the street with a cardboard sign that said “will play for food.”
Ryan: And we fed him well.

Q: What are some of your influences?
A: Ricky: I’m a total metal head. Pretty much anything metal. Stuff like “36 crazy fists.”
Amanda: I grew up watching Broadway musicals and Barbara Streisand and I liked all the costumes and makeup, the idea that you’re telling a story with what you’re doing.
Dustin: I’m more punk-emo like Senses Fail. And a band most people around here probably haven’t heard of — Noggin Toboggan. It’s a west coast kind of punk.
Ryan: I was into pop rock, top 40s kind of stuff then I went back to Led Zepplin. Pretty much anything that’s making money.

Q: How would you describe your band?
A: Ricky: Like a heavy rock emo. It’s a hybrid emo really.
Ryan: ‘Cause it runs on gas and electricity.
Dustin: We try and keep a lot of energy and move around a lot. (Gesturing to Ryan) But I guess that’s not working so well.
Ryan: I’m the drummer I’m not supposed to move around.

Q: How did you come up with the name of your band?
A: Dustin: Ryan just shouted it out and we all said ‘okay.’
Ryan: It’s something feminine yet masculine that we all liked. It was actually something I thought of the night before. A friend was having some rough times and I said “My darling’s down.” The next day we were talking about what our name should be and I just said it.
Dustin: And we didn’t want to waste anymore time thinking about it.

Q: What was the best part about working on the CD?
A: Ryan: Andy Patalan was our producer and he really brought it all together. We got the songs to the point where we thought they were good and he made some changes and sprinkled some fairy dust and made them even better.
Amanda: We call him the Wizard.
Ricky: We grew up hearing Andy play for Sponge so working with him was awesome.
Dustin: It’s great to hear your music being played and seeing people enjoy it.
Amanda: I really enjoy going out every weekend doing what we do.

Q: Where does the inspiration for your music come from?
A: Amanda: Just everyday life. Just things you’d see or feel day to day. Dustin writes most of the music.
Dustin: I’d say I write about 90 percent of it but I give it to Amanda and she writes the lyrics. Every now and then I steal something she writes and claim it as mine. Usually something will just come to me and I’ll sit down and monkey with it, but if other people are around I hate it. When I get something we all bring it in and I play it for them like 100 times then we all play it and make some changes and add stuff. We just keep putting stuff in and try to make everyone happy.
Amanda: Everyone?
Dustin: Except for you. You’re just here for looks.

Q: What were you doing before the interview?
A: Dustin: Go-kart racing( at Silos Fun Park).
Ryan: The Darling Down 500.
Ricky: I won.
Amanda: I won.
Ryan: Was anyone even paying attention to that?
Ricky: I did. I only won ‘cause I had the Glory to God car.


- The Hillsdale Daily News


"Band with local roots to play at Hillsdale venue"

Hillsdale, Mich. —

Two Hanover-Horton graduates are returning to Hillsdale with their band, Darling Down to release their self-titled CD Friday.


Amanda Legault, 24, currently of Kalamazoo, and Ryan Hudson, 27, currently of Marshall, are coming back to share their music.


“I’ve played music with a lot of people around here over the years,” Hudson said, “It’s great to have a venue to actually play at.”


Dustin Claud, 25, of Kalamazoo and Ricky Brott, 27, of Marshall round out the band and will be playing at Time Out Sports and Spirits Friday starting at 9 p.m.


Hudson said the band has been having a few smaller release shows instead of one big one because it is harder to get people to travel a long ways anymore.


“So we’re bringing the music around to people,” he said.


CDs will be available at the show and online at www.darlingdown.com.

Q: How did you all meet?
A: Ryan: Amanda and I grew up in Horton so we split our time between Jackson and Hillsdale.
Amanda: I moved to California for a while and came back with Dustin. We put up a flyer at Guitar Center saying we were looking for a drummer. We had almost given up when I got a random phone call from Ryan saying “Hey I think we went to high school together.”
Dustin: I was skeptical at first because he’s short.
Ryan: People don’t take me seriously because I’m short...
Ricky: They found me on the street with a cardboard sign that said “will play for food.”
Ryan: And we fed him well.

Q: What are some of your influences?
A: Ricky: I’m a total metal head. Pretty much anything metal. Stuff like “36 crazy fists.”
Amanda: I grew up watching Broadway musicals and Barbara Streisand and I liked all the costumes and makeup, the idea that you’re telling a story with what you’re doing.
Dustin: I’m more punk-emo like Senses Fail. And a band most people around here probably haven’t heard of — Noggin Toboggan. It’s a west coast kind of punk.
Ryan: I was into pop rock, top 40s kind of stuff then I went back to Led Zepplin. Pretty much anything that’s making money.

Q: How would you describe your band?
A: Ricky: Like a heavy rock emo. It’s a hybrid emo really.
Ryan: ‘Cause it runs on gas and electricity.
Dustin: We try and keep a lot of energy and move around a lot. (Gesturing to Ryan) But I guess that’s not working so well.
Ryan: I’m the drummer I’m not supposed to move around.

Q: How did you come up with the name of your band?
A: Dustin: Ryan just shouted it out and we all said ‘okay.’
Ryan: It’s something feminine yet masculine that we all liked. It was actually something I thought of the night before. A friend was having some rough times and I said “My darling’s down.” The next day we were talking about what our name should be and I just said it.
Dustin: And we didn’t want to waste anymore time thinking about it.

Q: What was the best part about working on the CD?
A: Ryan: Andy Patalan was our producer and he really brought it all together. We got the songs to the point where we thought they were good and he made some changes and sprinkled some fairy dust and made them even better.
Amanda: We call him the Wizard.
Ricky: We grew up hearing Andy play for Sponge so working with him was awesome.
Dustin: It’s great to hear your music being played and seeing people enjoy it.
Amanda: I really enjoy going out every weekend doing what we do.

Q: Where does the inspiration for your music come from?
A: Amanda: Just everyday life. Just things you’d see or feel day to day. Dustin writes most of the music.
Dustin: I’d say I write about 90 percent of it but I give it to Amanda and she writes the lyrics. Every now and then I steal something she writes and claim it as mine. Usually something will just come to me and I’ll sit down and monkey with it, but if other people are around I hate it. When I get something we all bring it in and I play it for them like 100 times then we all play it and make some changes and add stuff. We just keep putting stuff in and try to make everyone happy.
Amanda: Everyone?
Dustin: Except for you. You’re just here for looks.

Q: What were you doing before the interview?
A: Dustin: Go-kart racing( at Silos Fun Park).
Ryan: The Darling Down 500.
Ricky: I won.
Amanda: I won.
Ryan: Was anyone even paying attention to that?
Ricky: I did. I only won ‘cause I had the Glory to God car.


- The Hillsdale Daily News


Discography

Look for Darling Down's debut self titled album later this summer.

Photos

Bio

Darling Down is an aggressive, guitar driven, rock quartet from Marshall, Michigan. The band formed in 2007 and has been touring the Midwest since their creation. In just a short time, Darling Down has developed a loyal following, and are determined to spread their fan base nationwide. Darling Down plays all original songs that focus on themes that everyone can relate to. From love, to friendship, to friends, Darling Down is making a name for themselves within the music industry through their passionate sound.

Songs to check out: Screams, Revenge is Sweet Like Cherries