Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Jiv and Russ were actually born out of country, Jiv from South Africa and Russ from Switzerland. Most of the band lives in Mississauga now, just west of Toronto, except Jiv who lives in Oakville (even further west).
How did you meet?
Jiv and Elle met at a music academy in a networking group for people seeking bands. They found Russ on a networking site, and he found Matt at a music shop. Nick used to be Matt’s bully in high school, but then they played in a band for a bit together, split, and then Matt called him because he was an amazing guitar player and we needed one. Lo and behold, he’s producing our current album.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
This lineup has only been together about eight months, but Nick joined in January which was about a year and a half of playing together. So technically two years.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The name was discovered by accident. Jiv stumbled over her words while saying the original idea “Dark Storm Crows” and said “Darkstone Crows” and we all liked it. You could say it struck a weird chord in our minds.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
We can all agree on a couple – Lamb of God, Disturbed, and Halestorm. Jiv loves Gojira, Matt’s into Avenged Sevenfold. Nick is a Periphery fan, Russ just wants to groove to Tool, and Elle is really into Slipknot at the moment.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music, the direction we’re following recently, is very heavily directed by melody. While we’re still very riff- and rock-based, the music is employing more accentuating lead lines while eschewing solos, a progressive element that hadn’t been considered before, and soaring lead vocals that make your hair stand on end. We still have an insane amount of energy that we strive to convey in our live show and in the studio. Our music is really unique because we always end up making songs that sound great, but everyone is really doing their own variation in their own style, so it becomes this eclectic melting pot of metal awesomeness.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Predominantly Jiv, and Russ write lyrics, Jiv takes ideas from injustices she see in the world around her, the media, while Russ’ lyrics hit closer to home and tend to be more metaphoric in content.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Is crap-ton an acceptable unit of measurement? We’ve played a lot of shows!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Russ saw two guys, absolutely shredding solos at the same time while they made out, note for note, in harmony. It was so rock and roll and it was just a raunchy show already, a great time!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
MAPEX Mars (Bone White)
- 20” Zildjian K Heavy Ride
- 18” Dream Energy Crash (Right)
- 18” Dream Bliss Crash (Left)
- 20” TRX BRT Chinese
- 18” Dream Pang Chinese
- 14” Dream Energy Hats (Main)
- 14” Sabian AA Bottom Hat (Stack – Bottom)
- 12” Zildjian Oriental Trash Chinese (Stack – Top)
- Promark 2B Hickory drumsticks, Pearl Demon Drive double-kicks and Evans drumheads.
- Ernie Ball Sterling JP-100D pickups (DiMarzio Crunchlab and Liquifyre)
- ESP LTD AW-7 (DiMarzio Deactivators)
- Peavey 6505 amp
- EVH 5150iii 2×12” cabinet (Ivory White)
- Fender Jazz Bass pickups (DiMarzio Ultra Jazz)
- OLP Musicman Stingray (Delano MC4-HY and Bartolini MM4-BCB)
- Gallien-Krueger Fusion-550 amp
- A.R.T. Pro VLA-ii Dual Compressor
- Tech21 SansAmp RPM Preamp
- Ibanez RG-8 pickups (DiMarzio D-Activators)
- Schecter Omen-7 (DiMarzio Titan-7)
- Marshall MG-102cfx amp
- Line 6 POD HD Pro
- Shure Super-55
What are your plans for 2016?
We are in the midst of recording a full-length album, beyond that just trying to write and play more shows. We definitely want to get out as much as we can, expose ourselves to many people and meet all the friendly faces.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
If we could open for Halestorm and Disturbed, that would probably be unbelievably cool as well as a decent match.