SPECTRUM: Interview with Dark Horses

11 Apr 2018

Taking their cues from an expansive array of sources, Dark Horses blend psychedelia, rock and electronica with moving image, monochrome lighting and photography.

We had a chat with the band ahead of their performance at SPECTRUM's upcoming day festival. 

When did you start writing music?
We started writing together in 2010, but we'd all been writing individually for years before that. Songs are the perfect escape from the confines of the teenage bedroom, and writing music seemed like a natural tool that promised adventure and excitement - even if that was only in the imagination.

How did you meet?
There are various stories on how we met, but in essence what brought us together is desire - desire to be connected, to be loud, to be visceral, to be silly, to be challenged… and somehow the chemistry between us just works. We all come from totally different musical backgrounds, but maybe that's precisely why it does work.

What track are you most proud of? 
Most recently we released YES YES YES as part of Love Thy Neighbour's Triptych event - it's often the case that you are most proud of your most recent work… This one's such a pleasure to play live.

How would you describe your music?
Flawed, human, melodic, meditative, precise and chaotic.

What are the main influences on your sound?
Our inspirations change all the time, but there are certain artists and styles we always come back to: the insistent, hypnotic sound of Krautrock… guys like Can and NEU! Here's Hallogallo (German slang for 'wild partying') by NEU!:

The discord, passion and vision of The Velvet Underground. Here's White Light, White Heat

Have you released any albums yet? Are you signed to a label?
Yes, we've released two albums and are nearly finished with the third. The first two came out through Last Gang Records. Labels are definitely not as relevant as they once were, and I think it's a lot easier now to get good distribution and PR on your own terms - if you can retain ownership of your music then do!

What are you listening to at the moment? 
Cambodian Space Project - A ground-breaking psych band from Cambodia - tragically their singer was killed in a road accident recently… a tragic loss of a true pioneer and ambassador of Cambodian rock and roll.

Mile High Club / King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - A wonderful mix of jazz rhythms and psychedelic production.

Sophie - And now for something completely different!  It's a slightly grating style, which on the one hand I find quite hard to listen to but on the other I'm curious about… sometimes things that repel can also attract.

What are your plans for the near-future?
We'll be back in the studio in a few weeks to finish the record, with a little outing for a show at The Alternative Escape on May 17th to test-drive some of the new songs. Our next single is out on July 20th and we have some rather special plans for the physical release.

What does it mean to you to perform at Brighton Dome?
Brighton Dome was originally built to house the Prince Regent's horses, so it feels fitting for us Dark Horses to perform there! We're also excited to hear the other bands and artists - the seaside air seems to be good for growing talent :)

For more information on the SPECTRUM Record Store Day festival and to see the full line up, see our event page.