Into The Light with Dark Station
Into The Light with Dark Station
In the spring of 2018, five Southern California musicians came together, leaving their respective projects behind, to form a new band. A band with the ability to seamlessly transition from crushingly heavy riffs to unforgettably haunting melodies and lyrics. With inspiration drawing from the top late 90’s and early 00’s rock bands, there’s a certain familiarity to the music that’s refreshing and yet evolved into what can only be described as Dark Station. The band issued their debut album Down In The Dark right before the pandemic. They’ve managed to tour a bit after restrictions were lifted, which included a few dates with The Dead Rabbitts and recently issued an EP entitled Afterlight – which is a few of the Dark Station favorites reimagined with a glorious amount of originality and intrigue.
Highwire Daze recently conducted an interview and photoshoot day at Dystopian Studios deep in the heart of Downtown LA. and invited Dark Station over to participate. Before their session with Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography, Nathan Spades and Kyle Ort from Dark Station sat down for an interview to discuss news on their upcoming sophomore release, being on the road with The Dead Rabbitts, more about creation of their Afterlight EP, and other topics of interest. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Dark Station?
Kyle: My name is Kyle Ort; I slay the bass in Dark Station.
Nate: My name is Nate and I make noise with my mouth.
I understand you are beginning to work on a new Dark Station album. How will this one compare to the first one Down In The Dark and is there a working title yet?
Nate: We’ve had working titles in discussions. Nothing we’ve made a decision on yet. I think we need to finish a lot of the record before we come to a conclusion on that. And then as far as the comparison we can make from this record to the last one, we’re really just trying to provide the same kind of diversity as the first one. We had a lot of range and a lot of different styles that I feel like we hit, but they were still Dark Station – and I think we’re trying to honor that and make a record that is just as awesome and rocks just as hard – but we want to show progression – that we’re advancing as musicians and as artists.
How has the pandemic and all the social unrest in the world influenced the writing and direction of this album and the band – if at all.
Kyle: Our first album was released in 2019, right before March 2020 when everything went to hell. We were getting ready to tour and really push that record, and the whole world stopped. We’re definitely excited to being able to get out there on this new record and finally being able to push it properly and play these songs live – like we didn’t get to really do on this last record. So, I’m excited about that for sure.
Tell me about the concept of your recently released EP Afterlight and what was it like to break down these songs in a different way?
Nate: I think the whole concept is just basically trying to provide a different experience with a lot of the original songs that we wrote and maybe push them to an audience that really wasn’t about the rock stuff – if that makes sense. Maybe it wasn’t their taste. So, we wanted to provide a different experience for some of these songs because a lot of these songs had a lot of potential to be heard in other ways. The ones that we chose were a little bit softer – like Ghost especially – that one was very emotional for me, and the song is shown in a different light with the way that we did it on Afterlight. And I think that was the whole point of it – to provide a different experience so that other people who might not be into the regular versions would be into these – and a lot of people who were into the regular versions would have another version to hear as well. I think it really showed a different side to us. We have the ability to do other things and we are capable – so I think that was the idea and that’s how it was brought up. The songs obviously mean a lot to us, and it was really cool hearing what we did to them because I really didn’t think we had expectations on how they were going to come out.
You did a few shows with The Dead Rabbitts. What was that experience like, and did you get to meet Craig Mabbitt?
Kyle: Yeah, Craig was very nice and welcoming to us. We had a great time with him. We only did a few shows, so it was kind of a mini-tour, I guess. I would definitely play shows with that band again – the whole band was great. We had a good time on that tour. It was only about a week long. Craig was great – I still stay in contact with him today. Hopefully we can do some stuff in the future.
You guys had a standout song on your debut album Down In The Dark called Heroes. What is your definition of a hero?
Nate: I think my definition of a hero is somebody that no matter who’s watching or no matter what anyone thinks, will stay true to their integrity and the reason that they are doing something – regardless of how many odds are against them – regardless of what the majority says – regardless of this or that – not making excuses about doing the wrong thing. Just holding themselves to a high personal standard. A good moral compass. To me, that’s a hero – someone that can go through all the bullshit and weed through all the bullshit and still be the person that they are. Because that’s really fucking hard to do – I don’t care what anybody says. That’s a hero to me. That’s something I’m trying to do, and I struggle with it. To be honest, we’re only human, right?
Exactly. So, what’s up in the New Year for Dark Station?
Kyle: Still working on the new record – still writing. We’ve probably got like 20 songs we’re working on right now that are started. We’ll narrow it down to the best 10-12 songs, but right now we’re working on about 20 of them. Next year we’re going to keep hammering away at that. Maybe we could get it released towards the end of the year and do some touring – we’ll see…
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography)
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