Thrash Hits verdict: The best recommendations for music come from your friends, right? We got an email from Hugh from Astrohenge the other week, recommending Darkshaft to us. Being big fans of both the ‘henge records to date, we headed over to Darkshaft’s website and got an earful of calculated discordance We caught up with Michael Triponel, guitarist (and co-vocalist) of the duo, and we managed to do so without making even one lazy Flight Of The Conchords joke.
Describe your sound in 3 words.
Emphasis on Rad
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
We were both born and raised in New Zealand. There are so many factors involved – the list is huge, but if I had to give one all round defining influential factor, across several instances, it would come down to population, or lack of (there are more people in East London, where we currently reside, than the whole of New Zealand, probably).
How did you meet?
Technically we met three times, before Aja [Timu, vocals/ drums] finally managed to put two and two together for the final time and bother to remember who I was, way back in 2004. I had just relocated to the big city and happened to land an audition (off the back of my crappy, but much loved high school band’s demo) with this supergroup of sorts that he was playing guitar in.
What made you want to start a band?
We look at our band as a continuation of the past bands we’ve been in together, just with a different band name, fewer members and new songs. It was only natural that once I caught the gust of wind of Aja moving here, that we’d play together. It would’ve been a reverse in physics if we didn’t. You’ve got to stick with musicians you work well with, man. In regards to us starting any band in general? LA BAMBA.
Where did the name come from?
Well…having been through the painstaking rigmarole of finding “the right band name” that would portray us in the desired light, and additionally represent our sound accurately using one or two catch-word band names so many, many times, we agreed that this time around we would go for the stupidest name we could think of. As far as I believe, Darkshaft was a fictional band that Aja had started with his brother, some years ago, that never eventuated. We even got in contact with said brother, to ask for permission to use the name.
What are your non-musical influences?
(Hate for) the Hospitality industry, aka the backbone of the Entertainment industry.
Some of us at Thrash Hits have a near-irrational hatred of cassette tapes. What made you decide to release your EP on tape, and what would you say to our angry, tape-hating writers to convince them that Tapes Are A Good Thing?
We’ve wanted to put out a cassette for years and the opportunity came up and we went with it. In a way, we were paying homage to our childhood nostalgia before CD’s were the new thing (our cassettes, as simple as they come, are black – Every Roadrunner band from the 90’s cassettes were always black, for example). There’s also the collectable aspect of it. We had our cassette cases made by a lovely young man by the name of Tom who runs a boutique company called AC/DSleeve and his company’s motto reads: ‘Making the physical music format more desirable than its digital counterpart’.
That, and my old van only had a cassette player.
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
Moving to another country, starting from absolute scratch and having the reaction and welcome from the crowds, scene/s and other bands, for starters. Such a trip, man.
With which band would your dream support slot/tour be?
Let’s Talk Daggers, forever. Or Guitar Wolf, forever.
THIS IS WHY GUITAR WOLF RULE:
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
Dude, so many. Our friends in Let’s Talk Daggers, Crocus (R.I.P you bastards), Hammers, Palm Reader, Glass Cannons and The James Cleaver Quintet to name drop a bunch.
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
Unlike other two-piece bands, we’re a lot louder than most five-piece bands. I’m aware that we may have a bit of a novelty factor too.
What’s the best and/or funniest show you’ve played?
Probably our most recent show. We played in Eastbourne which is a second home for us, with lots of friends and friends’ bands. It was Hallowe’en and a packed house. Nothing particularly unusual happened, except everyone’s yearly alter-egos turned out, plus a shitload of carnage.
What other band should everyone find out about?
There are a bunch of very talented bands popping up that people should check out – Glass Cannons from Leicester have all the riffs, Sutek [ahem!], WRECKjavik from West London, Gatherer (previously known as This City Sunrise), Oh and Let’s Talk Daggers – the most talented bunch of 20 year olds anywhere. Most ex-models, post-career will often do something daft like invest in long term revenue returning ventures – those dudes started a rock band.
Darkshaft’s double-A-side cassette release, 27 & Not Dead / The Rumours Are True, is out now via Dragons Gold Collective, and is available to buy through their official Bandcamp page. The pair are playing just one more show this side of 2013, alongside Let’s Talk Daggers and Black Shapes – check out the official Facebook event page for more details.