Interview: Evening Darling

evening darling bandFew things stir the soul as much as that lust for adventure, that longing for the open road that lives inside all of us, and few bands capture that feeling as well as New York’s Evening Darling. The endearing Americana of their debut record has made them one of the most promising new acts to emerge in 2017, with their song ‘Another Long Drive’ leading the way as an early favourite for Belwood’s song of the year. I was lucky enough to chat to the band about their new self-titled album:

Thanks for your time! You’ve just released your debut album to the world, are you happy with the way it’s turned out?
We’re really delighted. Our release party was unarguably the best show we’ve ever played. Sweaty, crowded, full of the people who’ve brought us this far.

What particular track stood out as a favourite while you were writing and recording the album?
Nick Lerangis (Guitars/Vocals): Classic Cars (oddly a track that I had very little writing to do with) just keeps getting stuck in my head.
Erica Lane (Lead Vocals): I’ll says Classic Cars too actually. It was written almost entirely over an afternoon via text message and voice memo clips. That will never happen again.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?
The Pretenders, Fleetwood Mac, Ryan Adams, Neko Case

I hear tell that you got your band name from some graffiti, what’s the story behind that?
Dan Burke (Drums): There was a time when we used to rehearse at a studio down in Gowanus, Brooklyn. I’d usually spend over an hour in rush hour traffic just spacing out and listening to music. Saying that the traffic was mind-numbing doesn’t even do it justice – I practically watched condos being built as I crawled along the Brooklyn-Queens-Expressway. To make a long story longer, I’d pass the time looking at random graffiti on billboards and the sides of buildings. There was one particular one that read “Evening, Darling.” I saw it once a week for an entire summer, and it just stuck. Honestly I have no idea where I saw it – keep in mind I was usually spaced out of my mind by that part of the drive. I’m assuming that the building it was on was demolished, or covered up by another building. But it was definitely somewhere along that road…I swear.

Many of your songs tell tales of wanderlust and the open road. Have you had any memorable adventures while out on tour?

  • We briefly had a booking agent and they booked us at this strange but wonderful venue on the edge of Johnson City, TN, where the prices were 1960s-level low and we played completely acoustic. We were given bologna sandwiches and Fritos as compensation.
  • Light Club Lamp Shop in Burlington, VT is this amazing venue that is also a lamp store. We all crammed on this little stage in sticky August heat and Nick kept knocking into animal shaped lamps that were hanging from the ceiling while leading a John Prine sing-along (Paradise was the song) with everyone in the bar.
  • One time we ended up at a pool party at 2am in the middle of nowhere outside Cincinnati. Also, not naming names, but at the party one of us grabbed a bit of snack from a nice bowl on the kitchen counter. Upon the first bite realized that they were cat kibble, not M&Ms. Who feeds their cat on the kitchen counter?!
  • Recently we were going out after a show in Philly and as soon as we got to a bar a whole grid of the city’s electricity went out. Thanks, Obama! oh wait.

What’s your recipe for the perfect road trip and what would be your car of choice?
Erica: There is a sign once you get on I-40 in Wilmington, NC that says “Barstow. Calif. 2,554 MI” and I think that would be an awesome trip. Play a bunch of random little towns, and see some weird roadside attractions. The car of choice would be Tesla’s first tour bus, once we agreed to road-test it. Elon, if you’re reading this, we’ll take it in a vintage pastel shade, like mint or powder blue. Chrome detailing, please, and we’ll get back to you about the interior.

On ‘Live Where You Lay’ you talk about how people see California as some promised land, and I think many people see New York in the same light. As a New York based band do you think the city lives up to those expectations?
Nick: We have a few New York natives in our band, and have a healthy dose of skepticism about New York being a place where people go to have their problems solved. I feel like New York is where you go to get some problems.
Erica: I don’t think a lot of people come here to solve problems, so much as prove themselves or follow opportunity. As a transplant (I’m from NC) I’ll admit I’m still enjoying my roller coaster love affair with NY, but I was actually miserable, homesick, and pretty lost for the first 6 months. It’s a tough place and a lot of people leave and that’s ok. But from what I’ve seen and experienced you can make things happen here. Yeah it’s expensive, and loud, and grimy, but like any city, there is a reason people keep coming here.

What does the future hold for Evening Darling? Any chance you might find your way to the UK one day?
Next up, we’re playing a lot around NYC and Jersey this spring, and going on tour this summer to the south. Then we’re going to release an EP and maybe you can help us land a few UK dates?

Massive thanks to Evening Darling, whose eponymous debut album is out now!