Those Darlins seem to be featuring everywhere at the moment, getting rave reviews, and I had the chance to ask a few probing questions before they embark on their first ever visit to the UK, as part of their European tour, which they are buzzin about and so are WE!
MEL: Ok I know you hate the question “how did you all meet” so I will avoid that one [smiles] - So I will just ask why did you originally decide to form a band?
JESSI: Well everybody’s gotta do something with their life right? We all love playing music and hanging out so we just combined the two. Now we hang out while playing music and then we take it on the road and hang out with a bunch of people while we play music. Its awesome.
MEL: Who came up with the band name?
JESSI: I think Nikki came up with the ‘Darlin’ part, she was on a softball team called Lil Darlins. A friend of ours came up with the ‘Those’ aspect. (Cause we aren’t just any darlins...)
MEL: Do you all get on really well together?
JESSI: Yeah, we have a lot of fun together thats for sure.
MEL: Well then it’s time to spill the gossip on each other...tell us something funny about each other.
JESSI: No way! I’m the smallest in the group, you think I’m gonna spill the beans? They'll have me in a headlock the whole way to the UK!
MEL: What are your musical backgrounds and what bands/artists have influenced you?
JESSI: Well, we all started playing music at a young age and never looked back. We're basically all obsessed with music so to ask what bands/artists have influenced us is kind of a crazy question. We take influence from tons of different music and we are always looking for new things that inspire us. We look a lot to rock n’ roll outfits like the Seeds, the Stones, the Troggs, the Equals, Chuck Berry, etc. A good bit of girl groups: Shirelles, Darlene Love, Chantels, Supremes, Ronettes, Orlons, etc. Punk groups such as: NY Dolls, Ramones, Patti Smith, Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers... Lots of millions of others. We listen to early country, blues, jazz, reggae and dance and all kindsa stuff so you never know what we're gonna get from where.
MEL: What is the album you have played over and over again?
JESSI: We always go back to Funkadelic- Maggot Brain on the road. Late at night when our tour managers got to make that drive from venue to wherever we are staying, that shit gets put on and everyone knows: its time to get down to business and get ourselves home.
MEL: You are releasing your second album “Screws Get Loose” on 13th February 2012 in the UK can you tell our readers why they should go and buy a copy?
JESSI: Because the first listen gives an instant orgasm.
MEL: What's the story behind your album cover, and who is she?
JESSI: That’s me! We were on set for the making of our video for ‘Be Your Bro’ and Nikki reached her hand around my face, stuck her finger in my nose, and pulled me down! There’s a lot of meaning behind that image but I think it really mainly implies, don’t take life too seriously, because just when you are trying to look all sexy and cool for the cameras, your proverbial Nikki is gonna bring you right back down to reality.
MEL: What are the main themes behind the album?
JESSI: There’s no intended theme, its just a group of songs about the last few years of our life. Those years have also coincidentally been spent touring constantly so I guess you could say its a little bit of a road album, but more about growing up.
MEL: How do you come up with the lyrics and music – what’s the formula?
JESSI: There's no formula. We just do the best we can.
MEL: You seem to be steering away from the ‘country’ aspect in this new album was that a conscious decision?
JESSI: Hmm, I don’t know. We didn't really plan it, it sort of happened. So in that way it was unconscious, but at the same time just because we never talked about it doesn't mean we didn't know what was going on.
MEL: What are your personal favourite tracks from the album?
JESSI: They all have their charms to me and I had fun making the album. I think ‘Tina Said’ is one of my favourite songs I’ve written that coincidentally gets the least credit.
MEL: I believe you are about to embark on a UK tour to support the album release. How much are you looking forward to it? We certainly can’t wait to see you in Manchester? Have you played in the UK before?
JESSI: We are so incredibly excited. Literally shaking in our shoes! This is our very first time in the UK, so show us a good time folks!
MEL: Incidentally….any Manchester bands that rock your world?
JESSI: Hmm Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Smiths... Are they all from Manchester proper? Forgive me if I’m wrong.
MEL: They certainly are. Which bands we might know here in the UK that you have supported during your career?
JESSI: Hmm... Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Bosshog, Heavy Trash, Wanda Jackson, King Khan and Bbq Show, Sharon Jones And The Dapkings, Black Joe Lewis And The Honeybears, Ok Go, Drive By Truckers, Old 97s, Best Coast, The Strange Boys and I’m sure a lot of other people I can’t think of right now.
MEL: What kind of reaction have you been getting from your shows?
JESSI: People keep takin off the panties!
MEL: What song always gets the crowd going at your shows?
MEL: What things do you have on your ‘rider’?
JESSI: Oh we just got the regular stuff mostly- beer, wine, water, meals, snacks, tea. In the states we have Lottery tickets. (If your state does not have a lottery we will accept bb's, wiffleballs, money, fireworks, deck of cards etc). Basically anything we can stir up some trouble with.
MEL: What things do you do to amuse yourselves on tour?
JESSI: We play wiffleball! We also do a lot of drawing... reading... Listening to music... Searching for good food... Trying to take naps... Crocheting...
MEL: I know some people hate it when people are talking during a show, or people recording on mobile phones, but what gets you annoyed most during your stage performance?
JESSI: I don’t mind people recording on their phones but I HATE when people scoot all the way up to the front and just text the whole time. I have half a mind to kick that phone clear across the room.
MEL: And on a positive note what do you enjoy most about playing live?
JESSI: I just love the energy in the air and when people get excited and dance it just makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.
MEL: And my last two questions ……….what magazine would you like to appear in?
JESSI: MAD MAGAZINE!
MEL: And lastly but not least…..who might you like to call your “Darlin”?
JESSI: I'm happy with the Darlins I have now. Awww.
Thanks Jessie, now you have left me wondering what the hell is wiffleball?
Grab the new album here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/screws-get-loose/id492584266
Interview by Mel 18/02/12