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Those Darlins are a fantastic band who have just released their excellent third album, ‘Blur The Line (see our own review here)  This is the first album with a new line up and also demonstrates the way the band have evolved from a rowdy young gang to one now capable of delivering a broader sound. Paul Hastings got the opportunity to ask some questions to Jessi Zazu, including asking about that naked album cover photo!

PAUL: Since the last release there has been a line up change. Do you mind letting us know what happened?

JESSI: We parted ways with our former bassist/guitarist Kelley Anderson due to creative differences.

PAUL: How has Adrian fitted in to the band?

JESSI: He has fit like a glove. He is easy going and hilarious... It's nice to have him around.

PAUL: Did the line up change have a big impact on either the song writing or recording process for this album?

JESSI: Yeah I guess so. I mean its a different group of people and a different dynamic so that translates into the music. We had been playing without Kelley for about a year before Adrian came in the band, so we had most of the songwriting groundwork laid out, but he did a great job of fitting himself in seamlessly.

PAUL: As I mentioned in my review, lots of the songs seem to have a more 'restrained' feel. There is a sense of pent up intensity, is this something you would agree with?

JESSI: Yeah I'd say as opposed to our previous younger years where we were more like gasoline sprayed everywhere and light on fire, we now have put that gasoline in an engine. Same intensity, just contained and driven.

PAUL: Is it a deliberate intention to move and progress the sound with each album, or just a consequence of building your experiences and just being older and, maybe, wiser?

JESSI: Both. We definitely want to progress our sound... But also we don't force it, we just make music according to what we are inspired by. Being older and wiser helps develop the patience to delve deeper into who we are.

PAUL: There has to be a question about the cover, I cant help but ask how awkward it was to do that photo shoot? Or, are you all really that comfortable with each other?

JESSI: It was a little awkward but mostly just fun. We laughed a lot. I guess it was probably hardest for Adrian since he had just joined the band... But it was one hell of an initiation. We got close pretty quickly. Literally.

PAUL: The last album got some great reviews here in the UK, how does your exposure here compare to that in the US?

JESSI: I have no idea. We've been touring around the US since 2006 so I guess we've built it up more over here, but the UK has been very kind to us indeed.

PAUL: I could easily see you exploding in the UK, as you have a kind of devilish under current that is sometimes picked up quicker here. How would you feel about that?

JESSI: I would love it, just genuinely love it. We had an amazing time in UK and Europe, I think ya'll picked up on our vibe for sure. We wanna come back.

PAUL: When will we get the chance to see you back performing live in the UK and what can we expect at the live shows?

JESSI: As soon as we can. The sooner you all create the demand, the sooner we'll be there. So get on it. As far as the live show, just expect us to put everything we got into the show every night. We always try to create a unique atmosphere and have an exhilarating experience with each audience.

PAUL: I note that you are releasing a series of DIY tour posters, how important is art and music in your lives?

JESSI: Very important. Or else we wouldn't be lugging all this equipment from town to town in our smelly van just to do it right for you.

PAUL: Finally, I may be alone in this, but the band Haim are huge in the UK at the moment and, whilst I like them, I just cant get it out of my head that they are like a cartoon almost Disney version of Those Darlins!! Any thoughts???

JESSI: They certainly have blown up haven't they? I haven't listened to their album yet. We played with them at one of the Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road dates we did this fall. I didn't watch them because I was under the weather, but the rest of the band said it was one of the best live shows they'd seen all year. I regretted missing them! So my real answer is, I have no idea what they are like or all about, but I think it's badass that there are more women out there playing music and owning it big time. And sisters at that... Most sisters can't get along well enough to play in a band.

Those Darlins are certainly a band who have paid their dues and having gained a lot of critical praise with their last album, hopefully Blur The Line will see them generate even more attention here in the UK. As stated by Jessi, they are clearly keen to visit our shores and as they put on a full throttled rock n roll show, then we should certainly be doing all we can to show them the necessary support to make the tour a reality, soon!!

Interview by Paul Hastings

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