Darling Waste began in Cleveland, Ohio. Chasing the dream to New York City, Darling Waste evolved into a 4-piece “mobile rock unit” and hit the road. After eight years, over 600 DIY shows in 11 countries, the band has built a fiercely loyal army of devoted fans. The band’s music has been featured on MTV, VH1, Showtime and Miramax distributed, and has been played on over 100 radio stations.
In this interview spotlight, we chat with Darling Waste about influences, the latest project, challenges and more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream for The Skeleton Key album below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
LANCE: We are from Cleveland, OH. We started out in Cleveland before relocating the band to Brooklyn, NY and to Brighton England for a couple of years. After we were denied entry, imprisoned and deported, we decided to head back to our roots in Cleveland.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
I’ve been playing music and writing songs my whole life. I started playing piano before I was five. I am an only child so I used to pass the time by writing new verses to Michael Jackson songs in my room when I was little.
I went to Cleveland State University. I wasn’t doing a band really, but had written and recorded some songs under the name Darling Waste. We had a little local music festival that brought in some A&R reps and industry folks. A woman from MTV heard our song “Changing of the Seasons” on the local college station and called them to ask who it was. The song got picked up on a bunch of MTV shows and there started to be a demand for the band to play shows. So I put a collective of friends together and hit the road. It’s now 14 years, eleven countries and 800 shows later!
And I think we stay the course because we love what we do. I keep writing because I have things to say and it’s a great therapeutic outlet for my emotions and thoughts. We love making music together, touring and playing up on stage.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
This is the first album we’ve done without an outside producer or influence. I recorded all the tracks in my studio, engineered the entire album, produced, mixed and even mastered it. So sonicly the album sounds a lot different than the past albums. My “day job” is producing records through my company Heart Riot, so this album has a much different production style than the previous ones. As far as songwriting, I think this may be the fastest and most “punk” album we’ve ever done. I didn’t realize it honestly until we released it. We wrote about 20 songs for the album and only put out 12. The 12 we chose just happened to be the faster songs so it was kind of an accident.
Do you face challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? How has technology helped you (assuming it helps)?
I think the streaming age or digital age is really awesome actually. The pirates won, and they had to make music free! It really evens up the playing field for the little guy and major labels don’t get to dictate what we have access to anymore. The downside is obviously we don’t make money from albums any more. We rely pretty heavily on licensing our music to film and tv, touring and merch sales for revenue these days. To me it shifted the focus of the industry. Music used to be the product, but now the artist is the product that the music showcases.
Where can we connect with you online and discover more music?
- Website: Darlingwaste.com
- Bandcamp: Darlingwaste.bandcamp.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/darlingwaste
- Instagram: Instagram.com/darlingwaste
- Twitter: @darlingwaste
Anything else before we sign off?
Trans+ rights are human rights and punching Nazis is always okay. Thanks for chatting with me!