MTV's Darling Waste finally releases their new album Good and Bad Angels to high anticipation after their last album I Am Born was was nominated for a British Music Week Award and had DARLING WASTE invited to the Brighton Music Awards where they co-presented with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Roger Daltry of The Who.
-interview with Lance Waste.
Well first off what's the story behind the band's name?
Lance- Well, I started the band right out of high school. I was playing bass in a touring rock band in high school that band kind of imploded in on itself while we were writing the next album. I had some songs I had written and I really wanted to put them out. I had just started college and was recording in my spare time. When I got them finished, I wanted to just kind of give them out to my friends on CDRs but I didn't want to put my name on them, because they were written for a full band.. So I decided to have a moniker to play under.
The band name itself is pretty personal to be honest. With the very first album I made the decision to not hold anything back and to always write intensely personal lyrics. And I decided on the name for the same reasons.
Do you think working essentially as a two-man band has allowed you to progress in ways you couldn't envision with more members?
Lance- Actually Darling Waste is a four piece band in the studio and usually a five piece band live. Our core members are myself, Jason Lustig, Daniel Bonner and Mikey Lewis. We are a little bit different than most bands because Jason and I are both multi-instrumentalists who play a lot of the music on the albums. Jason records and produces each album as well. He is also a father and husband now so he doesn't tour with us, he only plays on the albums.
How difficult is it meshing with the added members when you're touring?
Lance- Daniel, Mikey, Jason and myself are best friends. Jason & I have lived together and produced a ton of other band's albums. I was best man at his wedding and am godfather to his daughter. Mikey, Daniel and I haved toured all over the world together. At this point we are way more like family than bandmates. We are like brothers. We say "I love you" whenever we greet or say goodbye and are comfortable sleeping in the same bed or whatever while we are on tour. Mikey and I have lived together on a yachtin the English Channel and Daniel and I have even been in a maximum security detention center together! So the chemistry within Darling Waste is pretty rare I think.
We all have a lot of musician friends who have toured with us at some time in the past, so when we decide to tour, we check to see who is around, who has been fired from their job, dumped by their girlfriend, or evicted from their apartment and we invite them to hit the road for a couple of months with us. haha. On this upcoming tour my friend Justin is going to come out and play bass which I'm really excited about.
Does anybody else contribute musically or lyrically outside of you two?
Lance- I do almost all of the songwriting on the albums. The rest of the band contributes as well. As the producer Jason will bring some lyric or musical changes as well. Jason helped write the music on three of the songs on the album, Daniel co-wrote the music on a song and Mikey co-wrote the music on a song as well. My friend Emily Peal sings on one of the tracks which was such a treat for us. She has an amazing voice.
What's your writing process like (series of notes that maybe get pieced together after touring)?
Lance- I think I write a record very differently than a lot of artists. Basically I keep a lyric book with me at all times. I write in it constantly, daily. When I am home from tour I will sit at my piano or with a guitar and just fool around without a real "songwriting" purpose in mind. If I come across something I like, I will record the music in my home studio. After I get the music down I will sing melodies over it until I find something I like, then I go through the lyric book to find something that fits with the mood and feel of the song. After I get a bunch of them recorded I will fly out to Jason's house for a couple of weeks and we will sift through all the little zygotes of songs I have and pick the ones that grab us and work on them and flesh them out, adding some instruments and figuring out the song structure. Once that is finished I will fly out to Mikey and Daniel and we will start playing them together in a room to write their parts and work out the kinks. After we have done this with about 15 songs or so we will all head back to Jason's recording studio and start recording the album. During the recording process we pick the songs that fit together as an album the best. So it's a long long process from idea to album. It usually takes about two years.
Lance, I read somewhere that you're a comic geek so would you say that's where you kind of draw you're innovative touch with your music, trying to create that dreamlike adventure?
Lance- Yeah I'm a huge comic nerd. I have boxes in every closet plus in my parent's garage. I even bought a comic book store once a couple of years ago. I have a Batman tattoo and three tattoo's from Neil Gaimon's "Sandman" series.
But I think for the most part I've really kept comic culture out of our music. My lyrics are super personal. I don't really write in a vague way or with double meanings. I'm pretty blunt and brutally honest with the lyrics. If I'm in a relationship that ends or someone I know dies, I will just come out and say it lyrically instead of using a metaphor for it. It's like therapy for me - a way to express my hurt or my grief.
That being said we did release an EP called "Death of the Dreaming," which while it was about my personal experiences, the title was from a Neil Gaimon comic. There are actually a lot of Charles Dickens references in the last two albums though for any fellow literary nerd out there haha.
With the mainstream success of comics becoming movies, what comic would you love to see turned a movie and feature your music?
Lance- Hmm. It would have to be something really romantic. I think maybe a gothic,moody Swamp Thing if it's done correctly, could be awesome. Recently online I said I wanted a Voltron movie or a Preacher movie. And someone sent me links where they are making a Voltron movie and a Preacher TV series! I would like to see them actually do Superman the right way. In fact, Jason has already written a Superman script if anyone wants to read it. And I would someday like to see a "Dark Knight Returns" movie from the Frank Miller graphic novel. I think Hollywood needs some girl superheros too! Maybe She-Hulk or Zathura? We would gladly lend our songs to any of those.
Is there one already out there today that you think is just the perfect fit for your sound?
Lance- It would have been awesome to have been on The Watchmen soundtrack. Already some great bands on it and it was a really great adaptation.
If you could compare your sound to a movie, what would it be and why?
Lance- Online our music is always getting put to Twilight clips! haha. I keep seeing them pop up on youtube. I think we go well with gothic, romantic movies. I am in love with movies like Vanilla Sky and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, so I think movies like that are kind of what I am going for musically. Something sweet and melancholy.
With the recent release of Good and Bad Angels, how do you think this albums transcends from the rest?
Lance- It's funny because I really thought this album was going to be way different than everything else we've done and thought we might alienate some fans with it, but after it was finished it fits really well within our body of work. I think it's the most patient, adult album we've done. I feel like the songs have room to breath. We really took our time on the record and we had the label support which allowed us do what we wanted to do. We got to put out the exact record we wanted to put out, note for note, word for word and it's a record I am really proud. We never write for critics or worry about trends. As long as we are proud of it and our fans can find things to relate to, then we are happy.
Could we expect to see you guys down in Florida in the near future?
Lance- Yes actually, and we're all really excited about it. Darling Waste will be touring Florida this January, in fact. So we will see you then!
After sharing the stage with some big name artists like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Secondhand Serenade and Dashboard Confessional, are there any plans in the works to hook up with some other big draws?
Lance- It's funny because we get asked that alot, but all of the larger tours we have done with big bands just get offered to us out of the blue. So we never know what we are doing from one minute to the next. We actually got a pretty interesting email the other day about a tour but I shouldn't say anything since nothing is in stone.
But whether we are opening for large bands in amphitheaters and concert halls or we are headlining our own tours playing clubs, we are always out on the road touring. I think we played 11 countries last year and are closing in on our 500th show! We are just as happy in a church basement or vfw hall as we are playing on a huge stage. We love connecting with our fans and playing music for a living. You really couldn't ask for anything better!
In closing, do you have anything else in the works (Podcasts, EP's, singles, things via your website)?
Lance- Our single "Please Lie to Me" is hitting the radio in October and we put out a 19 song B-sides album for free. Our new album "Good and Bad Angels" is now available on Itunes and all over the internet. Our fall tour with Radioviolet and Leather Zoo starts October 7th and we are going to be doing some live acoustic shows on Stickam or something soon, something where we can take requests and answer questions between songs. We are always busy!
Thanks so much for the interview! We can't wait to tour Florida in January.