Here we catch-up with the Darker My Horizon who released their second album, ‘No Superhero’ this summer and have been out touring including supporting legendary rockers Nazareth. Over to the band’s Paul Stead...
Have you been pleased with the reaction so far to the new album ‘No Superhero’?
Paul Stead (PS): Extremely pleased, though it certainly hasn’t been heard by enough people. Hopefully, yet….. Ultimately we know the record label has blanketed media – but it’s a waiting game – being put forward for review and airplay etc. But the response from those who have given the new album a spin has been unbelievable.
What are the stories behind some of the songs on the album ? Do the band write and record together or do you write the songs, then bring them to the band to adapt?
PS: I write the songs and then the guys contribute – their playing and their ideas.
Here’s a little background on some of the tracks -
‘No Superhero’ is simply a metaphor – “Part One” and “Part Two” essentially say that no matter what someone does it just never seems to be enough. And then ultimately realising the relationship is done, and while it’s sad it’s best to move on.
“Dear Olivia” is about the letter a member of the armed forces leaves their partner/other half should the worse happen. It’s my favourite song on the new album.
“Top Of The Class” tells the story of a school girl – who had the world at her feet: beautiful, popular, head cheerleader and star of the shows – who Falls pregnant. And while to most that loss of lifestyle and popularity would be like having the rug pulled from under them, having a baby – and that connection – makes her feel whole. Not advocating such things of course, but just saying things aren’t always what you’d think…
“Feels Like Home” and “I Remember” also work in tandem and are very personal to me – they are my experiences (and no doubt others) in song form – the previous not being able to sleep in my bed after my fiance left and the latter how later on in realised I was far better off and enjoying my life more without her. True story!
“We Are, We’re One” is about child abuse and abuse in general. How a problem shared is a problem halved and how if we all know the abuser is taking us all on. And will not win.
The new album has a bigger sound and production than the debut. Did you consciously go in wanting to improve the sound or is it a more natural event as the band progresses?
We engineered & produced “Acquiesce” ourselves and put what we learned and realised into the recording of “No Superhero”. We’ve already started album 3 and I have no doubt we’ll take the experience from putting together the first two and make the next one even more powerful sonically. Well, fingers crossed…..
The band have had some good support slots of late including Nazareth twice. What was it like opening for them?
We’ve been extremely lucky, had some amazing opportunities – and played with some great artists. Nazareth being one of them. They were a friendly and professional bunch, and on both occasions played incredible sets. For us, a lovely experience – the opportunity to win over established rock fans, in state of the art venues – truly brilliant.
How did you land the support to Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper? Will you up the metal in the set list accordingly?!
We are indeed playing a heavier set, out go the poppier tracks (Summer Time and Perfect etc) and the ballads, but still true to us and full of melody, just a harder rocking song-list.
In terms of how we landed the gig – it’ll be our 3rd show at The Camden Underworld in the past year. They know we promote thoroughly, bring a few in terms of support and we put on a polished show. It’s amazing to have venues feel they can trust you enough to either book you or suggest you to promoters. And it’s always great fun to play there!
Would the band love to take six months out and just tour, focus on the band? How difficult is it keeping the band going due to jobs, family life etc. What would you like TDMH to achieve by this time next year?
I think without being part of a major tour – supporting a large and established band it’d be next to impossible. But there are family and work stuff to to consider too. I think we need a few more big name billings and a few more live dates and we’d be happy. We’ve got more videos to record for future singles so we’re not done promoting No Superhero just yet. I am quite lucky as I’m self employed – should opportunities arise. But I also actually rather like my job. A balance is needed right now but fingers crossed some massive chances to get out there will come our way!
Any plans to play European gigs or festivals next year?
Yes, we’re playing in the Czech Republic in March – two shows in Prague, one at Hard Rock Cafe. And we’re in the process of booking some Spanish and German dates.
We played some wonderful festivals this summer, hopefully do those and more next year too.
The songs work well in acoustic mode. Any plans to play more acoustic dates and perhaps release acoustic versions of songs on the album?
The shows in Europe are acoustic and we’re looking at adding some UK dates too – so essentially an European acoustic tour. I love playing that way – it really allows the “stories” to come across. Power, noise and flashy lights are wonderful – sometimes though it’s just nice to sing and interact directly with the audience – like playing to your friends and family in your front room.
Is the UK gig scene in reasonable health or is it struggling with a lot of small to medium sized venues closing, especially in London.
This has always been a difficult question to answer. I see both sides as I was also a professional club DJ and marketing manager for 21 years. Running a venue costs a lot of money. I have no doubt that venue owners and managers – especially those who love live music – would love to give new artists and up and coming bands etc the chance to shine on their stages. But they gotta make money. And that’s hard enough in this economy. From our perspective most gigs we play have great crowds. And there’s definitely decent opportunities out there. But it is hard and it’s horrible to see venues close and people losing their jobs. Just gotta keep on keeping on.
Message for your fans…
Thank you Jason and GRTR! for asking us some questions and for the amazing support. And a massive thank you to all our friends and fans for their continued support and wonderful interaction. Wouldn’t and couldn’t do this without you!
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