Last week I was able to chat with Kyle Nicolaides, the lead singer of Beware of Darkness, during their most recent tour. Some of the answers might have a little paraphrasing in them due to poor phone connection but enjoy this insight into a rising west coast band.
So, first up, how did you guys form as a band?
When I moved to LA, I was playing a lot of rock shows, but also a good amount of R and B type music. At one of these R and B shows, I saw Tony across the room, and it was easy to pick him out, he was the only other white guy at the club. I was sitting at the bar after my set, watching Tony play with his group and he was really good. Afterwards we saw each other at the bar and decided to jam and play together sometime.
I’ve read that there is a good story behind how you guys met Daniel, what was it?
Well Daniel was living in Maryland, and his father told him he had a long lost brother out in California, so he was out in Santa Monica meeting up with his brother, we met him at a performance and the rest is history.
Do you guys have any intention of adding a 4th to the band or are you guys content to remain a trio?
Yeah, actually we’re definitely looking to add some more variety in our sound. A few of the songs off the new album feature keyboard pretty heavily, so we’re actually in the process of looking for a keyboard player.
Why ‘Beware of Darkness?’ Was there a certain theme or branding image you wanted to create?
This is sad, but I honestly don’t remember naming the band or coming up with the name. Just one day we became Beware of Darkness and it’s stuck ever since, I don’t really remember where it came from.
I wanna say thanks for sending the EP over, I’ve been really enjoying it the past few weeks. I know you’re the main lyricist for the band, where do you draw inspiration for these sometimes dark and twisted lyrics?
Uh, well normally I guess I just feel it in the moment, there are really no inspirations I draw from, just past experiences and whatever I’m feeling at the time. I think of lyrics at the most random of moments, and it can be anything that triggers it.
Listening to you guys its obvious that Zeppelin was a huge inspiration, but who else would you credit as inspiration?
Right now I’d say Fiona Apple, her new album is great. It really has so many layers to it, it definitely takes a months worth of listening to truly get it. I’ve been listening to a lot of her lately and I think I’d definitely consider her old stuff and new stuff as inspiration.
I would have loved to see you guys at SXSW, do you guys have any good stories from the festival? I hear things get pretty interesting down there.
Hah, I have the worst memory, I remember getting to see the bassist of Blondie was pretty crazy. Oh actually, we were eating at a restaurant before one of our sets, and I found a crayfish and for some reason thought it’d be funny to throw it into the crowd during our set. It was St. Patrick’s Day so the entire crowd was drunk, and there was this half-naked 50 year old lady, very disgusting, in the crowd. I forgot to throw it during the show, so after the show I went to throw it bouquet-style. I threw it and it bounced off a pretty girls head and the crazy lady picked it up and kept it. But the funny part is that the pretty girl I hit turned out to be the lady that booked us the show, and we had plans to have an interview with her later that night. Luckily, we were able to smooth things over, hah.
You guys have a debut album coming out later this year, I for one and pumped. Tell me about Orthodox, what new themes or directions did you guys want to explore in this album?
I think the album has a much fuller sound than our previous work. It’s going to be more angry, more aggressive. It’s has melody driven songs and ultimately it’ll be very song driven. I’m really happy with the album, we just actually finished up with it, I can’t wait until it comes out.
How has life changed now that your signed to a record label in Bright Antenna, things must be much different than when you guys were forming in 2010, what has been the biggest change?
I don’t know, I kind of view it the same as graduating high school or graduating college, you can walk the stage, or sign a record label but its all the same. You still have the same problems, you’re still the same person. It’s funny, I might have ‘made it’ but I still go unrecognized everywhere I go, still have the same issues to deal with, it’s all the same, just got a different job to do.
One last question I like to ask, is what would you be doing had you not gotten your ‘big break’ in music? It’s fun to see what other talents the artists have.
I’m not really sure, I haven’t though about it in a long time. I guess, I’d probably be in school still, maybe studying psychology or english or something similar to that.
Thanks again, Kyle, hope to see you guys in Boston soon!