It’s Tuesday again and we’re back with a new Fresh from the Post artist. I admit, I’ve just added another Hamilton, Ontario band to my favorite bands list after listening to Dark Mean‘s hard-not-to-love EP frankencottage.
Sandy, Mark and Billy take a break from recording their new upcoming EP, to give a quick Q and A with theindiemusicdb.com, which may or may involve transposition as an effective band naming strategy and the Dr. Frankenstein method of making songs –
What’s the story behind the name the Dark Mean? I’m kind of guessing it’s a witty play with Mark Dean’s name (is it?) or does it have a different meaning other than that?
The name really just came out of a silly little name game we used to play with our friends… reversing the first letter of a first name with the first letter of a last name. Sometimes you get these really funny sounding names and they’ve turned into nicknames for some people. Dark Mean obviously came out of Mark Dean. It could have been Hilly Bolmes or Jandy Sohntson. But the band was never meant to be named after one person or the words “dark” and “mean” to be taken in a literal context. Dark Mean is more of a character adopted by the band.
I gave the frankencottage EP a listen and it’s quite amazing. Your Bio says that your group and the EP came about because of a play (which must be an awesome play considering the music that you guys have), can you tell us more about it?
Being approached to create and perform the soundtrack for “The Constant K” forced us to turn our ideas into actual songs. We had been sitting on them for so long. When it came time to fit them into the play we didn’t actually have to change much. They seemed to work really well with the tone and flow of the play. We had a really fun time rehearsing, performing and celebrating with the cast. It was a really inspiring experience that made us all want to continue making art and collaborating with great people. The feedback and encouragement we received from playing live motivated us to get in the studio and make something concrete. The first EP, “Frankencottage” and the follow up EP all stemmed from this process.
I love the green apple telephone theme for the frankencottage video. How come you chose the green apple telephone and didn’t go for a more classic model – like the red rotary phone?
That green phone belonged to Mike Long who created the video and it was love at first sight for us. We didn’t feel there was any need to audition any more phones so the little green guy (or girl… I didn’t check) got the part. The phone had a certain character that Mike brought alive with his excursions around the city.
What does frankencottage mean exactly?
Part of Frankencottage, the track, was written at Sandy’s cottage. You might be able to tell from listening to the song, but we ended up combining an idea for one song with an idea for another song. What we were referring to as “cottage” then became “frankencottage”, now that it had this Frankenstein, mix n’ match quality.
Can you tell us something about the songs in your Frankencottage EP, like what inspired you to make the song or what the songs are all about?
What inspired us to make each song was very simply our love for music and nothing more. We all love making music that makes us feel good and that’s what we set out to do from the beginning. The more we wrote together the more we realized we had something special and the more we got inspired. As for lyrics, here are a few words from Mark:
I like the idea of being able to say something without having to say much at all… you give hints away… and then there’s this hope that someone out there might connect with a line or image they relate to. but for some reason i hope they had to struggle with it for a bit… that they had to put in an effort… had to think about it. i never want to tell anyone what to think or what a particular song is about. i think music is more fluid than static, with layers of meaning and emotion that change over time, for the listener and especially for the songwriter.
Lullaby obviously repeats itself the entire song. But the mood evolves with each repetition until what started out as a sleepy, defiant charge against sleep turns into something real… i guess that happens in my head sometimes. I’m not a very good sleeper.
I ask this question to all the artists that I feature – how do you define indie music?
Indie music is pure music that comes from the soul. Some people consider it a style but I think of it as any kind of music that was made in an environment where artistic intent comes before commercial intent. Part of me thinks it would be impossible to fully define indie music because it’s something you feel when you hear it.
If you wish to check out Dark Mean’s frankencottage EP, it’s available as a free download at the band’s site: www.darkmean.com