Born out of a growing struggle, The Darling Fire’s debut album, Dark Celebration, is a visceral escapade soundtracked by fuzzy guitars and introspective lyrics. Last month, we spoke to guitarists Jeronimo Gomez and Matt Short, who candidly shared about the album’s composition and influences. Now, they’re back again to give us a detailed breakdown of their favourite tracks on the new album.
If you, like us, are intrigued about how Gomez and Short achieve those heavy tones, then start taking notes. Short, in particular, gladly shares how he creates such emotive soundscapes for Dark Celebration.
Matt Short: “This is basically the song that started it all! The skeleton of which, originally started with a simple drum machine-like rhythm track which evolved into the driving, next-level drumming Steve [Kleisath] brings here. I personally wanted this song to have that early 90s huge Drop D sound, akin to The Smashing Pumpkins and Hum. For the guitar, I used “Asuka”, my 2017 Fender Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster in Oxblood Red, which I recently upgraded with a pair of Fender V-Mod pickups.
“The national anthem-esque intro lead at the beginning was made with the DigiTech Supernatural Reverb on the modulation setting to get that thick saturated chorus-laden sound. For the rest of the song I switch to rhythm with Jeronimo playing lead. There is a small part I love where both guitars share a sliver of the main lead towards the middle of the song that coalesced during rehearsals.”
Jeronimo Gomez: “Our singer Jolie [Lindholm] and I were in our living room and she started to play something on guitar that I picked up on. We decided to record it immediately. This became the verses and I worked on the rest from there. The verse leads are winding and effect-heavy, which gives it a slightly different sound than the other songs on the album. I wanted to do something in the bridge that would contrast to the rest of the song, so I came up with this heavy riff that’s a little unexpected and basically comes out of nowhere.”
For The Loveless
MS: “Our first single, with guitars being pretty straightforward and effect-light until later in the song. But it has monstrously fun rhythmic fillers that keep it driving forward and growing in intensity. I primarily use the Blakemore Effects Dreamsicle Fuzz on this song, and the rest of this album. It’s hard to come by, but instantly became my favourite after cycling through four other fuzz pedals during rehearsals. The breakdown towards the end of the song is by far my favourite part, with my rhythm parts starting with a very slightly overdriven flange accomplished using both the Boss BD-2W Waza Craft Blues Driver and Old Blood Noise Endeavors Procession Reverb.”
JG: “This was kind of a happy accident that came from messing around. Our singer Jolie came into the room and instantly latched on to what I was playing for the chorus, with an improvised melody. The verses kind of just grew out of that. I wanted to do something very simplistic with power chords – heavy with an eclectic vibe. The bridge changes it up a bit with a more effect-heavy lead that contrasts the fuzzy/dry chorus chord progression. Then Matt wrote a great lead for the end, which gave the song a perfect finish.”
Saints In Masquerade
MS: “Saints has one of the most personal meanings for our band. In fact, the album title was coined by trying to define what this and the overall catalogue of our songs sounded like: ‘Dark Celebratory’. We were blessed to have Gordon [Withers] recommended to us because his cello-playing took what we had to another level. Musically, this song also features one of my favourite things to create sonically: a synthesis between verses that have dark landscapes and choruses that have powerful hooks. Melody is most important to me in song structure and usually is my primary focus when writing riffs or leads on guitar. As a musician, I want to build an emblematic cathedral of emotion that I hope people feel when they hear this one!”
Dark Celebration is out now via Spartan Records.