you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

27 March 2017

INTERVIEW: My Dark House.

My Dark House is the Mississippi-based husband and wife duo of Lindsey and Will Thornton. Their sound is foundationally post-punk, but fused with strong elements of shoegaze and dream pop. They first came to our attention last year, after releasing a string of captivating singles via Bandcamp. We were intrigued. We’re still intrigued. Enjoy getting to know My Dark House with us.

How and when was the band formed?
My Dark House was a largely abandoned project of mine from around 2013, but after my wife expressed interest in learning to play the bass guitar, I decided to start it back up. She picked up the instrument very quickly, and we settled on the idea of being a duo. We decided to use a drum machine, and keep in-line with a minimal approach to our music.

Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you’ve got forthcoming in the near future (any new releases, tour, etc.)?
We’ve just released an EP, titled I Heard You Crying, and have already begun writing a full length that we plan on releasing sometime in late spring/early summer. The two of us have finally found the direction and sound we have been looking for, so we are pouring all of our efforts into putting out an album that we’re excited about.

Do you consider your music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one’s sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?
Initially our music was very influenced by the shoegaze genre, but we’ve deviated slightly into a more Post-punk/Gothic Rock direction with touches of shoegaze sprinkled in. It was a natural move on our part, as we slowly stripped down our sound, and let the lyrics and instrumentation become more natural – it’s been a slow evolution. Regarding genres in music, we both agree that they help define a lot about bands, individuality, style, etc. Genres are a great way to label the sounds people enjoy. Even if it gets kind of messy, it still helps streamline and weed out people’s taste.

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artist, any favorites?
We listen to a lot of DIIV, Mew, and Alcest – I think the bands are doing something unique in the shoegaze/dream pop genre. I like that they’re stretching the boundaries, while still keeping their feet grounded in their respective genres.

What is the most important piece of gear for you sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?
Definitely our Korg Volca Sample – the drum machine. Also, I run a clean Peavey Classic 50 along with a small collection of pedals, ranging from a compressor, flanger/chorus, and reverb. Lindsey runs a compressor, and a Sansamp through her Peavey amp. I play a Jazzmaster and a Flying-V, and Lindsey plays an SG styled, short scaled bass. (Since she’s so tiny)

What is your process for recording your music? What gear and/or software do you use? What would you recommend for others?
We record into Ableton Lite – which is very simple, with little frills. I have an inexpensive condenser mic for vocals, and an SM57 for recording guitars. If I had any advice for DIY artist, I’d say go simple, don’t blow a ton of money on gear, and just make music. We usually write a song and record it the next day. It’s straightforward.

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?
Labels definitely have their place, and so do DIY streaming services. They’re both powerful in their own ways. Making and releasing music either way is challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?
Mp3 is the way to go. It may not be a popular answer, but it’s a quick and easy way to get your music to people’s ears. We own a large CD collection, and it’s nice to own a physical copy of any music – but being able to download and listen to music on the computer is, undeniably, an amazing thing. Streaming websites are wonderful.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?
Bowery Electric, Gem Club, and The Cure are hugely influential musical artist, but we also pull a lot inspiration from visual artist like Mark Rothko, Gehard Richter, and Trevor Young. Rothko and Richter have a blurry aesthetic to their work, and Young is very industrial/urban in his paintings. Whenever we’re coming up with new material, I often go to a painting to get in the mood rather than another musician.

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?
We’re both humanist – try to live a happy life and do good to others.