Darcy Fray Interview

*The following interview was originally published by Ocean View Press in 2004 and was conducted by Rob Watts.

I came across Darcy’s website a while back and gave her MP3’s a listen. I was extremely impressed by the unique blend and texture of her sound. I made it known to her that I was a fan, and she was gracious enough to interview with me for our site. Darcy’s new album comes out in May and in the meantime, you can check out some of her music on her website listed below. Here is the interview, enjoy!

Rob- First thing’s first. How are you today?

Darcy- On a scale of 1-10, I’m having about a 6.5-ish day so far. I usually average about an 8…so it’s a bit subpar, really. I am however having a good hair day. Thanks for asking.

Rob- How did you start getting into music? At what age did you realize that this was for you?

Darcy- My parents signed me up for drum lessons when I was about 6 or 7. I grew up in a small town on the East Coast, so we had one of those huge musty basements which my drums and I were relegated to. I spent hours at a time playing along to Phil Collins cassettes on my boombox. I have been passionate about music for as long as I can remember. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever really wanted to do anything else…

Rob- Where there any other musicians in your family?

Darcy- My Dad played the drums when he was a kid and my Mom claims to have sung on the radio when she was a wee one. My two sisters both created a lot of racket on the trumpet and that’s about it.

Rob- Your first EP was ” Speak and spell “. How long did it take to record?

Darcy- Most of that was tracked at an amazing studio in Tornillo, Tx called Sonic Ranch. It’s right on the Mexican border in the middle of pecan ranch, so it has a very unique feel to it. We spent about 5 or 6 days recording the basic tracks which I then took home and fiddled around with for a couple of weeks. I have a ProTools rig at home, so I end up doing a lot of recording and mixing here.

Rob- You primarily played all the instruments on the album. Guitar, drum
programming and vocals. Did you take lessons for anyone of these or are you self taught?

Darcy- I took drum lesons as a kid, but I am self taught on everything else. I’d like to invest in some singing lessons at some point. My voice has an intimate and vulnerable quality which translates well in the studio, but I would like to beef it up a bit for live shows.

Rob- You also recorded it in your home studio. Are you recording your current album there as well or elsewhere?

Darcy- When you are putting together a $0 budget album you tend to piece things together from all over the place. I do 80% of my recording at home through a Neumann TLM 103 and I have been lucky enough to do some work at the former Artist Direct studio in Hollywood, Revolver Studios in Westlake, and Front Page Recorders in Glendale. I hope to finish the mixes at one of the above mentioned studios.

Rob- Your new album is being co-produced with Stephen Short ( Remy Zero, Echo and the Bunnymen ). How did you get the pleasure of working with Stephen?

Darcy- I met Stephen through some friends of mine who were in a band called The Din Pedals. At the time, Stephen was producing their debut album for Epic Records and he offered to help out my former band, The Starters, with some demos. In addition to collaborating in the studio, Stephen and I have also gone on to become fierce chess and Scrabble competitors.

Rob- Is the sound of the new full length album similar to your first 2 EP’S
“Speak and Spell” and ” The Fireball ” or can we expect something different ?

Darcy- All of the songs on “The Fireball” EP will also appear on the upcoming full length album. A dutch artist named Sune Ehlers is doing the artwork for the album and we have something special planned to visually set it apart from the rest of the pack.

Rob- When will that be released?

Darcy- Mid May.

Rob- Who are some of your favorite musicians?

Darcy- Oasis, Blur, Travis, Coldplay, Ride, Adorable, Radiohead, Tears for Fears, The Church, Genesis (really!), Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, the Cure, The Who, Wings, The Beatles, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Citizen Bird, The Carpenters, Arvo Part, Supergrass, My Bloody Valentine and many more.

Rob- I had read a review on you where they were quoted as saying ” She has an ice-queen voice that sounds a little like Aimee Mann “. How does that make you feel to be compared to such an incredible female singer/songwriter?

Darcy- It’s very flattering. I don’t really listen to many female singers, but I
really like the range that Aimee’s voice sits in and I love what she did on the “Magnolia” soundtrack.

Rob- Getting away from music for a few, where were you born ?

Darcy-In lovely Scranton, PA.

Rob- Along with living in the USA, you spent time in your life living in
Sweden, Ethiopia and England. How long did you live in each of those and did you adopt any of the languages or cultures ?

Darcy- My family spent just a short time in Ethiopia, but it left me with a
lifelong fear of camels. We lived in Sweden for a couple of years, but I
was really to young to remember much. England had the most impact on me, as I was there from age 7-9. I left with a proper English accent and a love of English chocolate and music. I have since lost the accent.

Rob- Out of everywhere you have travelled, where is your favorite place?

Darcy- I really love London.

Rob- Have you been to Boston, and if so, what do you think of our town?

Darcy- My sister Tara went to school at Boston University, so I have indeed spent some quality time in your beautiful city. Harvard Square sticks out in my mind as being a fun spot to have a coffee and do some serious people watching. Plus, you guys have also had a consistently healthy and productive music scene, so what’s not to love?

Rob- Back to music, What advise would you give to a young female musician just starting out in the music business?

Darcy- Don’t waste your time looking for approval from the record industry. Find a way to make and sell your music on your own.

Rob- Your a promoter of Weedshare. Can you talk a little about what it is and how it works?

Darcy- Sure. The Weedshare folks approached me awhile back and I found the concept to be very forward-thinking and unique. The basic premise is that you are given a free license to download and play a song three times. At that
point, you can opt to purchase or delete the track from your computer. If you purchase the song, you can then re-sell it as many time as you like. For each sale you receive 20% of the purchase price, which is usually around $.99 per song. The artist recieves 50% of every sale, so it is very fair to both the artist and consumer. You can learn more at Weedshare.com

Rob- Where should the readers go to learn more about you?

Darcy- My site: Darcyfray.com

Rob- Did you enjoy our interview?

Darcy- Very much. Thanks Rob! !

Rob- Would you like to leave the readers with any parting words?

Darcy- Anything is possible.


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