In a Darkened Room – das sind  Sänger und Gitarrist CJ Duron, Kandi Keys (Synthesizer) und Svia Svenlana (Bass). Kürzlich haben sie ihr großartiges Debütalbum Sorrows veröffentlicht, das uns begeisterte (hier zur Review)! Ein guter Grund, mehr über das Trio aus Texas zu erfahren, das mit seiner Musik einen düster melancholischen und gitarrenbasierten Dark Wave-Sound erklingen lässt. CJ hat unsere Fragen beantwortet, und wir freuen  uns, dass wir euch In a Darkened Room als Band der Woche vorstellen können.  idr_01

How did the project come into being? What made you decide to start In a Darkened Room?
In late 2019-early 2020, in the late holiday slow season, my friend and bass player, Svia and I channeled our pent-up musical energy to experiment with a new sound. Coming from more metal and punk influenced backgrounds, we’d played music for decades in various incarnations with a heavier musical footprint. But at that point in time, as the pandemic began to surge and the world grew darker, we wanted to create the sound that had been growing louder inside us. It was morose and dreamy, and it was distinct. Cleaner, chorus rich, and darker. We had found our sound.

How did your band name come about, and what does it mean to you?
It wasn’t consciously a nod to Bauhaus, although I don’t shun that association one bit. I actually recalled the phrase from an oddly funny conversation with a friend who is now no longer with us. In a Darkened Room captures the atmosphere and emotion of late winter, 2019 and all it encompassed. Also, our studio is my basement, so we were quite literally in a darkened room writing the music, and that’s the kind of place we wanted it to be heard – back room speak-easys, nightclubs, dim, derelict theaters, or in your own internal Dark Room.

Can you tell us a few things about your journey into music?
Music has been a huge part of our lives in different forms and for different reasons, but this music came into being organically because we needed it. It doesn’t sound like the heavier styles we played previously. The slower beats, strumming bass, and deep vocals seemed almost to enter the room like a fully formed entity of its own, and we embraced it.


What are you looking for in music?
Music should take you places – into memory or dream. It should inspire you to create your own stories. In its highest purpose, I think music should help you experience a different perspective than your own, while reassuring you that you are not alone in your darkened room. It’s therapeutic, really, one of few conduits that quickly bring us to a meditative state – sort of a sonic daydream.

If you had to describe your music in terms other than music, what would you say?
An embrace from a lost friend. The faint pulse still beating in a cold soul, slowly growing stronger and warmer that will soon burn hot again. A dark caress from a stranger you’re sure you’ve met before.

What are your first musical memories? When did you first fall in love with sound?
I was small, maybe three years old. My grandparents took me with them to this little local bar they frequented. There was a band playing. A Norteño band, which is a vibrant and rich amalgamation of country, old Mexican, Spanish, and German musical styles. I was physically drawn toward the sound. I stood transfixed in front of the speaker, my whole body just vibrating with the sound. I knew then I wanted to be moved like that for the rest of my life.

Which person, artist, or incident inspired you when you first started making music?
My elder siblings – two brothers and a sister – influenced me majorly. They were teenagers when I was a kid wandering into their rooms, my sister trying on make-up and dancing around to 80s new wave, and my brothers blasting classic metal and drawing album covers inspired by their musical heroes. I learned from them that music and art are intertwined, and it has always been so in my life.

What impact do your surroundings have on your music?
San Antonio is an unassuming place, but just below the surface there is such rich cultural history. Mexican, Spanish, German, and indigenous tribes, to name a few, all have a strong footprint here. They all left indelible cultural influence on this city. A history of battle, and cultural pride, as well as a heavy religious presence, predominantly Catholicism, which has its own brand of guilt and deep superstition, as well as it’s beautiful and strange ritual and ceremony. You hear all of that growing up in San Antonio, particularly on the Southside of San Antonio, where a little old lady still might rub an egg on you and bless you in Spanish if she thinks your soul is sick. I’m sure those things subconsciously influence my songwriting.

Where does your inspiration for music come from? Which sort of mood produces the best song?
I believe the best approach to writing is to be halfway point between a logical, responsive mental state, while simultaneously in a daydream where you allow yourself to take in subtle suggestions from your subconscious on where you should go.


What can you tell us about your debut album “Sorrows”? How does the birth of a new composition happen for you? How does your compositional process work?
This music came on the heels of tragedy and crisis. I was dealing with recent deaths in the family close to me. Then, shortly after, the pandemic created a lot of confusion, anxiety, and isolation that we transmuted into these songs. The first songs we wrote were purposely written to be slow. We felt it gave the notes more room to expand and carry the weight of the stories within. Whenever we found a tune that we both liked, I said, “Ok, now let’s play that in half time and see what happens.” That worked well with those initial songs. I wanted the vocals to be ominous and bass heavy, but still articulate. It was important to me that the lyrics be straightforward and accessible, not buried in euphemism and extended metaphor. We added Kandi Hardee’s piano and synth to get fuller layers of sound. We wanted „Sorrows“ to be a continuous thread of loss and love that some of our later, more up-tempo songs didn’t suit. Our compositional process relies heavily on a basic beat for which we create a strong consistent melody. The melody informs the story it needs to tell, and then I write the words. We hone it within those confines.

How does the visual aspect relate and reflect your music?
It’s pretty simple imagery, heavy on the red with black and white. Red, of course, symbolizes love, blood, passion, anger. Black is death, fear, loss, our recognition of the darkness and its role in the cycle. White represents life, rebirth, clarity, and regeneration. Simple associations are often the most impactful.


How would you describe the world you are trying to create during your performances?
We want to create a fully visceral experience in which your senses are heightened and for a few moments you feel alive and ever-present – that is the sustenance a soul requires and what music can so easily give. When you are present you can truly feel that moment and there is a stronger imprint on your memory of the experience. We want our audience to plumb the depths of the darkness with us, and then we want to show them the hidden, soaring light there… even in the darkest of rooms.

What’s next for you? What are you most looking forward to?
Since completing the songs on “Sorrows,” our music has once again organically shifted to something a little more nefarious. There is a new fiery driving force behind it now that croons stories of leather and lace and momentum. You will hear those songs on an upcoming EP. We are thrilled with the studio work and incredible live shows and stellar artists we’ve been lucky enough to have worked with so far. We look forward to bringing the music to more US cities, being included on still more brilliant compilations, and we are completely ecstatic at the promise of a European tour in the near future.

Thank you so very much to our fans and the goth and darkwave communities for your support. It means so much to us to be able to play for you all and tell you our stories. We hope we can share it with you all soon!
~CJD, In a Darkened Room

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