Interview by Adam
For the benefit of those who don’t know, what is the story behind Beautiful Dark?
When I left Strict 9 Brian discovered we had many of the same musical tastes and decided we wanted to start a band incorporating many different styles of music. Brian tends to lean towards the industrial side, I come from a metal background. It just worked. We found our first drummer, David, while he and Brian were working at the same company. That’s how BD started.
Where did the name Beautiful Dark come from?
Brian was trying to discribe GOTH music to me, in terms. He called it Beautiful and Dark. There’s no beauty in the dark. Darkness being all encompassing. Also he says I’m the beautiful one, he’s the dark one. Primarily, Beautiful Dark is our baby. We also think the Dark is Beautiful….
Who would you regard as your influences?
Lauren : Wow. We’re very different! The Beatles, Enuff Z Nuff (yesssss they had lots more songs) Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Simon and Garfunkle, Linda Rondstadt, Pink Floyd, Def Leppard, Jellyfish, Imperial Drag,Tony Iommi,Sacred Reich, Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Yes, Flotsam and Jetsam, The Ramones, NIN, Faith no More, Dead or Alive, FF5, Ac/DC, DePeche Mode, The Cult, classsical, progressive and jazz, I won’t go on, I’m really varied.
Brian : Vince Clarke, Pink Floyd, Nick Rhodes, Tony Banks (Genesis), Rik Wakeman from Yes, Peter Gabriel, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Erasure, Yazoo, Baroque classical music, Trent Reznor, Bach & Mozart, and he says his imagination inspires him the most.
Given that you’ve re-invented yourself under a different name how important do you think it is for bands to keep sounding fresh?
Critical. Unless you want to stagnate, you have to grow with the music of the time. More than anything we never want our music to be boring or get into a groove where every song sounds the same. It gets to the point I’ve heard happen with too many artists they find a formula and stick with it. But all the songs sound alike. We never want that to happen and don’t think we will ever be a formula band. As far as “fresh” goes, we always make music that we want to listen to. Every song we do has been something we always wanted to hear.
What would you say makes Beautiful Dark different from other bands of a similar style?
Definitly our range. We love to surprise the audience. Hell, we might end up with a country song some day. When that day comes though, I quit. (laughter) We’re all different people with different musical styles. I think too often bands get boxed into a category and genre and can’t grow from that. What makes us unique, is no one can really categorize us. “Alone” is a ballad, yes, but most of our songs are really varied sounding.
On MySpace you state the intention to release songs on a number of different subjects, how many of them are relative to a prevailing mood or emotion?
Lyrically, ALL of them are about my journals. I write between 1-5 songs lyrically a day, whatever is going on in my life at the moment is what ends up on a song. Sometimes you gotta read between the lines though to figure out what it means to me. Brian: The music comes from not necessarily feelings I’m having at the time, but surely had felt in the past. I’m trying to make a statement musically, more than emotionally. If it effects someone else, great! The music for me does come from my heart mind and soul. It may sound corny…(laughs)
What can people expect from the forthcoming CD?
LOTS of surprises. A lot of emotion went into this cd. A lot of different textures musically on this one. We experimented with a lot of different sounds, just hearing the first mixes we’re very excited. It’s going to be a cd where every song is different! And of course it will contain a lot of Dark Beauty.
Where do you see Beautiful Dark being in about ten years time?
Brian : We want to be just as hungry and naive as the first track we ever put down.
Lauren : TOURING, making more music. Music that makes a difference if that is possible. It’s never been about money or conquering the world with us. Hopefully we effected someone with our music.
If you could open the show for any band in the world who would they be?
Nine Inch Nails, Hands Down, or the Beatles, but don’t think that is possible…sadly.
What first made you want to pick up a musical instrument?
Lauren : The Beatles! Most of the metal that was going on in the 80’s. I had a major musical upbringing and very varied musical styles by my mother. She inspired me a lot. My first instrument was an antique Autoharp. I still have it and still play. It will pop up on the CD if you listen closely! I picked up guitar at age 9 seriously and began taking lessons 2 days a week. I majored in music in college, but found reading music a wasn’t my forte’!
Brian : My mother, too. She had a piano when I was a kid and I used to play on it a lot, she could play to sheet music which I still can’t do (Laughs) I used to listen to records with her as a kid.
What would you say were the attractions of being involved in the music business?
It’s the hardest business in the world. I’m going to be honest. I don’t highly recommend it, I’ve lost a lot of musician friends over the years, I still worry about many, their hearts are broken because they never “made it” or almost did and lost it. This business is very finicky. One day you’re the biggest band in the world playing to sold out audiences, the next to a bar with 4 people in Topeka, Kansas. The only attractions we can think of is having our music reaching the masses. Trying to send them all a message through the music. To change the world one person at a time. That would be cool. There’s just too many sad rock n roll storys out there.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps and establish a band?
Brian : You need to keep your MIND clear. This sounds corny, be true to yourself, don’t be a FAKER or copycat. Try your hardest to get your music and creations out there.
Lauren : Have a stable life and be realistic. Don’t get caught up in being a ROCKSTAR. Also, never SETTLE.
Female fronted metal bands such as Within Temptation and Nightwish seem to have been on the increase over the past few years, how do you see them as fitting into an industry which was before this more often than not the all-male territory of bands such as Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath?
Good Question! The industry has finally woken up and discovered that girls can rock just as much and sometimes better than guys. A female led band should be a bonus. You get the fans from both male and female. The girls want to be her, the guys want to be with her. Why shouldn’t a female led band be just a good as a male led band? It’s been a long time over due. Back when I grew up we had Pat Benetar, Lita Ford, Chrissy Hynde, Girlschool and Joan Jett. That was pretty much it. I couldn’t get in a band to save my life in the 80’s or 90’s because of the way I look and the simple fact that I am female…..I finally can be accepted now.
If you were to write your autobiography what would it be called?
Lauren : And Chaos always ensues (or….My life in the rock n roll twilight zone) I am working on another book eventually. I have 2 that are finished, that I will publish in the next year.
What was the last film you watched?
Lauren : “Even Almighty”
Brian : “Grindhouse”
Do you have any final messages for your fans?
The best is yet to come!!! Buy the CD next year! See us on tour Spring/Summer in Europe! And thank you for everything, you guys are the best!!!!!!!!