Dark Serenity is the first band I have had the pleasure of interviewing that is from Michigan. This rock and roll trio is from Ann Arbor. Their sound is difficult to nail down, outside of the generic label of “rock” and “alternative rock”. The complexity of their sound is intriguing, dark and warm. Kate’s vocals land somewhere above the instruments, especially Zach’s creeping bass lines.
- What are your biggest musical influences?
Zach Barnes (Bass) Geddy Lee, Geezer Butler, Steve Harris and Jaco Pastorious
Kate Emrich (Guitar/Vocals) Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, DIO, Black Sabbath
Mike Bergamo- Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, John Bonham, Mitch Mitchell, Buddy Rich, and Keith Moon.
- Do you listen to any band or genre that would surprise your fans if they found out?
We listen to a lot of 90s hip hop/R&B and Motown.
- What’s next for the band?
Enjoy touring the country and prepare for next year’s shows. Come home and begin recording singles for our next album.
- How do you think streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have changed how bands release music? Has it made it easier or more difficult?
The platforms have completely Changed how artists are releasing music. The art of saving up money and recording in a music studio is dying. There are more and more artists that are now recording and promoting their own material completely. Releasing music is now a reality for any up and coming musician. Although the drawback is that the market now appears over saturated.
Also, streaming services have made it easier to become known artists and are great marketing tools in our opinion, however they don’t get artists paid like they used to, and that’s where the true difficulty lies.
- Do you have any non-musical influences that show up in your music?
I feel that the music is everything that we do, so no.
- Can you describe your sound?
Our music is head banging, driven, and loud as hell. Our sound is unique in the sense that as a three piece, every instrument shines, and we all stand out playing lead parts. Just like many other bands, when we’re asked what we sound like genre-wise, we’re not sure how to respond. Because honestly, we feel as if we have a sound unique to ourselves.
- What are you listening to lately? Anything you would recommend?
We’ve been listening to a lot of Motown and blues lately, the notable artists being Stevie Wonder, Sam and Dave, Howling Wolf and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Additionally rock bands, Rival Sons and Dube.
- What made you decide to “get into” music and start a band?
I wanted to get into music because I was influenced by Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath and in middle school asked my parents for a bass guitar for Christmas. Later on we meet as friends through a teacher at our high school.
- How does your writing process work, do you all collaborate on the lyrics or is that job reserved for just one person?
The writing process involves all of us writing our own parts on our respective instruments and weighing in on what we do and do not like, and the lyrics are no exception, generally written by Kate (based around ideas discussed prior as a band).
- If you had topick just one, which album would be your favorite?
Zach (bass) Clockwork Angels by Rush
Kate (guitar/vocals) Long Live Rock and Roll by Rainbow
Mike (drums) The Colour and the Shape by the Foo Fighters
- Are there any bands you would desperately love to tour with someday?
We would love to tour with the Foo Fighters one day, as well as Rival Sons.
- What are your thoughts about bands releasing more singles, rather than following a traditional route and just releasing albums?
Personally, we believe that releasing singles is a marketing tool for the release of the full album. Albums used to be created to be listened to at length, and when artists release only singles, we’re losing the consumer’s ability to listen to entire albums and appreciate them fully. However, in a world where the music fans always wants more it is important to keep your fans happy with constant release of material. In today’s world, I feel it would be very hard to be a successful band while only releasing a yearly or bi yearly album.