2012 Artist Survey: The Darcys
Wes Marskell Reflects on the Last Year
Jan 30, 2013
For Under the Radar's 10th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2012.
Pick up the print version of the Best of 2012 issue to read responses from the following artists: Alt-J, Fred Armisen, Bear in Heaven, Camera Obscura, Chad Valley, Charli XCX, Choir of Young Believers, Clinic, CSS, Dan Deacon, Desaparecidos, Django Django, Efterklang, Egyptian Hip Hop, El Perro Del Mar, Grimes, Halls, Richard Hawley, Hercules and Love Affair, Ladytron, Liars, Lord Huron, Lower Dens, Mount Eerie, My Morning Jacket, The Mynabirds, The New Pornographers, of Montreal, Peaking Lights, Porcelain Raft, Laetitia Sadier, Tame Impala, and Tegan and Sara.
Then download the digital version of the Best of 2012 issue to read all those surveys, as well as bonus responses from the following artists: !!!, Clare and the Reasons, Codeine, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Esben and the Witch, The Fresh & Onlys, Get People, Islands, Kwes, Lost in the Trees, NZCA/LINES, OFF!, Plants and Animals, Still Corners, Violens, Xiu Xiu, Young Dreams, and Zambri.
We are also posting additional web-exclusive artist survey interviews to the website. Here are responses from Wes Marskell of The Darcys.
Top 10 Albums of 2012
1. Grizzly Bear: Shields
2. Liars: WIXIW
3. Daphni: Jiaolong
4. Melody's Echo Chamber: Melody's Echo Chamber
5. Godspeed You! Black Emperor: 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
6. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange
7. Ladyhawk: No Can Do
8. Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes
9. Chilly Gonzales: Solo Piano II
10. Rick Ross: God Forgives, I Don't
What was the highlight of 2012 for either you personally or for the band?
Releasing our interpretation of Steely Dan's Aja was a really big moment for us. Beyond that, Bombay Bicycle Club was kind enough to take us on tour through the U.S., U.K., and Europe, which was the most [fun] we've had in a while.
What was the low point of 2012 for you?
Our tour van was hit by a transport truck in Ohio. We spun on ice and in the last possible moment slid just enough to avoid being t-boned. Right before impact and as we slid towards the truck, I thought we were all dead.
What are your hopes and plans for 2013?
We're currently recording our sophomore record and hoping to release it sometime next spring. I'm in the studio as I write this and making a strong record for release in 2013 is the only thing on my mind right now.
To what extent did the poor world economy affect your ability to make a reasonable living as an artist in 2012?
It was on odd year economically for the band as we put out two records for free on our website, thedarcys.ca. Every show seems bigger than the last, so we are in no position to complain and I'm happy our music is very free and easily available.
What are your thoughts on the 2012 U.S. presidential election?
It's hard to have much of an opinion of the American election as a Canadian with elections and political issues of our own to worry about. Specifically, Toronto has a mayor currently paving over our bike lanes. That said, I was in New York for the presidential election and I found everything from the Obama/Romney themed 7-Eleven coffee cups to the sci-fi nature of the CNN television coverage really engaging.
Steve Albini criticized Amanda Palmer for recruiting musicians to play in her backing band for free. Was he right to do this and was Palmer right to change her mind and pay her musicians?
I wasn't following this too closely, but I do see Albini's argument for what seems like indulgence on Palmers part. If my band was given a million dollars by our fans I don't think we would then ask them for more of their money or their time. I'd be trying to find ways to give back to them. Considering, for example, that we made our Aja record for $600, we could make a million dollars go a long way.
What pop culture phenomenon from 2012 would you most like to erase from your memory?
Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? Do you think that climate change was partly responsible for the hurricane?
I was in Toronto when Sandy hit New York, which forced us to postpone the NYC date on our Aja tour. It was impossible to play the show due to flooding and power outages. Beyond that, I really don't understand the seasonal weather patterns in that area well enough to know the difference between a freak occurrence and what might be the environmental result of human behavior.
Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.
There is a girl named Jess who comes to all of our New York shows with meticulous hand drawings of different album artwork and presents it to us. It's rewarding to know someone cares enough about our band to put in the time, effort, and skill to do something like that.
What were some of the rejected names for your band?
I think at one point we considered We Have Never Been Modern. How horrible is that?
Tell us about your first kiss.
It was in a bush behind her house. I kissed her older sister in the same place a year later.
Did you watch this year's Olympics? What was your favorite event and which event would you be best at?
I'm partial to Usain Bolt and his budding post-Olympics soccer career. I'm more a fan of bobsled, hockey, and other Winter Olympic events.
What most scares you about getting old?
That eventually we are going to live much longer and a lot of those years will be over 100. I don't want to add 10 or 15 years post-100.
Which song, other than one of your own, most tends to get stuck in your head?
"In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins.
With the looming crackdown on peer-to-peer trading and torrent sites, what effect do you think that will have on how people find your music? Will it hurt or help your ability to make a living?
All of our records are already out there for free. I'm interested in finding a unique way to release our new record.
In 2012, what was the best movie you saw, book you read, comic book you read, video game you played, and/or TV show you watched?
I love Louie and I have high hopes for Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln.