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Interview With 'Darkstone Crows'

Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?

Chanel Martins, lead vocals. Nick Sawicki and Jiv Marshall, guitars. Russ Shipman, bass and backing vocals. Matt Skypas, drums. Jiv and Elle started the band back in 2014 and went through a bunch of lineup shuffles. Russ joined in July 2014, Matt was February 2015. Nick replaced our last guitarist in January 2016. We’re just a group of friends making metal music, we want to do it the best we can and not cut corners, really make a work that we can be proud of, the means something

What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?

Jiv: I’ve always wanted to better the world in some way a music is the vein which I chose to fulfil that passion.

Elle: Ever since I was 4, I wanted to perform and tour. I’ve been pursuing music before the band in various genres, jazz, classical, indie, soft rock, etc. It’s recently become clear to me that I want to perform rock and metal more than anything else, and I’ve found myself musically through my band mates and the metal scene.

Matt: I was just working on my own music before this band, actually playing guitar instead of drums, not getting too far. It has and always will be my dream to perform music.

Nick: Prior to the band I was just working out in the gym and studying hard in school. It’s always been my childhood dream to play guitar for more than just hobbying purposes, and here we are now.

Russ: I’d just been in a handful of bands, started off in Punk Rock, tried Indie Rock, Reggae, sat in on some loose Hip-Hop jams, but ultimately found myself happiest and most at home kicking it with Metal. I always wanted to play music and always found it came naturally.

Tell us about your latest EP and why our readers should check it out.

Our latest EP won’t be out until October 2016, BUT let us tell you, this album is going to be amazing. We’re self-producing this one, and we’ve been able to push the boundaries of our sound as a direct result. We’ve blended all the elements of the music that makes us tick and the music is huge. Definitely a record where we’re learning a lot as we go as well, finding out things about our individual styles, it’s quite exciting. We’ve been playing these songs live for a while, so it’s also nice to hear them on tape at last.

Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?

Jiv: Many people, particularly the musicians who have been making the rounds at bars and clubs for decades, I really admire their dedication and perserverance.

Elle: A good friend of mine (and the band’s too). He’s a guitarist in the local scene, phenomenal player, and very humble. He has Tourette’s Syndrome and even though he struggles day-to-day with it, when he plays all his tics go away and he becomes this unreal guitar god. It never ceases to amaze me.

Matt: A few of the touring bands we’ve opened for were idols of mine. George Lynch and Jake E. Lee definitely cap that list. Although, I’d kill to meet Zack Wylde.

Nick: Richie Nguyen from Odd Ones, one of the bands we have toured with and consider close friends. His phrasing on guitar and overall playing and tones are so silky smooth and genius.

Russ: George Lynch, unreal guitarist, had the pleasure of teching for his bassist that night. I like his old stuff too, but his KXM collaboration with Ray Luzier and Dug Pinnick was what really got me into his music.

If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?

Expect us to be very sweaty and exuberant. We want the audience to get pumped as much as we do. We’ll go down into the pit sometimes and throw a few shoulders to get things going sometimes. It’s a loud, tight sonic assault, we just turn up and go for it every time.

If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?

Jiv: Gojira, I could listen to them every night, no matter what.

Elle: Halestorm for sure, I feel like we would fit well together, and I really look up to Lzzy Hale as a strong female role model with a lot of skill musically.

Matt: Ozzy Osbourne for sure, specifically the “No More Tears” lineup, that would be life-changing.

Nick: I’d love to tour with Periphery or Born Of Osiris, they’re easily my favourite bands and I’ve learned a lot and really developed my own style by analysing them.

Russ: I would personally love to tour with System Of A Down or Trivium, I think that would just be a life-changing experience.

You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?

Jiv: Probably Janis Joplin. Her roots were in Jazz and Blues, I would simply love to sit down and talk about how she was influenced by the likes of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. Also, hearing about the scene back then would be cool.

Elle: Maynard James Keenan, the vocalist for Tool, as Tool played a huge role in my falling in love with Metal. He is such an interesting and iconic character and I’d love to just pick his brain. From lyrics to outlooks on life, I’d just love to sit down and see what lies behind his peculiar exterior.

Matt: Being super into Periphery at the moment, I’m going to have to go with Matt Halpern, their drummer. His capabilities are off the charts, and the way he decides each beat and chooses to fill each space is amazing. I would really need him to teach me all he knows.

Nick: Spending an hour in the studio with Nolly Getgood and/or Misha Mansoor, honing production skills. Their production, tones, and studio chops are inhuman.

Russ: Definitely Jaco Pastorius, not even necessarily to chat about Bass, but just hang out with the guy, he was such an interesting character. But I would definitely want to jam with him and learn.

And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Yippy-Kai-Yay Motherfucker.

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