EastScene’s Josh Fumo sat down with Wes Marskell and Jason Couse of Toronto’s The Darcys this past weekend at Edgefest. If you were ever curious why Wes once worked as a bartender at a Medieval Times, wonder no more.
The albums that you have out right now are 2 parts in a set of 3 albums that you’re putting out like a big concept album set. Was this something you wanted to do before you joined on with Arts and Crafts or did you come up with the idea after signing with them?
W: We actually had two records completed by the time we signed on to Arts and Crafts, and we sort of had this idea, because we wanted to release those two really quickly, that we would package them together as a trilogy sort of thing. Which was interesting because people usually think of a trilogy as sort of like, the ending. I’m excited for getting it finished but part of me is always thinking, you know, what are we gonna do after that?
What’s your band dynamic when you’re writing songs?
J: I mean, like any band will probably tell you, its different for everyone. We come up with a bunch of different ideas when we’re on tour and stuff; we get a bunch of rough tracks because we do a lot of home recording. Now we’ve got our own space, so Wes and I are usually there a lot but everyone comes in and weighs in with their ideas. We’ll demo everything, and then take a step back and listen to it, and see where we want to go from there.
You guys went through a tough time before you signed on to A&C with your singer (quitting). Do you think that had an impact on what you’re putting out now?
W: I think it actually freed us up to do a lot more. It was probably the healthiest thing that could have happened to us and our band.
J: Definitely. It happened and then we were sort of just like…we embraced it, and ran with it. It became a great opportunity because we got a chance to work ourselves as that new setup.
It definitely looks like whatever you’re doing is paying off.
W: For sure. We’ve been touring a lot recently, we tour for the next month and a half and then we head out to Australia in September. Then Canada and the U.S. after that, again.
J: We toured from January to June, except for a couple of weeks-
W: We played 90 shows. This is our 91st. The break will be nice, going on an airplane for a day to Australia.
Have you enjoyed doing that much touring?
J: Well we’ve become good at dealing with problems we run into. The first van we bought became notoriously unreliable, and that’s when we were…before we had undergone our lineup change so we were a bit more volatile personally. We kind of weathered so many storms at that point, that now we’ve become really good at dealing with those sorts of things. So now instead of freaking out and having a terrible day, its just like “what are we gonna do to fix it?”. We’re all best friends, so it makes it a lot easier to deal with stuff like that.
W: We have the same end goal. Just blowing up at each other because a van breaks down or something won’t do us any good. We were playing in New York and I accidentally smashed Jason’s keyboard amp. It just…it essentially just exploded, spilled out all over the stage. And we sort of looked at each other and it was like, well, what are you gonna do? We still have to play the show.
So I did a little research and found out that Wes used to work as a bartender at Medieval Times.
W: Yes. Thank you for bringing those memories back.
What was the worst part about bartending at Medieval Times?
W: You know, it would be like when people come in and recognize me and say, “Hey, you’re in The Darcy’s!” and I’d say, “…yeah.” and they would seem so genuinely…disappointed that I was working there. Like they were saying, “I used to like your band until right now.”
Was there ever a point in touring where you realized that this could be your full time thing as opposed to having to work odd jobs to make it all work out?
J: Well I think no matter what, regardless of what kind of paycheck you’re getting from it, our work ethic is that it’s more than a full time thing. It’s an all day, every day attitude. So even times where we had to work a job on the side to make things work, we just make due and then head back to the studio and practice or record all night.
W: This has all seemed so directed in this way for a long time. We were recording and paying music back in high school, so I don’t know what we would do without it. I think about that a lot, I think, “What if the next album isn’t great? What are we going to do?”. So, it better be a great next album.