The Darkest Moment is an Alternative Metal band from Denmark. Founded in 2017 the band released their debut EP 'Midnight' in 2018 and quickly followed that up earlier this year with their stunning self-titled debut album.
I recently caught up with Oliver Kusk (Vocals & Guitar) to discuss their debut album, recording their upcoming release in lock-down, their collaboration with Telle Smith of 'The Word Alive' and what to expect from The Darkest Moment over the next coming months...
"Bands like Linkin Park, Slipknot etc. were huge sources of inspiration for all of us in our early and teen years, and I suppose watching videos or DVDs of bands like that playing live had a massive helping hand in getting us into wanting to play for ourselves."
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in the lock-down, what kind of things have you been up to since the lock-down came into effect. I suppose our lock-down has been okay, everything considered.. We've all been busy doing our own things individually, but have also spent a lot of our time working on a lot of new material that we cannot wait to show to everyone!
How did you get into writing and creating music? Was there a decisive moment or event that you remember that made you stop and think, wow, THIS is what I want to do with my life?
We've all been listening to all kinds of music from a very early age, and have kinda grown alongside it, if that makes sense. Bands like Linkin Park, Slipknot etc. were huge sources of inspiration for all of us in our early and teen years, and I suppose watching videos or DVDs of bands like that playing live had a massive helping hand in getting us into wanting to play for ourselves. Shoutout to "Linkin Park: Live in Texas"! I can only really speak for myself (Oliver) when it comes to, when I decided to start writing and creating music. It would've been around the time that I started to take guitar-playing more seriously and decided to learn to play "The Poison" by Bullet For My Valentine from front to back, as best as I could at the time. From that moment I started to jam out to a lot of the songs that I loved listening to, and eventually started trying to write my own.
Let’s be honest 2020 has been a weird year so far and things will probably be weird for a while. As an artist, especially an artist working on a new release. How has this affected your rhythm? This is the time you guys are creating the album!
It's been a massive pain to have to work everything out during a time like this. It's also put a break on a lot of exciting plans that we were arranging for ourselves for this year. First and foremost we were supposed to record an album pretty early into the lock-down... So we ended up having to find a remote location where we could record everything ourselves instead. It was a bit of an uphill battle, but there were also a lot of very enjoyable moments along the way, although everything hadn't gone according to plan. All in all, things would've been way easier without the outbreak, but we somehow managed to pull it off anyway, even if the "unannounced" schedule for any new release has been moved by a bit more than we would've liked.
"Well... it's no big secret at this point that we've recorded another album's worth of material. We're shooting a few music videos for the first couple of singles over the next 2 months, so we should very likely have something to show during mid to late fall."
On social media, you guys are posting a lot of information regarding upcoming releases, can you go tell us anything about these upcoming releases?
Well... it's no big secret at this point that we've recorded another album's worth of material. We're shooting a few music videos for the first couple of singles over the next 2 months, so we should very likely have something to show during mid to late fall. We also have a few other surprises that we're working on at the moment.. This should hopefully be able to be unveiled within the next few months as well.
‘Reality Stalling’ is an absolute belter of a track that’s shows just how hard you guys can hit. Is it always the ambition of the band to always push the limits of what the definitive The Darkest Moment sound can be?
Thanks a lot! 'Reality Stalling' is a song that meant so much to me and the rest of the band. Everything about it just hit right, for us. We love the instrumental, the lyrics, the vocals and the video. And we're beyond stoked that people shared the same feelings towards it. Just like a lot of the bands that shaped our musical tastes, we don't want to limit ourselves with what style we play. Our music has always been, and always will be, very based on emotions that we're feeling in the moment of writing the songs or the lyrics. Since the last album, we've brought on a new guitarist (Mads) who has become a huge contributor to the songwriting process, and you will obviously be able to hear his influence on some of these new songs. But with that being said, we're always trying to push ourselves to be better musicians, and I don't wanna lie and say that our new material will sound way different to anything we've ever done. If you like our old material, you WILL like the new songs. Yet it won't be a carbon copy of what we've done in the past.
With everything still up in the air, what do you think the rest of 2020 will look like for you as a band?
We probably won't be looking forward to a lot of shows just yet, so a lot of those plans have been pushed to 2021, by the looks. We haven't released new material for quite a while, so we're trying to make up for the time spent working on new material, with a few little surprises sprinkled in here and there. I can say for sure that you'll be able to hear at least two new songs before the new year. Meaning that you'll have a lot more to look forward to in 2021 as well!
"Telle really came through and even put his own spin on some parts, that still to this day remain my favourite parts of the song."
Your self-titled album shows new unheard depths in your sound and just how far your sound and musicianship has come since the release of the ‘Midnight’ EP in 2018, was this a conscious choice or a natural evolution of your sound?
I think it was more of a natural evolution than anything. A few of the songs off of the album were written right around the same time that the 'Midnight' EP was recorded, which may be noticeable to some. But we generally never try to force the songwriting, because the songs that come to us more naturally, are generally always the ones we decide to keep in the end. I think the EP did a good job at laying out a few of the core elements that we'd expand upon with our self-titled. We worked really hard to make sure that the songs on the album fit together as best we could, with the emotions and vibes that we wanted to portray with each song on the record and the feel of the record as a whole.
‘Weakest Condition’ from your self-titled release features Telle Smith of ‘The Word Alive’, how did this collaboration come about?
It's a bit of a long story, but I'll try to keep it somewhat short. At first we were looking to have someone feature on a song for the album. We hadn't chosen any specific part for a feature, so we just started out by trying to reach out to some different singers, to see who'd be interested and have time. We originally got in contact with another vocalist to take the part for 'Weakest Condition', but we had some complications with this individual and decided to go with someone else. Luckily Telle really came through and even put his own spin on some parts, that still to this day remain my favourite parts of the song.
Speaking of collaborations, If you could choose any one person to do a guest spot on one of your tracks who would you choose and why?
I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we would've absolutely loved to have Chester Bennington featuring on one of our tracks. Seeing as that's not possible, I'd personally pick either Bert from The Used, Noah from Bad Omens or Sam Carter from Architects. I think they would be able to add some really interesting twists to the sound that we've created.
"If I had the ability to choose one song that shows each side of the spectrum well, I may pick something like 'Reality Stalling' and 'Resolve & Rebuild'.. However, some of the upcoming songs may take the spot here."
If you had to choose one song from The Darkest Monument catalogue that you feel encompasses the bands signature sound, which song would you choose and why?
It's really hard to narrow it down to just one song, since we generally don't mix the heavier and softer songs (yet). 'Weakest Condition' probably has the best mix of both heavier and softer parts, both instrumentally and vocally. If I had the ability to choose one song that shows each side of the spectrum well, I may pick something like 'Reality Stalling' and 'Resolve & Rebuild'.. However, some of the upcoming songs may take the spot here. I guess only time will tell.
Finally, as we are called Not A Phase, were you a scene kid when you were growing up? If not, what kind of music were you rocking out back in your formative teenage years?
I don't know that any of us would have identified as scene kids, but we definitely went through some alternative phases in our youths. For myself, I started out listening to things like Green Day, Linkin Park, Simple Plan etc. and moved on from there to bands like Slipknot, Korn, Bring Me The Horizon, Saosin, The Used and many many more.
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