We followed the raven-haired trio of Beware of Darkness into their small tour van to conduct a brief interview before they opened for the Wombats later that night. We weren’t quite sure what to make of them at first, but they quickly warmed us up with their amusing tour tales… and snack offerings.
7DEADLY: So how did you guys meet?
Kyle: So I’m playing a show, and it was an R&B show, and it was me and another kid who were basically the only white people there. I’m playing a set, and I look to the furthest corner of the bar. I saw one other person who looked just like me. I was like what is this? Who is this person? And it was Tony. So we met, it was downtown at First and Hope.
Dan: I met Kyle when I came out here to meet a brother I found out about when I turned 23. He lived in Santa Monica so I stayed with him for about 2 weeks and ended up meeting Kyle, hearing the band and ended up staying out here for good.
Kyle: It’s fate right? It’s fucking hot in this van though.
7DEADLY: Where are you guys from?
Dan: I’m from Jersey.
Kyle: I’m from Santa Barbara and Tony’s from San Clemente.
7DEADLY: How did you guys get in touch with the Wombats [headliners of the tour]?
Kyle: They’re on the same label as we are, so it was an arranged marriage. They’re really nice guys though.
7DEADLY: What’s been your favorite & strangest experience touring so far?
Kyle: My favorite one we did was in Sacramento; it was called Aftershock—there were about 3,000 people. But the weirdest one—we got to open for this band called Stereo Pony at Santa Ana here at the Yost theater. They’re a Japanese girl pop band and it was one of those shows were we didn’t expect anything—[the story is] not even that great actually, I had it way more romanticized in my head.
The audience wasn’t that great, I was a total dickhead that show. There was a kid right up front who was texting on his phone, and I was like this is so lame that he’s doing this. I got fed up and at the end of the song I ran up and his head was right up at the tip of the stage. I pushed his head back and brushed it and was like “Don’t do that!” and wagged my finger at him. He started waving his arms and being all furious and I was like, ” What do you have to be angry at, you’re the one who’s texting during our show, you need to stop.” We play another song and he’s like, “C’mere, I need to tell you something” and I’m like, “What?” and he was like, “I was tweeting about how great your band was.”
I felt like a jerk, I gave him a hug, and I gave him a shirt and a CD. This is the worst part too—it turns out he was the fucking head of the American fan club for the band we were playing with, and he had flown out from fucking New Jersey to see the show, and I had ruined it for him.
7DEADLY: Well, you live and you learn right?
Kyle: You live, definitely. What about you guys?
Tony: Basically, long story short, we had a tour hand whose two past jobs were as a hearse driver — who you know, drives the dead bodies — and working at a strip club. I don’t know if that can explain it, but he was fucking awesome.
Kyle: He gets pulled over for a traffic ticket, and we’re like, “Oh hey it’s okay, everyone gets pulled over, it’s a speeding trap.” And he’s like, “It’s okay, I’ve been pulled over with dead bodies in my car.” Because he used to drive the dead bodies around as a hearse driver. It’s stuff like that where we’re just like…oookay! We talk about it in love of him, though.
We clumsily crawled out of their small van (which was, mind you, pretty clean for a group of guys) and photographed them against a grungy wall with the pumpkins they were planning on hurling into the crowd later on. After a hug from Kyle, we went inside and curiously awaited their entrance, unfamiliar with their sound.
We were not prepared for the live show that would follow. These three mellow guys who had offered us snacks an hour or so prior transformed into utter beasts on stage. Technically precise and extremely tight as a group, they still managed a raw eloquence powered by Kyle’s sensual vocals. The crowd was riled up by Kyle’s flirtatious between-song commentary (“what an attractive crowd…I would fuck many of you”) and mesmerized by the intensity of their performance. Best opener we’ve seen in years— undoubtedly, they’ll have openers of their own soon enough.
Thankfully (for the audience), no one was texting during the show.
Photography by Cristiana Wilcoxon
Listen to Beware of Darkness here.