I originally conducted and wrote this interview for the September 2014 issue of NARC Magazine.
“We just want it to sound big,” says frontman Connor Templeton of his band’s newest single, “we’re kind of aiming for U2 level.” It’s an ambitious statement from the vocalist and guitarist, but Dalaro’s music more than helps to justify the bold statement. The Newcastle-based alt-rock band have already released two singles in the shape of the sweeping All I Need and the anthemic Take My Heart, which have earned them spots supporting bands such as Little Comets and Young Kato. For their latest single, however, the band have taken something of a different direction.
Empty Apartments is the result of experimentation with their already epic sound. “We’re listening to a lot of different stuff,” Templeton explains, “but we’re also listening to bands like M83 and The 1975 who are using a more electronic sound .” The influence of such acts has clearly rubbed off on the band, whose heavy adoption of synthesizers contrasts greatly with their previous work.
Eventually recorded at Blank Studios in Newcastle, Templeton, Adam Terry and brothers Aidan and Patrick Soulsby actually took a long time in bringing Empty Apartments out. “The original idea for the song is very, very old,” Templeton notes of the long gestation period. “We were looking to write something new, something different. We came across this song that we had, we gave it a listen and we thought it was good but the chorus didn’t have much of a lift,” he muses. “It kind of started off as this guitar odyssey and it was about one thing but by the time we came to record it that one thing wasn’t there anymore.” So what exactly was that one thing? “It was just about girls,” Templeton admits, somewhat sheepishly . “It wasn’t such a big deal by the time I came to do the rewritten lyrics for the new version of it.”
Templeton’s lyrics have often contrasted with the band’s melodies in the past, creating a hybrid of melancholic and euphoric alt-rock that is as uplifting as it is mournful . But he suggests that Empty Apartments is a step into brighter territory. “It’s happier lyrically I would say .” Still, they suggested that the song explores emotions such as obsession and loss, as well as the happiness found within these feelings. Templeton says they want to explore both “happiness and sadness”, adding a complex layer to their expansive synth-rock.
Dalaro played the Bernicia Festival in August and are also playing some gigs at The Cluny in their hometown this month. However, Templeton suggests that the band have much bigger plans: “We’re just trying to get gigs further afield. What we’re trying to do is create shockwaves.” With their expanding fanbase, increasingly expansive sound and sheer ambition, it isn’t hard to see how Dalaro could one day achieve their stadium-filling dreams.
Find out more about Dalaro on their website!