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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Dearest Guys Around

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Finding quality bands among the usual trash heap of mass-produced music played on the radio can sometimes be a challenge. It’s not that they’re not out there, but oftentimes the only way we can find them is through word of mouth or endless online searching. Northampton based band, Darlingside, falls into a complete opposite category. Established in 2009, they’ve been dubbed a “string-rock” quintet and have a distinctly original sound that combines folk, rock, and classical music. The band is composed of Sam Kapala on drums/vocals, Don Mitchell on guitar/vocals, Auyon Mukharji on mandolin/violin/vocals, Harris Paseltiner on cello/guitar/bass/vocals, and David Senft on bass/guitar/vocals. They’ve released a self-produced, six-song EP called “EP 1,” and are currently working on a full-length album that’s near completion. The Mass Media was recently able to chat with guitarist Don Mitchell.

How’d you guys meet each other?

We met at Williams College and after the last of us graduated in 2009, we started up as full-time musicians.

What are you doing to prepare for the tour?

We’re only half-touring at the moment, which means that we play an average of two to three shows per week, primarily in New England, the Northeast. While we’re finishing up work on our first full-length studio album, we’re deliberately not on the road for as many consecutive days right now. It makes the packing and preparation much easier. In rehearsal, we’re putting together lots of our new album songs to start performing at our upcoming shows. We’ll be traveling farther this spring in support of the album!

Do you find that your diet, while on the road, is compromising your health?

Occasionally, yes. We’re getting better at finding ways to avoid rest stop food on the highway, but it still sometimes rears its head when we don’t have much time to plan ahead. As a band, we’re definitely food and health conscious. We’ve been known to prepare elaborate and colorful salads for one another (okay, mostly Auyon does that for the rest of us).

Have you played in Boston before, and if so, how was it?

Yes! And it’s been great. We’ve played at Cafe 939, Middle East, Johnny D’s and a few other small venues.

What are your plans for after the tour?

Keep touring!

How’s the album coming along? Any idea of when the release date will be?

It’s all coming together really nicely as we start to hear preliminary mixes and make subtle adjustments. A lot of diversity and new sounds as we look back at the totality of what we put down during the primary recording phase. We’re looking at an early 2012 release date, and we’ll be planning some special pre-release events around the Northeast in January/February. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

How do you pick what you write about?

We write about all kinds of things, but we usually start from some personal experience or emotion. Often, there will be a musical idea first, but sometimes we’ll start with lyrics first. There are occasions where one band member will write all the lyrics, while other times we’ll do communal writing and brainstorming to put together a song. We often use prompts and association exercises to get our brains working creatively. It’s sometimes difficult to switch gears after spending lots of time on the business side of things.

What’s your favorite cereal?

I like Grape Nuts. It’s a good vehicle for additional fruits and nuts too, if that’s your thing.

Favorite movie?

I’d have to go with “Back to the Future.” Time travel AND the 80s: a can’t-lose proposition.

Would you like to add anything else?

We’ve recently relocated to the Boston area, and we’re really looking forward to playing more in the area and getting involved in the community music scene.

Since they’ve recently relocated to the Boston area, there should be many upcoming opportunities to see them perform. Don’t miss out. You can also check them out at www.darlingside.com and download their music from iTunes.