Those Darlins: Brace Yourself

Interview by Cristy Scoggins

Brace yourselves for Those Darlins. The wild-eyed southern girls (and boy) will be whipping up the crowd into a drunken, rowdy frenzy on Thursday night at the IMC. With the release of their new 7-inch, Night Jogger/Funstix Party, Nikki, Jessi, and Kelly Darlin — along with drummer Linwood Regensburg — are branching out. Think a little less country, a lot more rock and roll.

When I talked to Nikki (left, above), she was fairly exhausted from the night before. Incidentally, they played the Bowery in Brooklyn when the freak tornado hit.

SP: Hey, thanks for talking to us. I know you're exhausted. A tornado in New York?

ND: Yeah, I guess the alarms went off when we were playing, but I didn't hear anything.

SP: You're on the road a LOT. What cities do you especially like playing?

ND: New York City's definitely in the top 5. We record there, and we have a great fanbase. Chicago. Minneapolis. Cleveland. Atlanta — we just finished our new album there, and had a blast.

SP: How's your arm? I read somewhere that you broke it this spring.

ND: It's been five months. i just got my brace off before we went on tour.

SP: Did it take awhile to get back into the groove of playing?

ND: It's still not back to where it was. It was a very sad summer.

SP: Growing up, did you have a lot of access to music besides country?

ND: Oh yeah. I liked rock and roll. My dad played in a rock band, so there was a lot of old rock, British rock. I wasn't really into country. I started playing it right before I met the girls.

SP: Did you start out playing baritone ukelele?

ND: No, I started out on guitar.

SP: I'm sure you hear this all the time, but when I hear you, I think of Wanda Jackson and June Carter. What other influences do you have that would seem surprising to fans?

ND: I'm influenced by Jonathan Richman, especially in writing styles. Have you heard his country record ("Jonathan Goes Country")?

SP: No!

ND: It's really good. I've listened to him since I was 13 or 14. Oh, and Patti Smith.

SP: The songs on your new 7-inch — "Night Jogger" (which i LOVE) and "Funstix Party" — sound a little less country and more like garage, kind of like Holly Golightly.

ND: Oh yeah! She's great.

SP: Would you say your music's moving more in that direction?

ND: Absolutely. Our new songs are definitely more like that. There's not much country. We're growing, doing something different.

SP: According the band's bio, you say, "There are fucking tons of dude bands out there and they're not described as an all-male band." I love that. How do you deal with the "all-girl band" stuff?

ND: I'm a jerk about it (laughs). If I get asked about it, I'll say something like, "What do you mean by that?" We're not making a statement. We have vaginas — it doesn't make the music any different. And we have a guy in the band!

SP: I'm going to pull a trick out of the MOJO magazine playbook and ask you this: What is your favorite Saturday night record, and your favorite Sunday morning record?

ND: Wow. Let me think...Sunday morning...Easter by Patti Smith. Saturday night...I like to dance, so... Some Girls by the Rolling Stones. Actually, we were just talking about our top 5 songs last night, and I picked "Shattered."

SP: Last question: Where do you all get your cowboy boots? They're fabulous.

ND: All over the place. Most stores in the south have them. I get them at thrift shops-I go through 'em really fast.

SP: Thanks for coming to Champaign-Urbana and being part of Pygmalion. You're an awesome band.

ND: Are you coming to the show?

SP: Absolutely. I'll be coming straight from roller derby, so I'll be all nasty and sweaty.

ND: So will we!

More about this band...


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