Darren Wharton


Dare - Darren Wharton (1998)


So Darren, great show.

Well, you know it was something we had only put together in the last couple of days. We were trying to get the whole band to do it, but it was all a bit too...

Yeah! well, we would love to come out and do it as a whole band, but it is the financial side of it, and the rehearsal side of it, obviously you need a lot more rehearsals with a full band, and we only got this together in the last couple of days.

Great response from the crowd here.
Yeah, very kind, yeah.

So the record has got chart entry in Sweden, things are looking good?
Yeah, it's okay. Doing a record like this with people like Mario is great because all you can try and do is your best. it's not like a massive budget, and we are all trying to do things to do it, because we believe in it, and want to do our best.
It's not like an A&M sort of thing, where you have unlimited this and unlimited that.
I really do appreciate being with people like Mario and Magnus, because they are in it for the right reasons.
No accountants pushing the buttons, and lawyers and shit - it's all for the right reasons.

Yeah, it's not too often you deal with the label's managing director one on one!
Yeah, that's beautiful, he picked us up at the airport and it's lovely to work in the environment where the people really know the songs.

Has there been a lot of pressure to get this record out, given the cult status of Dare?
The only pressure I have really had is from Mario! haha
That is very nice of you to say there is a cult following of the band.

Well there absolutely is!
It's very nice, it's lovely! I have really been living in a different world these past 7 years. I have been bringing up a son, and building a studio, just having a good time and enjoying life, doing the Lizzy thing.
It has just flown by. I have been writing material all the time, I just haven't given it a great deal of thought.
When we left A&M in 1992, and I haven't really gone 'Oh God, let's get the next Dare record out'. Life went on.

Things kind of fell apart after that point?
A little bit yeah. I just had other things in my life that I had to pay attention to.
I had my son and my family, and I wanted to spend a bit of time with them.
You know, you are talking about someone that had spent the last 15 years of my life on the road. Which I had.

Is that how long it has been?
Well I joined Lizzy when I was 17, and I did that for 5 years, and then we did Dare, and that went for 5 years.

Is it a strange way to grow up?
well it's not growing up as such, but it is a strange way to live your life. We did Blood From stone and I totally didn't see my son till he was nearly 5 months old.
They are the greatest thing in the world, and I felt very strongly about spending some serious time with him.
It wasn't a conscious thing to forget the music or anything, cause I never did, that is all I have ever done, I just wanted to take a step back.
That Blood From Stone album, we think, in hindsight, was a mistake.

I wanted to ask you about that. The first album was so original, and the album is so special to a lot of people.
Was it label pressure that lead you to change the style so dramatically for the second album?

Well, I could easily turn round and say it was the label, but really it was the band.
I will tell you what it was exactly Andy.
When we made the first album, we all used to love bands like Mr Mister , and Journey and Foreigner. Nice music! We were very proud of Out Of The Silence.
But the luck of the draw, just as we released the record, Guns And Roses just broke, and everything was like rock, rock, rock.
We couldn't get a break because the heavier scene was in.
I think it was our desperate attempt to get noticed!
We loved what we had done, but practically the week we put it out, we were old hat. It was all heavy, all Guns N Roses. What we should have done was say, 'okay, it's just a fad'.
But it was so important to us, because we had worked so hard to get to where we got to, we sort of felt that if we go heavy now, we will be right!
And we fell foul to it.

Just like in late 1992, everybody thought, 'Oh we'll go grunge now'!
Yeah, we should have stuck to our Guns.

And I distinctively remember reading in Kerrang at the time, when it something worth reading in it, you we're so frustrated, you said the UK AOR scene was dead.
Well it was! People were smirking at bands playing stuff like us. They were taking the piss out of bands like us.
It was degrading and it was humiliating. In all fairness, about Blood From Stone, looking back it may have been the wrong decision to make, one thing I do appreciate what that record did for us, apart from we all think it was a mistake; it showed a lot of those arty farty magazines in England not to take AOR bands for granted. We were the only band at the time to get a 100% mark in Metal Hammer!
Richie Sambora got like 90%, and we got 100%. To me that made a mockery of the whole thing. I love rock n roll, but I think you have to leave it to the people that live and breathe it - like Metallica, Bon Jovi ect. They are suited to it and do it the best.
We do what we love to do, better. We just do what we can do, and hope that people like it.
And what we were trying to do there is prove that we could write a rock record.

Well it was a great record, just radically different!
But it was a mistake that we probably had to make because it was a weird period.

And now you have corrected it!
Yeah, we have some great stuff.

Where did you pick up Richard and Andy from?
The guys have been with us for a while now. Richard and I are old friends.
Richard toured with us on the Blood From Stone record.

And Andy?
Well Andy is just a young bloke, we were very lucky to find him. He was just advertising it the paper for a job.

What? He was advertising in the paper?!!

He is a superb player. I told him earlier that I was a fan of Neal Schon and I felt that his style was similar.
He is a superb guitarist.

Now you have to tell me how many layers deep is this record?! There is a hell of a lot to listen to!
Well you are probably right! There is a lot going on. You are going 'what the fuck are they doing there?!!' hahaha.
Well these couple of Dare records that are coming out, this one and the new one before Christmas...

The NEW one? What no record for ten years, then 2 of them?
Yeah, we are back on the scene now.
We have a great new record coming out. It is a different set up for the new record, it is called 'Belief'.
It is very much in the vein that you are talking about. Very atmospheric songs, very deep songs. Really cool musically.

Was Deliverance a hint of that? That was different to the style of the rest of the record.
It is not really like that. It is weird I think. I hope it will be our best record yet.
It is really unusual, but it's great.

And the Calm Before The Storm record is a couple of years old, is this new record newly written?
It is all brand new stuff, maybe less than a year old.
Some songs come in a day, some in a week, some in a year.

That's fantastic. Okay Darren, I am not going to keep you talking all night, you have done enough interviews already! Thanks for talking.
Pleasure Andy, no problem.


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