Written by Laura Curry
The alternative/metal/progressive rock music of The Dark Matters combines epic guitar solos, heavy instrumental build-ups and dual story lines. Their songs will have you moshing through the obstacles of everyday life, thanks to the encouraging advice heard in the lyrics. Pop-Break had the opportunity to interview The Dark Matters about their origin and sound as well as their album, Word To The Wise. Catch The Dark Matters at Wonder Bar tonight where you will experience the full force of their music.
Who is The Dark Matters? (Names of the band members & the instruments you play): The Dark Matters is comprised of vocalist and lead guitarist, Mario Bezares, drummer and occasional back-up vocalist, Evan Kelly, bassist Chris “Beddy” Bedford and most recently, rhythm guitarist Leo Sapun.
What year did the band form? 2013
Where are you based out of? New Brunswick/Central, NJ
What’s the story behind your band name? The name actually has three different meanings that can be interpreted through our music. The first being the darkness, and its significance. Second, being matters of dark nature. And third, being the astrological term, Dark Matter.
Who has your sound been likened to? Coheed and Cambria, Incubus, Deftones, Tool
Have you performed in bands before The Dark Matters? If so, what are the names of those bands and how did they influence the sound of The Dark Matters?
Mario had been a member of two bands, Life by Proxy, That Was Then This Is Now, before forming TDM. Beddy had been the bass player for Morningside Lane for a short time.
Your most recent release, Word To The Wise came out in September of 2015. Is there a story line or theme that the album follows? If so, can you explain what that story line or theme is?
The theme is that life can be tough. We decided to call it Word To The Wise because the music portrays the struggle of everyday life. Most of our songs are either stories about these obstacles and/or how to overcome them. If you read the lyrics and listen to the music you can hear how Mario is trying to offer advice.
I really like the long instrumental intro in “Battleship” because it sets the scene for the story that is told in the lyrics. Was that the intention of the intro? And was the song written primarily to tell a story?
There’s actually a dual story line to “Battleship.” The song is about a captain who leads his crew into battle even though he knows they have no chance of winning. The song is a metaphor for our drummer we had at the time. He was getting into a relationship that we had all warned was no good for him. He didn’t want to listen to any of us and it bit his ass in the end. Everyone’s been there or has been in the friend’s shoes. The intro is the calm before the storm; the build-up to the battle. AKA everyone watching their friend get into something they know is going to bring them down.
What is your favorite song on the album, and why?
We all love different songs on the album. Mario likes “Me & You” because it’s fun for him to play and he has a certain personal connection to it. Evan’s favorite is “The Hidden Truth” because it was the first song the group really wrote together as a whole. We all spent time adding our different touches to that song. Beddy’s favorite is “Too Far” because he’s able to utilize the whole neck of his 6-string bass through the entire song. Leo’s favorite is “Battleship,” because of its intensity and epic-ness from start to finish.
During your performances, how do you want the audience to be feeling? What are you trying to convey to listeners with your music?
We always love to see the crowd moving and moshing. When we play shows with lots of fans, the crowd is always moving, singing, and having a good time. We like lots of energy and live off the crowd. The more they get into it, the more we get comfortable and really play to the top of our abilities. We also love playing shows with bands that have good members and fans to go along with it.
What’s been the craziest thing to happen at one of your shows?
At the start of one of our shows, Beddy was bending down appearing to be fixing a pedal of his. Little did we know he had been puking on the side of the stage, not missing a SINGLE note. He fooled us and the crowd! He had had some bad food that night and he just couldn’t keep it down.
What’s the best part about being in The Dark Matters?
The best part of being in The Dark Matters is getting together every week and jamming out, coming up with raw music. Bringing our ideas together and mixing all of our different influences in a crucible of creativity. We just live for the music, and the fun that comes along with preforming it.
When you consider all the bands in the Asbury Park scene right now — what do you think makes The Dark Matters stand out?
We don’t really sound like anyone else. Although that can sometimes be a bad thing, our sound doesn’t fall into any typical band equation. Everyone brings something different to the table. Especially since each of us has such a diverse background in the music and instruments we play. We feel our sound sets us apart from the typical metal or rock band.
If someone has never heard your music before, what song would you recommend they check out in order to fully understand what The Dark Matters is about, and why?
“One In a Million” is a great song to start people out on. It has a great riff, chorus, intro. Overall awesome song. We always said if we had to pick one song to put out a single, it would be that one. We also open almost every set with it cause it gets the crowd moving.
Overall, what is your proudest accomplishment as a band?
Releasing our EP, Word To The Wise, and then getting that album onto WSOU and getting such good feedback about it has to be one of our best moments. We had spent so much time on those songs. 4/6 of them had already been written or were in the process of being written shortly before Chris and Evan joined the band. So we had to re-work their parts and bring their own sound into the equation. Leo came later after we had added a second guitar on the album. It’s come a long way from demos at practice.
What’s in store for the rest of 2016?
For 2016, we’ve been working on some old material, as well as a lot of new stuff. We’re trying to get another album out by the fall. Hopefully a full length, but it might take another year. What we do know for sure is that there will be some new material coming out in the near future. New merch, some singles, a website. We plan on making a music video in the early spring. We have a lot things to look forward to.
THE DARK MATTERS PERFORMS WITH SEMIOTICS AND THE IDJITS TONIGHT AT HAPPY MONDAYS AT WONDER BAR IN ASBURY PARK, NJ.