Review Fix Exclusive: Darro Talks ‘You’re Not Insane’ And More

Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter and guitarist Darro, who discusses the creative process behind his new track, “You’re Not Insane,” as well as his goals for the rest of the year.

Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?

Darro: I got involved in music at a very young age, I was probably 6 or 7. My dad was in a Cambodian wedding band growing up and I would sit at the top of the basement stairs as they practiced. Then when they finished and everyone had left, I would sneak downstairs and start playing on the drums or keyboard, trying to play the music I heard them play. It wasn’t until I was around 12 until I picked up the guitar, but I didn’t get serious until I saw my first Steve Vai concert. That was when I realized that I needed music.

Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?

Darro: It’s constantly changing but I almost always write out an instrumental arrangement first, usually stemming from a cool riff or a chord progression I like. Then I try to figure out what that sound “feels like” to me. It could feel like “walking in the streets of Boston” or “extremely tired but I can’t fall asleep.” Once I figure out what the song feels like to me, then I try to put it into words, my songwriting is constantly evolving and most days I like to think I’m getting better. After writing the lyrics, it’s just a lot of production and engineering. I’m a huge control freak so I really fine tune every single aspect, whether it’s voicing or phrasing of the bass lines, or the positioning of a microphone on the amps.

Review Fix: What inspires you?

Darro: There are a lot of things that inspire me, beyond the obvious artists that I look up to (Paramore, John Mayer, Frank Ocean, Steve Vai), I really just want to do well for my family. I went very against the grain for most first generation Asian-Americans. Immigrants and refugees struggle like crazy to raise a family in a foreign country, so you can imagine the reaction I got from my family when I told them I was going to music school. They had worked so hard for me to get an education and go be a doctor or an engineer or something, but instead I decided to go into music. It felt like blasphemy against everything they had worked for, it still does some days. But I knew I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. I’m content with making music for the rest of my life regardless of the pay, but if I can reach any amount of success, it would be nice to have something to show my family for it.

Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?

Darro: Paramore meets Foo Fighters with a hint of Steve Vai.

Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?

Darro: Well there’s definitely a lot less guitars in a live show haha. Some of my tracks have like 12 guitar tracks. I always try to give a little something different in my shows, I like to throw in a few “Darro-ized” covers and some mashups too. But most of all I think it’s the energy, both the energy I give out and the energy I receive. Playing a show makes all of the long studio hours worth it.

Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of 2019?

Darro: Music goals: Release another single in the fall, play some shows outside of NYC (Boston, Philly, Baltimore?)

Non-Music: Learn how to surf, teach my dog how to shake hands, catch up on some sleep.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Darro: A music video for “You’re Not Insane” is coming out!

Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?

Darro: I’m playing a show at The Bitter End in NYC on August 9th at 8:30pm!

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9082 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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