When I first started interviewing people for Skinnie Entertainment Magazine my questions were pretty much set before I spoke to the artist. I'd do my research, talk to the press agent about what to focus on during the interview (and what to not talk about), which projects to promote, and after that I'd ask about the tour.
My interviews still follow that construct, but I've learned to shut up and just let the artist say what he or she wants to say about their work. I'll even omit my questions if what the artist says is more interesting than what I was going to ask.
I was fortunate to interview Alfred Darlington a.k.a. Daedelus, for Inland Empire Weekly. He was very cool, very friendly, and I also figured out early on in the interview that he was also very intelligent, so I tried to feature his opinions as much as the word limit would allow.
Afterwards, he mentioned hanging out at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, but I couldn't make it because of a film I was working on. I lost his number, so I can't call him. Darn. Let's hope I get to interview him again.
Modern Romanticism: Daedelus takes an 18th Century notion and creates genre-melding music.
Alfred Darlington is the artist better known as Daedelus. Working out of his studio in Los Angeles he spins experimental electronica that can either hit hard with heavy, stomping bass, rev up the party with synthetic beats and mind-warping tones or mash up the plinking of light string instruments and harpsichords to make music so beautiful angels must dream of it when they sleep.
“My music fits anywhere between the realm of hip-hop and electronic, but those are broad terms. Today any current pop production by Britney Spears can be electronica. I think electronica and hip-hop are imperfect definitions. I’ve been styling my own music as ‘Romantic,’” he says.
The Romantic Era was a literary movement in the last half of the 18th century that combined visual arts, raw emotion and passionate music to find spiritual inspiration in love, nature, the imagination and the exotic.
For Daedelus, the term also refers to the experience of being in an intense loving relationship. “I like to write music that symbolizes every stage of a romance: the butterflies, the anticipation, having to go up to someone and talk to them for the first time, the excitement, the long relationship, the feelings of regret...”
A romance could also symbolize life, so his music is not just about the stages of romance but life, itself. The artist understands that it’s a challenge to continually weave such a philosophy into the tapestry of his creations. “I know that such an idea is prevalent in today’s electronica music.”
Bespoke, his 12th major album (which was released on April 11th under the British independent record label Ninja Tune) is dedicated, interestingly enough, to his love of Victorian fashion. “Dressing up in Victorian clothing is something I’ve been doing at home and onstage. I find that wearing something outside of the images the audience usually gets can give me a certain freedom.”
“It goes beyond just the appearance. Part of what I admire about Victorian fashion was that a single person cut the cloth, designed the outfit and created something that was made perfectly for the customer. It was a craft. Now clothes are mass-produced. I feel like music is going that way, where it’s going to be art that can just be programmed.”
Daedelus has also performed at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. “Coachella is a celebration of all kinds of sounds. It’s the variety that gets the public to come out, so it’s also a celebration of diversity. There’s going to be a group of kids who are there for each kind of music, electronica, rock, hip-hop, etc., so it’s a mix of different types of fans. With so many diverse kinds of music coming together it’s also a collision of cultures that hasn’t been explored before.”
Every performance the Victorian-influenced, romance electronic artist has is practice for impressing new audiences. “It does speak to a certain kind of truth when you have to win over new people. Fans want you to succeed, because they believe in the show, and trust me, once you have a great show you never want to have anything else unless it’s better than the last one.”