|Interview by Burt Wolf with Ryan Parrish, drummer for DARKEST HOUR.
Interview done March 14th, 2006.
DARKEST HOUR HAS BEEN AROUND FOR MANY YEARS NOW, CAN YOU GIVE SOME OF THE
BANDS HISTORY UP TO THIS POINT? HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? ANY PREVIOUS BANDS
YOU GUYS WERE IN BEFORE?
DARKEST HOUR has been doing this for about ten years. The band really took shape in 2000, with the release
of "MARK OF THE JUDAS". The lineup changed a little bit & in the year 2003, with the release of "HIDDEN
HANDS OF A SADIST NATION", the lineup was solidified. Paul Burnette - bass, John Henry - vocals, Kris
Norris - guitar, Mike Schleibaum - guitar & Ryan Parrish - drums, then, "UNDOING RUIN" came out in 2005 &
the party just keeps going...like a bottomless keg. Previous bands include NITRO TOKYO, LOCUS FACTOR
(not really previous, still going) HOT NEW DANCE HITS, CROPDUSTER & CITY OF CATERPILLAR.
WHY WAS THE NAME DARKEST HOUR CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
The old drummer wrote five names on a piece of paper & DARKEST HOUR was the coolest of the five. True
WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD AN IMPACT OR INFLUENCE ON YOUR MUSIC & YOUR LIFE?
Metal has def influenced my life. All the early nineties melodic Death Metal & Death Metal really helped Kris
Norris & I get a feel for that style of music. As for John Henry & Mike, Hardcore & Punk helped shape their
musical influence. Paul was also a Metal head, but liked different styles of music. I think that we all have
different musical tastes, which helps us with song writing & creativity.
DARKEST HOUR PULLS FROM HARDCORE & METAL TO CREATE THEIR SOUND. HOW WOULD
YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC TO SOMEONE WHO HAS YET TO HEAR IT?
Heavy, melodic & Metal. I think the Hardcore element of our style is slowly filtering out. No complaints
"UNDOING RUIN" IS YOUR NEWEST RELEASE
THAT CAME OUT BACK IN JUNE 2005. HOW
WELL HAS THIS ALBUM BEEN DOING FOR YOU
GUYS? WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN LIKE?
This album has been doing great! We couldn't be more
pleased. The response to the new stuff is overwhelming.
It's hard because we like the old stuff a lot too, but live,
people are more receptive to the new stuff...but, we still
play old stuff live! I mean, we still like it!
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT IN YOUR SONGS ON THIS ALBUM?
Every song has a story. Whether it's based on healing, the end of an era, the beginning of an era & even dealing
with gentrification in DC. Lyrically, the record is more on a personal level. Having more to do with personal
conflict, loss & acceptance.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE COVER ART A BIT & WHO DID IT?
Chris Taylor did our artwork for this album. We know we didn't want dead bodies or a dark vibe on this record.
So, it's colorful & melancholy. I think it sums up the title of the record, which is based on healing & reinventing
DEVIN TOWNSEND OF STRAPPING YOUNG LAD PRODUCED THIS ALBUM WITH YOU GUYS.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK WITH HIM (BESIDES THE OBVIOUS). HOW WAS IT WORKING
We wanted to do some experimenting sounds & ambiance & other such things. We knew Devin was into this
sort of thing & he would be perfect to help us get out ideas out on the recording. He did this brilliantly. Working
with him was amazing. He was an awesome guy & really got involved with this record. It was truly an amazing
I READ ON YOUR WEBSITE YOU GUYS WERE FILMING A VIDEO FOR "SOUND THE
SURRENDER". PLEASE GIVE US SOME INFORMATION ON THIS SHOOT?
Well, Jospeh Patisall directed this video. The idea was one that we had & Jospeh spiced it up. It was filmed in
Virginia & Mike Murphy, our merch bro, makes a few special appearances. Watch for the tall dude in a cape...
YOU HAVE BEEN ON VICTORY RECORDS FOR A FEW RELEASES NOW. HOW DID YOU GET
HOOKED UP WITH THEM? HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH THEM?
We played a show in Chicago where the staff was there. They liked what they saw & decided to give us a
chance. As far as our relationship with them, we have a great one! Those guys get behind our band 100% & that
has helped through out the years. They def support us & we are glad to have them on our side!
YOU GUYS RELEASED A DVD CALLED "PARTY SCARS & PRISON BARS: A THRASHOLOGY" IN
2005. WHERE DID THAT NAME COME FROM & CAN YOU GIVE US SOME INFORMATION OF
WHAT THE DVD IS ABOUT?
The name speaks for itself. We've been arrested & generally, when we party, the next day, scars & bruises are
the only memories we have...hahaha. We felt that the title was the best way to sum up ten years of chaos &
thrashology was just a cool made up word!!! The DVD just recaps the past ten years of the band, as well as
letting someone get to know us & our personalities. We think it does the job. We are all down to earth dudes just
hanging. That's our message! Hahaha!
YOUR GUITARIST KRIS NORRIS HAS
A DVD OUT AS WELL. CAN YOU TELL
US ABOUT THIS ONE TOO?
It's an instructional DVD. He has two of
them. It's for guitar nerds & other dudes
who want to learn how to shred! The
second one deals more with the music on
"UNDOING RUIN". If you want to blaze
the guitar, pick this thing up! Kris is a great
YOU GUYS PLAYED OZZFEST IN 2004. WHAT WAS THAT TOUR LIKE? WHO WERE SOME OF
THE OTHER BANDS ON THE TOUR YOU ENJOYED SEEING? WHAT WAS SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS OF THAT TOUR?
Ozzfest was a blur. The tour was long & brutal! We had a blast! BLACK SABBATH & SLAYER everyday
can't be a bad thing. As far as highlights: 1) the miller tent. A fully functioning tent equipped with AC & free beer
all day. Plus cozy couches for ultimate relaxation.. 2) Free Jagermeister. I mean, does this have to be explained.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING 2006 TOUR FOR "UNDOING RUIN". WHO WILL
YOU BE TOURING WITH? WHERE WILL THIS TOUR TAKE YOU?
The tour runs from February 17th to April 1st hitting every possible city! We are touring with some great
bands...DEAD TO FALL, THE ACACIA STRAIN, A LIFE ONCE LOST & HIMSA! That's a sick line up!
We are really excited! We are also going to Australia, Mexico & Europe this year! So keep an eye out!
ARE THERE ANY GOOD, FUNNY OR INTERESTING BAND STORIES YOU COULD SHARE WITH
Oh, there are plenty of stories. I'm not at liberty to be discussing this topic...hehehe.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK FOR THE BAND?
JOBS, HOBBIES, ETC?
Mike stresses out, JH smokes weed, Paul is a dad, Kris plays guitar & smokes cigarettes & I play solitaire on my
WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I'm a single successful guy...and I love Golden Skillet!
WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU REMEMBER BUYING? WHAT WAS THE FIRST CONCERT
YOU REMEMBER SEEING?
First cassette tape ever...IRON MAIDEN - "KILLERS"...first concert ever METALLICA on the "...AND
JUSTICE FOR ALL" tour 1989. Fucking sweet.
WHAT DO WE HAVE TO LOOK
FORWARD TO NEST FROM DARKEST
Look for us to travel the globe & visit your
town! Come out & party with us!
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS
INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW
THAT IT'S DONE?
I was drinking a glass of milk before this interview. We have a day off in Southern California, so dudes are
chilling hard. The others are watching DUKES OF HAZZARD.
I APPRECIATE YOU TAKING THE TIME TO DO THIS INTERVIEW. FEEL FREE TO CLOSE OUT
WITH ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD. THANX!!!
Thanks for the interview! Support Metal & the underground! Keep it brutal & stay sick as shit! Party!!!