XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Luke: For The Darkest Hearts it’s been a year with globally getting people familiar with the “Mississippi Devil” single and recently the “Mississippi Devil” lyric video was released and can be found on YouTube, Vevo and Vimeo. On the horizon, The Darkest Hearts is currently in the studio writing and recording a new record for next year.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Luke: The Darkest Hearts released their first single “Disappear” in 2014 it wasn’t until late 2015 when the full live band emerged.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Luke: It seemed like one of the best ways to be creative, rebellious and have a voice with a chance to change the world.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Luke: Our musical backgrounds vary but Rock and Metal are a common thread. Kramedj (John Kramedjian) has roots in 40’s and 50’s then jumps to the 80’s and beyond. He has probably the most schizophrenic music tastes out of us. For instance Kramedj has a playlist on Spotify that you can find, it will jump from something like Ariana Grande to Billie Holiday to Megadeth and beyond. Luke’s (Vavrek) background is a bit all over too; from Clapton to The Smashing Pumpkins, Fiona Apple to Depeche Mode to Nine Inch Nails and on. Daniel’s (Kassel) is definitely anything Mark Tremonti, Joe Bonamassa, and but not limited to Hard Rock and Metal of the 90’s and Y2k as well as growing up on Classic Rock .
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Luke: The image that our music conveys would be; Sometimes dark, sometimes an outsiders perspective but also hopefully positive.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Luke: The Darkest Hearts current music goals are to write/record our new record, come see all your beautiful faces on tour, hang out and have a beer!
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Luke: We thoroughly enjoy both and both are equally important! Too much of one and not enough of the other
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Luke: The themes that TDH’s lyrics cover are of the struggles of humanity, love, loss, technology, obstacles and determination.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Luke: The single most important thing as a musician is to play and create. Something we have to do, it’s ingrained in our DNA.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Luke: I’ve actually never received a strange request from a fan yet….
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Luke: Our friends and family are Definitely supportive of our choice to plan a rock band.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Luke: Advice for a new band starting off: Play right and learn as much as you can.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Luke: Some of our favorite tracks to play live would definitely be Resistance, Mississippi Devil, and yet unreleased song called Human.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Luke: Personally, the artist inspired me to perform was Metallica though, I now No longer listen to them. When I first heard the Black album and And Justice For All with Master of Puppets, I knew straight away that’s what I wanted to do. – Luke Vavrek
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Luke: If we could design a dream tour for The Darkest Hearts it would probably have to be a festival! There are too many great bands that we love to share a bill with. Bands like: Halestorm, Blackstone Cherry, Red Sun Rising, The Rival Sons, Rise Against, Shamans Harvest, NIN, Highly Suspect, Nothing More, Meg Myers, Shinedown, Bishop Briggs, Dead Sara, Tremonti, Slash, Art of Dying, Foo Fighters, Royal Blood, Nothing But Thieves, Royal Bliss, Candlebox, the list goes on…..
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Luke: Our greatest accomplishments so far has been being a band for several years now and creating music that people can connect with.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Luke: No idea!
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Luke: Equipment we use for live shows varies but primarily always consist of Gibson guitars, Paul Reed Smith guitars, Barton drums, Mesa boogie amp’s, Kramedj’s rare Charvelle Acoustic, lots of Dunlop (picks, pedals, etc.), We’re currently Adding Preonus, Shure, Audio-Technica and other production equipment to our live rig. We’ve been using tons of Presonus gear in the studio for years now and love it.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Luke: In the current upside down state of music industry, Rock music is not getting the spotlight it deserves and makes visibility for new Up and coming artists much more difficult to be discovered.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Luke: People that don’t know us might be surprised to know that we are a group of old fashion dudes I will gladly give you the shirt off your back and are honest and our intentions.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Luke: For our fans, we love you, we appreciate you, would love for you to share us with your friends and meet you at our show.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Luke: Thank you so much!
The Darkest Hearts
“Kramedj” – John Kramedjian – Vocals/Guitar
Luke Vavrek- Backup Vocals/ Guitar
Daniel Kassel – Guitar
Leo Zayas – Drums