We try to carve our own niche 

Guitarist Jake Garcia has a dilemma.

His New York City-based rock band Darediablo, is one of the finest American instrumental rock groups on the road today.

Their soon-to-be-released album Twenty Paces, is (at a hair over thirty-five minutes) one of the most exhilarating slabs of gnarled-up, grinding rock music you’re likely to hear this side of a vintage Goblin import LP.

And, after almost six years together, the band seems finally on the cusp of breaking through to larger crowds, both here and abroad.

There’s only one problem. They don’t particularly like instrumental rock music.

That’s not entirely correct. They like their own instrumental rock music. But, they don’t feel it has much in common with the rest of the genre that they’re often lumped in with. They’re right.

While instrumental rock almost brought itself to its knees in the ‘70s with the bloated egomania of high-minded acts like Emerson Lake & Palmer, Darediablo stands tall in the 21st Century by slashing and burning that oft-ridiculed largess, much like punk rock did for the sappy treacle of mid-70s radio pop.

For he and his bandmates (keyboardist Matt Holford and drummer Chad Royce), it’s all about getting in and getting out as quickly as possible, while doing as much damage as they can. In a good way.

“We love AC/DC and rock songs that aren’t made to challenge all the science fiction fans in the crowd,” he says with a laugh, slyly referencing the clichéd cross-pollination of fantastic fiction and instrumental prog-rock that remains one apparent holdover from the effects of the first generation of hydroponic weed.

“Even though we might be those guys! We just don’t even like instrumental rock.”

I find this hard to believe, when they’re obviously so adept at what they do, and the passion for their work shines through in the tunes themselves (tunes with hilariously overwrought titles such as “Lonely Is The Stranger In The Rainbow Of The Heat Of The Still Of The Night”).

“Yeah. I mean, this is what we’re good at. We come together and we’re able to conceptualize this stuff and play it well. We enjoy playing it, but that doesn’t mean that we automatically find other instrumental rock bands interesting. In fact, if we don’t, it’s for the very same reasons you mentioned. It’s weird, man. We don’t really dig it, but that’s what we play well.”

Then again with titles like “Apache Chicken” and “Nife Fite On Wife Nite,” it may be for the best that there are no corresponding lyrics.

Garcia says Darediablo looks at the compositional process much as a jazz band might, and enjoys being unencumbered with the headache of dealing with crafting intelligent or poetic lyrics.

“None of us really sing, but we knew what it took to craft a good song,” he explains. “We don’t worry about what were doing, and try to carve our own niche. Now, we’re really happy with the results, and with what we have going on.”

And what they have going on is a grueling North American tour itinerary that finds the hitting forty cities in forty nights – in both the U.S. and Canada – often with incredibly long drives after every stop. However, Garcia says it’s worth it to stop in the towns where hardly anyone’s there to see them, if it means they get to return to places like Savannah, where the band was embraced warmly from their very first appearance.

“We love it down there. Savannah’s been wonderful to us. There are towns like that across the country where we have a great time and people seem to get what we’re doing. Austin, Texas is like that, and Lawrence, Kansas. They make the whole thing worthwhile.”

Their record label is based in the U.K. That helped them land a brief tour of Germany, which went very well.

“They love to rock in Germany,” says Garcia with a chuckle.

In a few months, they’ll return and play Germany again, as well as Spain and Italy. The group and their label have high hopes that the band will be able to establish a solid footing in Europe, and on the basis of this new album, it’s likely they will. w

Darediablo plays The Jinx on Friday. Bolt and i am not a little bus open.


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Jim Reed

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