Baltimore duo Darsombra will bring their transcendental audio-visual rock to Wilmington in the first leg of their upcoming tour, “Three Legged Monster.” It will include over 100 concerts across the country, including a stop at Reggie’s 42nd Street Tavern on February 16. Veteran of metal rock, Brian Daniloski, and filmmaker Ann Everton will lead Wilmington fans on a voyage of intoxicating visuals and experimental, psychedelic sounds.
“I have a long history with Wilmington,” Daniloski says. “My previous band, Meatjack, used to play some fun shows with Buzzov-en and Weedeater in the area. It’s a great town with good people, and you’ve got the beach right there. What’s not to love?”
After touring for years with previous bands, Daniloski started Darsombra near the turn of the century as a one-man act, and was inspired by fellow solo artists like KK Null and The Thrones. “It could be challenging and lonely at times,” he says of his solo gigs, “but I really enjoyed the solitude after so many years in a van full of dudes—all due respect to the dudes.”
Daniloski focused on music that was challenging for both player and listener. He experimented with sounds inspired by his love of heavy-metal and hard guitar. He hoped to create unique, mind-expanding music; the result was his debut, “Ecdysis” (the act of molting or shedding an outer cuticular layer). The six-song release set the tone with a mind-altering atmosphere of gloom-riddled guitar riffs and heavily filtered vocals that played with rhythm. The music created a dark vibe for listeners, sometimes lacking any discernible pace or percussion. Songs utilized aspects like breathing noises that resembled deathly rattles and distant screams that faded in and out.
Daniloski’s solo act didn’t last forever, though. Just a few years after meeting Everton in a yoga class, the two gradually started performing together and mixing unique audio and visual passions onstage for a whole new concert experience. “Let’s say the official story is: I saw Daniloski in yoga and asked him out based entirely on good vibes,” Everton says. “We both loved yoga, Rush and making our creative work.”
Until her early 20s, Everton had never really listened to rock ‘n’ roll. Her tastes were primarily focused on rap and electronic music, but she always had an underlining love for the hippie genre. “I was blown away by all this awesome 1970 guitar rock that I had never bothered with previously,” she says. “Early rap was much more interesting and accessible to me as a young person. I was obsessed with painting graffiti for a while, so it sort of came with the territory.”
Once a friend introduced her to David Bowie, Supertramp, Bachman Turner Overdrive, and eventually Rush, an obsession with ‘70s progressive rock develeoped. Though Everton and Daniloski loved Rush, it wasn’t until a few years after meeting did a friend suggest Everton screen her video work behind Daniloski ‘s performances. Since 2010 the two have been touring together—Daniloski piloting the sound of Darsombra through searing guitar riffs, leads, loops, and mammoth vocal swells, while Everton builds the all-consumiung psychotropic visuals.
“I never dreamed to ask my partner to play with me,” Daniloski says. “This calling is unusual, and I don’t expect people to always want to jump in with me and travel around the globe in the bare-bones, minimal way that I do. Touring isn’t always easy, but it happens that Everton loves it as much as I do.”
Their shared passion has turned into one big camping trip across the country. The opportunity to meet new people and make new fans every night keeps them motivated. Darsombra even has shared the stage with bands like Wino, Conny Ochs, Thrones, Queen Elephantine, and Noothgrush, just to name a few.
“I feel so fortunate that I’ve been lucky enough to befriend and tour with some of my favorite current working musicians,” Daniloski says. “It’s hard to pick favorites. Everyone does what they do so well and each is unique. I’m just so inspired by all of life all the time! And one of the best ways I’ve found to express this and show my gratitude is through my music. Sometimes people come up and tell us that we’ve inspired them; that’s always nice.”
Daniloski and Everton’s love of music suffered a blow in May 2013, however, when their home in Baltimore was burglarized. All of the band’s music-making equipment—from irreplaceable stringed instruments to video projectors—was stolen, leaving them with nothing.
“The burglary definitely was a hard hit,” Daniloski says. “Everything we use to make our art was gone in a matter of minutes. We don’t own any particularly valuable things other than that stuff, which was our whole life. It taught me a lot about attachment, opportunity, life, impermanence, and forgiveness. Our friends and fans were so supportive and really made an effort to keep the burglary visible in the hopes of helping us get our gear back. We can’t thank them enough.”
But it wasn’t a fan who helped them recover their equipment; it was just a fellow music lover who recognized their sitar at a local pawn shop. Before receiving a call from Daniloski, in which he described everything that had been stolen from them, the local music-store employee had never even heard of Darsombra. Once their equipment was returned, Darsombra played a free concert in their hometown to say thanks for all the love and support.
“I took the burglary as a sign from the universe,” Everton says—“a sign to stop wasting my time with an inflexible job and do what I was put on this earth to do: make art. Because everything stolen was used for the band, it felt like a very clear message: If you don’t use it, you lose it. The hardest thing for many artists, once they leave the educational setting and enter the real world, is to keep making art. No deadlines, no critiques, no feedback—just make it because you love it, and that is enough. Daniloski has always inspired me in that way. Come hell or high water, he is still making music and touring.”
In comparison to their first album, Darsombra’s 2012 release, “Climax Community,” sounds like a slow-building ascension toward a higher state of consciousness, morphing pedal effects with an actual melody and onstage visuals. They will be playing from this catalogue when they visit Wilmington on February 16. They also plan on playing a new song in what they hope will be a string of several refreshingly strange pieces to be released soon.
“These are unusual songs, and I love watching Daniloski wrestle them out of the ether,” Everton says. “But I can’t wait to get down to business with the video work. It’s all about giving the gift of a heartfelt performance and receiving the gift of an attentive audience in return. It is an exchange of prana, life force. I feel a great joy in my existence, and I want to share that joy with others in any way I can. So if someone leaves the show smiling, even if it’s just me, then I’ve done my job. If someone leaves the show smiling all the way to our van, then I’ve gotten a bonus!”
Reggie’s 42nd St. Tavern
1415 S. 42nd St.
Monday, February 16, 9 p.m.
$5 under 21; $3 21 and over