Who’s searching for daylight. How you guys all met and what’s the meaning behind the band’s name?
The personnel of the group is myself, Max King on vocals, Enrique Haneine on keyboards, Doug Hirlinger on drums, Nick Demopoulos on guitar, and Carlo DeRosa on bass. I met Doug and Carlo many years ago while we were all students together at the Manhattan School of Music. We played quite a bit together back in those days, so when I began forming the searching for daylight project, those two guys were my first choice on their respective instruments. Carlo recommended Enrique, and his vibe and playing were perfect right from the start. The same was the case with the guitarist Nick, who was introduced to me by the drummer Doug.
The name searching for daylight has many meanings, and at the same time doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything at all. I purposely used lower case letters in the name to deflect importance from us, and what I mean by that is the fact that none
of us are really important, and that we all should be more aware of our insignificance in relation to the entire multi-dimensional universe. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we can’t make a difference for the better, because we can. The important thing is not to harm anyone or anything, that is the main point. The more obvious meaning of searching for daylight, and one that I certainly was thinking about, is the idea of looking for hope in this dark, disturbing situation that humanity has put itself in. Another element to it was simply the fact that I liked the way the words sounded, and that perhaps is the most important aspect to me personally….a kind of short-form poetry, you could say.
So you are quite new as a band, but you all have experience playing alongside other great musicians and bands out there. Now as a band all you guys together, the road has been easier or you guys had to start from zero?
Since the band formed in 2011, we have been primarily playing only in the New York City area. All of the members of the band perform and record with many musicians and groups, so any kind of tour has been difficult to schedule, but we certainly expect this to happen in the near future. We all have been in the industry for some time, so we hope not to start from zero…..maybe three or four…haha…..
Talk to us more about your self-titled EP. How was the process recording and writing this album?
I had taken about a five year sabbatical from performing live around 2004, and it was during that time period that I began to write the music for this project. My goal was to go into the studio first, before forming the live group. The musicians on the EP are different then the ones I am currently using in the band, although I am planning to record with the current band in July. On the EP, the musicians were Lincoln Goines on bass, Al Street on guitar, James Harvey on drums, and myself on vocals and piano. I felt extremely lucky to get the legendary Lincoln Goines on that recording. He is one of the top electric bassists on the scene today, and his playing on the EP was absolutely brilliant, as was the case with everyone on the recording.
In terms of the writing process for the album, It was really the same as all the writing I do. For me it is a spontaneous process, similar to improvisation in a solo. I approach Lyrics as poetry. I don’t feel the need to tell a story, but if that ends up happening, that is OK too.
What are the band’s main music influences?
What I like to tell people is that I have drawn a huge amount of inspiration from great artists, but none of them have influenced my work. Honestly, my music comes from a place within myself that has nothing to do with any influences from other artists. However, I certainly have been greatly inspired by many, many incredible genius musicians. There’s a three piece band from Australia called Cog who are absolutely amazing. In my opinion, their early “Just Visiting” EP really changed rock and metal in a big way. I think people really underestimate the influence that those guys had on the scene. Another band that I would mention is Pulse Ultra. They only made one album, called Headspace, but in my opinion they were really pushing the envelope of what was possible in rock/metal.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
Well, like I briefly mentioned in an earlier question, writing for me is purely inspiration of the moment, improvisation put on paper. Of course there is always some type of refinement process, but in the end there is no substitute for catching the feeling of a moment, because that moment will never occur again obviously.
Do you guys have any plans for the near future?
Right now our performances are somewhat sparse due to the very busy schedules of everyone in the band. All of the guys in the current group have performed and recorded with many big industry names like Ricky Martin, Ray Barretto, Yo-Yo Ma, Chico Hamilton and many others… so it is a balancing act of sorts to have a group with such accomplished players where the schedule juggling can be a challenge. We have an upcoming NYC performance on Friday May 25th at the Ella Lounge. We are also performing at a large festival upstate in June. That will be the biggest crowd this band has played for so far, so we are looking forward to that.
What has been the funniest moments you guys have been or took part while touring? (At least one story)
I would have to mention something that took place while I was performing in Cuba many years ago. Myself and the band were relaxing on a stone wall that separated the road from the ocean. I fell asleep briefly, and when I woke up, I noticed right away that my bag was missing. Let me mention that this bag contained my passport, wallet, all of the band’s sheet music, as well as many other personal items. Most of the guys in the band were still there so I asked them if they had seen my bag. They mentioned that a strange looking guy had walked close to where I had been sleeping and that they thought he might have taken it. After ten minutes, and realizing that my bag was gone forever, I was ready to walk into the ocean and never come back. Right when I was almost ready to do that, the entire band started laughing, and the drummer got up, and there was my bag, under where he had been sitting. Something like that would make a lot of people mad, but once I recovered, I was laughing too, because that was the whole point of the practical joke, to make people laugh. We need more of that in this world, more laughter, more fun and joking. Everything has become so heavy handed, so serious. I mean take a look around, how can you not laugh?
Check out more at: http://www.searchingfordaylight.com/