After building a career playing guitar for platinum-selling act the Toadies and the Geffen-signed Tomorrowpeople, Darrel William Herbert is taking a back-to-basics, DIY approach for his upcoming solo debut, An Unwelcome Moment of Clarity.
“The punk DIY aesthetic is something that I internalized from a young age,” says Hebert. “No one is going to do anything for you; if you want to make something, you have to do it yourself. On this record, I wrote, recorded, performed, mixed, mastered, made the videos, and shot the promo photos [largely by] myself.”
The result is a bold opening statement for Herbert that combines traces of his Texas upbringing in the “Willie and Waylon” era of country music with the backing of a storied career within alternative rock. Featuring contributor friends like keyboardist Rich Hilton (Chic), guitarist Paul Williams (Tablet), and drummer Mitch Marine (Dwight Yoakam), Clarity doesn’t shy away from bringing aboard Herbert’s talented friends, but the record itself is undeniably his most personal, heartfelt songwriting yet.
“The album, for me, is about self-discovery; pushing aside my ego and fear, to let go and get out of my own way and see what I could achieve,” Herbert adds. “Once I started doing that, the songs started flowing. Stories, characters, songs that weren’t noticeably about me, but about the world I saw in front of me ultimately became more a reflection of who I am than something more literal.”
Something that well captures the spirit of the album and the band comes if the form of their new single “If You Still Believe”. As the band puts it “I wrote this because my co-producer Mitch Marine was coming over to work on songs and I didn’t have anything new to show him. It took me about 30 minutes to come up with the whole thing… the best songs always come together really quickly.”