“Prunge into dark, fly into light.” That is the way Brooklyn-based band Darkwing describe themselves, and I completely agree. Darkwing – consisting of Rich Rogers, Louis Cozza, Zack Booth, and Sharif Mekawy – is a band that sounds like the culmination of all your favorite punk/grunge/alt-rock bands melded into one.
When seeing them live, you are instantly hurled into their 90s grunge-punk world and only realize they’ve taken you hostage when they release you with their final note. The thing I like best about seeing Darkwing’s live show is how much fun they all have together on stage. They are all cool, unique dudes individually, but together on stage, it’s like they transform into a single unit ready to punch you in the face with fun and rage and sludge all at once. Their energy is infectious.
This week I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Darkwing, who recently released their latest EP, Super Silver, through Good Eye Records in October.
Thanks for taking the time to talk, Darkwing! Tell us about your latest release, Super Silver. Where did you record it? Did you have a producer?
David Silverstein recorded us at Sabella Studios in Long Island. He is very skilled and I have a lot of confidence in his tastes and skills, so he pretty much had free reign sonically. Sabella Studios is an impressive space full of fantastic gear including custom-built guitar amps made by the studio’s owner. Fun fact: The platinum-selling Marcy Playground record was recorded there in the 90s.
Oh, that IS a fun fact. “Sex and Candy” is still very much a solid track. Any funny “in the studio” stories/situations come about?
Before we started recording, I didn’t know that David was a skilled musician and singer in his own right, so when it came time to do backing vocals on “Who U R,” we had him sing and harmonize with myself and Caroline Yoder from Fruit and Flowers.
Oh nice, I didn’t know that Caroline sang on that track! So how’d you come up with the band name Darkwing?
First generation transformer bad guy called Darkwing was a moody, dejected, jaded psycho. That fits the vibe around 60% of the time.
I can DEFINITELY see that. Your song title “Quid Facere” is really unique, what’s the about/where does the title come from?
I know its Latin, just curious how that relates to the song. Guess we’ll just have to leave it to ourselves and maybe put it into the X-Files for now. So how’d you all meet?
This is perhaps the fifth or sixth lineup of this band. I (RR) met Sharif at a Sharkmuffin show either at Cake Shop or Shea Stadium (RIP). I saw Zack the first time at Don Pedro (RIP) playing with his old band, Super FM. Not sure when we met. Sharif and I met Louis in 2016 when we were looking for a drummer that could tour; my old drummer was not able to do that, but we parted ways amicably.
Damn, Brooklyn venues are beginning to sound like the plague has fallen upon them! On a lighter note, what’s the songwriting process like for you?
Sweaty, cathartic, narcissistic.
If you could tour anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to go to Australia in like February. It’d be a great escape from northeast USA winter and I think they (Aussies) dig it
I could definitely see you guys going over super well in Australia. So, if you could open for any band (dead or alive) who would it be?
I can very much hear Wavves influence on your sound, but you guys definitely have a style and sound that’s unique to you. OK. FINAL MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: Favorite place to grab food on the road and why?
RR: Taco Bell.
LC: McDonald’s. Cheesy B’s
SM: I like going to grocery stores if we have time. Healthier options and more variety. I’m writing this from a grocery store.
Lastly, do you have any new releases coming up? Tours? News? Shows? Anything you’d like to share with your fans?
I’ve got plenty of things I CAN’T share, but I’d like to remind everyone to check out our releases from 2018 on Spotify or wherever else.
Check out Darkwing’s latest EP release, Super Silver, here: