Armed with fuzz pedals, distorted guitar and catchy punk rock lyrics, Darkwing is ready to take flight.
Darkwing is the baby of musician Richie Rogers. After recruiting Louis Cozza (drums), Sharif Mekawy (guitar) and Zack Booth (bass), Darkwing was born. The group may have weathered some dark storms together, but they’ve made it out dry and their music is stronger than ever.
Darkwing started in 2013 with high hopes. However, like bands do, heads butted and the band broke up. After six months, the bond between these musicians and their music making was just too strong, and the band reunited with a refreshed burst of energy and inspiration.
“We had a falling out, but we’re like brothers and you can’t get rid of your family,” Rogers tells BTRtoday. Their last album was released in 2015, Lameonia, an eerie album with ghostly vocals and a dark vibe, but with a upbeat Beatles-like tempos.
Now, the group has been on fire and constantly playing shows in NYC. They recently played a gritty punk show at Brooklyn’s Elsewhere and will be shredding up The Gutter on March 3.
Rogers says their recordings are different than their live performance. Where their stage shows are sweaty and chaotic, their recordings are-detail oriented products of long and careful concentration. But the passion and punk rock is apparent in both.
Darkwing plans on providing the world with new music and merch very soon, so don’t miss out. Read the entire interview with the band below.
BTRtoday (BTR): How did everyone in Darkwing meet and decide to play together?
Richie Rogers (RR): Well, the project actually started as my solo project when I lived in NJ. The current lineup of myself, Louis Cozza, Sharif Mekawy and Zack Booth has been a thing for around six months. We had a falling out, but we’re like brothers and you can’t get rid of your family.
BTR: What’s Darkwing been up to lately?
RR: We’re playing a lot of shows and we’ve got some long awaited releases in the pipeline.
BTR: How’s the NYC music scene treated you so far?
RR: It has been educational. Everyone is a super star. I mean it.
BTR: What kind of inspires your music?
RR I used to have a car and listen to CDs over and over again—Thee Oh Sees’ Floating Coffin album was huge for me. An old band member (also named Zakk) was huge into metal so he was always showing me awesome bands. As a result, I am really into Darkthrone (O.G. Norwegian black metal). But then of course there are The Beach Boys, Wavves, The Misfits, Motörhead. Currently, I’m trying to figure out how to work some Sly Stone flavor into it.
BTR: What’s a typical songwriting process for you guys?
RR: I normally go a few days just trying to put whatever words on paper I can—shitty poetry about love, oppression, tabloid news, whatever. After I’m satisfied with a small body of words, I like to sit and record for a little over an hour of screwing around on guitar. Sometimes something comes of it, sometimes not. Other times I’ll be so emotionally distraught that I’ll write a song to make myself feel better—like being stuck in the mud and then the song I write is the rope I can climb to pull myself out. I’ll obsess over it recording three or more demos alone before showing it to the band.
Recently however we got this sweet jam that happened organically. It starts out like a fast CAN song and then there is some sweet heavy shit. It’s in the works, but I cried the first time we played it at the practice space.
BTR: What’s an ideal live show for you guys?
RR: One with lots of audience participation
BTR: Why the name Darkwing?
RR: I had written like five songs and was wandering around my parents old house pondering a band name. I saw a picture of myself at around age four wearing a purple fedora and my moms old purple sarong as a cape, holding a plastic doll of Darkwing Duck, the terror that flaps in the night. It was impulsive.
BTR: What did you grow up listening to a lot?
RR: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, George Gershwin and video game music.
Louis Cozza (LC): Random musicals (You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown) Nirvana, The Beatles and a lot more random stuff in high school and college.
Zack Booth (ZB): Blink 182, my dad’s Rush tapes, The Art of Noise and Smash by The Offspring.
Sharif Mekawy (SM): The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Weird Al.
BTR: Who are you guys currently playing on repeat?
RR: The Adverts.
ZB: Damaged Bug and Patrick Cowley.
LC: Lost Boy?
BTR: What should we be looking forward for in the future of Darkwing?
RR: Some music being released in the spring, fresh tees and more DNN (Darkwing News Network). Our live shows are drastically different from how the music sounds on record.