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THE DARKSIDE OF ARIEL PINK: ON HIS LATEST LP, NEW COLLABORATORS & THE "HARDEST" LAST 2 YEARS


by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


LONN: Would love to talk to you about your new record, my man!

ARIEL: Howdy!

LONN: Very very excited about your new record, when did these songs and this new vision of Ariel's Dark Side come together?

ARIEL: This past year. Around March-April 2021

LONN: What is Ariel Pink's Dark Side?

ARIEL: It's just a new project name.

LONN: Who are these new collaborators that make up Dark Side?

from top left to right: Dave Stagno, Nick Noto, Chloe Chaidez, Ariel Pink

ARIEL: New folks, nobody from any prior incarnations: Dave Stagno, Nick Noto, Chloe Chaidez, they all play in the band Kitten.

LONN: She was very prominent from the Rec Center footage of Dark Side's debut show. Are you and Chloe sharing vocals on your new album?

ARIEL: Chloe started a collective/label PSY to mentor talent and different musical projects. She's on a lot of the songs. Dave and Nick took turns engineering.

LONN: How did this experience with this new group of collaborators compare to Haunted Graffiti or your solo backing band on the Jameson tour?

ARIEL: Not so different.

LONN: Dark Side seems to be far more collaborative than Haunted Graffiti or your solo backing band for the Bobby Jameson tour, right?

ARIEL: Nah....I mean somewhat. No more or less than before.

LONN: Well when I look back on it, Mature Themes was pretty collaborative, you're sharing songwriting credits on there...

ARIEL: Pom Pom and Before Today as well, and Dedicated to Bobby Jameson....but, ultimately it's the same.


LONN: That's true when I think about it, Kenny was a big foil of yours for a long time, then Don Bolles, even Kim Fowley co-wrote songs with you for Pom Pom. You always had some sort of main foil, even R. Stevie Moore when you started.

ARIEL: These guys are better at taking direction and half the time need very little from me. The enthusiasm was the infectious part. it got me excited again.

LONN: Why was it so exciting?

ARIEL: They were so stoked to work with ME. I wasnt looking for a band or even to record when i was asked to take part in their thing. I dont think they were either, it just gelled and happened naturally.

The story goes, Chloe was shmoozing up this group of stylish Latino 'vampires' for consideration on PSY records. but they werent really a band or musicians per se. some were, on their own, but not as a band per se. So she asked them "if you could work with and make music sounding like anyone in the world who would it be?" They said "Cocteau Twins and Ariel Pink".

Chloe and i both had met and kicked it 7 years prior so she went out on a limb and asked if i would help with the sessions. I was pretty shocked to hear from anyone at that point so i agreed and showed up and it worked out brilliantly and the rest is history.

LONN: At that time, you were enduring the whole cancel culture fallout, did these songs take root from those experiences "in the wilderness" of the cancel culture society we've sadly created?

ARIEL: I don't think so. I was born canceled. It doesn't affect my music writing process.

LONN: Does politics play a role in this new record and even the new group you've got?



ARIEL: No, like I said, it has no place in it. Never has....I still write the same shit I always wrote about. I write basically about nothing...like Seinfeld.

LONN: The Larry David of Rock and Roll? I love it.

ARIEL: He would probably attack you if you said that.

LONN: (laughs) Do you think that cancel period will be something people look back on with shame later on? Cause I know many Ariel fans who never stopped listening to you and separated the political stuff.

ARIEL: I don't know man, we'll see how it plays culturally after mid-terms, looks like the Democrats will be all but wiped off the map come the next election. They lost all credibility and short of a revolution within the party itself, I don't see how they will be able to retake the house and senate anytime soon.

LONN: What's your favorite song from Key of Joy Is Disobedience?

ARIEL: Hard to say.

LONN: Ariel, you're not vaxxed right? Not judging but just a serious logistical question: How will Dark Side be touring for the Key to Joy?

ARIEL: Will cross that bridge when I get there.


LONN: Will the album be released digitally or physically as well?

ARIEL: Sorting that out as we speak, hopefully both.

LONN: Does this record remind you of anything you've ever put out previously?

ARIEL: Not really actually.

LONN: As its creator, what satisfies you most about KOJID?

ARIEL: I'm never satisfied. Ancient history as far as I'm concerned.

LONN: When looking back on your past 2 years, how will you remember this period of your life & career?

ARIEL: The hardest.

LONN: What made it the hardest?

ARIEL: The lies and betrayal. It's all out there. I don't have to spell it out for you, dude. Plenty of other shit as well, but good stuff, too.


Months later, I caught up with Ariel again to see where Darkside were at in the wake of their album release:


LONN: How's Darkside going?

ARIEL: Um darkside got leaked so im scrapping the release. vinyl will be a merch item but im gonna try and keep it off digital as much as possible. Darkside is cool. but i think im done with that too ultimately.

LONN: Damn, it's impossible to find!

ARIEL: Good- will create more value for the LP.

LONN: Why did Darkside end?

ARIEL: Because of the leak....and because im not about to split my songs four ways just cause they are the only people willing to talk to me. Exploitative. They mean well and they are good peeps, but I should just do it solo. This began as a one off and nothing was every explicitly discussed.

LONN: What's next?

ARIEL: I dont know what I'm gonna do. Depends on everything.


Interview by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

(Nothing from my questions or Ariel's replies were altered, so as to retain the accuracy of the original reply).

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