At first glance, the new band D.A.R.K. — with well-known individuals making up most of its lineup — certainly qualifies as a supergroup.
But when it comes to the actual music, Science Agrees, D.A.R.K.’s debut, eschews any preconceived supergroup blueprint. The album doesn’t resemble anything its most famous members — bassist Andy Rourke and singer Dolores O’Riordan — made with their respective signature bands, The Smiths and The Cranberries.
The differences don’t stop there for Rourke.
“I had always done a little bit of songwriting,” he says, “but it was nice to be involved with these songs from the beginning.”
The D.A.R.K. material goes back at least five years, when Rourke was recording what he describes as “very detailed” demos with singer-producer-DJ Olé Koretsky in New York.
“Olé likes to use a lot of samples: a millisecond of this and that,” Rourke says. “There’s a lot of textures going on.”
About three years ago, through their mutual publisher, Rourke found out that O’Riordan was looking for new music. She really liked the Rourke-Koretsky recordings, and soon O’Riordan joined the group (known as Jetlag before her involvement). Some of those demos were reworked (with heavy involvement from O’Riordan); the trio also wrote other songs from scratch.
Leadership issues and ego clashes have doomed many supergroups. As for D.A.R.K., Rourke says nobody emerged as the clear-cut authority figure as the album came together in New York and Canada (writing and recording), California (mixing) and London (mastering).
“No, definitely not,” adds Rourke, who co-produced Science Agrees with O’Riordan and Koretsky. “We didn’t have a conversation about that or anything. We’re all pretty easygoing types. We all had to agree on the songs, so I guess we were all leaders in that respect.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Photo by Jen Maler