Keyboardist Becca Darling found guitarist Mike Baum on Craigslist back in 2014.
“I tooled around for a while, and I kissed many frogs and none of them turned into a prince,” Darling said. Then she met Baum, who was looking to collaborate with a female singer. They started off as an acoustic duo playing covers with a few originals on the local circuit, knowing they wanted to create their own electronic sound. For seven years now, they’ve been developing that side of themselves.
In 2017, Baum and Darling were joined by drummer Danielle Carlson and bassist Mr. Minister to form Olive Dares the Darkness, an electro punk outfit that melds indie synth with industrial rock.
“We are hard electronic rock with a strong gay ‘80s dance vibe,” Darling said. “Mike grew up in the ‘80s rock era with super-chunky guitar riffs and with a ‘90s alternative vibe. I was schooled in a more proper rock, jazz, blues approach. We both took our backgrounds, and instead of trying to make them fight against each other, we made them adapt to each other.”
Olive Dares the Darkness has gathered listeners from all over the world with focused online promotion. “We think we could have a real presence in Europe,” Darling said. “We are trying to tour the U.K and Germany. I think that’s a big end-goal for this band.”
When it comes to songwriting, it could take a month, or like with the song “Bellicose” off the new album, I, it could take eight years. Each member contributes to the composition, with Darling and Baum as the main engine behind the melodies and concepts.
“I don’t always like to write autobiographically because my life is pretty boring these days, which I like it that way,” Darling said. “I don’t have tumultuous relationships, but I like the idea of storytelling within music.” Even when she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in 2017, she and Baum continued writing together.
“The first song on the album is about overcoming cancer, that’s why it’s the only one that swears,” Baum said. “I started writing that song, thinking that if I wrote a story where she’s better than she would have no choice but to get better.”
When Darling was sick, the band laid off gigging, and then once she recovered it was all hands on deck. “We put our nose to the grindstone, got our promotional things together — solidifying the creative idea behind Olive Dares the Darkness — and ran with it,” she said.
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