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Interview with Hope Darling
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music got us into music. Jeff Durso our drummer and Frank Dancey rhythm guitar and vocals both agree their fathers and even Franks “Pop Pop” got them both into music and drumming. Each member of the band stared as a fans of music, and the desire to be like the artists and bands we admired. I believe music just enhanced who we are today, if we hadn’t gotten into music I believe a majority of us would still pursued a creative or artistic path.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When not playing music we are still writing, brainstorming or even recording new ideas. Outside of music we are all pretty active with our families and even love what the Florida weather allows like enjoying the beach, golfing, baseball, boating or even playing volleyball. Our creativity is fueled by our experiences, the people around us and the moments of our lives.
How long has your band been around?
The Hope Darling band has been writing, creating music and performing for over 10 years now.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of Tampa Bay, Florida and live in various parts of the area. There is a diverse music scene here in our area filled with amazing artists and bands. We each have been involved with various musical projects and continue to shape relationships with all the other local artists in the area. Its surrounding ourselves with music and people of music that continues to fuel and influence our music.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Hope Darling was a friend that unfortunately passed away in high school. She was a classmate, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a music lover. Her name was unique to lead singer Gabriel and even decades after her passing still ringed in his ears. So when Gabriel had the opportunity to form and name the band he actually contacted Hope Darling’s mother to get her blessing. It was at that moment and with her approval that Hope Darling became a band. It still is a unique name and give the band a backstory unique to the members and to the music.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Per Jason Donadio lead guitar and vocals for Hope Darling – “When Gabe got drunk, fell off the stage and quit the band… “
I think one of the most memorable shows was when we played The Next Big Thing in Tampa. It was our first national stage on the same festival as major national artists.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
One of our favorite places so far has been the Amphitheater here in Tampa and The Ritz in Ybor City.
Most of us agree we would love to play at the Red Rocks stage but any stage that allows us to bring our music is where we want to perform.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
So many to mention so lets just name a few – CCR, The Who, Coldplay, GNR, Prince, Stone Temple Pilots, Matchbox 20, Pantera, Tonic, Jack White, Soundgarden, The Beatles, John Mayer, Bruno Mars, U2, Muse … the list could go on and on and on and on.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be true to your music, the art and trust your creativity. Have fun, its just music.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t just play but always keep learning and enhancing your skill.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
All the songs have some personally meaning. If I had to pick one, it would have to be Say A Prayer. It was written at a time when the band, our friends and family experienced a few deaths all in the same year. The closest one to us all in the band was our friend and original drummer Patrick Brown. Besides being an Army veteran, he was a father, a brother, a husband and a son. So I wrote that song with him and others in mind.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Lifeline is definitely a favorite and probably our most requested and most recognized.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
It usually starts with an idea, a melody, a lyric or even instrumental riff that is inspired by moments in the past, present or even futures. The rhythm finds a melody and then introduces a verse that becomes a song. The song is then introduced to the band that is then shaped by each member to become
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
The main message we have is that music connects us. Be it a friend, family, a fan or even with a stranger music makes you want to sing along, tap your feet, dance or just express yourself. Let music bring us together, its what brought us together as a band and its what keeps us going.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
All the time. We recognize that all we are doing is making music, nothing more than making music. As long as we stay focused on the music everything will fall into place.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Our plan is World Domination! In all seriousness we want to get our music to the ears of the masses, play bigger stages and bigger audiences not just locally or nationally but internationally. We want Hope Darling to be a household name, to be recognized for the music, the art of sound and songs that become fan favorites or even soundtracks of their lives .
We just released our new album ENSO and you kind find it on all major streaming platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes, iHeartRadio, Apple music, Youtube just to name a few.