The Darcys Downsize to Duo, Shoot for Mainstream Success
Published Dec 18, 2014Toronto indie rock experimentalists the Darcys have announced that the band will be going forth as a duo.
Over the course of three years, the four-piece band released a trilogy of albums — The Darcys, a reinterpretation of Steely Dan's Aja and last year's Warring. But according to a new piece penned by drummer Wes Marskell for Huffpost Music, the lack of commercial success has caused the band to reevaluate their future.
In the post, Marskell reveals that Dave Hurlow and Mike le Riche have left the group and that the Darcys will march forward as himself and frontman Jason Couse. The decision came as Hurlow and le Riche opted to pursue other creative outlets.
This isn't to say that I'm not endlessly proud of Warring. Unlike so many other bands, our label has afforded us the freedom to create music with integrity and soul on our own terms. Though we were told Warring wasn't radio-friendly, no one ever told us we had to go and write an album that was. But, when you reach the end of a record cycle — when the project you have poured so much of yourself into fades from immediacy and relevance without seeing the success you expected for it — you have to either commit to sink with your ship or re-evaluate your course.
The Darcys do not have a massive built-in audience and we do not enjoy guaranteed widespread radio play. Jason and I will live and die by our next record. Our writing process, in turn, has shifted some of its focus to take a look at each song and its potential for sales. This is the harsh reality to being a musician in 2014. It can be very difficult to convince a label, an agent or a manager to stick with you as you release another "art-rock" record that might garner a Juno or a Polaris Prize nomination, but will yield mediocre sales at best. And sadly, record sales seem to dictate a record's worth and, in turn, a band's career. People want to make money off of you and you need to make money to survive. We are proud of the critical reception Warring has received, but the fact that it didn't sell 10,000 copies in Canada strongly questions its worth.
He goes on to praise Tegan and Sara for being able to adapt their signature sound into monetary success with their mainstream breakthrough album Heartthrob. "They made changes, and though they may have explored the boundaries of the genre and bridged the gap between their old and new sound, they still created a very recognizable product," he notes.
Marskell closes by asking fans to keep an open mind as he and Couse attempt to navigate the band's future. You can read Marskell's announcement and explanation it its entirety over here.