Seven years ago, during a period where Dark Spark Rays frontman James Lino was “disenchanted with the musical landscape of the time”, a random viewing of a Jools Holland episode inspired a search for “well written, artistic music”.
The band act as a “musical co-op” where different musicians, often from varied musical backgrounds collaborate to “give us different sounds and ideas to work with”. “The aim was to put out well written music without classification where the group would be free to experiment with different sounds and genres and do what’s right for each individual song.”
Despite varied backgrounds, the group work well together, particularly in their current line-up, where it’s described as “kind of like having all the puzzle pieces in place. We definitely fit one another and gel.”
“I believe that being unique is a major key to developing a musical identity – How do you stand out in a sea of musicians and groups if you’re doing what every other act is doing?” This philosophy has created a vibrant sound in the group, with mixtures of classic, folky sounds mixing with more rocky or even classical styles.
Along with legends like David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, The Kinks and Prince, as well as Motown, the group are inspired by “life, relationships, current events” or even “a good story” from a friend. “When an idea for a song comes along, I jot it down and build on it and try and make it more universal and more palatable.”
After getting radioplay in the UK and US, offers from record labels, music publications and Hollywood publishing companies, things are looking bright for the band who refuse to conform.