Darryl McCarty


For years, London, Ontario native Darryl McCarty worked hard to keep his multiple bands together (including rock outfits such as Chasing Arcadia and The Ceramic Flowers), sharing his talents with the groups for more than seven years. But then in 2012, McCarty decided it was time to take full control of the ‘American Brit Rock’ he wanted to share with masses, eventually crafting a solo record we’re happy to share with you today – an album titled The Speed Of Light.

Darryl McCarty625505_444570728951987_351580020_nWe asked McCarty to tell us all about his latest endeavor – he said, “It’s a very organic sounding album, a lot of epic moments as well. I played and recorded everything on the album except drums which were done by Francois Parent. There’s a humanity to it. It’s not perfect; of course what’s perfection when it comes to art? I really wanted that humanity – it’s on a lot of the ‘old’ stuff I listen to.  I love character when it comes to recordings…Every song came differently, some came quickly on the acoustic guitar and others I built brick by brick in my home studio.” Sample The Speed Of Light now at http://www.darrylmccarty.com, and look out for a live show, especially if you’re north of the border. Darryl hits the stage with a new backing band that breathes energetic life into these new tunes called The Stereo Division. Get into all of this quickly, as McCarty is already busy on the next record (where he plans to play the drums as well!). Keep reading – there’s much, much more to learn in all the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: Darryl McCarty

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Darryl McCarty (DM): American Brit Rock.  I love music from the UK, and at the same time I love American music.  I think what makes me different is typically I’d be placed in the Brit Rock genre, but I think the American music is just as prominent within my music.  There’s almost an American story teller within it.

PEV: What kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember
your first concert?

DM: I grew up in the church so I listened to a lot of CCM music, anything outside of that was “oldies” stuff.  The first band that really knocked me off my feet was America.  I was probably 5 or 6 and my parents bought this really old 8-track player with a bunch of 8-tracks.  I took ownership of it, one of those 8-tracks was America.  I’d lay on my bed facing that old 8-track player with it cranked and listen to America for hours.  Later in my teen years, I got into Tom Petty a lot, U2, Doves, Jars of Clay, Snow Patrol, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and a lot of old stuff.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you
first started? What was your first show like?

Darryl McCartya4155809995_2DM: Going back about 10 years, the music scene was different!  People went to shows, there were lots of venues etc.  Labels were different, there were things like development deals etc.  Things were different.

My first show was pretty funny.  I basically had never been in a bar or club and we were playing a venue called the Gravity Night Club.  The stage was surrounded by a chain linked fence, kinda reminded me of the Blues Brothers.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Darryl McCarty show?

DM: Something different than the CD!  The CD is pretty epic, but man you gotta see the live show.  My band (The Stereo Division) is killer. Its such a privilege to play with them.  Together we elevate the album to other level!  I think.  🙂

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage
to perform?

DM: I played the Rivoli in Toronto a few weeks ago, and I specifically remember a moment on stage thinking to myself “Wow, I can’t believe I get to do this”.  Its such a joy to play – I feel like a kid in a candy store.

PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?

Darryl McCarty383645_219508364791559_760344187_nDM: The connection and community.  Seeing some of the songs really connect with people, connecting us together, such a joy!

PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music?

DM: Everyday life.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

DM: I haven’t arrived, I’m just enjoying the journey. If anything, I wish I relaxed and enjoyed myself more in those early days.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

DM: I can lip-synch every song in the Sound of Music.  Don’t judge, I have an older sister.  😉

PEV: What do you do when you hit a brick wall in your writing? What are some methods to get over that?

DM: Sometimes I just wait.  I’ll keep coming back to my acoustic guitar and listen to see if anything is there.  Sometimes I’ll even change up the writing method.  Start with a drum beat, sometimes even start playing chords on the keyboard in GarageBand on my iPhone.  Changing things up makes things new again.

PEV: How do you think the industry has changed over the years, since you started out?

DM: Its night and day in so many ways which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  With the internet, in some ways there’s more opportunity, but a lot more noise to break through.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, The Speed of Light? What was the writing process like for this album? What is the story behind the name
of the album?

DM: Its a very organic sounding album, a lot of epic moments as well.  There’s a humanity to it; its not perfect, of course what’s perfection when it comes to art?  I really wanted that humanity, it’s on a lot of the “old” stuff I listen to.  I love character when it comes to recordings.

The writing process was different throughout – I probably wrote 30 – 40 songs working on this album. I have a whole other album worth of songs recorded that I’ll be releasing as a B-sides album very soon.  Every song came differently, some came quickly on the acoustic guitar and others I built brick by brick in my home studio.  I played and recorded everything on the album except drums which were done by Francois Parent. “The Speed Of Light” is the title of one of the songs on the album.  Life goes by fast!  Live it.

PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

DM: Touring the UK would be a dream come true.  I worked at a church in Boston for a month and a half – I’d love to play there, definitely one of my favorite places.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

DM: This isn’t a full time thing for me yet, but my wife Carolyn is amazingly supportive. She pushes me when I need a push and this album wouldn’t have happened without her.  My family and friends have all been very encouraging and supportive.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

DM: I’m with my wife and kids as much as possible.  I feel so blessed to be with my wife Carolyn, and raise our two young kids together.  🙂

I serve on the worship team at my home church as well.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

DM:  Present artist would be Lorde (interesting songwriter), past artist would be Roy Orbison. Such an amazing voice. And Johnny Cash because he’s Johnny Cash.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

DM: There’s a band in Toronto we’ve played with a couple of times called The Modern Hearts – great band, great songs.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what would you do for a career?

DM: I paint houses for a living now – I’d likely be doing that still.

PEV: So, what is next for Darryl McCarty?

DM: I’ve already got drums tracked for the next album, starting bass and guitars next week.  🙂  This time I’m playing the drums as well.  So there will be another brand new album likely later this year.  In the meantime, I’m really working on pushing The Speed Of Light, play shows, get the songs out there and be heard.

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