INTERVIEW: Darcy Baylis

Interview by: video.loss

Music as medicine.

Darcy Baylis is an Australian born musician who brings a deeply emotional and personal flavour to breakbeat, trap and techno inspired sounds. His music is atmospheric and vulnerable, often relating to themes of addiction and heartbreak. In his own words, “It is the sole reason I live” – Darcy describes how he learned to use music as an escape from a young age, and his discography reflects this. 

 

Following his most recent EP release “Days After Breaking“, we spoke to Darcy about his early life, growing up in an isolated mountain town, and his ability to translate lived experience into music.

 

Darcy Baylis [IG darcyebaylis] has joined #CO

<CO>

Where did you grow up and where are you based now?

<Darcy Baylis>

I moved around a lot as a kid, being born in Sydney and moving to Melbourne at the age of 3. However, my formative years (between 5 to 15) were spent growing up in a place called The Dandenong Ranges, which is essentially a large but quite isolated forest on the border of Melbourne. Currently, I’m living in Berlin, Germany.

<CO>

How did these environments influence your art?

<Darcy Baylis>

I mean, without sounding too self-pitying, The Dandenong Ranges were a very lonely place to grow up, especially if you didn’t fit the mould of what was a somewhat conservative town. So, the entire time I spent there, music was my only escape from the isolation. As soon as I got my first guitar at 11, I just dove right into playing everyday as there just wasn’t anything else to do. The same thing happened when I got my first computer. Living in a town with little friends and little to do, I was lucky enough to discover art as an outlet for releasing that loneliness, and so still to this day I’m hardwired to seek refuge from my feelings through making music. To this end, it would explain why the music I make is quite inward focused and, well, depressing.

<CO>

Was there a specific moment that sparked your interest in music?

<Darcy Baylis>

My older sister came running into my bedroom one day when I was around 11, waving a burnt CD in her hand, saying “I have this song I absolutely have to show you!” It was “Let it Bleed” by the American emo band The Used. As soon as I heard that song, something fundamentally changed. I decided right then and there I wanted to become a musician and do nothing else with my life. I asked my mum if I could begin guitar lessons the following day, and she luckily supported me 100%.

<CO>

Are there any other artists or bands that have had a big influence on you?

<Darcy Baylis>

It would be easier for me to name some artists who haven’t had a big influence on me. Personally, I’m driven by an obsession to consume any and all music that comes my way. I’m extremely indiscriminate when it comes to genre and style, sometimes perhaps to my own detriment. With that being said, you can obviously hear some more direct artistic influences in my work that are hard to deny. Namely, Björk, Drake, Steve Reich, Burial, blink-182, Drake, The Knife, Future, Aphex Twin, Skee Mask, Holly Herndon. I’ll just stop there otherwise I’m going to list every artist I’ve ever listened to.

<CO>

Who are you listening to at the moment?

<Darcy Baylis>

Currently I’m really into Ethel Cain, who is from Florida. She makes a form of folk music I can only describe as Americana for the SoundCloud generation. I’ve also been revisiting some of my favourite Deftones records, as I always am, particularly Diamond Eyes and White Pony, of course. Oh and I’m obsessed with the latest Croation Amor record. He seems to have nailed a sound I’ve been trying to find myself for some time.

<CO>

Growing up in such an isolated environment, what role did the internet play in forming your personal taste?

<Darcy Baylis>

My work is wholeheartedly, irrevocably influenced by the internet. Again, being an emo kid in a cold forest town, you learn to live your social life online. So I’m constantly inspired by the internet, but more so by non-musical mediums than musical ones. You know, it could be a tweet a friend wrote. A piece of sponsored content. An Instagram DM conversation. It all amalgamates to create a way of being that is intrinsically tied to the internet, and then it’s just about watching the bizarre and unexpected ways that pours out into one’s own work.

<CO>

How does creating art help you?

<Darcy Baylis>

It is the sole reason I live. It’s not really much deeper than that, to be honest. And I don’t say that to be edgy or cosmic or whatever, it’s just…making music is the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

<CO>

What are some of the ideas behind your latest EP "Days After Breaking" and how does it fit within the narrative of "A House Breaking" and the rest of your discography?

<Darcy Baylis>

Days After Breaking is less a narrative continuation of the previous record and more a companion piece, which stretches the more sonically extreme part of the album to their logical conclusion. For me, it felt like an exercise in which I allowed myself to focus purely on mood and style over telling a story, and that’s why the songs are purposely vague, and contain lots of repetition. It’s about creating a tense atmosphere, staying there, and not trying to go anywhere else.

Stream “Days After Breaking”

Spotify

Soundcloud 

Bandcamp

Follow Darcy:

Instagram

Twitter

 

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