You probably know Bobby Darling, the mastermind of Places And Numbers, from his previous role in Gatsby’s American Dream. After the dissolution of Gatsby’s, Bobby couldn’t mask his love for music, resulting in the birth of the electro-tinged Places And Numbers. Recently, Darling created quite a stir when he tweeted about his former band members serving as his backing band in his Places And Numbers show with Forgive Durden. In our interview, we spoke to Bobby about the tweet as well as his project’s future material.
[email protected]: Thank you for doing this interview Bobby! How are you today?
Bobby Darling: I'm good! I was the best man in Casey Bates' wedding this past weekend, which was awesome, but being best man comes with a lot of responsibility so I'm glad I don't have to worry about losing the rings anymore!
[email protected]: This weekend marks your show with Forgive Durden in Seattle. What are you thoughts and emotions leading up to the show?
Bobby Darling: I'm excited for the show, I love Thomas and I am a big Wonderland fan, so I can't wait to see it all live again.
[email protected]: Last week, you tweeted about Gatsby’s American Dream functioning as your backing band at the Seattle show. Obviously without giving too much away, what can fans of Gatsby’s expect from this show?
Bobby Darling: They can expect to see me on stage with the Gatsby’s guys, that's pretty much all I can say. I'm excited about playing with the guys again, and I'm super stoked to play Places and Numbers songs with a full band and no laptop! I can't wait to have these world-class musicians playing my parts better than I can!
[email protected]: Will this show with Gatsby’s be a one-time thing or can we expect more to come out of this?
Bobby Darling: It will probably just be a Seattle thing; hopefully they'll all play with me again the next time I play in town. They all have so much stuff going on with their other bands and families that it couldn't be a regular thing. As much as I'd like it to be!
[email protected]: Moving away from the show in Seattle, your recent project Places And Numbers came out with the EP Waking The Dead earlier this year. What was it like recording these tracks? Did you write them during one period of time?
Bobby Darling: I had a blast recording these tunes while backpacking across Italy with Casey Bates. We just packed my MacBook and some recording equipment around and set up shop wherever we could find space to make noise in. It was an adventure. The material was mostly written before we took off for Italy but some things changed while we were out there.
[email protected]: The EP is noted for its electronic feel. Since your time in Gatsby’s American dream, how did you settle on this sound?
Bobby Darling: The electronic bit is just something I fell into, I was working on songs in apartments and hotel rooms and I couldn't make a lot of noise and bring a guitar and amp around with me, so I started composing using my Mac. It happened pretty organically, I didn't really have some master plan.
[email protected]: As of now, it is said that you have been working on another release. Can you update us on your progress?
Bobby Darling: I've been tracking a bunch of new music, which Casey is going to have to get his hands dirty with when he gets back from his honeymoon!
[email protected]: What direction has the new material been taking?
Bobby Darling: I'm just very comfortable writing as Places and Numbers at this point. I feel confident in my voice as a solo artist and now the training wheels are off. I feel like the material I've showcased online is a snapshot of me getting the hang of writing by myself and now I'm really digging deep into this world I've discovered. Is that a direction?
[email protected]: Will your next release be another EP or do you have plans for a full-length release this time around?
Bobby Darling: I think we are going to release another digital EP to generate more awareness for Places and Numbers before we release the record. I'm not in any rush; I'm having a great time playing live and making new music. There's not really a traditional record cycle anymore for indie artists, which is a blessing.
[email protected]: Lyrically, many songs on the Waking The Dead EP dealt with the death of your parents. In your new material, do the conceptual topics pertain to similar emotions?
Bobby Darling: The Places and Numbers songs are autobiographical. That's really the only common thread. I narrate as myself and I explore different ideas, there's no big cerebral concept. I'm just trying to describe what it's like being inside my head. It's a crazy place to be! But seriously, I'm not really interested in trying to come across as clever, I spent enough time doing that in Gatsby’s. No concepts.
[email protected]: Tentatively, when can we expect your new material to see the light of day?
Bobby Darling: As soon as Casey mixes the new tunes we will announce a release date for the new digital EP!
[email protected]: It is a common known fact that you love traveling. Have you gone anywhere of note lately? Any awesome traveling stories you can share? No need to be brief or censor yourself! Fire away!
Bobby Darling: I haven't been anywhere too crazy lately. I went to Milwaukee. [Laughs] Spokane, Washington? It's actually much cooler than it sounds. Oh I know -- Casey and myself and Thomas from Forgive Durden and Nic Gatsby and some other friends spent a weekend in this cabin on a river, out in the woods up here in Washington for Casey's bachelor trip. We tubed the river and caught a bunch of fish and much debauchery took place. Casey got drunk and was playing this slapping game with the guys and he slapped our friend Josh in the stomach so hard he started bleeding. It was pretty ridiculous.
[email protected]: That’s all I have for you on my end. Thanks again for answering my questions! Would you like to say anything else before we sign off?
Bobby Darling: Yeah- that guy who is trying to have a Quran burning party down in Florida should be arrested. What a moron. [Laughs] Just had to throw that out there!
For all you Seattle natives, this show is not one you want to miss! Tickets can be purchased here. Check back for more updates on Places And Numbers’ latest material. You can purchase the project’s first EP Waking The Dead here.