If you came to our last gig at the winery, you may have noticed something a little different about the band... it may have seemed a little less Darren-y. Before you say anything, NO, Darren was NOT abducted by a crazed fan, nor did that obsessed fan smuggle Darren to Wisconsin where he was definitely NOT forced to join a nudist colony. He was, however, forced to move out of New Jersey for day-job-related reasons. (The other story would be so much more exciting if it were true, which it definitely is NOT.)
It was about a month ago that Darren told us he would be transferred, and 2 short weeks later, this guy who had been a crucial member of the band and a close friend for 4-ish years was gone. It was strange, it was sudden... almost as strange and sudden as how he joined the band***.
Darren came to the band at the perfect time, and if I was the kind of guy who believed in destiny or cosmic string-pullers, I’d have definitely pegged his joining as evidence of such things. He is as rock-solid a drummer as I’ve ever heard, and especially played with. You can’t speed up or slow down his tempos if you wanted to. (Believe me, I tried almost every gig.) He’s also a great drummer for songwriting, which is a skill separate from gig drumming. When we needed a beat, all you had to do was say, “play something like ‘buh, duh, duh,’” and somehow he knew exactly what that meant.
But more than being a bomb-proof drummer, Darren is just a heck of a swell guy. He and Matt were a great team when it came to talking me off of ledges before, during, and after sketchy gigs or practices. He is stealthily funny... one of those guys who makes a joke when you least expect it, and he is easily one of the most patient, understanding, and genuine human beings I’ve yet known. He was also fully dedicated to our music. Every week, he drove over an hour and a half each way to practice and to shows.
Sure, he had his flaws... for starters, he couldn’t hold his tequila worth a damn. But the point is, he tried, and you have to give him credit for the effort. He was also kind of sneaky. I can’t put my finger on why that is, or how I know it, but I’m pretty sure he’s up to something at all times, and operate under that assumption whenever I’m in his presence. I suggest you do the same.
I’m sure wherever Darren lands (again, definitely not a nudist colony in Wisconsin), he will find a band that will be taken to another level thanks to his contributions. I know we will miss him and his drumming very much. So, it is with a great measure of wistfulness that Matt, Brian, and I say, “good luck with the nudists, Dubs.”
***If you’ve never heard the story of how Darren joined, let me fill you in. We got a MySpace message in 2009 from him saying that he had been a fan of the band for 3-odd years (since Irrelevant Truth came out) and mentioned that if we ever needed a drummer, he would be happy to fill in. It was a strange coincidence, since our drummer had recently split. What’s weirder, Darren didn’t know about our previous drummer, Josh, leaving. He just threw the offer out there totally at random.