Me: This is Ivory Quinn reporting and I’m here with Jaxon Wilding, the lead guitarist of Darkness Falls. Welcome, Jaxon, it’s lovely to see you.
Jax: Likewise, Ivory. Please call me Jax.
Me: As you wish! I thought we’d start off with you telling us a little bit about what’s going on with you right now and then I have a few questions from fans.
Jax: Sounds good!
Me: Okay, so we know you’ve been staying out of the public eye lately. Can you tell us what you’ve been doing?
Jax: Mostly I’ve been writing music. We have to sift through a lot of tracks and lay down a lot of recordings before we can narrow in on the ones we want to pick for the album. We have a collection of maybe thirty right now and we’ve released a couple of EPs with songs that we liked but that we didn’t think would fit the collective sound we’re aiming for on this next album.
Me: Yes, congratulations! The tracks have been well received across the globe. Silent scream topped the charts in more than sixteen countries worldwide and I have to ask if you were expecting that? Your sound is subtly different now that you’ve lost one of your founding members.
Jax: Honestly, we weren’t sure. It’s been a difficult time since Gabe…since Gabe… *shifts and clears throat* It’s different without him, you know? We were never going to be the same as a band. I guess at first we all thought that we would lose some of the edge. Most of the raw darkness and power came from him, you know? It was in his lyrics and in his voice. The thing is, he had this deep well of darkness and pain inside which is where his music came from. We, as a band, have that same well of darkness and pain now. It’s for a different reason, but losing him gave us the pain we needed to find his voice. It’s still singing through us.
Me: Wow…that’s…this is powerful stuff Jax. Thanks for speaking to us so openly and honestly about it.
Jax: It’s because I’m secretly hoping for a hug.
Me: *bursts out laughing* I can do that. *hugs*
Jax: God, you smell good.
Me: *flustered* I…well…aha…um….thanks, Jax. *blushes*. So, back to the interview… On the last EP you released, Noelle Winters was credited with writing the lyrics. Is this an arrangement that we’ll be seeing more of, or was it a one off?
Jax: She’s writing a lot of lyrics for us. Gabriel used to write most of them and although we tried to express what we were feeling when he left us, no-one encapsulated it better than Noelle. On so many levels, I think she understands him better than any of us did. We feel the pain and we feel the darkness but we don’t share in that…in the…uh…what am I trying to say?
Me: *helpfully* kink?
Jax: *chuckles* No, that’s not it. I guess you could say that we’re not as comfortable with our darkness as she is. You have to accept it, breathe it, be it to truly be able to write in a way that embraces it. She can do that. Our music comes from the way that we miss him, but she can write like she’s rolling in it.
Me: I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say how sorry I am for your loss. Gabriel was a remarkable musician and a powerful influence on young and old alike. It was a sad day for the world when his light was snuffed out.
Jax: You know, as painful as it is and as awful as what we went through was, when I look back at it now, I really can’t see it ending in any other way. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as flawed or damaged as he was and while it fed his genius, it was also killing him inside. In some respects it was almost better that he flamed out in a blaze of glory at the peak of his career than got old and fat and lost his voice to age and excess.
Me: That’s an extraordinary way of looking at it. You’re clearly much deeper than people give you credit for.
Jax: It’s an image. *shrugs*. People look at me and see a wild child, bad boy guitarist and I’m okay with that. I’ve done a fair few things to earn that reputation. It’s easier to treat it as an act and keep what’s going on underneath to myself and my closest family and friends, because I’m less likely to get hurt that way.
Me: Sad but true. Do you need another hug?
Jax: Only if you want to end up taking a tumble on the sofa… *winks*. I’m just kidding. I’m fine, really.
Me: Okay. *disappointed*. So I have some messages and questions from your fans here… *shuffles papers*. The first one is from Cloressa Orr.
Jax: Hi Cloressa.
Me: She’s asking what the band have been up to and when will you be available for another of your famous hot chocolate sessions?
Jax: Well we’ve already talked about the music. Other than that we’re all spending a lot of time together and with our families. If Gabriel’s death taught us anything, it’s that we should grab onto every moment we can with the people we love because you never know when they’re going to get snatched from you. As for the chocolate, I’m available on Tuesday night, if that suits? *winks*
Me: I’m sure she’ll be delighted. The next question is from Rivka Spicer.
Jax: That’s an unusual name.
Me: She’s an unusual lady. She wants to know if you can let us get a sneak preview of some of the lyrics from the upcoming album?
Jax: Well….*thinks* There is one song we’re working on at the moment that’s a throwback to some of our early material. It’s twisted and a little perverse but we’re having a lot of fun with it. It goes something like this – Let me sacrifice myself to the little death for the sake of our sins; I’ll lay myself out as an altar to the kisses of your mouth; So you can find your absolution in the grace of my skin. It’s all about how the act of being with someone is a little like worshipping them, so it’s kind of a play on religious reference.
Me: Are you sure upsetting the Church more than you already have is a smart idea?
Jax: I’m an atheist. It doesn’t bother me.
Me: Okay. The next one is a message from Michelle Burr. She wants to say that she’s happy that you’ve found someone else and that she wishes you all the best. I’m guessing this is about the recent articles in the media regarding rumours that you were trying to track down a girl you hooked up with?
Jax: Firstly, thank you Michelle. Your kind wishes are appreciated. I do feel that my life is turning around, but I have to clarify a point. I am single. There’s no special lady in my life right now and the rumours are greatly exaggerated.
Me: Nevertheless, it’s nice to see you’re not as haunted as you were in the early months after Gabriel died. Our next question is from Rachel Hendry. She’s asking about Noelle Winters. It was widely reported that you two dated for several months before she went her own way with Master Blue and you were also spotted buying an engagement ring. Rachel wants to know if you have moved on from Noelle and if you’ve found happiness.
Jax: *Uncomfortably* That’s an awkward and loaded question. What happened between Noelle and I is for us alone to know. I don’t see that it’s anyone else’s business. What I will say is that I care for her very much and always will, in the same way that she cares for me. She’s part of the Darkness Falls family. Whatever did or didn’t happen between us, I’m in a good place right now. I maybe haven’t found “happiness”, but I’m not far from it.
Me: Sorry, I know some of these questions are awkward, but you know that your fans just want the best for you. We all want to see you happy.
Jax: I know and I appreciate it.
Me: You just let me know if you need another hug. Okaaay….so, our final question is from Cindy Lilley. She’s asking what you would do differently if you had a chance to go back.
Jax: Lily like the flower?
Me: No, it’s got an extra l and e. L-I-L-L-E-Y.
Jax: Pretty name. Well, Cindy, that’s a difficult question. I guess if I could do anything differently, it would have been to spend more time with Gabriel before we lost him. I don’t think I could ever have changed his mind. He always walked his own path. I just… *sighs* I just regret all the wasted hours I spent doing stupid stuff when I could have been with him. We all feel a little bit like that. It’s why we’re making more of an effort to be with each other.
Me: Well that’s kind of a sad note to end the interview on, so I’m going to ask you one last question and then maybe you can tell us a joke.
Jax: A joke? I’m not very good at jokes.
Me: Just smile when you say the punchline and everyone will laugh, whether it’s funny or not.
Jax: That’s…that’s maybe the saddest thing. *facepalm* What’s the last question?
Me: Other than your own music, are there any bands you’re really into right now? Anyone we should be watching out for?
Jax: Now that’s a great question. I listen to a lot of music. At the moment I’ve got the latest album from Tonight Alive in my playlist. They’re not widely known here in the UK but they’re good. Their sound is a little like Paramore, but they’re consistently good with the anthemic tracks. Other than that, my favourite band right now is Hozier. I think they’ve only produced one EP so far but I’m looking forward to their future work. They have a really unique sound that I absolutely love.
Me: I’ll check them out, as I’m sure many of your fans will. So, finally, will you tell us a joke?
Jax: Well I saw one on the internet the other day that made me laugh. “A man is in a hotel lobby. As he runs to the front desk, he accidentally bumps into a woman and as he does, his elbow hits her breast. They are both quite startled. The man turns to her and says, “Ma’am, if your heart is as soft as your breast, I know you’ll forgive me.” She replies, “If your penis is as hard as your elbow, I’m in room 243.”
Me: *laughing* okay, that was actually quite funny! Well thanks, Jax. It’s been a pleasure to speak to you today. Do you have any last words for your fans?
Jax: Just thank you all for your continued support. We wouldn’t be able to make music without you. Thanks Ivory. I think you and I should go home and make hot chocolate.
Me: I’ll get my coat.