Interview with Mari & Tor from Darling West


Foto: Lars Petter Pettersen


We were lucky enough to interview Mari and Tor from Darling West.

Beautiful melodies that will delight the ear of any self-respecting music lover.

We also know that they will visit us again in January next year.

Here we leave our great talk so you can get to know them better:

Tours are finally back. How is going with Madrugada?

  • Mari: It’s going great, there are so many big venues. We play folk/pop/rock/indie, so we are not used to big rock shows with that many people so it’s wonderful to play in front of such a big crowd.

  • Tor: We were a bit nervous at the beginning because you never know, but it's going really well. We almost sold out our merch. A lot of people came to us.

  • Mari: I think it is good that the support is not exactly the same as the headliners. Because it is half hour, and if it‘s exactly the same as the main act, people can get tired, so it’s not really warming them up. I also think that people haven’t been in shows for a while, so they come with hunger for music, and they take whatever they get! (laughs)


How would you describe your music?

  • Tor: It is hard to describe because when we started up we were only playing very acoustic folk and over the years is becoming more and more indie and electric, so I don’t know...

  • Mari: Indie/Folk/Pop maybe... And it’s different between every song. We play with other artists as well, different genres. We are not fully committed to one style. We like to experiment with different styles. I guess every band has this problem, that it is very hard to describe your own genre.


Your new album will come out next year in Spring. Tell us a bit about how it is going?

  • Mari: We had a lot of time to write. and it’s been a really fun journey this time because we have been writing with our other two bandmates, they are not with us on tour right now (we have tour musicians). But we are writing more as a four piece, and it has been fun. They really put a different flavor into it, and it’s been different also because our last album we wrote on tour, so it’s a lot about a lot of influences from other people when we are touring. But for the new one we were at home, more indoors, philosophy and psychology and that kind of stuff. But it’s been a really fun journey and we had a lot of time to be in the studio as well. A lot of electric guitars are coming!



You spend a lot of time in the USA, do you see so many differences between Eu and USA?

  • Tor: Yes, and are good. I think; and this is a general thought. In the USA people pay more attention to the lyrics and in the EU maybe they pay more attention to the music. Because we are not native english speakers. And it’s a bit scary when you realize that all these people are really listening to what you are saying (laughs). And have been all so positive. 

  • Mari: And also it is intimidating to bring the americana music back to the motherland. We make a nordic twist to it. Is not that easy in the EU to bring this americana sound, but it is worth the risk.


You are planning to go back to the States soon?

  • Mari: Yes. This in September there is a showcase Festival that we normally go to, called “Americanafest” in Nashville. So, we will be there I guess  and next year there is stuff like this one. So yes, we plan to go there.


If you could choose an artist to tour with?

  • Mari: Hard question. We have many influences from the eighties. I don’t know if the names are so known here, like Madison Cunningham, or I don’t know, bigger names like Jackson Browne.

  • Tor: And Vampire Weekend, would be awesome to tour with.


A place you never played but you would love to?

  • Tor: We’ve been talking about Japan.

  • Mari: Yes, because there is a totally different world. I think it is really crazy. You've been to Japan, right?

  • Tor: Yes. I played in a kind of weird Jazz/Metal band from Norway.

Wait, which band, Shining?

  • Tor: Yeah. The band now is really different. But was fun!


Something interesting or funny that happens on tour and you want to share?

  • Mari: What happened today when we went to the hotel. It Was a really small thing but we laughed a lot. Because I don’t feel that we are that old but our tour musicians are younger than us, so it’s a little: ohhh, they are kids. So we checked in the hotel today and the guys were playing around like kids, then the guy from the hotel was about to finish and he said: So one more question, are the kids under 18? (laughs). And us; they are not ours, we are not that old (more laughs)!  And something else at the beginning of the tour, the airline missed all our luggage and also smashed one of the guitars, and when we were in Tilburg we were like: WHATTT?? And we have our special outfit for this tour, which is all in white suit. And we were in front of 3000 people with our traveling clothes. But in the end all went ok. And Madrugada has a really great guitar tech in the crew and he fixed the guitar. Was a huge crack but he could fix it.


The best and the worst part of being in a band?

  • Mari: It’s been mostly highlights. Before we started the band Tor was traveling a lot with Shining and other projects as well because he is in a freelance position in Norway, so he travels with other stuff. So we were a lot apart. And when we start this project we start sharing a lot of time together. On the other hand, being a couple in this kind of project... We are always working (laughs). And when we finally have time for us we end talking about the project, and money... About work. 

  • Tor: Sometimes we are out and things come like: Is it ok if we talk about work now? (laughs). At the end we always do it, so...

  • Mari: It is our baby.

How do you see the band in 5 years?

  • Tor: Well, how it started out was a project we did for fun. And how it has grown. Sometimes we feel like everything that happens is a bonus. But now touring with Madrugada and playing every night in front of 1000 to 3500 people. It is like a dream come true so, hopefully we will be able to continue to tour. Take small steps and reach more people.

  • Mari: When you start you usually have fixed goals, but it didn't start like this, so we try our best. We are enjoying this experience so much with Madrugada because we know we will not play in front of that many people when we tour alone, at least not in a while.

  • Tor: And because we started like we did, our expectations are not: Now we will become Rock Stars! We are doing this because it is fun, because we are doing it together. And let's see what happens.

  • Mari: Also in Folk music tradition it is very common to put your energy in the songwriting and living the artist life. And sometimes it is in front of a lot of people and huge stages and other times it is just a little couch with 20 people around, and we like that part too.


What about summer festivals?

  • Tor: In Norway we play some Open Air Festivals.

  • Mari: Yes, inside the Folk music business. We have a lot of these kinds of summer festivals in Norway. So let’s see next summer! 


Something else about the band?

  • Mari: We have a Youtube channel as well, were we do “Family Sessions”.

  • Tor: During the pandemic we did one every week. Now we don’t have time for doing it every week, but we do it whenever we can. We did one with Sivert actually.

  • Mari: So we are gonna continue that and we made it into a live show also, in Oslo 3 or 4 times a year. That is on our schedule too.

Thank you so  much!!!


Fani Nadki



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