By MEL ROTHENBURGER
Daz tha Punk has left the building. Let’s put our hands together for Darrell Sharp, industrial musician.
Sharp, of course, is the former Daz, local rapper.
When we checked in with him a year ago, Sharp had transformed himself from death metal rocker to hip hop poet. Sharp is a musical chameleon, as a kid playing drums for the Kamloops Pipe Band, later going by the name Bloodlust Abominator of Ritual War Incantations, playing with a band called Necroholocaust.
He took a break from music for a while, getting himself off drugs, then re-emerged last fall as Daz tha Punk, turning out a self-titled EP and connecting with a growing Kamloops hip hop community.
But that was then; this is now. Along came COVID-19, and “everything was shutting down.” With no live audiences, he found himself distinctly short of opportunities to share his music, sinking toward depression. Besides, rap was beginning to lose its charm — “I’m a music fiend,” he says, explaining that he began to feel limited by rap.
Along came the industrial genre. “It’s another far cry from what I’ve done before.”
Industrial music got its start in the mid-‘70s when heavy metal rockers, inspired by the likes of Frank Zappa, The Fugs and Pink Floyd, began pushing limits with noise from power tools and scrap metal and other odds and ends on top of synthesizers and sequencers.
(Who could forget The Fugs? In my university days I used to play one of their albums, especially their popular song “Do You Wear Your Jock a Lot?”, endlessly while doing homework in my dorm.)
“It’s very avant garde,” says Sharp, even though the genre has been around for quite a while. These days, bands like Nine Inch Nails, Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy of Vancouver are among his favourites.
During his latest transition, coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, he holed up at home and immersed himself in old World War II dialogue, taped interviews with serial killers and anything else he could find to inspire new lyrics.
His new full-length LP is called Motherman, and he’s released a YouTube single from it called Sex Drug, six minutes and eight seconds of pounding, electronics and lyrics like “You are my drug, you are my sex, I need you more than life itself.” And, “I only wish I could touch the light I see inside your eyes, because the closer I get to it, another piece of me dies.”
The Motherman title is interesting in itself, originating with a poem he wrote when he was 21. He still likes to use poetry as the basis for many of his songs, “painting visuals in the mind.” Sharp is a one-man band on the LP — he wrote all the music, plays all the instruments and did all the production work.
The project is called Spoils of Grace, which he hopes to morph into a live band.
Sharp has done more than change genres again. He’s also gotten into production, partly because COVID-19 made working in studios difficult.
He’s registered his production company and record label as Dark StarChasm Noise Theories and is already working on a second album for himself as well as producing one called Cassandras Empty Eyes for an artist named Nix Nihil for expected release next spring.
Motherman will be released through his YouTube channel but will also be on physical copies. Eventually, Sharp wants to get into vinyl.
His rap EP was released two years to the day when Sharp got clean and sober, and the new industrial music LP will be a year after that. But the reason for the date this time is Halloween. He figures it suits the music, which is “very dark.”
Of his foray into producing: “I can do things at my own pace, and that’s a pretty fast pace.”