Riggi Media Indie Profile: Famous Underground Guitarist Darren Boyd

Riggi Media

124555714_679791149361703_555589619550742363_nTell us about your career, including your history, where you are from and how you started?
I tend to divide my time between Ottawa and Toronto, but during the height of the pandemic I primarily spent my time in the Ottawa region. I knew I was destined to be involved with music when I was seven years old and got my first Kiss and Alice Cooper records within a week of each other. Soon after, I discovered Queen, Meatloaf, Van Halen, and I was in deep. I wrote songs, and formed bands with kids in school who didn’t even know I had enlisted them. I was determined, if nothing else. Eventually, I started taking drum lessons, but the lure of the guitar took hold. In my teens my first real band had an album out and started to tour. I’ve just never stopped creating and playing music, and can’t imagine that I ever will.

Do you have any recorded music available for fans?
Yes! Three albums in three years. I currently have the three CDs in a bundle sale on my website. Lifting the Curse – 2019, Wonders of the Invisible World – 2020, and Last Seen in Canada – 2021. My music can also be found on YouTube, and everywhere you stream or download music.

How would you describe your music?
Guitar driven rock with an irresponsible amount of riffs and melodies, coloured by a playful sense of cinematic drama. Furthermore, really, really cool songs.

What makes your band or music stand out from the others?
Plug all the great guitar heroes into the same gear, they’d still sound like themselves – and nothing like each other! I think that is really the greatest thing about the guitar, it really is unique, like a voice. You don’t have to be a virtuoso to be expressive, or to connect to people.

My music has plenty of fiery licks for guitar enthusiasts, but it’s not a shred-fest. My songs for people who love music, not an excuse to play long solos and try to impress other guitarists.

What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your music?
I have an educational based business called Reptile Rainforest. I am occasionally booked for music and reptile shows at the same event. I often feature my animals in my music videos too. These creatures are a huge part of my life, so it’s not unexpected for them to make appearances in my music promotion.

Also, I am a mild-mannered librarian by day, so I have access to amazing music books, and I get to shush people! (But I rarely do).

Name your two biggest musical influences, and why?
I have a lot of influences and inspirations, but I’ll try to narrow it down! First, Alice Cooper. He’s a monster onstage and a gentleman offstage. The long, genre-defiant discography, brilliant show, and fantastic musicians he works with are just a handful of things that put him at the top of my list. I started writing songs because of “Love it to Death”.

Next, Paul Gilbert. I’ve taken lessons from Paul, and he is a patient person who truly loves the guitar with every fibre of his being and wants to share that enthusiasm with other musicians. He’s a killer musician, and an inspiration to many.

Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
This particular project is instrumental, so there are no topics, exactly. And since it’s a solo project, I write and perform every note you hear.

This may sound curious since there are no lyrics, but I feel like my albums are conceptual. Each one has its own themes running through it, musically, artistically, and in song titles. Ultimately, the advantage to instrumental music is that nobody needs to tell you what it’s about. The listener is intuitive enough to feel what it means to them, and no matter what – they are not wrong.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
My biggest challenge was in fact what kicked off this entire solo instrumental project! I was playing in five different bands and super busy all the time. I was driving home from a rehearsal when someone ran a red light and into my vehicle. This messed up my life and ability to perform at the same level for several years (actually, it affects me to this day). I spent time writing music that wasn’t for any band or purpose, other than a form of therapy for myself. I released a self-produced single and music video, and the response was incredibly encouraging. So I just kept doing it – and somewhere along the way it turned into a legitimate project.

What current projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on my fourth full-length album to be released in October/2022. I have already changed the title once, so I am going to save that for the release because I might change my mind several more times! Other than that, I have a great band and am trying to get some live shows booked for the summer/fall. I just released a music video for a song called Ghost Notes, and another one for Solitary Green Witch. I will hopefully release at least one more video during the summer.

Web: darrenboyd.com
Facebook Group: Darren Michael Boyd
YouTube: THEwHORRORcanada
Spotify: Darren Michael Boyd
Instagram: @darren.michael.boyd

Photo: Virginia Maria Photography
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