DARK LION almost didn't happen. The way I was told, Zak and Sean got together to play some music while they had both dropped anchor in Pensacola, FL. The two of them had never played music together and both were trying to cater to each others backgrounds with disastrous results. Zak had come up playing pop and noise freak out shit with PUPPY VS DYSLEXIA. Sean had already toured the world playing drums in GOOD CLEAN FUN. Adding those things together came out sounding like half a turd, as it was reported to me. Zak was about to give up and then he started playing off-the-cuff riffs. Sean left his comfort zone and decided to "go off." The results became the groundwork for DARK LION. Adding jailbird dreamboat, Sarah Derelict on vocals was the icing on the cake. Her lyrics were (are) incisive, direct and blunt. Pure hate was directed towards the cops, not because we're punks and we're supposed to hate the cops, but because she'd get fucked with by the cops over total bullshit. DARK LION existed during the reign of George W. Bush and that was evident in their output. The future and the present felt bleak as fuck, but I'm not gonna lie...it feels worse now.
Vinyl Rites released this demo a couple of years ago on a 7" (you might as well click over and order it right now) along with a booklet of fawning praise (all deserved). Initially, I thought the praise was a little overblown but then I thought back to how bad 2003 felt...and I thought about how real DARK LION was at a time when bands weren't speaking directly about how fucked up everything felt. I only saw DARK LION a couple of times. Once was after playing a couple of shows on tour, performing in front of people I'd rather ignore than entertain. Those shows led me to seriously question what the fuck I was doing with my life. Leaving that realm and delving back into my comfort zone of dilapidated warehouses produced of dubious craftmanship gave me a sigh of relief. Seeing DARK LION play a 10-12 minute set to a room full of obvious freaks of society made me feel right at home again. Watching Sarah with her fist raised high and screaming "I try to work and I keep thinking of killing cops! I'm trying to talk to girls and I keep thinking of killing cops!" felt like victory. I didn't question anything and felt at home, even though I was 3000 miles away from where I lived.
Like any good band, DARK LION was too volatile to have any sort of longevity. The members went their separate ways, each still being genuine lifers.
This tape is from the collection of Caroline Paquita