Photo: Gaelle Beri

Darlingside Brings Camaraderie to Union Stage

Indie folk band Darlingside’s four members are college friends turned bandmates, and they’ve have been playing together for six years. After knowing each other for over a decade, their friendships and collaborative process have evolved alongside the band’s sound. Before they play Union Stage on March 31, On Tap chatted with Harris Paseltiner (guitar, cello, vocals) about the band’s U.K. tour, who is the best at disc golf, their most unique show and their love for microwaved, coffee cup quiche.

On Tap: You guys get out and play disc golf quite a bit.How competitive are you, and how would you rank the band’s disc golf skills?
Harris Palestiner: I just recently learned how to play. We were introduced to it by our sound engineer, DJ, who said it was a great way to get out and experience the different places that we get to visit. We’ve played some incredible courses – the Southwest desert ones are pretty awesome, and they have cacti everywhere. I pretty much go out just for the experience, but Dave [Senft] and Auyon [Mukharji] keep score and are getting good.

OT: Who is the band cook, and what is their signature dish?
HP: We actually all enjoy preparing food, however Auyon has definitely taken the lead for us when we are in the studio. While we were recording [our new album] Extralife, he would go to the grocery story every day and cook us dinner. He has gotten very creative on a George Foreman grill. He’s made lamb chops, squid and a bunch of other stuff. My favorite Auyon meal is his microwaved quiche in a coffee cup. It is so good.

OT: We noticed that you all post #trysomething on some of your Instagram posts.  Are you actively trying to start a new movement?
HP: I wouldn’t say we are actively trying to use the hashtag, but we do love to try new things since we travel around so much. We love trying new restaurants and cafes in each city, and enjoy hiking to see the natural beauty of each area. Part of being on the road is getting out of our comfort zone with our experiences. Auyon is our director of special projects and he is very good at looking up exciting things to do when we are on the road. Recently, we just tried jujutsu in San Francisco and that was definitely different for me. Being on the road with friends is a huge plus for us.

OT: What is the most unique venue or show you’ve ever played? Anywhere cool back in the day before you were super official?
HP: I was just thinking about this the other day. I was looking at photographs from six or seven years ago when we played on a floating raft that was off the shore in Cape Cod. People were hanging out on the beach and swimming all around us. We weren’t attached to anything. We literally had to take a boat to the raft. We had a generator that was running off of a boat that was next to us, and whenever a wave came along, we would have to hold on and make sure none of us (nor our instruments) fell off the raft. It was our strangest venue logistically, but it was super rewarding. It made for an awesome experience.

OT: What is your favorite song to play from Extralife?
HP: “Eschaton,” the fifth track on the album, has electronic textures that we haven’t had in the past. It is challenging to play an acoustic guitar with electric mixers, and figuring out how to make that work has been a fun challenge for me. It’s really coming together!

On Tap: You guys were recently on tour overseas. How has playing abroad impacted your perspective on music? What’s your favorite memory from your time over there?
HP: We’ve had a great time getting out to the UK. We’ve loved the mainland in Europe and Denmark, and have really enjoyed seeing the small towns in the countryside. We’ve gone to a lot of places that we wouldn’t get to go if we were just going there on vacation. I’ve been surprised at how universal music is; I was worried about playing folk in other countries, but people are willing to listen to new and different sounds. Our fans come together as a community to listen to music wherever we go.

Catch Darlingside at Union Stage on Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18-$25.

Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; 877-987-6487,