Darling Brando have been heralded as a “supergroup.” They’ve got an incredible following – especially having mastered the elusive skill of TikTok – and with each single, radio play inevitably follows. The rest is a bit of a mystery, so we investigated with Vlado Saric. A core member of the trio and a heavy music fan to boot, Saric’s metalcore leanings made him a particularly enthusiastic witness to interrogate.
You’ve been called a supergroup. Were you guys in other bands? What’s the backstory?
Well, it started a long time ago. I met Alex in 2015. I have the date of when we met, because we both have matching tattoos, unfortunately. But we met five years ago at a singing camp. There’s a camp where all the singers, they come around, they do a couple of songs for a week and shoot it and whatever. And we hit it off the second day. The first couple of days I ignored him because he was very scary to look at, but we became friends after that and just pretty much wrote together. And it’s a similar story with my other bandmate, Tom. We met at an X Factor after party and we just hit it off straight away. He was very cool and very upbeat to talk to. And then to figure out he’s also in the music industry and he sings as well…We all started writing together and I think it was like a year or so later we decided to become a band. The rest is history, I guess.
Why is the tattoo so unfortunate?
It’s unfortunate for my mum. She doesn’t like my tattoos, but I still ended up getting heaps. That was my first one I ever got. So that to her was a shock to find out it was a tattoo of someone’s initials and she’s like, “Who is this person?” I’m like, “Um, he’s one of my mates.”
So how did you end up getting into music? Were you a metal kid?
When I was about 13, 12 to 13, I was chatting to this guy from America and he was one of my singing teacher’s cousins. And we pretty much just hit it off as mates as well. And he was really into punk rock and metal and screamo and I’d never heard of that kind of stuff before and he got me into Punk Goes Pop. That’s how I initially started. And then from there Breaking Benjamin, Bring Me The Horizon, Buried in Verona and Parkway Drive. It just started from there.
In terms of the music you’re making now, obviously it isn’t heavy. Are you still into heavy music?
Oh, I listen to it all the time. It’s the only music I listen to. Besides our music, all my playlists are just heavy stuff. Because I don’t really listen to other kinds of music I guess, just never really got into it ever since I heard screamo. I don’t know, it just gives you that really good feeling. And you can just let out your emotions in a kind of way.
It might be the pandemic, but it does feel like right now it’s not as active or as popular as it maybe was when you were growing up.
I know, it sucks. But it’s still…the music’s so good but it just sucks that it’s not mainstream because it’s so damn good. Even Parkway Drive, that song they have, ‘Prey’, absolutely. They also have a song called ‘Wild Eyes’, which is our single’s name as well, which is hilarious. I feel like the music is still great. Everyone, all the heavy metal bands are still doing their thing, but I just feel like it’s not gaining any traction anymore, which is so sad. I just feel like music’s kind of changing nowadays. I still look for it as well because it’s where my heart’s at.
If Parkway file a copyright infringement, then you get to meet them. Tell me about your Tik Tok following. What’s your secret to cracking the platform?
Do you know what? I feel like we have no bloody idea what the hell we’re doing with TikTok. Even the boys ask me because I’m the one that mainly uses it and they go, “What should we do today?” I’m like, “Honestly I have no bloody idea what’s trending right now. I have no idea.” But I feel like it’s just luck. I really don’t know anything about the algorithm TikTok uses or anything like that. Because if I did, I’d love to give tips, but actually I have no bloody idea what I’m doing. What helps is authenticity of course, if you just be yourself and not try to put a part on for everyone. It’s been amazing, the response we’ve been getting from TikTok. It’s a really good tool to have for the music industry.
What’s next for the band from here?
Do you know what? I’d just love for us to do a show anytime soon right now. And I’m hoping it can happen soon, but who knows. For us, we’re just in the midst of writing a lot of songs and getting a lot of stuff ready. We can’t really say what stuff, there’s a lot of things that we’re working on, but the main thing we’re looking forward to is doing shows because we miss it so much. We’d like to play ‘Wild Eyes’, our new single, out to the people live.