Darling Violetta found fame in supplying the television series Angel with its haunting theme song, but the Hollywood-based band have more to offer than that. With a core line-up of vocalist Cami Elen, guitarist Jymm Thomas and drummer Steve McManus, the band came together through the unlikely answering of ads in LA music magazines. Cami recalls:
Jymm and I met, and started working on songs and playing as a duo in coffee houses and at open mic nights. Once we felt we had some good ones we started looking for other musicians to complete our line-up.
Bass player Atto Attie and cellist Gerri Sutyak make up the other members of the band, and the addition of an electric cello is perhaps what gives Darling Violetta their distinct sound. Jymm tells of the reason why they chose to incorporate a cello:
We'd been trying to find a second guitarist for a while and having no luck with our search. Steve met a cellist who was interested in doing some rock and suggested that we try it out. That person didn't really work out, but we stuck with the idea because of the instrument's versatility. Plus, I'm too insecure about having competition to work with another guitar player!
However, Atto explained the real reason behind the move as the fact that:
When you have two guitarists you're required to do Iron Maiden stage moves,
and we'll have none of that.
What Sweet Music They Make
Darling Violetta isn't for everyone
cause what's for everyone sucks.
- From the band's Official Website
The band have a very unique sound, sometimes referred to as 'dark pop' or 'cello-rock'. The edgy tone of vocalist Cami Elen, the use of cello and violin, lyrics full of sexual themes that would make Poppy Z Brite1 blush, undertones of vampirism and Goth culture references make for a combination that will send goosebumps down your spine at some point when listening, which you can do if you visit their MySpace website (this Researcher recommends watching the clip provided of 'Spoiled and Rotten', or listening to 'A Smaller God' or 'Cocoon' to get an impression of the band's range and style). Their music has hints of PJ Harvey, Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus and, as stated by Cami, 'anything dark and beautiful' - and begs to be heard when it's dark, or just before a storm.
Vampires & Angels
Somewhere in cyberspace
The minutes turn to hours
- From the band's song 'Awesome'
Darling Violetta were thrust into the limelight after creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Joss Whedon heard them in a club one night. He had gone to hear another band, but stayed through the Darling Violetta set. John King, music supervisor for Buffy, told them to send in a demo-tape, and soon afterwards the band were invited to play two songs ('Cure' and 'Blue Sun') for the episode 'Faith, Hope & Trick' (Season 3, Episode 3). 'Cure' was performed live at the fictional club 'The Bronze', and when main character Buffy is asked if she loves the song, she replies;
Uh...yeah! Actually, I do.Later, the band composed the theme for another Joss Whedon TV series, Angel.
We were told to 'think Dark Super-Hero' and 'Cello-Rock'. I'm a big fan of Buffy, so I kinda knew the character already.
- Jymm on the Angel theme
With the aid of long time producer Holly Knight, and only a little jiggling about, the now almost instantly recognisable theme is something that perhaps aided the series in becoming so popular.
The band have also been involved in providing music for the Activision games Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. The songs 'Kill You' and 'Smaller God' respectively, are deeply atmospheric and suit the mood of the games perfectly. Darling Violetta have contributed music to the films Burn Hollywood Burn and No Rest For the Wicked too.
Music To Die For
I'll bash your brains in
When you least expect it
- From the band's song 'I Want To Kill You'
Darling Violetta released their first EP Bath Water Flowers in 1997 through the Hollywood record label Opaline, and after finding success with the songs featured in Buffy, released the kill you ep in 2000, and in 2003 the album Parlour. Jymm Thomas also released a solo EP in 2006, That Sudden Stop.