Spartanburg, South Carolina has spawned a killer band with a fierce, rock-edged sensibility. This quartet of Jeff Jennings (lead guitar), Tim Morelock (bass, vocals), Brian Stuart (drums) and Kip Darby (lead vocalist, guitarist), known as Quarterfly, was formed in 2004, and since then has performed more than a thousand shows in the American Southwest. Their debut, 'Bigger In Life', which was released only a year later, attracted MTV’s 'Road Rules' and 'The Real World'.

Front man, singer-guitarist Kip Darby boasts a sharp, crusty baritone. Darby, who previously acted as an industry tour manager, wisely parlayed his acumen into forging ahead with his own life-long dream. What’s worth noting is how solid the songwriting is, whether arranged acoustically or via electronics.

“I can’t stand to see you sad all the time,” the long-haired vocalist sings with soul-drenched emotion on the original ‘Forever,’ on a video. This tune, although not on the album, does show that the writing is loud and clear, plugged or not.

Their third album and debut on Ridge Music, 'Do You Believe', contains heavy pockets of mood enhancing, riveting rock riffs, swerving melodies and infectious harmonies. The title song cuts to the chase by stating: “If you want somebody to save you/We just need a saviour tonight.” Although the album reaches into dark places, the stories uniquely settle into optimism, whether that means a cathartic moving on or just proclaiming universal challenges.

Kip Darby talks about the making of the new release to Pennyblackmusic.

PB: You’re working with producer Greg Archilla again for this project; the band had worked with Greg on 2007's 'Quarterfly II'. What attracted you to Greg’s work initially?

KD: We really liked the bands that he had worked with before…Matchbox 20, Buckcherry and Collective Soul.

PB: Why did you choose to record 'Do You Belive' in both Nashville and South Carolina?

KD: We were able to track here close to home and then sent the tunes to Greg to put his magic on.

PB: Kip, you started as a tour manager. What was that experience like, and at what point did you transition into the business as a songwriter and musician?

KD: It was a chance to learn the biz side and meet some really cool people in the industry. I was always a musician, so the transition was a no brainer.

PB: Your debut, 'Bigger In Life', came out in 2005 when the band had only played together for a year. What was the vision in the early days? Is it still the same?

KD: Yes…to Rock!

PB: The songwriting on 'Do You Believe' is concise and powerful. How many of the songs were written based on personal challenges?

KD: Most all of them are…I’ve lived or felt everything I’ve written.

PB: ‘Not Like Me’ is miles apart from the thundering ‘Last Chance.’

KD: Again, we write what we feel. These songs were not all written at the same time, so they reflect ups and downs in life, and perspective.

PB: ‘Addiction’ triggers many thoughts. Is it literal or figurative?

KD: It’s both. Everyone has some type of addiction. The story in the song is written for people to apply their own thoughts to.

PB: How did the band members come together?

KD: The scene back home is pretty tight. We all grew up knowing each other through various bands. Eventually you get the right combination of personality and talent together.

PB: Would you comfortably describe Quarterfly as “metal?”

KD: No….Modern Rock or Active Rock as they say now days.

PB: What are your musical influences? Who are your favourite songwriters?

KD: I like Our Lady Peace a lot, but was influenced a lot by Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, etc. As for songwriters, I think James Blunt and Pete Yorn are both awesome.

PB: Kip, you have been quoted as saying, “this album is the strongest one so far, musically, with songwriting and expression of who we are at this moment, what we’re about.” Can you elaborate on this statement?

KD: I just meant that after three studio albums, we feel like this one will help us grow to the level that we’re working toward. It was also the first record we took time to write in the studio. We kind of tapped into a new formula – a balance of writing, tracking, and production that we’re excited about.

PB: Your recent touring schedule shows you’re not hitting, at this time, cities such as Chicago or New York. What’s the plan and time line for exposure?

KD: We’re out now on the Revolt or Die Tour with Edisun and Future Leaders of the World. We have dates on the outskirts of Chicago and a few in upstate New York. I’m sure we’ll be headed to more metropolitan areas soon.

PB: What is really important to know about Quarterfly?

KD: That it’s all about the chemistry the guys and I have together, which leads to good songs and a great live show.

PB: Thank you.

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