Singled Out: Dark Mean's Working Hard

Keavin Wiggins | 04-01-2024

Singled Out: Dark Mean's Working Hard

Hamilton, ON indie folk act Dark Mean just released their new single "Working Hard", and to celebrate we asked Sandy Johnston to tell us about the track. Here is the story:

I remember coming up with the main guitar riff for this track alone in Billy's jam space while waiting for Mark to arrive and for Billy to finish putting his newborn baby (who is now 11 haha) to bed. For some reason I was inspired to crank up the volume and distortion, which is rare for me. I started messing around and all of a sudden the idea started to form. Then it was just a matter of getting it from my head to my guitar. It's one of those riffs you know from the start is fully formed and not going to change. I remember rockin out pretty hard all by myself and getting excited to show the guys. At that point I didn't think it would turn into a Dark Mean song because it was more rock n' roll than our usual vibe, but I was excited to jam it with the guys just for fun.

That was something like 10 years ago. We liked the idea enough to start working on it in the studio, but for some reason we kinda abandoned it. I don't really know why. Maybe it wasn't feeling like a Dark Mean song yet because Mark hadn't finished the vocals. Last year I was catching up with our producer Mike over the phone and we talked about resurrecting some old material. Mike went searching through his computer and found Working Hard which was named "New Riff" at the time. He pulled it up and played it and I'll never forget his reaction. "This hasn't been released??!! I'm so mad at you guys!". Classic Mike. We've always needed him to light a fire under our asses. So I took a week away from my family last summer and drove down to Hamilton (from Ottawa) and we finally finished the tune. Mark did his thing and, as usual, what started as an outlier finally came together to sound like a Dark Mean song.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the band here

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Singled Out: Dark Mean's Working Hard

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