Darby Trials is:
MIke Montesano - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Anthony Montesano - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Mike "Mr. Mean" Walsh – Bass, Vocals
Zil – Drums, Vocals
“Philadelphia’s Darby Trials has 4 members . . . however, it consists of 3/5 of the late Pepper's Ghost, 2/5 of the now-defunct Pawnshop Roses, and half the band is Mike.”
That quirky (and stupid) riddle of how the Darby Trials came to be is really just a short and painless explanation of what has actually been a long journey: one filled with ups and downs, stops and starts, detours, delays and distractions. Although Darby Trials is a fresh new group emerging on the scene, the band actually has many years of experience under its skinny, little belt.
The story begins back when Y2K still made headlines and four young, wide eyed musicians decided to join the music business and begin their walk down what Hunter S. Thompson described as “a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.” It was around this time that Brothers Montesano were discovering that they had a natural knack for catchy melodies, all while blending their voices the way only siblings can do. It was these very skills that laid the groundwork for what was to become “Pepper’s Ghost.”
Fast-forward a few years and hundreds of gigs later, drummer Zil joined Anthony and Mike in the up-and-coming Pepper’s Ghost. They would go on to release albums and tour internationally while their 2005 single, “You’re In My Heart (Little Pretty)” reached #3 in America and #1 in Canada on the Billboard Singles Charts. To this day, the band’s catchy number “All I Know” can still be heard regularly (ad nauseum) in the Philadelphia regional Apple Vacations commercials.
All things must pass however, no matter how good or bad. As it became obvious that Pepper’s Ghost had gone as far as it could go, they disbanded and Zil moved onto Philadelphia’s “Pawnshop Roses” with Mike Walsh on bass, thus completing one of the area’s most solid rhythm sections. The Montesanos seemingly vanished from the music scene all together but actually went underground and began assembling their artillery for their next melodic invasion on the world.
When the time was right to resurface, the brothers knew exactly who they wanted backing their new music. They approached Zil and Walsh about the possibility of a new project, which they had named “Darby Trials,” tipping their hat to the Pennsylvania town they grew up in. “It was a no-brainer” says Walsh, as the new material was incredible and it was beginning to look like Pawnshop had run its course.
Within weeks, the Darby Trials, now with the line-up complete, had finished an arsenal of tunes and immediately recorded three of them with Grammy winning producer and studio owner, Aaron “Ace” Levinson at Range Recordings. The fellas also went on to invest in their own home studio just to continue capturing all the new material being written.
Nowadays, as Y2K is in our distant past and we concern ourselves with the end of the Mayan calendar, the Darby Trials have assured us “it’s not the end of the world” in “Baby Don’t Run.” How do they know? Well, they don’t, but let’s just say they have been around the block a few times and would rather focus on writing the tunes that make us forget about our worries for a moment.