“dark horse: n. A usually little known contender ... that makes an unexpectedly good showing.”
Darkhorse walks the line between metal and rock. As a band we love heavy drop-tuned riffs and bountiful guitar harmonies, but not at the expense of listenability or vocal hooks like the ones we’ve belted into the steering wheel our whole lives. Some of our proudest moments come from playing shows with a handful of death metal bands and seeing them all with their fists up during our ballads - or when we’ve been mixed in with a more indie/punk crowd that stays glued to the stage through songs full of palm-muted triplets, guitar harmonies, and thundering drums.
While they may be cliché to list as influences, many of our biggest heroes like Ozzy Osbourne or Metallica walked that same line. They fit in with some of the heaviest bands of their era, yet still managed to sneak a song onto pop radio from time to time. Some more current influences in that category would be Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, or Five Finger Death Punch.
Darkhorse was formed in the fall of 2008, but has gone through a few changes to become the band they are today. That fall Lee Boss and Jared Cumberledge, two friends from childhood, decided to start a band. Both had been in garage bands along the way, but they had never really played together and were ready for something a little more serious. They immediately began writing some of the first Darkhorse material, with Jared’s riff-heavy guitar style taking center stage.
Some friends of the band were sitting in on drums and vocals at the time and introduced John Butler to the mix later that year. He immediately fit in, adding new punch to the low end and bass lines that accentuated everything that was happening in their songs. Styles, personalities, and direction just clicked, with each member tweaking and enhancing almost anything that was brought to the table. As Darkhorse began playing out and gaining experience, the sound that took shape reminded Lee and Jared of another friend from childhood, Dylan Kendrick.
While Dylan was currently playing guitar for well known Sandusky area coverband, The CoCoBeanOs, Lee called and convinced him to get back behind the drum kit and audition for Darkhorse. Dylan’s thundrous, emotional style dramatically changed many of the songs the band thought they knew. The new found power, sincerity, and tightness of their set convinced all of them that this was the right fit.
In the spring of 2012 the final change to Darkhorse occurred when our previous singer had to leave and Lee stepped up to the mic. The band knew they didn’t want to give up any of the guitar and vocal harmonies that were central to their sound, but the chemistry of the band was too good to risk adding a 5th member. After a lot of practice, swapping some guitar parts, and reassigning backing vocals it was like nothing had changed. Lee came into his own as a frontman and the instrumentation and chemistry that made Darkhorse unique stayed intact.
After almost 4 years and many changes we’re proud to say that Darkhorse is still a band of friends, hellbent on making our own special blend of metal and rock.