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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Keep calm and Darb on

Mounds View’s hottest student band discusses band formation, new music
Darb+members+pose+for+a+selfie+before+a+gig
Brayden Kopf
Darb members pose for a selfie before a gig

Attendees of the winter pepfest will certainly recall the performance from up-and-coming band, Darb, which includes sophomores Liam Neiwert, Brayden Kopf and Jack Knutson, as well as senior Mitchell Lowder. While the band has had limited performances so far, Darb certainly left an impression on the student body during their pepfest appearance. As they launched into their set, which included renditions of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” the energy in the gym surged, and it was clear that these young musicians had something special to offer.

Darb was not always a quartet. In fact, it started as a duo with Kopf on bass and Neiwert on guitar and vocals. “I’ve known Brayden since seventh grade, and the band started last year, last February, when we wanted to play at the choir’s open mic night fundraiser,” said Neiwert. 

Knutson, who plays guitar, and Lowder, who plays drums, were later additions to the band. “Jack was in my English class last year, and they introduced themself to me,” said Neiwert. “[Later], we posted an ad to find a drummer, and that’s when Mitch came around.” 

Besides their instrumental designations, members of Darb have other roles that they take on to help promote the band. Kopf manages the band’s social media accounts, and both Kopf and Neiwert have connections to student council, which is how they were able to secure a spot playing at the most recent pepfest. 

As with most bands, there is an interesting story behind Darb’s unusual name. “Darb is the name of a Styrofoam head… that I found at Michael’s [arts and crafts store] a year ago,” said Neiwert. “I bought it, put a judge wig on it, and I needed a name for it so I asked a few people. It was between Deborah and Barbara, so I named it Darbra… but we shortened it to Darb.”

Out of the band’s four gigs so far, all four members agreed that playing at the pepfest was their favorite. “Pepfest was most exciting, and it wasn’t a bunch of parents sitting in our audience just listening,” said Kopf. 

While most would  find it nerve-wracking to perform in front of the whole school, and even Kopf admitted  feeling anxious before showtime, Lowder claims to have overcome his own stage fright from playing in front of crowds in the past. “I’ve played at churches pretty much my whole life, and then jazz bands, and occasionally I’ll fill in for different bands,” he said.

Apart from performing covers, Darb members hope to write and eventually perform some original music. “So Jack and I, we both write our own original music and we put them out under different names, and we’ve learned some of the songs as a band,” said Neiwert. “But as a band, we are definitely planning to write original songs.”

The band hopes to recreate the sound of previous eras in their music while also incorporating a modern twist. “[We want to] create something that sounds like the ‘90s but also take into account all the good music that’s come out since the ‘90s,” said Neiwert. “Make it genuine and make it our own.”

The music industry is notoriously difficult to break into, and success is far from guaranteed, but Darb members remain optimistic. “We’re just kind of laying our foundation now and really just preparing and trying to make ourselves the best that we can be,” said Knutson.

About the Contributors
Maya Gjelhaug, Print Editor-in-Chief
My name is Maya, and I'm excited to be one of your print Editors-in-Chief this year! When I'm not editing articles, you can find me mountain biking and snowboarding, thrifting and watching Band of Brothers with my dad. I'm involved in Econ Team and MV's mountain bike team, and I coach 5th-grade soccer. Awards: Best of SNO - Pro-life activists rally against Minnesota abortion legislation Best of SNO - Prince of Peace Church combats homelessness with tiny home settlement Best of SNO - Should legacy admissions still exist? 2nd-Place Gold Medallion Spread - Youth sports culture SNO Site Excellence Design Award SNO Page Excellence Award
Brayden Kopf, Staff Reporter
Brayden is a junior staff reporter, and this year is his first year on The Viewer.
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