Light at night
When Devin Martin was in the fourth grade, he started a band. He got together with his best friend Jake Roth, bass guitar, and older brother Chris Martin, vocals, and started to jam. Back then, they were just young kids dreaming to be like “the big bands.”
Seven years later, 16-year-old Devin (lead guitar), 18-year-old Chris, 17-year-old Roth, 17-year-old Corey Pinkston (drums) and 17-year-old Lynwood Slipp (vocals) are learning to juggle school, jobs and a successful local music career in the band Visible Darkness.
“Just being a part of this band, I feel honored,” Roth said.
Members have rotated over the years, but the core of the band, the Martin brothers and good friend Roth, has remained the same, as has their dream to become prominent in the local arena.
Visible Darkness’ sound is not far from that of other local young bands. However, the music is completely the band’s own. The group members revel in their uniqueness and unmistakable sound. They focus on hardcore rock but also dabble in death metal and punk while admitting to being inspired by country and blues. They like to pay respect to all different types of music except rap and hip-hop.
What’s surprising about this band is how much experience they have and how well they mesh their sound. Many of the members, such as Devin, have been playing their instruments since they were about 7. Other members, such as Pinkston and Slipp, have been performing for only a few years and still manage to do as well as their veteran band mates.
Even local death metal heroes Kr’uppt have been interested in performing with Visible Darkness. However, the teenagers are taking time off before doing any more shows in order to improve their sound and perfect their live act. They plan on performing a show or two within the next few months but have no set date. They’re also taking their first steps toward making a professionally recorded CD.
“We’re all saving up about $50 each so that we can make a good recording,” Devin said. “Right now, we’re just using house equipment.”
Themes in their songs reflect a mature writing style. Instead of the whining sounds of emo or the jumbled noise of pure punk, Visible Darkness likes their music to be more thought provoking. The name Visible Darkness even comes from a metaphor from a high school English class that the members found interesting and “sort of funny.”
The band members’ confidence in their artistic strength pushes them to work harder to make sure that everybody in Reno will get to experience their “sometimes disturbing” songs.
“I want people to open their eyes from this candy-coated world,” Devin said. “Everyone is selfish and needs to become more open-minded.”
Most of all—behind the metaphors and lifetime aspirations—Visible Darkness is a group of friends who wanted something else to do on the weekends besides go to parties and merely hang out. On the other hand, their goals have gone from staving off boredom to conquering the Reno scene.
Chrissy Wilson is a student at McQueen High School.