HOLD THE DRUMMER JOKES:Toronto-born percussionist Eisenstadt is a divinely chosen receptacle for mystical rhythms; Phillips is a Valley-raised guitarist bent on making guitars do things they normally don’t.
THE NAME, EH?: Canadians play lots of darts, and “I love everyone from Canada,” says Phillips.
SOMETIMES A GUITAR IS NOT JUST A GUITAR: “I view both of our instruments as melodic and percussive,” says Phillips. “We both enjoy lots of distortion, because distortion is so harmonically rich.”
HOW DOES A DRUMMER (!) ACHIEVE HARMONY? Eisenstadt: “Piano, vibraphone, computer.”
SOMETIMES A SONG IS NOT A TUNE: With the Darts, you’re in for compositions, improvisations, fractured abstractions.
SAY WADADA?: Eisenstadt: “As a teacher, Wadada Leo Smith told me to chip away at a composition like it’s a rough diamond, until you find ‘the musical moment.’ Be sincere.”
WHAT IS NOISE? Phillips: “I don’t really think of any sound as noise; I’m starting to think of my aural experiences as either sound or silence.”
WHAT IS SUCCESS? Phillips: “When a total stranger approaches me after a gig and says, ‘I don’t usually like this kind of music but...’ and then proceeds to buy a CD.”
WHAT IS PERFECTION? Eisenstadt: “I was running/dancing/singing/drumming from the Gambia River through the streets of Serekunda for an end-of-manhood-training celebration. Must have been five miles each way, with 100 celebrants. All of a sudden we saw another group of celebrants moving toward us. The combination of different rhythms and different songs as we crossed paths was the most sublime sound I’ve ever heard.”