What began as a solo project by Adrian James – known from his work as designer and violinist of Evanescence – is gathering steam as a live Darkwave act entitled "Das Gift" (German for "The Poison"). Lurking in the spaces between alternative, progressive and darkwave genres, the music draws comparisons with acts including the Cure, Blue October and Pink Floyd.
The band's ambitious sophomore release, "Any Cover You Like," is a 19-track tour de force through the Pink Floyd catalog, from "Dark Side of the Moon" to "A Momentary Lapse of Reason.". Featured fan-favorites on the tribute album include, "Comfortably Numb," "Wish You Were Here," "Money," "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" and a haunting a capela version of "On the Turning Away." James brings his perfectionism and a penchant for the elaborate to the project – calling in the exotic sounds of sitar, string ensemble, and kid chorus to complete the new arrangements – as well as Robert Dickey (guitar/bass) and Taran Ware (drums). Styled to resemble a mini LP record, the CD is especially geared for Floyd fans as a celebration of the band – and in particular, the album era of the 1970s.
Featured on the CD and at live shows, the Das Gift string ensemble includes Dwight Denman (cello), Sharla Emory (sitar, flute), Marcos Ferreira (violin), Jeff Strain (double bass) and Deanna Wood (viola). Also appearing are the voices of Anita Dickey and the Dickey children's chorus.
Independently released in 2007, the pensive debut album stands an elaborate 14-year endeavor with bilingual lyrics, odd meters, and eclectic instrumentation – from piano to electric mandocello and violin. Adrian James points to early albums by gothic music groups Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Cure as inspiration for the pounding tribal drums and pipe organ. Smooth vocal melodies and touching piano ballads are woven through the symphonic album. Rising from the material are the singles, "Killing Jar," "Das Gift," "I'll Never Leave" and the piano ballad "Beautiful Womyn."
At live shows, James maintains his trademark emotional vocal delivery, alternating between guitar, bass, keyboard and even drums. The live act features a rotating roster of backing musicians: Robert Dickey bass, lead guitar and backing vocals; Paul Heller, drums (heralding from the gritty Arkansas band Always April); Zach Carpenter, 6-string bass
With a growing international following – especially in the regional Darkwave community – the band is based in Little Rock, Arkansas, and available for booking with a 1.5 hour set. The show usually features interpretations of the band's musical influences, including the songs of indie and goth music groups the Cure,Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode.
"Triply more interesting than [Evanescence]… James' voice seeps in like a velvet wind… Surpassed all of my expectations." - Virus! Magazine, Germany
"One of the better albums I have heard in some time, and that's no exaggeration… Well, WELL worth the wait… Certainly the most earnest and articulate lyrics of what I've seen lately. Highly recommended." - Gothic Beauty Magazine, USA
"With flawless covers and new layers added… Pink Floyd themselves would be proud… Undeniably worth every minute of the wait." - Arkansas Entertainment Beat, AR
"Listening to this layered, remarkably realized vision, you wouldn't suspect it to be the brainchild of just one person…sounds more like a symphony in several movements than a collection of individual songs… sneaks up on you and ingratiates itself." - Localist Magazine, Arkansas
"AJ’s vocal delivery can be very emotionally penetrating. Only a really anthracite soul would fail to be touched." - MorbidOutlook.com, New York
"Das Gift is a blessing… a great composition of sound, musical structure, and lyrics worthy of a Triple Platinum." - American Gothique, Alaska
"The next Pink Floyd… I was transfixed through the entire album… It was at some point in 'I'll Never Leave' that I started to cry. " - Malice Radio, Pennsylvania
"Brings back the roots of Goth with a cathedral rock sound, dark poetic lyrics with a very personal feel, and well-pronounced down tempo beats. "- DJ Infam0us ofReGen Magazine, Maryland
"For a band dressed in all black on a 98-degree day, Das Gift is actually a fun-loving bunch… Das Gift is fighting against the mundane music that populates the FM dial." - Sync Magazine, Arkansas
"Like a darker, goth-tinged version of early Peter Gabriel, progressive but catchy enough to attract a broad range of fans… melancholy and emotive enough for goths but conceptual enough to appeal to progressive rock and pop fans, as well." - Grave Concerns, New York