Darlingside’s resident gearhead, Sam Kapala is happiest with his nose in a Pro Audio catalog, or his entire face in the back of the band’s rack of equipment. When he’s not designing and building shoddy carrying cases for gear that the band no longer uses, cooking some combination of wild rice, beans, and orange vegetables for dinner, or trying to convince that band that “no, seriously, we NEED two 18-inch subwoofers to complete the PA, we’ll strap them to the roof of the van if we have to,” Sam spends some of his time up in Portland, ME, where he works as recording engineer at a cleverly and accurately-named recording studio called The Studio. Other interest include running, cycling, New Hampshire, and sometimes playing drums.
Don Mitchell’s oldest memory (age 2) is of a colorful dragon kite that folded down into a can on his parents’ sailboat ‘Acacia.’ More pertinently, he remembers growing up in rural Connecticut, where his musical training began as a boy alto in Chorus Angelicus and a liberally-freckled cast member of such regional theater productions as “How to Eat Like a Child.” Adolescence came and went on its unflattering way, leaving Don with a repository of skillz including guitar, juggling, and uncanny Dr. Claw impressions. At college, he studied songwriting, music theory, and animal tracking, each of which are indispensable to him now as a rock musician. Don is known for his humility, partially-webbed toes, and ironic disposition. When asked to join the band in 2009, he said “No,” and then quickly joined the band before the offer could be reconsidered. He now fills the band role of Interweb Outreach Coordinator, which means he appears to be busy even while wasting time on Facebook.
A feeble child, young Auyon Mukharji’s lack of athleticism and physical prowess prompted his parents to enroll him in music classes at the tender age of three in the hopes that he might one day be a well-rounded college applicant. He proceeded to play the violin at a mediocre level throughout his youth, drifting in and out of youth symphonies and orchestra summer camps. He began mixing with the wrong crowd in college, which eventually led to a four-year stint of a cappella singing and frequent experimentation with the mandolin as well as some more difficult instruments. Upon graduation, he traveled around the world for a year as a vagrant musician on a Watson Fellowship, studying folk music in Ireland, Brazil and Turkey. Auyon now serves as Darlingside’s booking manager and dinner party planner. He does yoga on a daily basis, and can do more pull-ups than Harris but not Sam.
Harris Paseltiner has been playing cello classically since age 6. He has also played guitar self-taughtingly since sometime in high school. Once or twice per show, he plays Dave’s bass, too. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the organ, or his erhu, or Auyon’s mandolin, or Auyon’s saz, or perhaps Sam’s drums, or Sam’s pennywhistle, or Don’s banjo. As the old adage goes: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. Regarding music, Harris is like a horse that drinks substantial amounts of water whenever it is available. And regarding other things, Harris is often like a horse that is very thirsty and would you mind taking it back to the water please? (Harris will also happily drink coffee, or scotch, or a nice pu-ehr, if you were to lead him to one of those.)
As a child, David Senft would cry at the thought of going to college because he thought that singing was mandatory (his older cousins having all been in college singing groups). Young Dave preferred doodling in class, naming individual trees, and anything involving computers. His first website, at the age of 15, was devoted to the number 8. In college, Dave chose his extra-curricular activities based on which organizations seemed to need a new website, and wound up in a singing group after all. Soon after, he enrolled in a songwriting course with two friends, made a website for the class, and never looked back. Dave then spent two years after college as an itinerant street performer, and began learning bass when the band formed in 2009. If he’s not making music, or this website, he’s often found preparing breakfast, or looking for anything at all that might have been grass-fed.