Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: Approaching Darkness

Fresno hard rock band Approaching Darkness may actually be approaching a little national attention.

The band recently inked a developmental deal with DBM Records and will release its debut album next week. "Halls" was released locally in April, but now the CD is getting a wider release, thanks to the label, which will push Approaching Darkness on

We talked to bass player Nathan Pedersen to learn more about the band.

Give us the quick story of how Approaching Darkness got started. Approaching Darkness formed around October of 2006 with Andrew Dennison and Chris Dennison putting an ad out on the Internet looking for a bassist, and found me. We only needed a full-time drummer and this was filled by Rigo Rodriguez, a bass player himself and a friend from another band, who agreed to try out drumming.

Describe your sound and give us some influences? The band's sound has been described as "brutal." If you like music like Disturbed, Drowning Pool, or Soulfly, there's a good chance you'll like Approaching Darkness.

What separates you guys from other hard rock bands in Fresno? Our stage presence. We'll jump right into the pit during a song. As aggressive and in your face as we are onstage, we're complete opposites off. If we're playing that night, you can guarantee we're there before the show starts and we'll be there until the club closes, hanging out with fans, friends, and cheering on the other bands.

You guys released your first CD in town in April. How's the response been? The response from the CD release has been amazing. The show was broadcast digitally world wide on Indie Life Radio, and had over 47,000 logged-in listeners. Fans would come up after the show, and even at other shows just saying how they related to the music, or how they would crank it up on the car stereo. It still feels dreamlike.

How did you guys hook up with DBM Records? I printed up a list of music labels that would accept unsolicited music, and DBM (Dirtbag Music) was on the top of the list. We knew the company for its clothing line, and heard they were starting their own label. Chris boxed up the CD along with a band bio and contact information, and a few weeks later we got a call from Dirtbag offering up a developmental deal.

Describe your live show in exactly 13 words? In your face music and energy that demands attention, leaving everyone wanting more.

What should people look forward to from Approaching Darkness?

Approaching Darkness can be heard on 104.1 (KFRR, FM) at 8 p.m. on Sunday and seen Wednesday at All Pro Pizza in Visalia for an all-ages show. We're also writing a ton of new material right now for the future. More shows are always being added and you can find them at

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