Darrin Payne

Music is life...

I was raised with music all around me. My mother is a professional singer and my father an actor. So, the arts were just a part of life as far as I was concerned. Going to concerts and musicals was just something that you did. My mom got me started out with piano lessons and I was fortunate enough to study in my early years with a couple of our area’s finest instructors. I found myself feeling a little “restless” when it came to the devotional interest and discipline needed to study classical piano and after studying for a couple of years, I decided to take lessons for orchestral percussion. I was quickly hooked on all of it; the snare drum, timpani, marching and field band percussion, mallet instruments, etc. Around this time I found my second drum teacher and bought my first drum kit from him. I never took many drum set lessons, ironically enough, but the kit became my main area of interest and the rest, as they say, is history! I met a talented guitarist from the neighborhood and we jammed in my attic and started to write some tongue-in-cheek songs. I really started to like writing my own music. I kept on with both piano and percussion for a couple more years and then, just before high school, decided to devote myself strictly to percussion. I had made many friends with other drummers and other instrumentalists from playing in the high school orchestral, big band jazz, and field/marching band groups. A number of us decided to try putting together rock bands to jam some good progressive stuff like Rush, Styx, Genesis, etc. Problem was, almost everyone I knew was a drummer.... but I realized that I could play keyboards pretty well from having a piano background. So, that’s what I did.

I started some serious jam sessions with the same musicians I knew from high school and earlier, met some others in the process. Out of these jams came my first bands Tayer and Brandy Lies that spanned from the summer of 1988 – 2000, when Brandy decided to disband. I had planned to go to University for music with a major in Percussion, but at the last minute, auditions already scheduled, I decided to bow-out and carry on down the original rock avenue. Drums kinda took a back seat during these years, after high school and I was the keyboardist for all of my early groups. I also took up guitar at this time and worked as a keyboardist/guitar player. Brandy Lies put out two records, and a couple of EP’s. We had some regional success but decided to call it quits in 2000. For all intents and purposes, I was done with original rock music.

I met Larry Lareau who renewed my interest in original music again and who drafted me into his project LAREAU as a keyboardist and musical director. Larry became one of the most ambitious artists and patrons of music in my area. Having a rather extensive library of songs, we had a band that lasted for several years working on original adult contempo music. We went through some lineup changes early on and I hopped back into the drums, where I’ve remained ever since. After a couple of demo EP’s, we put out one International release titled “Changes” on Warrior Records that had two radio charted realeases. I met the guys from Flinching during my years with Lareau, as we rehearsed in the same building. I played with both Lareau and as a temporary fill-in with Two For Flinching for a couple of years. I worked with two other original projects during this time; The Charlie Wheeler Band and Graphite Symphony. But, ultimately, went full-time with Two For Flinching and have been here ever since, exploring my 80’s roots once again.

I continue to play orchestral percussion and keyboards any chance I get. But Flinching keeps me pretty busy. I am the proud father of two amazing and beautiful children; one daughter and one son. I am happily married to my wife Sarah, who is also a talented keyboardist and songwriter. In fact, we got together after shortly after I asked to produce her first ever recorded single. (she said yes) Good Stuff!!