So-Cal rock act Dark Station, which received millions of streams for their 2019 debut album, Down In The Dark and 2021’s acoustic versions Afterlife, toured throughout the U.S. and sold out LA’s famed Viper Room, has weathered some intense storms including the incarceration of their bass player as well as the death of their friend and producer.

The one-time five-piece is still a band, but a duo at its core, comprised of lead vocalist Nathan Spades and guitarist Kyle Ort. “We're trying to run a business. We want to do this for a living. There's no exceptions and there's absolutely zero time for bullshit,” says Nathan. “Kyle and I do everything in this band. Kyle handles the business part of it and me most of the creative.”

Together, they have been writing new material including songs “The Fall” and “Killing Me,” which they have previewed for their fans. Their lyrics are shaped by Nathan’s upbringing, one of unenviable trauma and setbacks that he has amazingly escaped.

Born to a 15-year-old mom, his abusive dad left when he was two. He was raised a Jehovah’s Witness not allowed to listen to music, watch TV or celebrate birthdays. They were often homeless; he was molested at 13; had guns pointed in his face; and became a heroin addict. He was even placed in an asylum for anger issues, but at 18 took charge of his life — or at least tried.


“I lived on the streets for six months and decided I can either stay here and probably die or I can try to get a job,” Nathan says. “I eventually got two jobs and bought a car, lived in the car, then I got an apartment and then rebuilt my life from there. I had a six-figure income doing sports marketing, but I was really stupid with all that money.”

His struggles continued, he says, until he met Kyle. “He's one of the most amazing, generous, kind people that I've ever met in my entire life. He's been there for me even in my darkest moments and gave me a reason to want to help myself.”

Dark Station formed in the spring of 2018, out of the ashes of a band called Behind The Fallen. Kyle, then in September Mourning, heard one of their songs, “Misery,” and approached them about forming a new band: Dark Station. Their sound was shaped significantly by late producer Augustus “Gus” Cryns who worked with them on their first record and EP.

“We considered him very much the sixth member of the band and he passed away due to a drug overdose in 2020,” says Nathan. “When we lost him, it was pretty hard. But what we're proud of the most is how we had no game plan going into that album. We didn't have any discussion. We just created something awesome. There was almost no work to it.”

Nathan says Gus helped him find his vocal identity, instead of “chasing that old Warped Tour sound for years.” “I didn't know that I could do what happened with Dark Station. I didn't know I was vocally capable of that. He was so good at breaking that out of me going. He’d say, ‘You need to be who you are. Who the fuck are you?’ He brought

me out of me,” he laughs.

Not surprisingly, Dark Station’s lyrics are born from “a dark part of my brain from the trauma that's still eat away at me,” Nathan says, from drug and alcohol addiction to self-worth and outside criticism. Now clean and sober, he is hoping the band’s music will help others. “If I can tour and just talk to people and if my fucking therapy studio sessions help someone say ‘Maybe my life is worth something,’ that's all I fuckin’ care about. I don't care about doing anything else.”


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