The Dark Backward is…

Three hopeless romantics raised on good literature and horror movies. A 4/4 elemental giant with mountainwalk and trample. A group of cosmonauts tripping the light fantastic as agents for Panoptic Miscellany. Tequila-fueled hardcore dancing on hardwood floors. A 1991 satirical comedy film starring Judd Nelson and Bill Paxton. A trio of artistic activists dedicated to bringing life back to music.  That feeling when you step off a roller coaster.  A rock and roll band.

The Dark Backward plays original compositions of honest, emotional music that make audiences shake their skeletons and exorcise their demons. The band plays rock and roll that incorporates all musical genres, including blues, jazz, punk, pop, and electronic. Musical influences include The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, and Talking Heads—and you might be able to liken their unique rock and roll sound to bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Cursive, and The Black Keys.

The Dark Backward was founded by Jordan Ryker Daniel and Alex Marble, formerly of the Denver based rock band Jane Lane. Daniel and Marble moved to Portland in July 2010. Calling themselves "Benecio & Walker", they spent most of their time composing and recording new songs in their mostly empty apartment and playing almost any venue that would have them – crowded open mic nights with folk singers and avant garde noise artists, the various street corners of southeast Hawthorne, friends’ living rooms, and small community events.

Looking to expand their sound, the duo desperately resorted to posting to Craigslist, pleading for a rock and roll drummer to contact them (whilst scrounging together a hundred dollars to buy a decrepit drum kit in the same fell swoop). Phillip Walsh, recently transplanted from Alaska, answered the call.  He joined the band after one audition.

Since 2011, the three members of The Dark Backward have developed an unmistakable, explosive sound and a chemistry with each other that has them prepared to play their loud, proud, colorful, and in-your-face music live. The band has dutifully shaken the walls in claustrophobic house shows, musky dive bars, scholastic non-profit halls, co-op parking lots, and even a few credible venues around the streets of Portland, Oregon. Most recently, The Dark Backward has christened the Ash Street Saloon, the Jack London Bar, the Hawthorne Theater, and McMenamin’s White Eagle with their unique sound.  Raised on a strong DIY mentality, The Dark Backward built and have operated Equimix Studios out of their home base in Northeast Portland for the past two years.  They have booked over 150 of their own shows; regularly design and screen-print their own merchandise and promotional material; and do all of their own local management.

The Dark Backward are also co-founders of Foul Is Fair Productions, a local award-winning filmmaking troupe which has participated in various film festivals. They have also provided live music for plays, comedy shows, and various other local artistic gatherings.

As of 2016, the band has released a self-recorded debut titled “The Sound That It Makes”, and just recently released a follow-up collection of songs called “The River” in October.





Access The Dark Backward's full discography at Bandcamp







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Jordan Ryker Daniel


Phillip Walsh