Marcos Barilatti (Darkglass) Interview

I am 41 years old, I have two children … and one more on the way. I left Argentina and moved to Finland in 2013 together with my family, when I didn’t know a word of the language and very little of Finnish culture. It was a tough decision but it has gone so well and I have been lucky enough to really enjoy the generosity of this country.

How did you make a start in the world of bass amplification?

I started in the beginning of 2015. I joined the company when the operations had just moved from the USA, back to Finland. I had the opportunity to be right at the beginning of the development of the first assembly line to produce in higher volumes.

They were the first foundations to being able to expand the catalog and re-structure ourselves as a company. I remember those first months journeying through the fascinating unknown with little awareness of what we could do and how much we would learn along the way.

The beginnings of Darkglass…

Darkglass began in Chile with the help of Douglas Castro, its founder. It is difficult to indicate an exact date. Maybe it was the birth, the day the first unit of the B3K found its sound, or when those first pedals were release to sell …. in which case we are talking around 2008.

 

Darkglass pedals

 

What was the focus of the first products and how did Darkglass begin its development?

The first distortion was the B3K. It was followed by the Harmonic Booster and a compressor. But after a short time it was decided we should focus on the diverse colours that could come from a distortion for the bass, something that was not overly developed, but above all, an idea which was often surrounded by scepticism. This is how the Vintage line was born along with our first fuzz.

I remember that when I joined the company we only had 5 products: The Microtubes B3K, Microtubes B7K, Vintage Microtubes, Vintage Deluxe and last but not least the Duality Fuzz.

We also already had the Tone Capsule bass preamp. Very little time passed when Douglas and his team started working on the Super Symmetry, a compressor that we have discontinued today to make room for our new Hyper Luminal.

What is your approach to the products you have developed?

We start a work day at the table where we meet with the team and we think about what we expect from at least one product of ours.

What qualities should stand out and how can we focus on those outstanding qualities. We are keen to improve what we have done in the industry, improve what exists within the brand and establish the priorities according to the mechanical design, and then in regard to the electrical.

Whatever the product, we first render ideas, seeking to make it elegant minimalist and intuitive, and from there we start the electronic development.

How does one achieve such an extraordinary brand identity?

Mainly by thinking ahead. Constantly reinventing oneself and keeping an eye on the future. There is a creative process for this.

I’m a little afraid of reaping merit or becoming complacent. We’ve adopted the idea of not being distracted as a business philosophically.

There is a feeling in the company of not wanting to pay too much attention to compliments and praise, but on how far we have to go. In this way we achieve a lot in our constructive approach.

Using many examples both in and out of music, we have taken inspiration from icons outside of the industry who are for many of us good role models.  We are very attentive to other areas of technology and look for potential advancements that can be applied within the music industry.

Darkglass Head

Which bassists have influenced your designs?

We have been fortunate to have been able to work together with Nolly, and with John Stockman. We also have close communication with Alex Webster. But to tell you the truth, the number of incredibly talented artists that we have the privilege to work with, although not widely known, it’s humbling. It’s a position of privilege and we feel very lucky.

Which are darkglass’ short-term plans?

We have some delayed releases as a result of COVID-19, but anyway we will soon be releasing some news which keeps us enthusiastic… of which I obviously cannot go into much detail.

How important is R&D at Darkglass?

This is a company whose FUNDAMENTAL asset is the engineering team. Our primary focus is to elevate the technology and innovation of our products, to offer the world the most modern products we can design.

Engineering and development is undoubtedly the area with the highest concentration

of human resources and attention within the company.

What models have excelled in in the market?

Distortions have been our mainstay from the start, and this is why we continue along that line. Anyway we are surprised by the reception of the heads and the compressor.

The future of the sector

It is a difficult question, but I hope you’ll find us with more effects, more options, cabs and greater versatility.

There is enormous strength in digital tools, but I think it is far from becoming a threat. It simply provides more tools to create and without a doubt we will see more and better musicians thanks to the combination of hardware and software.

Where is your distribution?

Darkglass is mainly distributed in the USA; Europe, Japan and

Australia. But luckily we are present in all continents.

Expanding markets…

Asia is growing a lot and we’re seeing a transition in music. I have been able to visit different shows and have seen how electric instruments take ground year after year.

Darkglass amps and cabinets

 

A favourite city

Many, but my heart is “porteño” (Buenos Aires)

A food

Pasta! And a good asado (BBQ)

A passion

Music without a doubt. Feel and listen to it.

Dreams for your company?

As long as it exists, to always bring innovation.

A special musician

All the heroes of my adolescence were musicians … But without a doubt, Charly García is the musician that I have seen live the most times.

We love you

Love you too.

 

Darkglass

 

2 replies on “Marcos Barilatti (Darkglass) Interview

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *