DARREN Criss’ latest project has been years in the making … since childhood in fact.
Known for playing Blaine on hit US show Glee and more recently Justin on American Horror Story, the American actor has finally come good on his dream to front a band.
Criss this month unveiled his musical project, Computer Games, a duo he started with older brother Charles (Chuck).
“I was always an actor and musician at the same time. I was kind of a mercenary, it was never really up to me as to which one would take off,” Criss tells Insider on the phone from Los Angeles.
“I never thought I would have such good fortune in the acting world. The dream was always to be in a band with my brother but out of college we fell into different rabbit holes.
“He had a bit of success in the freelance Whales (band) and I started having this TV career that took off so it kept getting put on the back burner.”
Computer Games’ first single is titled Every Single Night with the Criss brothers performing the track at Radio City Music Hall in New York earlier this month.
The song is part of an independently released self-titled debut EP.
“For however many years the joke has been when am I going to get to that music and it has just never really felt right, it didn’t feel genuine I guess,” Criss says.
“My brother and I had been sending each other songs back and forth for so many years and it was like, why don’t we put those songs out.
“That’s when we decided to start this group, Computer Games, and the name is sort of a throwback to our own childhood for our nostalgia but it also has this double meaning of how we communicate these days through social media, it is all computer games.
“So yeah it felt like an appropriate time to put music out under this dream that my brother and I had owed ourselves since we were teenagers.”
Criss is unashamed in referencing the likes of Lionel Richie, Miami Sound Machine and Phil Collins as influences of the Computer Games material.
“We didn’t really set out to do that,” he says. “It is just you write songs and you throw a bit of pepper and a bit of salt and then all of a sudden, you throw in some paprika and thyme and some of those spices just happened to be from the early ’90s and that was just a natural thing that happened but it certainly wasn’t the intent.”
Criss rose to international fame as lead vocalist for Glee’s Dalton Academy Warblers Blaine Anderson, appearing on the hit series for five years. From there he landed a role in American Horror Story and will soon be seen in Supergirl and The Flash.
Criss is yet to make it to Australia but is hoping his music will finally bring him here.
“This is just small splash in the pool. This is completely done on our own. That is to say that any venues we play or our next steps are kind of in control of not only us but what the fans want,” he says.
“We are going to see very quickly with distribution networks how they are, how things do in Australia, how things do in Mexico and how they go in the US. So we will be seeing where and when we should be playing and when we should put songs out and all this weird data that we now have access to that was harder to quantify maybe like 10 years ago.
“The fact I’m talking to an Australian media outlet is really exciting because it would be so great to play a Computer Games show in Australia.”
Next up for Criss is playing serial killer Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story alongside Cuba Gooding Jr, David Schwimmer and John Travolta.
“Between acting and Computer Games, I’ve got my hands full,” he says.
Originally published as Glee star forms his own band
SOURCE: newsnow entertainment