Dark Arts

Real Name:
Stephanie Payne
Dark Arts was the brain child of Bob Katt in 1984. It was his vision that brought together the original members of the band.Stephanie Payne was invited to join and has been making music under the guise of Dark Arts since. The first recording was produced and engineered by Steve Albini. “A Long Way From Brigadoon” was released on Albini’s short lived “Ruthless” label in 1985. This release features the talents of Bob Katt, Dave Manic, Bill Bruner and S.A. Mason.

Next, Dark Arts was featured on a compilation entitled “The October Country” issued on Nate Starkman and Son. The import-only release “Carnival of Lost Souls,” produced and engineered by Biff Sanders (of Ethyl Meatplow and Polar Bear), can also be found on Nate Starkman and Son and was released in 1991. Vocals by Mason, Payne, Karen Schub, Jeff Clark and featuring the talents of Payne, Douglas Paul, Jeff Froyd and Biff Sanders.

The Dark Arts release “Something Once Whispered to Cava” was released in 1999 on Falcata-Galia and it features Julie Fowells (Geraldine Fibbers) on violin, Joyce Rooks on cello, Raul Casillas and Biff Sanders on percussion, and the vocal talents of Cheryl Russell, Scotty Chapman, and Stephanie Payne. Stephanie wrote all the material and played all remaining instruments. Shortly after, Payne self released the 45 for "Jola Dool" on her own SFB Records.

Dark Arts has shared the stage with many diverse bands including: The Cocteau Twins, Big Black, Urge Overkill, Naked Raygun, Anna Homler and Drowning Pool. Stephanie enjoys working with a wide variety of musicians and instruments, which enables her to create her eclectic and other-worldly sound.

Dark Arts most recent recordings feature Stephanie Payne on dulcimer, piano, percussion, flute and melodica (amongst other sound-making objects), Sharon Berman on accordion, ballophone, recorder and percussion, and Juan Wijngaard on hurdy gurdy, recorder, mouth harp, and percussion. Recorded at Catasonic Studio by Mark Wheaton.

"Reflections in a Rear View Mirror" was released in 2020 and is a collection of tracks through all the variations of Dark Arts plus 2 unreleased new tracks available through STROOM.
Also through STROOM will be an EP released in 2021.


16804-08, none Dark Arts - Carnival Of Lost Souls album art Dark Arts Carnival Of Lost Souls (Album) Nate Starkman & Son 16804-08, none Germany 1991 Sell This Version
Cr02 Dark Arts - Something Once Whispered To Cava album art Dark Arts Something Once Whispered To Cava (Album) Falçata-Galia Cr02 US 1995 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

RRDA017 Dark Arts - A Long Way From Brigadoon album art Dark Arts A Long Way From Brigadoon(12") Ruthless Records (2) RRDA017 US 1986 Sell This Version
SFB1 Dark Arts - Jola Dool album art Dark Arts Jola Dool(7") School For Barbarian Music SFB1 US 1995 Sell This Version


none Dark Arts - Reflections In A Rear View Mirror album art Dark Arts Reflections In A Rear View Mirror (Comp) Stroom (2) none Belgium 2020 Sell This Version
STREP-049 Dark Arts - Songs Of Earth And Sky / Jola Dool / Low Flight / The Conference Of Snakes album art Dark Arts, Minimal Compact Dark Arts, Minimal Compact - Songs Of Earth And Sky / Jola Dool / Low Flight / The Conference Of Snakes(12", Comp) Stroom (2) STREP-049 Belgium 2021 Sell This Version