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Dark Dark Dark – Open To New Ideas

Written by Mike Hohnen on 22nd October, 2012

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Fearlessly led into battle by the unparallelled vocal stylings of Nona Marie, Dark Dark Dark have ironically illuminated a world previously cast in the shadow of subpar sonic monotony. The band’s recent release, Who Needs Who, which dropped October 12, has drawn people to them in droves. Now making their maiden voyage to Australia for Harvest Festival, we caught up with Nona Marie to shed some light on Dark Dark Dark.

Checking in from the road while in Providence, the band had recently kicked off their run of North American tour dates. So far there are two shows down and things are looking good: “It’s great, the rooms have been really nice, the shows have been great.” Of course they are road testing their new goods found on Who Needs Who – the new tracks seem to be going down a treat with the fan base: “They seemed to like them! Well, I think they did. I hope they did!”

Kicking off the tour before the album had been officially released, we got talking about nerves. It’s a feeling most of us will never experience, but how does a recording/touring artist handle the nerves or an impending release? “I try not to think about it too much, that is, until I realise that I’m terribly nervous. The day before is normally the less stressful time. Right now it feels great though,” she said with a laugh.

Three short words, but oh so much strength, Who Needs Who; even the album name creates intrigue into the band, clearly by design it seems: “Well, the name came from one of the tracks on the record that I feel pretty emotionally attached to, and yeah, it has a lot of meaning to me. It’s also sort of a riddle so we thought it would be a great way to draw people in.”

Now drawn in, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden fangs of the album come clamping down on the unsuspecting listener. The album spans all sorts of universal themes, which saw the conversation steer towards influences: “It’s hard to say, really. I feel that it comes from growing up. A lot of what we’ve experienced as a band, a lot of the people we’ve met and I guess just us maturing.”

No strangers to the writing/recording process, the band released their debut full-length Wild Go back in 2010. With their previous experience in mind, what boxes were they hoping to tick with Who Needs Who? “Well, for one we wanted to make a much more collaborative effort, we wanted, you know, something from everybody. We had a lot more time with this release, so we had a lot of time to make sure we liked what we were releasing… We’re spending a lot of time on new material and talking about it beforehand. Everyone gets the demos, listens to them and brings their ideas to the table. I have some pretty strong ideas, but I’m also open to hearing what every one else is thinking…we’re open to different things.”

Once they wrap up their current run of shows, it’s straight back on the road, though this time on the other side of the world. Judging by Nona’s reaction, the band are very excited for this little excursion that is Harvest Festival: “we’re so excited for this, I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and I’ve never been, so it’ll be good to see what it’s like. This festival has Beck and Santigold and even more, I’m really excited…I think I’m probably going to stalk Santigold if I can”

With such a delicate soundcape, we got talking about how Dark Dark Dark’s sound travels in a festival setting: “It really depends on the festival, I think there’s an atmosphere that can be created there that it can still feel intimate and interesting on a big stage. We’ve had challanges on big stages with whatever kind of setting, I have a good feeling about this one though, I think it will be nice…”

“Tans and positive energy” are two things the band are looking forward to getting while in town, and transferring the latter of the two to their fans. It’s set to be a performance like none other. As the small crowd that is Dark Dark Dark take the stages of Harvest around the country, you’d better be prepared to have your favourite live act usurped.

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