Q&A: Indie band Dark Dark Dark elaborates on recent success, folk music

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Indie rock band Dark Dark Dark will be performing tonight at the Mohawk. Their music has been featured in TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “American Idol.” (Photo courtesy of Dark Dark Dark)

 This time last year, Minneapolis-based chamber-folk indie band Dark Dark Dark released its sophomore album, Wild Go. From the eerily mesmerizing and powerful voice of lead singer Nona Marie Invie to the band’s exotic blend of folk and contemporary with New Orleans jazz, Eastern European folk and traditional instruments, critics had good things to say.

The full length’s first single, “Daydreaming,” even had spots on popular TV shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “American Idol.”

The band’s third album is currently in production. The band will be playing tonight at Mohawk.

The Daily Texan exchanged emails with band member Marshall LaCount in an interview about Dark Dark Dark’s next LP, how music is interwoven and the bandmates’ latest tattoos.

Daily Texan: It’s been about a year since the releases of your latest EP, Bright Bright Bright and LP, Wild Go. I am very eager for more of Dark Dark Dark. Is a full-length currently in the works?
Marshall LaCount: We’ve recorded a few songs as demos and are playing them, test driving some experiments and thinking about what we want our next album to sound like.

DT: And when can we expect that to come out?
ML: There is no official release date. We plan to write a lot more this winter and won’t get around to recording it until ... even late spring.

DT: Inspirations behind new album? What is happening in your lives right now that you want to transcribe into your lyrics and sound?
ML: We’ll just have to see. There’s plenty going on, but that’s usually one of our things, isn’t it? Taking the personal and making it just accessible enough so listeners can interpret and feel it for themselves.

DT: Several of Dark Dark Dark’s songs were used as instrumental/soundtracks for TV shows. Any more collaborations like those happening soon?
ML: I wish it were several, but the song “Daydreaming” is the busiest of our songs out working a day job. It’s done a couple MTV things, a little “American Idol” spot and the “Grey’s Anatomy” spot that some people are familiar with and last but not least, my sister’s favorite, “Degrassi Junior High.”

DT: There’s this newfound appreciation for folk in the indie world today — something like a revival of the genre — and it is evident by the popularity of Dark Dark Dark, Tallest Man On Earth, Noah and the Whale, Bon Iver, Beirut, etc. Could you share your thoughts on the folk scene that’s happening now in America?
ML: Well, maybe you’re referring to a time when everything was guitars and keyboards and drum machines, [which is still going on], but maybe there is an age where all traditional and new instruments and any combination thereof became fair game, and interest in skilled musicianship and knowledge of traditions got cool again [as opposed to three-chord punk], and people got nostalgic, simplified and then un-simplified again with what they’d learned [i.e., For Emma, Forever Ago to S/T]. After the end of music, everything became available all at once, for us to use. Also, as far as world music goes, there’s such a wealth of beautiful, new, challenging or different sounds happening, and it all became available more easily. No, maybe it all became interesting. I don’t know. The Beatles are always going to India.

DT: What would you say are similarities in folk music today versus years ago?
ML: Well, we’re mostly self-taught, working musicians who do this because we love it and have to. We write intuitively and perform honestly. We do new things and old things. I bet it’s always been the same.

DT: On a lighter note — I notice several Dark Dark Dark members with interesting tattoos. What is each member’s favorite or first tattoo, and what’s the meaning behind it?
ML: Nona has a really beautiful bird lady on one forearm and an Egyptian-influenced fox-man on the other, each by different friends. I have two dogs playing tug-of-war with a red sheet. Those are our newest. The oldest aren’t as interesting. People without tattoos give more meaning to them than the people with a lot of them, usually. Maybe.

Dark Dark Dark - Daydreaming