Dark Dark Dark emerges with new album

Hannah Smothers

Folk-pop band Dark Dark Dark has emerged from, well, the dark with their third full-length album Who Needs Who. The band is currently touring after a brief two year respite spent recording, and perhaps nursing the tender wounds of the break-up between lead-singer Nona Marie Invie and band member Marshall LaCount. The Daily Texan spoke to LaCount about music, love and life in New Orleans.

The Daily Texan: How did Dark Dark Dark get started?
Marshall LaCount: We started in Minneapolis in 2006. It was pretty much just Nona and I and some other friends, and we wanted a way to travel to New Orleans. We wanted to be able to play music along the way. We didn’t intend to be a band for very long. We didn’t even know how to play our instruments.

DT: How did the band evolve into what it is today from the trip in 2006?
LaCount: It was too fun, and the chemistry was too good to ignore. None of us were even in bands really before. Our songs were more acoustic-like folk and Eastern European songs back then. That’s what we learned on and then we just started. Once we got the piano, we wanted to have more control over our dynamic and have more subtlety. That’s when we started being more classical, more jazz and more pop.

DT: Is that why you wanted to go to New Orleans, for the jazz?
LaCount: We didn’t go there on a musical mission to learn something about jazz or anything. We went there because we didn’t have anything else to do and it was warmer there. A lot of people were helping with Hurricane Katrina relief at the time, and our friends had a house they were working on.

DT: I’ve heard the band described as a group of nomads, any idea where that came from?
LaCount: It comes from the way that we formed, because we were literally a band for two weeks before our first tour. We just wrote these songs and booked our own tour and paid for gas that way, and we’ve been on tour almost constantly since then. I don’t even have a permanent address really, I live somewhere between New Orleans, New York and Minneapolis. We come from travelling communities.

DT: You and Nona just ended what I understand was a pretty long and serious relationship.
LaCount: It was super long, and it stated like six months after the band started, and then it lasted until, like, a while ago. It was pretty dramatic. It was really intense for a really long time, it still is.

DT: Has the relationship and the ending of the relationship affected your professional relations at all?
LaCount: We toured through most of our break-up. It’s still tense sometimes, but we have problems probably in the way that any other band has problems.

DT: Did the break-up have anything to do with the fact that Nona is now the primary lead singer of the band?
LaCount: It was just time to try and make a really coherent body of songs. Even the few I wrote the lyrics to, I wanted Nona to sing. I didn’t want to break the feel of the record that abruptly with my own voice.

DT: Was that change intentional at all?
LaCount: It wasn’t intentional; it’s just our growth and our ranging, and what we’re having fun doing right now. It’s just what is happening kind of naturally. It’s more accessible, and some of our most experimental sound is hidden in that accessibility.