Q&A with Dark Dark Dark


photo courtesy of Dark Dark Dark

Dark Dark Dark hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota, but spend much of their time on the road. Their sound blends moody piano and clarion female vocals with understated percussion and layers of cello, accordion and horns to create a dark, dramatic and beautiful melange. Dark Dark Dark is currently on tour in support of their new album Who Needs Who, and you can see them play tonight, Monday, October 15th at DC9. We Love DC’s Alexia Kauffman got to have a little chat with Nona Marie from Dark Dark Dark recently, and here’s how it went.

Alexia: So how did you first start playing music, and singing?

Nona: Well there was a piano in the house, and we always just played.

Alexia: In your family house?

Nona: Yeah, in my family house, when I was a kid.

Alexia: And how did you start singing?

Nona: My mom sang a lot around the house just listening to the radio and, I don’t know, singing in the car.

Alexia: Are there any singers past or present that really inspire you?

Nona: I mean yeah, every singer inspires me. It’s my favorite thing.

Alexia: Are there any artists or albums that first made you fall in love with music?

Nona: Yeah, I guess I really loved listening to that Joni Mitchell Blue record- that was a good one.

Alexia: How did Dark Dark Dark come together?

Nona: We just, Marshall and I just started playing together in Minneapolis, um and then just started traveling around and meeting people and playing with different people, and sort of over time it became what it is.

photo courtesy of Dark Dark Dark

Alexia: So I see you all have a new album out?

Nona: Yeah.

Alexia: Can you tell us a little bit about the album and what the experience of making that was like?

Nona: Sure. It was, well it felt like we were all really ready to make a new record, for sure. It had been a couple years since Wild Go came out, and it was really fun working with everybody- it felt really collaborative for the first time. But yeah, just being able to come together and really work out the songs in a new way, a way that we hadn’t before.

Alexia: So how was the process different before?

Nona: I think that because we had traveled so much and the lineup was always changing it never felt as much of a collaboration, and this time we’ve been playing with these people for, I guess it’s been a year and a half probably playing with the same people, and so when we got together to work on the record it felt , just felt more, it felt like a complete body of work that we’ve all contributed to.

Alexia: Where did you record it?

Nona: We recorded it in New Orleans, in Algiers, actually.

Alexia: Oh cool, how did that come about?

Nona: Well, Walter lives in New Orleans and Marshall had been living there, and I’d lived there before, so we just have a lot of love for New Orleans. the studio, called The Living Room is really beautiful. Yeah, they got a really nice piano for us and it felt great to stay down there in the springtime and work it out.

Alexia: Do you have any other creative outlets?

Nona: Mostly just playing music- I have a choir, a women’s choir in Minneapolis, called Anonymous Choir, and lately I’ve been playing some more electronic music with people, a project called Ronia, which is fun. I’ve just been putting them out on cassette tapes. So they’re on cassettes and on bandcamp.

Alexia: Awesome. So what is the music scene like in Minneapolis?

Nona:  There’s a lot of bands and a lot of venues. It’s a great place to see music. But I guess I’ve just been out of town so much on tour and living other places that I feel like I haven’t really grown up in the scene, but I feel like I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to participate because it is really vibrant, with a lot of amazing people doing amazing things, and I want to be a part of it.

Alexia: I know you all do spend a ton of time on the road. Do you have any favorite or memorable moment from tour?

Nona: I feel like my most memorable moment is when we find some beautiful places to swim, and have some, like, epic, major adventures, because it doesn’t happen very often that we have the time. Like swimming in the Yuba river in California, with like, huge, white boulders, and people jumping off of the boulders. Swimming, and getting sucked into weird caves and being shot out on the other side and everything.

Alexia: That sounds amazing!

Nona: Yeah!

Alexia: So what’s on the horizon for you all?

Nona: We’re going to be on tour a bunch going around with this new record, and we’re going to Australia soon, which is really exciting- I’ve never been to Australia. Hopefully this record will take us to some nice, new places!

You can check out Dark Dark Dark’s new single “How It Went Down” from their new album Who Needs Who here. And check out the video for Dark Dark Dark‘s gorgeous song “Daydreaming” here.

See Dark Dark Dark tonight at DC9!

Dark Dark Dark

w/Emily Wells
8:30pm / 18+ / $14


Alexia Kauffman

Alexia was born and raised in Arlington, VA. She has been a cellist since age four, and a lover of rock & roll soon after. The first tape she owned was “Make It Big” by Wham, and the first tape she bought was Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” and she still loves both. She was a member of local synth-rock outfit Soft Complex for several years, and has recorded with bands including Engine Down and Two if By Sea. By day she works for a non-profit distributing royalties to musicians and labels. She currently plays cello, lap-steel guitar and tambourine in the DC post-folk/Americana band The Torches.

Comments are closed.