Interview | Dark’s frontwoman discusses life on the road, pirated music
The Minneapolis band comes to Boston this week
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 01:10
Dark Dark Dark is on an international tour and putting Minnesotan music back on the map. Sometimes folky, sometimes jazzy, sometimes poppy and always boundary breaking, the Minneapolis-based band uses a huge variety of instruments to create its signature sound. The band’s most recent album, “Who Needs Who?” (2012), uses a piano, an accordion, a banjo, a clarinet and a trumpet along with other eclectic sounds.
Dark Dark Dark’s first full-length album can be found on YouTube under the Supply and Demand Music Channel, yet, perhaps more excitingly, the band will be playing a show in Boston tantalizingly soon, at the Great Scott at 1222 Commonwealth Avenue in Allston Oct. 9. At $12 a ticket, the show’s a great chance to see some of the best music the Midwest has to offer, for cheap.
In anticipation of Dark Dark Dark’s arrival in Bean Town, the Daily conducted an interview with Nona Marie Invie, the band’s pianist, lead vocalist and accordion player.
Tufts Daily: So, you guys are coming out to Boston soon; I’m looking forward to going out to your show. I want to know: How did all of you end up meeting?
Nona Invie: Well, a couple of us met in Minneapolis and ended up doing a lot of touring together. We sort of picked up more people along the way.
TD: You are about to release a new album on Oct. 2. What were your hopes for the new album? What direction did you want to take it in?
NI: The main thing that I wanted to accomplish was to make everything more collaborative, getting input from everyone in the band. We had a lot more time together to flush out songs and more time in the studio to make a full composition.
TD: Yeah, that’s good. I know labels can sometimes force a time frame. A recent study reported that pop music was becoming louder and using more of the same pitch and instrumentation. What’s your take on that?
NI: I think that all of us have selected instruments outside of the traditional guitar-pop music. It’s really great to play them for people, even though it’s not necessarily what you’d normally expect to hear at a rock concert. Except people are into it, and I think it’s refreshing to know that people want to listen to it.
TD: Neil Young stated recently that piracy is the “new radio.” As a smaller band, this can affect you a lot if it affects sales, and that’s a problem for you. What do you think about that?
NI: I guess I’ve been thinking about piracy, but I’m excited that people can hear the music. And it was never about the money, you know? That was never part of the reason to play music. At least not that I know. All I know is that the more people that hear it, the better. There’s a lot more to playing music than money. It’s a lot more than that.
TD: Yeah, it’s nice just to play music to express yourself.
NI: Anyway, I listen to a lot of pirated music. [Laughs] What am I supposed to say — that people shouldn’t when I do? I do it too. I try to go and support bands, in ways that I can. Everybody should do that now.
TD: Anyway, you guys definitely travel around a lot. Any good stories from being on the road?
NI: Hmm, any good stories? Not really. [Laughs] No, I don’t really have any good stories. But I just love the little idiosyncrasies of people. The different ways of driving. It’s so true. The people from New York drive differently from the people in Pittsburgh, from the people in LA and Minneapolis. I just absolutely love discovering those little things about the regions of the earth.
TD: What are your big influences when writing?
NI: Well, recently I’ve just been trying to channel something new. [Laughs] I don’t really know if that make much sense. I’ve just been trying to be inspired by the world around me in a new way, rather than just playing something I’ve already done. I’m trying to discover something new about my music.
TD: Well, that’s about it. Any final thoughts?
NI: Nope, that’s it. See you on the East Coast!