Interview | Schmercury best album nominees Dark Dark Dark

Minnesota band Dark Dark Dark’s second album Wild Go is a thing of bold and awkward beauty. There was little question over its inclusion on this year’s best album shortlist – it’s never off the playlist at FFS. Stephen Thomas said: “The ideas are so coherently gathered, so wonderfully put together that you cannot help but fall for these swooning chamber folk ballads.”

The lovely and jolly funny Marshall LaCount – banjo, clarinet and vocals (now there’s a trio to warm your cockles) answers our questions…

For Folk’s Sake: Congratulations, you’ve been nominated for a Schmercury Best Album award. How do you feel?

Marshall: Honoured and flattered, especially in such great company for nominations.  We always enjoy awards shows and festivals that sprout up in rebellion against the giants.  For example “Gay by Gay Gay,” and “Fuck by Fuck You,” happen during South by South West time, and Night Trotter attempts to stick it to  Also, secretly, it makes us feel one step closer to winning an actual Mercury Prize, which we will probably also do with our next record.


What do you think of the Mercury nominations?

I did, for some reason, look them up at one point.  I stopped at Ghostpoet, and listened to a little bit of that.  I am also sorting out a resentment against Anna Calvi, as we played back-to-back at Abbey Road studios for our “Live at Abbey Road” sessions.  I think she had a fan blowing her hair around.  Unfortunately, our team did not think to send a fan with us, hence our hair was not blowing around.

Keep an eye out for the session, though!  I’m also disappointed in our team for not “getting us Adele” when I told them to, before she was so famous.  I wanted DDD to open for her on an “epic female vocalists and body-positive-famous girls” bill that would’ve stolen the world.

Aside from your own, what’s your favourite album on the Schmercuries list?

For myself it is definitely Wye Oak’s Civilian.  I try to bring this record up in interviews and lists as often as possible, along with Callers’ Life of Love, as being great.  I got to meet them this year, and I get to see them play with the National and Yo La Tengo in…oh, TOMORROW!!!  I suspect that Nona may choose the Fleet Foxes record, as she is much more inclined toward elaborate harmonies and crooning.


What album (released in the past year) have we missed off the list?

I would say the Callers Life of Love record.  You really MUST check it out.  Also, Caethua just put out a record on the Mississippi Records imprint Water Wings, called “Summer is Over Before Its Begun.”

How do you feel about Wild Go now it has been released into the world?

Well, WORLD sounds a little bit big, since we’ve only played two shows outside of white ol’ western Europe, in Portugal, (still west).  We’d love to play some special shows in the Greater World also, and to have distribution reaching that far.  I think the trickle-around effect is working.  We’ve had people from Mexico cross the border and drive across Texas to see us in Austin… we have people in South America writing to us, and some messages from Turkey and India.  About your question, we feel very fortunate to be reaching people and to be able to go to France or London or Hamburg, and to know our way around, like we are in an extension of our own neighborhood.  We also feel proud having built this music and its support from nothing, because we love making it, and playing it for people.


Did you know it was special when you were making it?

We are obsessed with making it because we have to, yes, because we have a feeling it is special for some reason.


What do you think about the critics and fans’ reaction? Was it what you expected?

This is usually a strange question because we don’t actually understand the critics’ and fans’ reactions.  Maybe we trust the fans’ reactions more.  We have always been a touring band, and based on a live show experience.  Some journalists and critics have responded well, and consider their work very carefully, some just write something because they are supposed to.  We don’t read too much anymore.  People write weird comments on YouTube or whatever, it seems that once you are public, people are going to take whatever liberties they want with saying something about you or your work.  (The strangest efforts being personal (outfit, etc.) attacks). Its really important that we stay focused on our music and our process and magic.

We are extremely happy that people like our music and grow intimate with it..

What is your favourite album ever?

Ouch, I don’t know.  A list maybe?  I think we like Neil Young, Antony, Sam Cooke, Kate Bush, Bill Callahan, Arthur Russell, and could never pick a best album.  That doesn’t cover any world, dance, rap, or classical music, either.


Do you have plans for your next album?

Yes, we’ve got some demos under our belt, our line-up is set, and we are very excited to make a great record.  It should be ready for late summer in the Year of the Apocalypse.  Just kidding, 2012.


We’re sorry that Barclaycard aren’t sponsoring us to give the Schmercuries winner a million pounds. If they were, and we did, what would you do with it?

Nona and I each need a living situation that is more permanent, with a baby grand in the music room.  Her’s can have a 9′ grand, actually, perhaps a Fazioli or a Bosendorfer.  I seem to have a designer-jeans-from-thrift-stores problem right now.  Nona would probably get a dog.  We’d pay out the band.  I would get a nicer pillow and maybe a real mattress.  Probably not, though.  OH!  We would get a Sprinter van.  Probably black.  Then we would tour EVEN MORE!!!

I could develop my teen-dance-marching-band in New Orleans. Nona could develop her children’s choir.  We could make the world’s most epic SAD CHILDREN’S RECORD FOR ADULTS, a la Langley Schools Music Project, times 100!!!

[FFS: I really want to hear this record]


Dark Dark Dark

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