Musical Rooms

April 8, 2009

Musical Rooms Part 70: Dark Room Notes


“After spending the past few years moving our musical room from bedroom to van to rehearsal studio and back again on a thrice-weekly basis, we have finally settled into a (so far) permanent home, inside some sort of pod in a disused steel factory with possible asbestos issues. However we are willing to ignore these for the convenience of not having to take apart all our gear after a mere three hours rehearsing. We’ve already befriended the Beetle restorer next door, and he’s offered the use of his cars for our next video, which is now provisionally titled ‘Herbie Goes Electro’.

It’s a small room, and we’ve just got our hands on a large PA system. We’ve had our hands on a very loud and very enthusiastic drummer for a number of years now, so tinnitus will surely soon be joining asbestos poisoning on our list of health concerns. But aside from those, we’ve settled in nicely to our new surroundings. It means we can now afford to write as a group rather than come up with ideas in our respective bedrooms, and can come and go as we please. We’ve tried to personalise it a bit with lamps and wall hangings and the like, but an accident involving a (borrowed) acoustic guitar and a brand new lamp that Arran bought has left us a little worried about fire safety. We’ve also outlawed smoking in the room, though this has led to a nasty accumulation of butts just outside the door.

Enough about health issues.

We’ve managed to gather around us quite a lot of equipment through various channels. Some pieces have been consciously lent to us. Others have been saved from the attics of disinterested former musicians. Still others we’re hoping the owners will have forgotten about by now. My personal favourite is the glockenspiel that the band gave Arran for her birthday, and which we bust out for acoustic performances. There has yet to be a song written which can’t be improved by the addition of a glockenspiel. Though we were assured of the soundproofedness of the studio when we moved in, we’ve discovered that a layer of rockwool is no protection against the curious sounds emanating from the other pod across the corridor. We never realised that the tin whistle had a role to play in the world of death metal, but it’s a strangely successful marriage. We’ll resist the temptation to add one to our own sound. For now.

The studio has already appeared in the video for ‘Let’s Light Fires’, the first single from our album, and was almost burnt the ground as a result. Considering we’ve named it the Dark Ark in homage to Lee Scratch Perry’s ill-fated Black Ark, that might have been a fitting, though a little premature, end.”

Dublin-based electronic pop act Dark Room Notes first appeared in 2007 with a single, ‘Love Like Nicotine’, and the EP Dead Start Program. Their debut album, We Love You Dark Matter, was recorded in London last summer, and is released this Friday April 10th on Gonzo Records. The band play The Academy 2, Dublin on Thursday April 9th, Auntie Annie’s in Belfast on May 22nd, Galway’s Roisin Dubh on May 23rd and Cyprus Avenue, Cork on May 24th. For more information – and to hear the lead single ‘Let’s Light Fires’ – go to

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1 Comment »

  1. The discoball is a genius touch. Insightful as ever.

    Comment by rdlp715 — April 21, 2009 @ 2:27 pm |Reply

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