Dark Fair are a garage/rock/pop duo from Melbourne. Following from their debut EP from last year, they have returned with their latest single Listen Up. Tomatrax caught up with Ellie Dunn, drummer from the band, to ask a few questions.
How did the band form?
Ramones and I met in Brisbane almost seven years ago. Our bands used to play together and then eventually, I talked her into letting me play drums in her band. Then she moved to Melbourne and I moved to Sydney. Pretty soon we missed making music together and decided to try a two-piece. After a few jams we realised we were onto something and I made the really responsible decision to quit my job and move to Melbourne.
Where did the name Dark Fair come from?
I think originally it came from a shirt Ramona had. Given our dark hair/fair hair combo, the name’s worked out quite well. I just can’t die my hair black anytime soon.
What made you pick Listen Up as your latest single?
Look I may be biased here, but I think it’s got a really great hook, power and energy to it. I remember the day we wrote it we both got goosebumps right away. Plus it’s really fun to play live.
There are some strong and confronting themes behind Listen Up, what was the inspiration behind the track?
It’s a song about the balance of power between partners in a relationship. It’s about remembering the need to have a voice, be heard, and not give up your identity.
What was it like working with Lindsay Gravina?
Really amazing. He’d worked with a lot of artists we love like Violent Soho and Magic Dirt so were so excited to work with him. He really took the time to understand our musical influences which really helped shape the sound of the track. And he introduced Ramona to using a POG pedal which has made our sound so much bigger.
You’ll be doing a show to launch your single at the end of the month, what can fans expect from your show?
A mind-blowing, earth-shattering, life-changing experience. Our friends Ouch My Face and Caws and Organs are playing too.
Your debut EP received a heap of critical acclaim and radio airplay, has this made you feel any pressure in putting together your follow up music?
I think it just made us more motivated than anything. Our sound’s developed quite a bit since our last EP so we were excited to capture that with Listen Up.
Are there any plans to put together an album?
We definitely want to! We just need a grant. Or a record deal. Or a sugar mama.
What was the inspiration behind the video for Poison?
We wanted to capture the lust/love theme of the song, as well as how we interact as a duo. We worked with a very talented director – Sarah-Jane Woulahan – and recorded it in this amazing attic space at Bakehouse Studios.
As a two-piece is it hard to get the sound you’re after?
No not at all, but that’s probably because Ramona’s such an amazing guitarist. Being a duo pushes us to be more creative if anything.
What was it like to play with They Might Be Giants?
Really, really awesome. They were such good guys. It was our first tour together and we got to travel around the country.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Of course! We’re working on some new songs at the moment so I’ve been listening to our demos a lot trying to work out drum patterns.
What other music do you listen to?
Right now I’m obsessed with the new songs from Courtney Barnett and Dorsal Fins. Oh and the new Sleater-Kinney album – No Cities to Love – it’s amazing.
What do you plan on doing after your single launch?
You mean after we get off stage? Probably hug Ramona and drink my weight in pale ale.
Dark Fair launches “Listen Up” at The Old Bar on February 28 with supports from Ouch My Face and Claws and Organs. Check out Dark Fair’s website to find out more!