The Dark Third know how to make you feel. With deep progressive ties, this New Zealand-based quartet produce songs of "..dreams, ambitions and hopes" told through free-flowing musical structures, flirting with elements of ambient, shoegaze, black metal and the diverse spaces inbetween.

Supporting Tortoise on December 2 at the Kings Arms in Auckland with fellow locals Greenfog, we chatted to frontman Daniel Hay as part of our Two Minutes With series.

Describe your music in five words or less?

Suspended chords, reverb and reprises.

What’s going on in the world of The Dark Third?

We’re currently in the middle of procrastinating before recording our debut album, which I finished writing material for about three years ago now, so naturally we’ve become very good at procrastinating. I actually have to discipline myself to stop writing new material because it’s really just a more productive form of procrastination.

What motivates you to make music?

Really just the enjoyment of music itself. I know the feeling very well of finding a band I love or hearing music that moves me emotionally. For me to be able to create that same feeling in other people is something I’d love to achieve. 
What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?

Pretty much every show we do is a high point, even the less good ones. Releasing the single was the biggest high though, because it felt like we’d been sitting on so much music for so long but didn’t really have anything to show for it. Having actual material out there on the internet is such a massive boost, even if it is just a single. 

The low points pretty much all came during the early years when I was writing what will be our debut album. Nine different people joined and left the project and it became quite demoralising because I knew I couldn’t complete the album without a band, but I couldn’t seem to pull one together. Thankfully that’s all well behind us, this line-up has now been the same for 15 months and I can’t think of any low points since then.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Three quarters of us are currently forming a black metal band with the incomparably brilliant Ben Morley of Mice On Stilts, so I’ve been binging a bit on that kind of stuff, particularly anything with a really tortured atmosphere – Terra Tenebrosa, Gnaw Their Tongues, Deathspell Omega, Oathbreaker, Schammasch etc. Also Ihsahn’s Das Seelenbrechen album; some mental drum parts on that. All four of us have collectively become obsessed with Agent Fresco recently as well.

I can’t really speak for the rest of the band, but I know that Tommy has an Ed Sheeran CD in his car.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first? And why?

Definitely Tim, he’s the only one of us who isn’t studying a science and therefore would be utterly useless in the real world of desert islands.

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?

The New Zealand selectors just keep picking Martin Guptill, and I genuinely want to punch them for it. I’m actually typing this at Eden Park right now, and he’s at the crease on 52, with his closest rival for the spot back in the shed. Mike Hesson is about 20 metres from me and I’m really tempted to walk up to him and have a proper bitch, because I just know he’ll select him because of this meaningless 50 in a game that’s already drawn. Guptill will play his 50th test this summer. 50 tests and can’t average 30. What a man.

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring New Zealand artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.

Actually quite a difficult question, as I can’t personally say I’m a massive fan of many kiwi bands. Mice On Stilts to headline the Wine Cellar, with support from a risen-from-the-dead Battle Circus and Setentia.


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