The Hilarious Misanthropy of Dark Blue’s John Sharkey III

“Honestly, nothing has really changed except my songwriting prowess,” says John Sharkey III about the difference between his brilliant noise rock band Clockcleaner and his brand new outfit, Dark Blue.

“I was pretty good before,” Sharkey says, “but now I’m much better. I do the same thing as always — I write it all in my head, every part. I don’t sit down with a guitar and contemplate the stars, pining for inspiration. That’s nonsense.”

From 2003-08, Clockcleaner provided scabrous relief from the rising tide of folk-informed American indie strum. Driven by Sharkey’s throat-ruining screams, Clockcleaner marked a return to the boisterous bygone days of bands like Big Black, Dazzling Killmen and Rapeman.

And then, after a handful of singles and two excellent albums (including the brilliantly-titled Nevermind), Clockcleaner fell to pieces following a particularly disastrous trip home from South By Southwest in 2008.

To hear Sharkey tell it, the demise was inevitable. “I was rapidly outgrowing the people Clockcleaner was attracting,” he says. “Getting emails from people I’d never met that started with “Hey, [homophobic expletive]!” was starting to wear on my patience.” Tellingly, the slow-roast, mind-cramp sludge on the final EP Auf Wiedersehen (Load, 2009) was a far cry from the band’s original noise punk urges, and paved the way for Sharkey’s next project, Dark Blue.

“I started singing in a lower register near the end and [Clockcleaner bassist] Karen [Horner] was like, ‘That sounds kind of like Peter Murphy’ which lent itself to writing slower and lower.”

After spending time in Australia on and off from 2009-13 (his wife, whom he met during that ill-fated SXSW, is Australian) and knocking out a few records with a new outfit called Puerto Rico Flowers, Sharkey put together Dark Blue with bassist Andrew Mackie Nelson (also of hardcore band Ceremony) and drummer Mike Sneeringer (of Purling Hiss) in early 2013. Pure Reality, the group’s full-length debut, is a knowing throwback to the mid-tempo Oi! records Sharkey obsessed over as a lad in Philly.

Read more on Sharkey’s interview here!


Dark Blue will be playing a FREE, LIVE In-store Performance at Rough Trade NYC on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26th! To make the news even more exciting, Sean McGuinness of Pissed Jeans will be playing drums for the band at this special show.

This will be the band’s first show after the release of their full-length LP, Pure Reality. This is definitely a show you don’t want to miss, so mark your calendars!

To purchase Pure Reality, please visit the Jade Tree eStore here

To purchase the band’s second 7″, Just Another Night With The Boys, please visit the Jade Tree eStore here



Pure Reality is now out!

Dark Blue‘s debut album Pure Reality is now available in stores and online!

Dark Blue Pure Reality

Track Listing

1. Never Afraid / Never Alone
2. Here On My Street
3. Dear Iris
4. Sounds Like Hell On Earth
5. I Can’t Take Another Year
6. Hanging From The Chandelier
7. City Eyes
8. Always Ready To Leave

You can purchase the album on vinyl and CD here.

Dark Blue will be playing a FREE, LIVE in-store performance on October 26th at Rough Trade NYC! This is a show you don’t want to miss! Keep an eye on the Jade Tree website for all upcoming news and tour details for Dark Blue.

If you missed it’s release this summer, take a minute now to check out Dark Blue’s Just Another Night With the Boys 7″

Dark Blue’s second 7″ Just Another Night With The Boys is still available for purchase on the Jade Tree eStore here.