The 3Ds

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The 3Ds
The 3Ds, at the Windmill, Blenheim Gardens (Brixton, London).jpg
Background information
Origin Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Genres Rock
Years active 1988–1997, 2009-2010
Associated acts Ghost Club
Members Dominic Stones
Denise Roughan
David Saunders
Dave Mitchell

The 3Ds were an alternative pop/rock band based from Dunedin, New Zealand, together from 1988 to 1997. The band was formed in May 1988 by

The band's name referred to the members names all starting with "D". In 1989 they were joined by another "D",

Soon after the three became four they ventured out to play some live shows. These were mainly improvised songs, short sets and a Neil Young cover. The idea was to make a crazy, riffy, stick in your head noise, and to have fun. Three of the group were neighbours. All had been in other New Zealand bands, Stones was in Bird Nest Roys and Snapper and Roughan had been in Look Blue Go Purple. Mitchell had been in Goblin Mix and The Exploding Budgies and Saunders in the teen-folk band The Battling Strings. The band believed that making music ought to be about friends getting together, an attitude they maintained throughout their time together.

In 1992 the band played with Nirvana in New Zealand. This was followed by a brief tour of the United States supporting their first album Hellzapoppin and performing at the CMJ New Music Festival in New York City. In 1994 they toured Australia and also returned to the United States in support of their second album, 'The Venus Trail' released on Merge Records. The release of The 3Ds music on Merge Records had come about when Superchunk and The 3Ds played together on the 3Ds first trip to the States. The Venus Trail tour also took the band to the UK for the first time, where they played a sold out debut show, were awarded 'Band of the week' in Melody Maker, 'Album of the week' in the NME, and also recorded a John Peel session. Following the UK shows the band returned to the US to tour with Pavement, Superchunk, and Guided By Voices.

The 3Ds returned the favor to Pavement, Superchunk, and Portastatic, touring with them in NZ and Australia when the US bands made their first footsteps 'down under'. Following this, The 3Ds played two stadium shows supporting U2 on their Zoo TV tour in New Zealand. Another tour of Australia performing main-stage on The Big Day Out series of shows followed, along with more shows in New Zealand and Australia up to the summer of 1997.

The distinctive cover art on the band's albums was designed by Mitchell, who is also a graphic artist. The cover of The Venus Trail was drawn by him left-handed.

The band drifted apart after releasing their third album, Strange News from the Angels, in 1997. Mitchell and Roughan soon moved to London, where they went on to form the Ghost Club.

In July 2009, The 3Ds got together to play two shows at the Merge Records 20th anniversary festival, held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A documentary film of the festival at the Cats Cradle is planned. In 2010, the 3Ds toured New Zealand, including the inaugural Laneways festival in New Zealand. This was followed by an invitation to play the Pavement curated All Tomorrows Parties festival in the UK.

The group's out of print albums have been made available again by the resurrected Flying Nun label.



Year Title Details Peak chart
1991 Fish Tales/Swarthy Songs for Swabs
1992 Hellzapoppin' 24
1993 The Venus Trail 12
1996 Strange News from the Angels
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Details Peak chart
1990 Fish Tales
1991 Swarthy Songs For Swabs
1993 Beautiful Things
1994 Caterwauling
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Featured appearances[edit]


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
1992 "Outer Space" Hellzapoppin
1993 "Beautiful Things" 49 The Venus Trail
"Hey Seuss"
1996 "Dust" Strange News from the Angels
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c "3Ds discography". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 

External links[edit]