The Washington DC band 3 was made up of Geoff Turner, Steve Niles, Mark Haggerty (all formerly in the band Gray Matter), and Jeff Nelson. In early 1986, Nelson and his former Minor Threat bandmate Ian MacKaye had recorded together in a project called Egg Hunt. Contemplating the idea of turning Egg Hunt into a full-time band, MacKaye invited Turner and Niles to jam. The project didn't work out, but Jeff Nelson, who had never met the members of Gray Matter before, hit it off with Turner and Niles, whose pop leanings were probably more in line with Nelson's tastes than MacKaye's. Nelson, Turner, and Niles soon formed 3 with Haggerty, who had returned from school in New Zealand. The name apparently originated when Jeff Nelson was asked how many people were in his new band and forgot to count himself.
Gray Matter, like most of the DC Revolution Summer bands, had been short-lived and didn't tour. However, many members of those deceased bands quickly re-grouped to form touring acts. Unlike their counterparts, 3 didn't get far beyond the DC area, due, at least in part, to Steve Niles dedication to the small comic book company, Arcane Comix, that he ran out of his apartment. 3 called it quits in 1988, shortly before the release of their LP, Dark Days Coming.
After this, Gray Matter reformed for a final record. Jeff Nelson and Jeff Turner continued to play in a few bands over the years, including Wonderama and Senator Flux, neither of which would record for Dischord Records, which Nelson, ironically, co-owned. Nelson eventually retired from active performing in 1992 and recently relocated to Ohio but still continues to co-own Dischord Records, as well as being sole owner of another label, Adult Swim.
DARK DAYS COMING LP/CD (Dischord Records, 1989)
STATE OF THE UNION LP (Dischord Records, 1989)
20 YEARS OF DISCHORD 3xCD (Dischord Records, 2002)
Band History written by Patrick