DMA’s Interview

Most bands consist of members that have put in gruelling work in other projects. Most bands don’t make it out of their hometown to play across the globe. Most bands don’t have songs taking over the airwaves.
Exposed caught up with guitarist Johnny Took of DMA’s to see what the secret is to achieve these things and how to piss off an Australian hairdresser in the meantime… 

Most bands consist of members that have put in gruelling work in other projects. Most bands don’t make it out of their hometown to play across the globe. Most bands don’t have songs taking over the airwaves.

Exposed caught up with guitarist Johnny Took of DMA’s to see what the secret is to achieve these things, and how to piss off an Australian hairdresser in the meantime…

Where in the world are you?

Sat in stoke in a hotel room in stoke, smashing some Cumberland sausage from room service.

DMA’s consists of members that have been in varius bands before. Since forming the band in Sydney, how has your sound shifted?

The one that Tommy and I were in was a bit more Phych-y bit like The Black Angles and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Then Mason was doing metal bands and I had played some bluegrass stuff with Mason before as well, just heaps of different stuff.

What influenced you guys when growing up?

I listened to more like Dylan, Neild Young and Springsteen growing up then when I got older I started listening to early 90’s stuff like Oasis, Stone Roses and The La’s. We have a big group of mates that all started listening to that scene.

You seem to be a pretty DIY band, how have to found the transition into a mainstream act now more people are involved?

Well it hasn’t extended that much; our UK label in particular is really good. In terms of who we work with has been cool. It hasn’t got over the top, we keep it closely knit and since we have been touring non stop for the past couple of years we have gotten to know everyone we work with.

What was it about this project that has made it huge?

Tommy’s voice probably has a big part of it, he’s just a great singer. He didn’t even know he was a good singer until a few years ago either! That’s a big part of it. I think there is a certain degree of candid to the songs as well, in world with lots of EDM and Hip Hop and stuff, maybe it just sounds a little bit different? Also we recorded everything in my bedroom, so it doesn’t sound like it’s come out of a big expensive studio or anything.

Album has just come out and you guys have enough songs for a second one, how do you guys write?

Its different every time. We just get a whole bunch of ideas and slice ideas together or I will just write or me and tom then Mason will come in and add or take away bits. We also like to write whilst we record as well. We like to write the song in one go then just send it away in an email and come back to it later on.

What’s your favourite song of the new album?

“Timeless” , it’s probably my favour guitar part mason did on the album. Also I remember writing that song originally on a banjo, like a cowboy song, I like the way it has evolved.

How did you guys break your way out of Sydney?

I don’t know, we play The Great Escape festival a couple of years ago, then a bunch of different festivals. It was nice to get the opportunities and build on that.

But tonight we play the Sugarmill in Stoke and I love the guts that these kind of smaller venues have. There always the kind of shows that can leave a lasting impression.

Do you prefer those bigger festivals or smaller more intimate shows?

Probably our own shows to be honest, we haven’t done our own, late night headliner slot or anything yet at a festival but I reckon that would be pretty damn special.

Any advice for a band to take the next steps and gain the momentum you guys have right now? 

Just write a shit load of songs, cause at least if you do it now it makes it a lot easier. Some bands when they start a project only have like nine songs, so they have 45 min set or whatever, but if you start with 30/40 songs, the nine that you pick will be a lot stronger.

What comes next for DMA’s?

We’re looking forward to getting back to the writing to be honest, we have a few weeks off then some more festivals in the summer at Christmas time back in Australia. We will have to get a new studio to write in though as we have been evicted from our one. We were having an ongoing war with the hairdresser downstairs. We accidently rehearsed a bit late on night and he was saying he couldn’t hear himself think… 

Its funny that you are on your way to becoming rockstars, yet you still get told off for playing to loud… Humbeling?

(laughs) Yeah! He was a prick though….

Any last words?

Come see us out on tour, we have a six piece band at the minuet and the shows are insane so come down and hang out.

 Where in the world are youSat in stoke in a hotel room in stoke, smashing some Cumberland sausage from room service.

DMA’s consists of members that have been in varius bands before. Since forming the band in Sydney, how has your sound shifted?

The one that Tommy and I were in was a bit more Phych-y bit like The Black Angles and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Then Mason was doing metal bands and I had played some bluegrass stuff with Mason before as well, just heaps of different stuff.

What influenced you guys when growing up?

I listened to more like Dylan, Neild Young and Springsteen growing up then when I got older I started listening to early 90’s stuff like Oasis, Stone Roses and The La’s. We have a big group of mates that all started listening to that scene.

You seem to be a pretty DIY band, how have to found the transition into a mainstream act now more people are involved?

Well it hasn’t extended that much; our UK label in particular is really good. In terms of who we work with has been cool. It hasn’t got over the top, we keep it closely knit and since we have been touring non stop for the past couple of years we have gotten to know everyone we work with.

What was it about this project that has made it huge?

Tommy’s voice probably has a big part of it, he’s just a great singer. He didn’t even know he was a good singer until a few years ago either! That’s a big part of it. I think there is a certain degree of candid to the songs as well, in world with lots of EDM and Hip Hop and stuff, maybe it just sounds a little bit different? Also we recorded everything in my bedroom, so it doesn’t sound like it’s come out of a big expensive studio or anything.

Album has just come out and you guys have enough songs for a second one, how do you guys write?

Its different every time. We just get a whole bunch of ideas and slice ideas together or I will just write or me and tom then Mason will come in and add or take away bits. We also like to write whilst we record as well. We like to write the song in one go then just send it away in an email and come back to it later on.

What’s your favourite song of the new album?

“Timeless” , it’s probably my favour guitar part mason did on the album. Also I remember writing that song originally on a banjo, like a cowboy song, I like the way it has evolved.

How did you guys break your way out of Sydney?

I don’t know, we play The Great Escape festival a couple of years ago, then a bunch of different festivals. It was nice to get the opportunities and build on that.

But tonight we play the Sugarmill in Stoke and I love the guts that these kind of smaller venues have. There always the kind of shows that can leave a lasting impression.

Do you prefer those bigger festivals or smaller more intimate shows?

Probably our own shows to be honest, we haven’t done our own, late night headliner slot or anything yet at a festival but I reckon that would be pretty damn special.

Any advice for a band to take the next steps and gain the momentum you guys have right now? 

Just write a shit load of songs, cause at least if you do it now it makes it a lot easier. Some bands when they start a project only have like nine songs, so they have 45 min set or whatever, but if you start with 30/40 songs, the nine that you pick will be a lot stronger.

What comes next for DMA’s?

We’re looking forward to getting back to the writing to be honest, we have a few weeks off then some more festivals in the summer at Christmas time back in Australia. We will have to get a new studio to write in though as we have been evicted from our one. We were having an ongoing war with the hairdresser downstairs. We accidently rehearsed a bit late on night and he was saying he couldn’t hear himself think… 

Its funny that you are on your way to becoming rockstars, yet you still get told off for playing to loud… Humbeling?

(laughs) Yeah! He was a prick though….

Any last words?

Come see us out on tour, we have a six piece band at the minuet and the shows are insane so come down and hang out!
 

 

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