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Interview: DMA's

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Sydney band DMA’s have shook the British music industry like no Australian musician has before.

Well, actually, Kylie did get us a bit excited...

Celebrating the release of their second album For Now, DMA’s have been touring the UK selling out venues with their britpop inspired tunes. We caught up with Johnny Took the day after DMA’s Brighton Concord 2 gig whilst he was looking into a classic tomato and basil soup.

What’s going on right now in the world of DMA’s?

Right now we are just touring and celebrating finally having the new album out.

Your second album has just been released, so let’s talk about it! During the two years since the first album, has your sound changed in any way?

The sound has changed totally! We were working with Kim Moyes from electronic band The Presets and he brought new things to the table and we took the writing process outside of the bedroom, which is where we wrote most of the songs on the first album. We were in a better studio and we took a little bit more time thinking about the sounds and whatnot.

What was the focus in this follow up album? Most musicians try to challenge what they did in their first album…

We didn’t really think about it as a follow up album or a second album, we just wanted to make sure the songs were good and just not overthink it. I think if you overthink it, you can sound contrived. We just wanted to do the songs justice... if the songs needed forty guitars then the song had forty guitars. That was our only focus.

You’re out on tour now, what’s been the highlight so far?

Our gig in Manchester was pretty cool, that was a pretty great gig. Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock came to see us, that was pretty cool. The highlight really has just been being able to get the record out and have everybody listening to it.

Are there any venues that you aim to play one day?

On this tour we are playing at the Barrowlands in Scotland just because it looks like a really great venue. The thing with the UK is that there are so many venues and we are still discovering them. We supported The Kooks at Usher Hall in Edinburgh and that was pretty cool, hopefully one day we can go back there and play our own show.

How does the audience differ compared to back at home in Australia?

They don’t differ that much, I mean going up north is a bit more raucus… everyone is still respectful though which is cool. 

Over in the UK, we aren't aware of any indie bands really making it from Australia, obviously you have Tame Impala but a band inspired by britpop… how did you find yourself being inspired by a movement that changed UK music industry?

Luckily we had a group of friends who were all into that kind of music. We would just sit around in our rooms and play the records, pretty cool.

What was the song that made you want to go out and make music?

Oh definitely ‘Let The Wind Carry Me’ by Joni Mitchell.

Has it been as easy or hard as you thought it might have been getting signed and having your music heard? What’s it like in Australia trying to break into the music industry?

We’ve worked hard but we’ve also had a lot of luck. A lot of bands will make great music but it just doesn’t drop at the right time. Luckily we had what we had and we worked hard.

Are there any bands from home that you’re backing at the moment?

There’s a punk band from Sydney called Royal Headache who are really good, people over here should certainly be listening to them. And my brother’s band who are supporting us called PLANET who have been pretty cool to tour with.

Obviously it’s clear that you are heavily inspired by Oasis, and you’re supporting Liam at Finsbury Park, how does that feel?

We try not to overthink these things and tell ourselves it’s another show, it’s just another show. We are obviously going to enjoy playing there but for us it won’t change the band, we just play our parts and play them well. People have paid money for a ticket to see us support Liam Gallagher so we are going to do our bit and enjoy it. It’s going to be our biggest show to date so it is exciting. Getting to support Liam Gallagher… it’s pretty damn cool. We will have to see how it pans out in a couple of months or so.

Liam Gallagher’s gig at Finsbury Park falls right in the middle of festival season and seems like a festival in itself, The Liam Gallagher Festival…

It’s certainly like that, you’ve got amazing bands like Wolf Alice and The Sherlocks supporting him alongside us and other musicians. It’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty good day.

Noel Gallagher once said he would ‘boo’ them from the side of the stage at Governors Ball in 2015, what happened there?

I think he was just mucking around, being Noel Gallagher. To be fair he probably would boo us…

One moment that made a lot of people aware of your music was when you covered Cher, who is one very successful female musician. The music industry seems to be still stuck in its ways, we see a lot of festivals fronted by male musicians. How are DMA’s, as a band, trying to to back the women in the music industry? Are there any female musicians that you feel need more airtime?

I think just in general the attitude towards women in all aspects of society needs to change. There’s been a lot of hard work done to support women but there is still a long way to go. People need to be aware of that in the future, the way we should have been a very long time ago. There’s a lot of amazing artists out there, there’s a musician called Hatchie who is supporting us on our Australian tour in June who everybody should be listening too. She’s an amazing songwriter and has amazing tunes.

What does the future hold for DMA’s?

We’re just going to stick to writing songs and producing great records. We will be looking after ourselves and experimenting with our sound. We are still working it out and we are still a pretty young band.


DMA’s are currently touring the UK on their For Now tour. Tickets are available here.

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