Interview with... DMA'S

DMA’s are a band you may have heard of in the past 12 months. With appearances at Brighton’s The Great Escape, and several tours around the country, the Sydney trio came to light with their hit singles ‘Laced’ and ‘Delete’. With a debut record on the horizon, It’s All Indie met with Johnny Took, their acoustic guitarist, to discuss everything to do with DMA’s. 

Who would you say your main influences are within the band? From listening to your music I can hear a lot of similarities between yourselves and The Stone Roses. Are they quite a big influence of yours?
J: I can understand why people think that because we do love those sorts of bands but if you look at Mason’s influences he listens to bands like Dinosaur Juniors and Sonic Youth and all those American type rock bands and I grew up listening to a lot of Dylan, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen which is a bit more folky. When we got all this together it created what we are. 
Since you started three years ago, how would you say your music has evolved since then? 
J: We’ve learnt a lot about just how to write tunes in general and what sort of tunes we want to be writing now. Also when we first started we were more of a recording band so we didn’t gig for about two and a half years and so although we’re a six piece band we’re promoted as a three piece because it was more about the song writing than the playing live so we’re working on that a lot more recently obviously with this tour. 
As a band, what has been your biggest challenge? 
J: For me personally it’s my guitar feeding back, because everything is so loud it’s hard to get the levels right and my guitar always feeds back on stage. 
After playing your fair share of festivals this summer including Latitude and Leeds & Reading which one was your favourite?
J: Leeds was pretty good. Latitude was alright but Leeds was better, it was a bigger stage and a better timeslot.
What’s the maddest thing or the most ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ thing that’s happened at one of your gigs?
J: It normally involves Tommy falling out the van and hitting his head on a parked car, that’s happened a few times. There was one time actually at a festival in San Francisco where we played a really early slot and we got our rider really early and we didn’t realise that we had another slot later on. Anyway, we did a few interviews and made the most of the rider and then we realised we had another slot. Mason miscalculated how much he’d had to drink and half way through the set he fell off the stage and hit his head on the monitor and just full on passed out. 
What’s the main difference you’ve seen so far with the music scene in Australia and England? 
There are cooler venues in England, there are loads of cool bands in Sydney but the venues are better here. London in general as well is a better place to party, it’s so fucked in Sydney now. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the ‘lock out’ law but it’s all getting controlled and it’s being nicknamed the ‘Nanny State’. There’s an area called King’s Cross and for the last 50 years it’s being known as the nightclub area and it’s gone to shit now and it’s pretty much a ghost town now because of the lock out laws.
Since you’re quite good friends with the band Sticky Fingers and you have a similar fan base, is there any prospect of a joint tour? 
J: Probably not no, mine and Tommy’s old band manager owned this really cool venue we used to play at and all the Sticky Fingers lads worked behind the bar. That was when I was like 18 so we’ve known each other for quite a while, but we’re just getting on with our own thing.
When listening to your track ‘Delete’ it has a very DIY feel, how was it recorded? 
J: It was recorded and the music video were both done in my bedroom but I think the DIY part of it is just what we as a band like to have our tracks come out sounding like.
How’s the reaction to your new single ‘Lay Down’ been so far?
J: Yeah really good actually. I’m pretty stoked with the clip as well; it’s different to what else is out these days but so far so good.
Is the new single a sign for a new album? 
J: Yep, it’s the first single from the new album which is due late February, that’s what we’re hoping for.
Who’s the new album being recorded with?
J: We record it, my mate helped out by letting us use his studio. We are signed (With IOU) but when we initially signed we were wondering about whether going to a proper studio but we decided against it. The reason we fell in love with this band was because of the vulnerability of recording it ourselves and the affability of the demos so we thought if we liked it like that there’s no point us f*cking changing it. We’ve kind of just gone along with it. 
Where’s been your favourite place so far you’ve played on the tour?
J: Glasgow, I don’t think it sounded so good but the crowd was mental. Actually, Edinburgh was my favourite place to go, Brighton was pretty cool as well.   
After England, where’s your tour heading? 
J: We’re playing Japan soon for the first time; I can’t wait, I fucking love sushi and Japanese food in general. We’ve asked our manager for an extra four days there just so we can hang out in Tokyo. Apparently they’ve got a robot cafĂ© which doesn’t even have waiters; it’s just all robots and shit.
We’re heading to Barcelona as well and I can’t wait for that, that’ll be sick.