By Will Brown
New South Wales band DMA’S are heading to our shores next year as part of the St. Jerome's Laneway Festival in Auckland; set at the new location of Albert Park on Monday January 30th (Auckland Anniversary Day).
It's been a massive year for the trio, which saw the release of their debut album Hills End, an appearance at Coachella and a secret spot at Glastonbury. And what has Noel Gallagher been saying about them? We caught up with guitarist Johnny Took....
How did you guys come up with the name DMA'S?
It was kinda like... it was an abbreviation of a couple of old names that we had, so it was originally like a joke name called 'Dirty Ma's'... like as Dirty Mum, not the planet.
In just four years you guys have made quite a name for yourselves with your debut album 'Hills End' peaking at the Number 8 on the charts. I'm guessing things have changed quite a bit for you guys during that time?
Yeah they have. But it feels like it's gone pretty quickly though. I can kind of slice it into bits. One part is there is no point in getting a lease anymore because you are spending so much time overseas... which is cool, and you've got to do it.
Where did you record the album?
We started recording it in a studio in Coogee that I was thinking of moving into, but we didn't really like the vibe too much and all the other stuff that we had done was recorded in our bedrooms. So we thought 'Fuck it', and went back to our private apartments and just did it there. It was just better for us creatively.
How long do you reckon it took you to make the album?
Probably about two months. We spent about two weeks in that Coogee studio and then that last month back at Buckland's (Took's flat in Buckland Lane). But then we got really busy and didn't get it mixed until about a year later.
How does the songwriting process work with you guys?
It's different every time. But a lot of the time either Tommy (singer Tommy O'Dell) brings a voice memo. He doesn't really play guitar or anything, and we'd just write chords with him like that. Or sometimes I'd just bring something to the table, or Mason (guitarist Matt Mason) would bring one. But we write songs while recording, so if we have an idea we go 'Right, we have 3 or 4 melodies here' and we'd knock it out and get the basic vibe down and then we send it off to our manager and then move on. And then we don't really think about it again until it's time to pick songs for the album.
So was it hard making the shortlist of songs to appear on the album?
It wasn't too hard, but there are definitely songs that I don't want to be forgotten. There are still some good tunes there.
You guys are included on the upcoming St. Jerome's Laneway Tour. Must be one that you are looking forward to?
Yeah dude, it's a great festival. We did the Australian run last year but we're really excited to come over to New Zealand... and our guitarist is from Hamilton.
And this will be your first performance out here?
Yeah it is! I've been there before but when I was younger.
Are you planning a follow up album soon?
We're pretty much doing it now. So everything we record will be potentially used for a new album. We're just gonna keep slashing it through, and I don't think we want to wait too long before we get another one out.
Noel Gallagher made some interesting remarks about you guys. How did you react to what he had to say?
I thought it was cool! He hadn't heard our music and someone told him 'They sound like Oasis'. So Noel said 'I'll have to boo them'. It was good, he was kinda taking the Mickey out of himself. Which I reckon is a good thing to do in this day and age.
What plans have you guys got lined up for the next little while?
Pretty much just writing every day. But I think we're excited to spend the summer back home and hang with our friends.