DMA’S x HEARD Talks
DMA’S Johhny Took and Matt Mason took some time out with HEARD to share tales from humble beginnings in Newtown to touring globally, and what to expect from the indie band next
How did you guys meet?
Originally from Newton, Sydney, we were all in different bands growing up and playing music at the same time. We [Johnny and Matt] played with a band with Tom and decided to start our own group.
Do you believe your song “Delete” put you on the map?
Definitely gave us a lot of exposure, although we released “Play It Out” first which got us signed, management and a booking agent. It would’ve happened anyway, but definitely up sped process overseas. Being played on BBC One also added lots of exposure
What was your inspiration behind the “Delete” clip?
We had the same Director from “Too Soon” video and just by using a cam recorder, has this weird gonza technique. We hadn’t made many video clips yet, so when we were shooting “Delete”, he brought his VHS camera and we danced around drunk in front of camera. We thought, “this is cool” as it had very little planning and no concept!
Where have you drawn inspiration from with your last album “Hills End”?
We used to play folk music and one of the songs on the album is from four or five years ago. We didn’t go with a particular concept; the album is all over the shop! We like how we sound so our EP is part of the inspiration. We finished touring three months ago and recorded the new album a year ago while mixing on the road. Other aspects of inspiration came from everywhere we went touring. We didn’t mix with the Producer in the room so we orchestrated via e-mail – little annoying but it worked. As recording was new for us, we learnt a lot about our sound through that process.
Do you have a personal favorite song on the album, and why?
Matt: One is a country song because it’s timeless – it’s one of the first we wrote together and favorite guitar work on album.
Johnny: Another song is Play It Out – it’s the last song on the album because I didn’t write or record any of it! Laughs
People tend to think you’re an English band – how do you feel about that?
Sweet! Australian music has a very special sound we completely dig. If you want to sound Aussie, you need to sing with an Aussie accent, and we can’t do that. Other Aussie bands will sing with an American accent, and we don’t want to do that either. So really, what’s left? Tommy doesn’t think about how he sings – it just comes naturally.
You’ve just performed at Laneway Festival – how was that?
The last two or three festivals have been really good so we’re really excited. Melbourne has pretty good weather and people enjoy going to gigs so it’s got a cool energy.
You’ve performed in quite a few festivals now – do you have a favorite, and why?
There are so many – each have had their own unique experience! Have to say Laneway Festival is the best! Some other favourites are Osheaga in Montreal – that were sick! Such a beautiful and green city. Another highlight was the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York City. Though once you do a particular festival you don’t usually do them again for a few years, so would definitely like to do the Governor’s Ball Festival again. The Benicassim Festival was awesome because we got to visit Spain. We’ve been three times and would love to go back as we still haven’t really seen it. When touring, we see a lot of truck stops and petrol stations, a lot of each other and hotel rooms. It’s rare we have days off to see the city we’re touring in. We have had opportunities to be tourists in Japan, Scotland and the occasional week off in LA. In future, we’d love to have a bit more time for days off to go for a surf, go to Santa Monica Pier and Disneyland!
You’ve headlined shows in major cities all over Europe and North America. Is there a particular city you enjoyed performing in the most, and why?
Amsterdam – we have a following in Holland as big as Australia. It’s weird but we like it! There have been some amazing venues in Holland, including an old church called Paradiso. We also headlined a packed show in Madrid – we’ve had the best shows in strange places we didn’t think we’d be so popular. In America, our show in Ohio sold out in two weeks. We had people lining up to meet us, which we thought was strange, though definitely keen to go back there! Bring back cheap beers, a hotdog and a cool atmosphere and we’re there pronto!
How do you feel about Coachella?
The lineup is always good and we get to catch up with friends in California that come. We want to meet other bands we like and hang out too; we made friends at Laneway. We’re playing both weekends so looking forward to having a few days off in-between.
You’ll be touring again this year – are you looking forward to visiting a particular place?
Yes – Paris! We’ve never played there before and there are French bloggers writing about us so should be a pumping show! Matt’s looking forward to Italy, as he’ll work out where he wants to retire there!
If you could perform anywhere, where would it be and why?
Somewhere really warm, like Hawaii or Rio in South America. Quito in Ecuador because one of us used to live there at 18 and have always wanted to go back. Even the Antarctic would be cool – that kind of shit! We’d also like to do Bridgeton Academy which is an old venue in London. We supported an English band with over five thousand fans; it was like the Enmore on steroids.
What’s next for the DMAs?
We’re just really excited to get this music out – it’s been a long time since we’ve played new material which will be refreshing for both the band and our fans.
HILLS END IS OUT 26 FEBRUARY 2016
DMA’S HILLS END ALBUM TOUR
MAY & JUNE 2016
with special guests to be announced
Presented by triple j & The Music
Tickets on sale now via dmasmusic.com
Fri 27 May The Zoo | Brisbane, QLD (18+)
Fri 3 Jun Fat Controller | Adelaide, SA (18+)
Sat 4 Jun The Rosemount | Perth, WA (18+)
Thu 9 Jun Metro Theatre | Sydney, NSW (18+) NEW SHOW!
Fri 10 Jun Metro Theatre | Sydney, NSW (18+) SOLD OUT
Sat 11 Jun Corner Hotel | Melbourne, VIC (18+) SOLD OUT
Sun 12 Jun Corner Hotel | Melbourne, VIC (18+) SOLD OUT
Mon 13 Jun Corner Hotel | Melbourne, VIC (18+) NEW SHOW!
ALSO PLAYING AT:
Sat 28 May Big Pineapple Festival | Sunshine Coast, QLD (18+)
Hills End NOW through I OH YOU
BUY HILLS END ON CD, VINYL OR DIGITALLY ON ITUNES VIA: dmasmusic.com
UK DATES | FEB / MAR 2016
Sat 28 Feb Stereo Glasgow – SOLD OUT
Mon 29 Feb The Cluny Newcastle – SOLD OUT
Wed 2 Mar Garage London – SOLD OUT
Fri 4 Mar Belgrave Leeds – SOLD OUT
Sat 5 Mar Ruby Lounge Manchester – SOLD OUT
US / CANADA DATES | MAR / APR 2016
Thu 10 Mar Milkboy Philly Philadelphia
Sat 12 Mar The Camel Richmond
Sun 13 Mar Aisle 5 Atlanta
Tue 15 Mar Raven Tower Houston
Mon 21 Mar High Watt Nashville
Tue 22 Mar Off Broadway St Louis
Thu 24 Mar Silver Dollar Room Toronto
Fri 25 Mar Petit Campus Montreal
Sat 26 Mar The Hollow Albany
Sat 26 Mar The Hollow Albany
Mon 28 Mar Rough Trade NYC Brooklyn
Tue 29 Mar Great Scott Allston
Thu 31 Mar Black Cat Washington
Fri 01 Apr Club Café Pittsburgh
Mon 04 Apr Lincoln Hall Chicago
Tue 05 Apr Cactus Club Milwaukee
Wed 06 Apr Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis
Fri 08 Apr The Riot Room Kansas City
Sat 09 Apr Larimer Lounge Denver
Sun 10 Apr Urban Lounge Salt Lake City
Tue 12 Apr Doug Fir Lounge Portland
Wed 13 Apr Sunset Tavern Seattle
Fri 15 Apr The Independent San Francisco
Sat 16 Apr Coachella (Weekend 1) 2016 Indio
Mon 18 Apr The Echo Los Angeles
Sat 23 Apr Coachella (Weekend 2) 2016 Indio