Interview: DMA's

Emotional depth paired with good mood – you think it’s not possible? It kind of is. The proof are the boys from the DMA’s. The band, whose name is a mystery, consists of Tommy (vocals), Mason (lead guitar, vocals) and Johnny (rhythm guitar). Their unique sounds form a cloak-and-dagger dynamic. But we are hot on pursuit of unravelling this mystery. Finding them somewhere in between the sounds of Oasis, The Stone Rose and the Jesus Mary Chains their music is totally unique. We’ve seen the band live on the Highfield Festival. Musically seen an absolute highlight of emotions while the stage show was sleepy and a little disappointing. Nevertheless these lads a worth an ear.
The musical puzzle of the Australian blokes definitely succeeded. An emotional explosion a lot of people already talk about. Likeable, down to earth, with authentic lyrics and unique sounds, we see the DMA’s surfing on the wave to their big break-through.

From bonfire nights, dinner with friends, a little grooving, dreaming, going to work to jogging, the songs of the DMA’s always fit. They introduced us to good  sound for almost every mood! Their strongly acoustic-psychedelic marked sounds, crossed with feelings and rocky guitar riffs stoked us.

We met guitarist Johnny after their show on the festival and had a chat about inspirations, their tour and the future. We tried to unravel the mystery of the “DMA’s”. Read the interview, to see if we succeeded:

You’re doing kind of a world tour, you played all around Europe and the USA and you’re playing on the Leeds & Reading Festival in the UK. Is that your first time doing such a big tour?

Johnny: Yeah definitely. I’ve learned a lot (on tour) about the band and what and who we are. And also, when you’re just staying in yourself on the road for a matter of time, you realize it’s not like you just play that big gig on the weekend and you can go out and party. If you do that every night it starts to weight you down a bit… but it’s good! We have heaps of fun. Probably wouldn’t have had the discipline to get myself to go travelling, so I think most of us are pretty stoked as well seeing the world a bit, probably the places you never come to.

And you probably meet a lot of people …

Johnny: So many people, that’s actually my favorite part!

What’s the music you listen to on your road trips?

J: Well, this road trip in particular we‘ve been pumping the new “Tame Impala” Album, it’s so good man! It’s so good!

(Comment: Tame Impala recently released their new Album “Currents”- We would highly recommend you to listen to it. It’s a masterpiece of an Album.)

Yeah, it is fantastic!

J: We saw them play in LA. They played in the cemetery, the Hollywood Cemetery, that was really bizarre but it was cool. We also listen to a lot of podcasts, The War on Drugs, The Jesus And Mary Chains, The Stone Roses and stuff like that. But to be honest, we don’t listen to a lot of music, our Tour manager is like of obsessed of the Beatles, so we listen to really early Beatles and John Lennon. He plays that the whole time. But once we drive people can keep to themselves, do their own thing, have their own time, you know?

What is the music that mainly influences you?

J: Probably some of those (named above)! We grew up listen to a lot of Oasis and Stone Roses and like The Lords and stuff, there are one of my favorite bands out of that era. They are very acoustic driven which is cool. Also The Jesus Mary Chains are favorites for me ‘cause they do really simple tunes with great melodies and noisy guitars, I’m a big fan of that. Yeah, listen to a lot of Neil Young as well.

You guys have a unique sound, somewhere in between Stone Roses and Oasis, combined with heaps of different parts of various genres. Do you get your inspiration from the music you just named, or is there another background?

J: To be honest, mate, most of the songs were originally written just on the acoustic guitar, and when I grew up, I used to play in a country band, not really country like(sings along like cliché country ), not that kind of country, we were more like Bob Dylan and stuff like that. My little brother plays the banjo and stuff. And yeah lots of it was kind of build on that, so that’s why lots of the tunes are based on the acoustic guitar.

You have a special constellation, how do you do that with the songwriting? Is it all three of you’s writing the songs or is there one taking the lead?

J: It changes for every song. So “Delete” 90 percent of it was written by Mason when he was like 19 and then when we brought it back up and changed a few things here and there. And then songs like So we know I wrote when I was 20 and the Tommy was like: “Remember that song you had (Johnny imitates how Tommy sings)“, so we changed the key and got him to sing it. And then other songs, especially the ones, that’ll be on the new album like “Lay down” it was all of us. Lots of the songs are going to be on the new album (Comment: “Lay down” was just released last week). Sometimes Mason just brings in a whole song of himself. Our favorite songs are the ones, where someone brings one idea that is like a stimulant, it’s like you wouldn’t have had your idea and this person brought this idea to the table, you get what I mean? And I love that, that way in a creative process that your music, your creative output, can be stimulated through a trigger. They would have never popped out, well they could have, but they may have not found that collaboration.

So when is your new album coming out?

J: Early next year.

We are excited!

J: We’ll drop a single soon. Which is cool! It’s been a while actually since we released some new music. Well not in Europe, cause in Europe the EPs only came out when we first got here, but before it’s already been released in Australia. So we have been playing those songs for a while.

(Some guys walked straight into the interview. Johnny introduced himself and we all had a long and funny chat about Australia and life as a traveler. Johnny talked about his life, future plans and sharing flat with Sticky Fingers bass player Paddy Cornwall.)

What does the name “DMA’s” stand for?

J: It doesn’t mean anything (laughs). We actually make fun with it. We are trying to make up as many different names, like: Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtractions, doesn’t make any sense. No, originally it was an abbreviation of an old name we had and then our manager just suggested we change it and then we kind of just overthought it and I like the fact that it doesn’t stand for anything. It’s just a bunch of letters, and apostrophes. We’re just chillin and this kind of represents what the music is about.

What would your professions be if you wouldn’t do music and tour around?

J: Aaaw, we have joked about his before (laughs). I think Mason would be an accountant, I think I would be like a masseuse or something like that, and then Tommy would be a painter. That is his actual job, like painting walls, not like van Gogh or something like that. Like painting walls, he doesn’t like that.

And what was the craziest or most insane thing that happened during your tour so far?

J: This tour? – F*ck. Ähm…(laughs) all the craziest stuff I couldn’t say in an interview, so I won’t say that. (laughs)

We have heard a lot of crazy stories already. We have done the Dunies (Dune Rats). (twinkles)

J: Ah (laughs), they are mates of mine from back home, too. I heard Brett (member of the Dune Rats) just put a hole in my apartment wall last night. My brother messaged me. He was like: “Ah Brett fell through the wall”. I’m getting kick out of my flat in two weeks, so I’m waiting on a picture! By the way, you should check out my brother’s Band, it’s called “Planet”, they just released a single (Comment: We did and we are amazed!). But yeah he wrote me “Brett from Dunies just fell through your wall”, so I might get Tommy to fix it, just put the parts of the wall back up and then paint it. (everyone laughs)

Tell us a crazy story…

J: Okay okay, let me think. We had a lot of fun… you know fireworks are illegal in Australia, we went to a few places in America and kind of freaked out, nothing amazing, but I think we ended up in Madison or somewhere like that, we held on to these fireworks for a while, pretended to be cops and then held them like swords and like racing cars and we just hold them, can’t tell more to the public (Comment: sorry guys we can’t publish the rest). But we had a pretty good night when we met up with the Sticky Fingers lads. We had three weeks off in New York, we haven’t been seeing them for about two months and they were all there, just Tommy went home to Sydney, but me Mason, Liam –our drummer- and Rick – one of our Tourmanagers- we just hung out in New York for three weeks. It was cool! And that were pretty curious three weeks; I don’t think I have had a time like that for a while, so yeah it was fun. I was kind of missing home a bit at that point so it was kind of nice to see friends. It’s cool to meet new people, but it’s comforting to have friends around you, you know.

You are right. For us it’s always great to meet Australian people, people from all over the world in general, you can hear the differences between the lifestyles and ways of thinking. Aussie people are usually so open-minded. Australia is a good and beautiful country to miss.

J: We think the same about you guys, it’s like, we love coming to Germany and we were just talking about that before with Tom –he plays base for us- and Liam and the others. Germany is probably one of our favorite countries. We got two days off in Berlin starting tomorrow – we’ll be driving there tonight, so we leave here in a couple of hours- . We love it! Germany is amazing. It’s very cool, feeling really privileged to come over here and play at some amazing festivals in nice cities.

Well, we could swap. You can have my apartment in Freiburg and I’ll move to yours in Sydney, deal?

J: (laughs) Yeah yeah yeah, but I only have a couple of weeks left, I’m getting kicked out, so yeah, but I would do that. Once I have a house you can come over. (laughs)


OK cool, sounds like we have a deal. (laughs)


Beitrag: Lena Bettag 

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