Since the DMA’S burst on the scene last year they have not stopped with thrilling and anthemic shows and melodic guitar music. Their debut album ‘Hills End’ was released on February 26th 2016 and received great reviews, including 8/10 from XS Noize. DMA’S recently played a string of dates in the UK. Mark Millar had a chat with singer Tommy O’Dell on arrival.
Hi Tommy what has the band been up to?
We have just finished an Australian festival and we arrived in London to play some shows before heading to the states.
Where did the name DMA’s come from ? and what does it mean?
It’s kind of like an abbreviation of a bunch of old names we had. It doesn’t really stand for anything.
How did the band get together?
Johnny and I were playing in a band when we were younger and we decided to write some tunes on the side and then we met Mason from being around Sydney and just started like that.
I read initially that you didn’t plan to play live and that the band was supposed to be studio based.
Yeah we were all in other bands at the time and we didn’t want to tour we just wanted to record. So that’s why we had that idea initially.
Is it because you weren’t confident to perform live, were you nervous?
No, I don’t think it was a confidence thing I just think at the time we were all busy with our own stuff. And when we did play we wanted to make sure that we weren’t touring around Australia and not playing to anyone, which we had done in other bands before.
What is your song writing process?
We all chip in with different ideas. Some songs are written individually and others are written as a group. It depends we don’t really have any rules with that kind of stuff.
You have recently released your new album ‘Hills End’ which had been well received. XS Noize gave it 8/10. How long did it take to record?
The actual recording process took us six weeks maybe less. It’s funny because some of the songs were written ages ago and demoed a while ago too. Some of the songs have original demo parts to them. ‘Blown Away’ has its original vocal track which was done 4 years ago.
You recorded the album in your bedroom. How did it feel handing it over to Producer Mark ‘Spike’ Stent to be mixed? Were you precious about it?
I don’t know about the other guys but I was cool with it. Those songs had been written and recorded a while before we did that. I knew he was going to do a good job. It kind of made for an interesting sound having it done in the bedroom and handing it over to a pro mixer. It makes for kindte of an interesting sound. I wasn’t too faxed by it.
Do you have any favourite tracks on the album?
Yeah, I like the tune ‘Melbourne’ and I like ‘Play It Out’ as well.
Are you looking forward to playing the UK shows?
Yeah, we always like to play in the UK. It’s really good we have gradually been building up a fan base. Most of the shows are sold out so it’s all good.
Is it true that the band are planning on moving to the UK?
I don’t know, potentially. People always say that we’re moving overseas but I don’t know it’s news to me. Johnny is always going on about moving overseas. I don’t give a fuck where I live to be honest.
It would make a lot of sense for band to be based in the UK. I hear a lot of British bands in your sound from the Stone Roses, Oasis, and The Verve.
All those bands are particularly my influences for sure having come from an English background for sure. The other lads are into some American bands like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Johnny comes from a Folk-Bluegrass background so he is into Dylan and Springsteen. It’s kind of like a mix of everyone. I think me being the singer and having those influences makes the band sound like a Brit pop band. If you had a different singer on the songs it probably wouldn’t be so English sounding.
What is your favourite record?
That’s a hard one – Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan and the Stone Roses first album and Urban Hymns by the Verve – all the best ones.
What have you been listening to recently?
I’ve been listening to a bit of Electro. Do you know the band the Knife? I’ve been listening to them and an Australian band called Royal Headache.
What’s next for DMA’S?
The plan is after we do America to come back to Europe then go back to Australia for a Tour and hopefully play some festivals. Hopefully along the way we can write some tunes for the second record. A lot of the songs are already written.
UK Tour Dates
28th April – Cauford Arms, Milton Keynes
29th April – Thekla, Bristol
30th April – Live at Leeds