DMA’s Discuss Noel Gallagher and Why Laundry is the Enemy [INTERVIEW]

Posted on: June 15th, 2015 at 10:28 am by
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Fresh off their self-titled debut EP, Sydney-based garage-pop band DMA’s brought their upbeat nostalgic tunes to the masses at Governors Ball last weekend. We caught up with principal songwriters Matt Mason and Johnny Took after the set to snag some nuggets on how to survive the typical summer music festival circuit.

BOWERY BOOGIE: Where’d you guys play when you played CMJ 2014? 

DMA’S: We were staying in Bed-Stuy, and we played Piano’s and Baby’s All Right, which is a great venue. The Piano’s gig was weird because we were playing at like, 2:45pm or something, and I was doing a load of laundry, and we thought we’d get an Uber and it would take like a half an hour or something, but they had closed the Brooklyn Bridge, so we had to get a train, and we were running around and then we ran like two kilometers to the venue, and we got there and were sweating – and [the rest of the band] were waiting on stage.

BB: All because of laundry. 

DMA’s: Yeah. And my clothes weren’t very clean after I sweated through them. Yeah, like laundry and shit, I’m into it, I reckon I like being clean. It’s fucking cool. But I wasn’t very clean after running two k’s.

BB: Late because laundry; talk about punk rock. How many festivals have you guys played? 

DMA’s: Like half-dozen or something.

BB: How does Governors Ball rank so far?

DMA’s: It’s good, it’s good. We much prefer the Australian ones where people actually know who we are.

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BB: You guys seemed to attract a decent crowd earlier.

DMA’s: Yeah, I was pretty happy with it. But in Australia it’s like, sick. We play Groove in the Move – its a festival in Australia – it’s a touring festival so you seek shows – and you’re playing to 7,000 – 10,000 people there, but here it’s kind of like we’re going back to basics. Which is cool. We like the American festivals, though; the shows aren’t as good for us, but we get to hang around and watch better bands, because in Australia they can’t afford to bring in these international acts.

BB: Okay, you’re surrounded by girls snapping selfies at a festival – what do you do?

DMA’s: Hahaha, go back stage, do it behind the stereo? I dunno, that’s never happened. I just get very awkward – very laconic – I just slink away. I dunno, just bounce, I guess. Pull the worst face you could possibly pull – just look as horrible as you possibly can.

BB: You’re at a music festival and you’re confronted by Noel Gallagher, post set – what do you do? 

DMA’s: Well, he wouldn’t come to a music festival at 1:30pm. He probably rocks up in a helicopter just before he plays. But if we did, if we were to run into him – he’s a huge influence on us – I’d like to say hi. Of course you’d say hi. Talk about stuff. He hasn’t heard our stuff yet but I think he might like it.

BB: It’s funny he’s so controversial about shit because when [Oasis] were coming up, they were like, “Yeah, we’re better than the Beatles” and stole everything from the Beatles. 

DMA’s: Yeah. That’s good, I like it. It gets people talking. That’s the thing about those dudes as well, just like the Beatles, they have a laugh at themselves – it’s the most important thing you can do. Everything with a grain of salt.

BB: What’s the one question that everyone asks you that you hate the most?

DMA’s: It’s all good. We don’t really mind answering any questions. One time when we were in Brighton, some dude asked us our favorite song on the record, and we thought it was a weird question to ask, kind of like “I love my songs so much” – it’s a bit narcissistic.

No, no, no, actually one time in Australia some guy asked me how old I was when I lost my virginity and what music I liked to have sex to? I told him to fuck off. That’s a weird fucking question to ask somebody.

BB: What’s the most annoying thing about festival culture?  

DMA’s: The stage we had to walk to is pretty fucking far. But if that’s the worst thing … I don’t know, I really like festivals. Oh, you don’t get a sound check, that’s pretty sketch, you just go straight on stage and it is what it is.  If you can’t hear yourself, then there’s nothing you can really do. And you don’t want to be one of those guys like, “Can I get a bit more of my vocals here?” You just kind of do it and take it for what it is.

I’ve had a couple of weird experiences – not with this band – where I’ve played some festivals and their dress up festivals, so some dude’s walking around like B1 and B2 – Bananas in Pajamas…

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BB: We saw some guys dressed up as bananas today…

DMA’s: No no, no, it’s not a thing here – he was referring to an Australian children’s television show Bananas in Pajamas. It’s a classic – you must watch it! I don’t know if you’d like it now, but as a kid I loved it. But yeah, it’s a great idea if you want to dress up with a friend in Australia. Or you see a guy with too many muscles dressed up in a fairy outfit. And it all starts off funny, yeah, couple of bananas, whatever, I get it.

So there’s that shit going on and everyone’s having a good time… but then there’s that point when you’re walking around the festival, and all of a sudden this dude in the fairy suit, or B1 from Bananas in Pajamas has had way too many ecstasy, and he doesn’t know where B2 is, and he goes “what the fuck are you looking at?” and I’m like “Woah.” That’s really happened to me. “What the fuck are you fucking looking at?” Overly wasted people in weird get ups are the worst part of festivals. Actually, I like it. I take that back. It’s funny. But being threatened by a man in a onesie is less than ideal.

BB: What song do you like playing the most on stage?

DMA’s: Probably our last song [of the set]. It never really got released as a single but it’s still our favorite tune. It’s the first song we put online – it’s not on there anymore – but we made a video clip of it. It kicked everything off. We made a video clip of our own accord, because we recorded everything at home; we put it online, and about half an hour later we got a call from our now manager and then after we started working with him we took it offline.

BB: Any tips for a first-time festival goer? 

DMA’s: Stay safe out there, kids. Drink a lot of water.

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