Sydney’s DMA's are making serious waves … And Vicki tells us why
Sydney’s rock darlings, the DMA’s played the first gigs of their national tour this week. Two sold out shows at Sydney’s Goodgod Small club. Fitting their Brit-pop-rock genre of music, the room was packed, smoky and running high on energy. Squint your eyes and it really could have been a dusty Liverpool lounge a decade or a few ago.
So how do you make a Brit-pop-rock band oozing oasis and chav culture a success in the hipster-run circles of the music scene today? We're no experts here, but it seems we need just ask the DMA’s. Tom O’Dell, Matt Mason and Johnny Took clearly have it sorted.
1. Firstly, you need to sound good but not perfect. Nobody believes perfect, and perfect is also boring. Make it sound a little bit dirty, rough and un-rendered, but interesting. The hipsters will love it.
2. Tell a story, part one. If you tell a story well, people forgive all the things that aren’t quite right. Matt Mason wrote Delete when he was nineteen about a girl who broke his heart. That’s a good story. It makes it even better knowing that she was in the crowd watching.
3. Tell a story, part two. Have a good reason why you're making dirty Brit-pop-rock in a hipster's paradise. Tom Odell’s parents are from Britain. The DMA's can tick that box.
4. Dress. You must look like you’ve stepped straight out of the streets of London thirty years ago. And you must make it look like you’ve been wearing these clothes forever. Wear a baseball cap with a rounded brim. Wear a jacket made of parachute material, the brighter the better. Wear trainers, whatever brand you choose. Adidas is a good choice. And if you must wear converse, they best have the US flag on them.
5. Play with as many of your friends as you can fit on the stage. The DMA’s live set is always a six piece, with mates Paddy Harrowsmith on guitar, Liam Hoskins on drums and Reginald Harris IV on bass. That is probably the best name for anyone, ever. Especially a musician. Go Reg. Just make sure the stage is cramped.
6. Make it impossible for anyone to get a good photograph of you. You don’t care. You play to the best crowds in the darkest, most intimately sweaty clubs around and it's so fucking fantastic.
7. Be a bit off-limits but not quite. Get yourselves signed by the biggest indie label in the country basically out of nowhere. Then drop a single or two and throw a free EP launch that's full within 15 minutes. Don't talk to the crowd when onstage. Be elusive, but also getting a beer at the bar with everyone else. A little bit of mystique is worth a million bucks for fans both male and female.
8. Make the most 90's merch that you possibly can. Single handedly bring back striped, collared polo shirts and Times New Roman, serif-inclusive font. 80's revival is over. The DMA's are onto 90's. You should be too.
So if you were thinking of bringing your Brit-pop band with a bruisy music revival to the table, it's simply too late. The DMA's are already there. They're imperfect, potent and addictive. An artistic enigma that doesn't quite give a shit, with lots of adjectives like these being thrown around about them. Superbly succeeding. High five guys.
By Vicki Fletcher @VickiFletcher88
Self titled debut EP out now through I OH YOU. Touring Australia in May / June - only Brisbane tickets left. EP and tickets from www.dmasmusic.com.