I had a little chat with Mason from Australian band DMA’S before they embarked on their UK tour for their new album, How Many Dreams.
Mason: Hey, how you doing?, Sorry I’m late I’m just running around, I’ve got a big photoshoot tomorrow night so I’m like, running around trying to grab outfits and shit.
Jasmine: That’s so exciting, it’s totally okay, how’s it all going? I know you’ve just finished your Australian tour, embarking on your UK tour now.
M: Yeah, yeah, it was good. We just kind of have like a month off touring for a bit, which was fine. But we are yeah back on it on Sunday, flying back to London, but yeah, feeling pretty good.
J: That’s very cool. So in terms of the UK now, I know you’ve had two albums rank in our top five in the UK charts, how does it feel to have such global success?
M: Pretty cool you know, I really appreciate having sort of the UK as our main territory and living in Australia, and sort of being almost as far away as you could possibly go on the Earth, you know. It feels very much like when I come home, I can relax and then when I’m in the UK, it’s like, works on. It’s like the commute to work is like 25 hours, but it’s not, you know, it’s nice to have that separation.
J: It’s very cool. I guess you have a very extreme work-life balance then.
M: Yeah, we do, for sure, but yeah, it’s nice, it’s good. What I’m saying is, I appreciate having fans in an international setting because it means that you know, we can just come home yeah. Right now I’m just sort of running around.
J: We’re seeing you in Southampton, I know that’s a second date of your UK tour. How do you feel connected to a UK fan base, even though like you said you’re half a world away in Australia?
M: It’s pretty standard answer, but like, just with the internet, you know, it’s like, doesn’t really matter where in the world you are, you’re just like, a moment away from everyone. So just seeing like the fans, just like getting messages from people and talking to people. We just ran a competition where Tommy auctioned off one of his plaques, you know, you get like these like, gold plaques and stuff, he auctioned one off for a charity. And on our fan club, there’s like a fan club on Facebook, they’re called DMAnia and yeah, I just saw all that unrolling, unraveling and like, everyone’s sort of talking about it and just speaking to people and stuff, so it’s like, you know, they may as well be next door really.
J: That’s so nice that you can have that proper interaction with them
M: Oh, yeah, totally.
J: I read that you guys worked on your new album during the pandemic, and you had time to experiment, and explore and revisit your old demos. I think that’s so interesting, I was just wondering if you could explain a little bit more about that?
M: Yeah, like, I guess, you know what, I didn’t actually do that much music stuff. I was just like, freaking out most of the time, like I didn’t really? Yeah, I think I suppose I should have used that time better to make music. But I don’t know what I was doing, playing Animal Crossing.
J: (laughs) Honestly I feel like everyone was doing that
M: Yeah, for sure. We got to look through old demos and stuff, we love recording. I actually just found a computer that I had from when I was like 18, maybe 17, 18. I looked at it and it had all of the first ever demos of a song called Tape Deck Sick, another song called Delete, another song called Cobracaine, like the first ever demos that I recorded like 16 years ago. There’s a few other songs in there as well that I’m definitely going to like flesh out and maybe put on the next album. Those songs, if that happens, they’ll be maybe 18 years old, by the time that album comes out. So yeah, we love going back and using old songs. Especially because your early demos, when you’re a teenager, unless you’d put music out then, which we didn’t really start putting music out to our mid 20s. So all of the stuff that we did when we were teenagers, no one’s heard and it’s honestly way better than the music we write now. We had more to write about, you know what I mean? Now, it’s just like our lives are way more boring and shit, like I’m cooking, that’s kind of what I get up to now, just like cooking and hanging out with my girlfriend, like if I can use a song from when I was 18 and running around being a little psycho I’m sure this sounds way more interesting, you know?
J: I mean, I think everything sounds great, like you could write songs about cooking and hang out with your girlfriend, everyone would eat it up
M: Trust me I do, if I do write a song it’s usually about that.
J: You guys have spoken about your influence from UK music in the past like Britpop and stuff like that, did you find yourself still turning to these influences for How Many Dreams or did you kind of look for new inspiration?
M: Yeah, definitely, definitely. You know how you asked before how we feel connected to our UK audience. I didn’t actually grow up listening to British music at all, I was introduced to it when I met Tommy, that was when I was like 23 or something. When I was growing up, it was like listening to Americana like bluegrass and folk and stuff, like banjo music. So when I was sort of introduced to our UK fan base, and like, the whole music culture over there, I was learning all of this new music and learning how to write songs in that way, and so it’s all still kind of new to me. In my mind, it’s new to me, but when I go to write and all that energy that I see at the concerts, and when I’m meeting people, and you know, the clothes that people are wearing over there, and music that they’re talking about, I use that as like sort of a muse when I’m writing new songs. So that’s a way that I can feel close to our fans, when I’m in Australia, is by the channeling the music culture in the UK, or our fan base anyway, while I’m sort of composing and writing melodies and things.
J: That’s so interesting, that’s very cool. I know that you guys like to see yourself, like modern rock, a little bit indie. Do you think you guys have been kind of like exploring more genres? And kind of pushing those limits with the new album?
M: Um, yeah, I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about that. I don’t really think that we push anything really, like I think that we just lean into nostalgia a lot and we play music that we love and like that we want to hear. Maybe someone else would say that, but I wouldn’t say that. We try to have like modern sound on things just because you know where we’re at, in music today. But I think the we lean into nostalgia a lot, and I know that we blend genres together and maybe that could be considered like, pushing a genre. But as far as like, sort of leading the pack, definitely not. In my mind that we’re just kind of like, revisiting things and doing it in a sort of fresh way. I don’t know, I haven’t really thought too much about it. You know the thing about when ever I’m asked about genres and things like that, I get a bit funny, because like, I try not to ever think about that. For me, if I do consider these things and think about what genres this or what genre are we trying to do and stuff like that, it can be can make the creative process a bit less free flowing. Yeah, so I don’t know, I don’t put that much thought into it. I think we try and play music that we think our fans are gonna like and usually that’s like shit from the 90s for sure.
J: And finally, new album, new tour, what is next for you guys?
M: So we are flying to the UK on Sunday. And then we’re doing a little tour and then we get back home just for Christmas. Then it’s summertime in Australia, so we’re doing all this summer festivals and shit, which are like hot as fuck. And we’re trying to take a year off touring, just because we’ve been touring, like COVID aside, we’ve been touring non-stop for like fucking seven or eight years or something. And Tommy just had a baby and like, there’s a few things going on. We’re trying to take a year off, and then just write the next album, which we’ve never done, 12 months off trying to write an album. Yeah, but we’ll see. I really doubt that’s gonna happen, something will come up for sure, but that’s the plan anyway at the moment.
J: Okay, well, thank you so much. It was so nice to meet you, good luck for your photoshoot
M: You, too, thanks for chatting with me. I’m going to try not eat too much tonight so I look cool tomorrow