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Interview: Tommy O’Dell of DMA’s


MATT Mason, Tommy O’Dell and Johnny Took are Sydney’s DMA’s; a trio tipped to do big things in 2014 and beyond following the March release of their well-received self-titled debut EP. Their music is a style of nostalgic garage-rock with an authentic Australian slant; we challenge anyone who listens to DMA’s ear-worm of a song ‘Delete’ to get it off your radar. With that, Tommy, at lightning speed, scribbles down some brief answers to some brief questions.

What can fans expect from your show at Splendour in the Grass?

Guitars heavy, big choruses, rock and roll.

Given that you’re a relatively new band and have just five songs on record thus far, what will fill a full set?

The EP in full, three other tracks and instrumentals.

How did it feel to be mentioned in the NME and have a full page in Rolling Stone? What did you do to celebrate?

I was surprised that our music had filtered to NME and Rolling Stone that quickly. We were recording at the time so I can’t remember any specific celebration. I guess it gave us a spring in our step.

What other Splendour acts have you most been wanting to catch? Have you any backstories with these bands?

I am really looking forward to catching Jungle. And Sticky Fingers are our mates; they will put on a good show for sure.

Do you feel it is a fair comparison when your music is compared to that of Oasis etc.?

Yeah, it’s fair. Our music sits best beside ‘90s guitar bands.

In your opinion, which of the Britpop bands didn’t get enough acclaim?

Ride, Cast and Ocean Colour Scene.

What’s next for DMA’s? When can we expect an album?

We’re doing a 7” later this year, followed by an album in the first half of next year.

If you could invest in bands much like listed companies on a stock market, who would you throw a lazy $5k towards?

Any local band who can record themselves. $5k can get you what you need to make a record.

For Splendour in the Grass 2014

Record review: DMA’s – DMA’s (2014, EP)

dmas ep

Reviewing new music often degenerates into simply working out which bands to compare to which bands; this band will move you like that band, or if you like that tune you’ll love this one, and so on. Then along come Newtown trio DMA’s and make the job so easy that you’re not sure if it’s an unashamed rip-off, genuine homage, or a mixture of both. This five-track debut EP is so steeped in ’90s indie-rock and garage-pop flavours that you expect it to let out an extended Liam Gallagher-esque vocal sneer at any second, but thankfully it never comes. Instead, this is a collection of tunes moulded by a combination of Britpop melodies, rough edges and plenty of heart, carried off by a bunch of scallywags you wouldn’t trust to borrow your car and bring it back in one piece, if at all. Opener ‘Feels Like 37’ veers close to ‘Morning Glory-era Oasis territory, while there’s more than a hint of shoegaze guitars under a Charlatans vocal line about ‘Play It Out’. The high point is closer ‘Delete’; the most delicate and almost ballad-like track, which will appeal much more to fans of Noel Gallagher than it will to those of his more abrasive younger sibling. This is a promising start to a young band’s career, but it’s how DMA’s take a sound cemented in such obvious reference points and make it their own that is most important from now on.