Sydney trio DMA release their second album, titled For Now, this month. Lead singer Johnny Took gives us the track-by-track lowdown…
1. “For Now”: This was one of the first songs that we wrote. So it seemed fitting to start the album with this tune. We wrote the melody around the drum beat which was something that we don’t do all that much. It was written in the wake of two relationships gone wrong. I guess this song is really about being frustrated with life.
2. “Dawning”: We demoed this song in London in 2016, along with “In The Air”. The middle eight was added in during a rehearsal. Not a love song, despite what the lyrics may seem.
3. “Time & Money”: The bulk of this song was written in sound checks while we were touring our first album, Hills End. Once we were home and living in Botany we refined the lyrics and used a previous demo of another song to cement the chorus. Sonically, we wanted to keep it quite minimal so all the parts could breathe and shine through in their own way, comparatively to a lot of our older material this is quite different. So for that reason it’s one of our favourites.
4. “In The Air”: Johnny wrote it on piano — one of the first songs we did with Kim [Moyes, producer]. He really helped us bring it to life.
5. “The End”: This one almost didn’t make the album, but Kim [Moyes, producer] persisted and eventually convinced everyone to record it. Probably the biggest departure from Hills End.
6. “Warsaw”: One of the earlier songs we’d written off this record. Had been a favourite and shows some off Leesbo’s (drummer) best drumming on the album.
7. “Do I Need You Now?”: Displeased with other bands we were in at the time we wrote the verses to this song in the hope that we would start another band. Once we did that we wrote the chorus using the same chords as “Play It Out” from Hills End. Similar to “Time & Money”, much of this tune was formulated in sound check. Using the original demo drum beat and synth parts produced in our bedroom this has to be a band favourite. For a sad song at heart it has an uplifting melody — we like using that contrast.
8. “Break Me”: As written in Melbourne around the time our first album was released. We wanted to write a tune that had an explosive chorus, but was mellow through the verses. The riff was written when we demoed the tune about six months later. The lyrics were written on the spot.
9. “Lazy Love”: One of our oldest songs. We used to play it live, so some fans would’ve heard it back in the day.
10. “Tape Deck Sick”: Was recorded for Hills End but we didn’t think it quite fit. Re-recorded it with Kim [Moyes], probably one of the more minimal songs on the album.
11. “Health”: This is a song that has taken on many forms over the last few years, it’s been demoed many times in different ways. The lyrics have always remained the same, however. So, when recording this song for the record, we wanted to be open as to what direction it took. We are not sure how it happened but we were left with a ballad-meets-lounge-disco vibe. Recorded in one take with a Korg volca drum machine loop. We were all pretty pleased how this song turned out, as we didn’t really have a clear vision for it going into the studio — and definitely the best version of it we’ve done.
12. “Emily White”: Written a couple of weeks before we started recording, we never actually recorded a demo of it, which is pretty unusual for us. ■
FOR NOW TOUR DATES
June 1: The Tivoli, Brisbane
June 2: Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
June 3: Metropolis, Fremantle
June 9: Forum Theatre, Melbourne
June 10: The Enmore Theatre, Sydney
DMA’S NEW ALBUM FOR NOW IS OUT APRIL 27
For the full article grab the May 2018 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.