DMA’s look ahead to Live At Leeds: “To come back and headline is unreal”

The band also give us the low-down on their new album.

It’s time to start getting excited, Dear Reader. We’re just a few months out from the unofficial start of our summer festival season. That May Day Bank Holiday weekend means one thing – Live At Leeds. Packed with (literally) hundreds of the best new bands on the planet, it sees one of the country’s most vibrant creative cities turned into a mecca of buzz, hype and awesome live music.

To celebrate, we’re holding a special Live At Leeds takeover. Over the course of the day (28th January 2020, in case you’re coming to this late – Ed), we’ll be bringing you all kinds of stuff from and about the acts playing this year’s event. If you’re going, it’ll help you plan out those all-important spreadsheets. If you’ve not yet picked up your tickets – well, what are you waiting for? You can grab ’em here, right now.

It’s grand statement time, guys: come the end of 2020, there’ll be few bands who’ve had as successful a year as DMA’s. With their third album due to arrive in spring (24th April), bill-topping festival sets already confirmed (hello, Live At Leeds), and a headliner at London’s Brixton Academy about to rear its head (6th March), they’ve a lot going on. Lead vocalist and drummer Tommy O’Dell tells us more.

Hello Tommy! How’s it going? How was the Liam Gallagher tour?
Yeah, the Liam tour was cool – played some great venues and got a chance to play some new stuff.

It must be nuts opening for someone like him, were you fans beforehand? How did you land the support slot?

Yeah, I’ve been a fan for a long time, so to be on the same bill was great. He’s a cool down to earth guy which makes it even better.

You guys have a huge year coming up: there’s the album, festivals, a headliner at Brixton – are you ready for it all?

Yeah, we’ve just finished mixing the album and started sorting out the live set – we can’t wait to get back into it and play our new songs, as well as the old ones.

Tell us about the album, how long has it been in the works for? Where did you record?

We began working on the album pretty much straight after we finished ‘For Now’ – any ideas we had we tried to demo quickly, even if we were on the road. A few months out from going into the studio, we picked all our favourite songs and started nutting them out in more detail – it was recorded in Sydney, London and LA.

How did you approach curating the tracklisting? What are the songs about?

Once the mixing was done, we just sat down and figured out the best flow of the album. The songs were written over a long period of time (some tunes were even written before ‘Hills End’ and ‘For Now’), but like most of our tunes they just express ideas and feelings of our everyday life and what it’s like to be in love, down, happy, sad and everything in between. It also draws on emotions you feel when you’re on the road touring.

“It’s a great honour to be playing among so many other great acts”
Tommy O’Dell

In what ways is the record a step up for you guys?
Certainly in the production – we’ve tried to experiment with different sounds and ideas (production aspects) – lots of genres have been covered in this album, and I think it makes it an interesting album to listen to for that reason. Working with Stuart Price allowed us to do this in a really tasteful way. He’s sick.

You’re playing Live At Leeds soon, have you headlined a festival before?

Yeah, we have, a few festivals at home. It’s a great honour to be playing among so many other great acts – makes it a little more special to be closing the evening so we’ll do our best to put on a good show for everyone.

Are you going to hang around and check out the other bands playing?

Hockey Dad, an Australian two-piece surf rock band, are pretty sick. I’ll try and see them – others should too!

Do you have a favourite venue or spot to play in Leeds?

We love Leeds – all the gigs have been great. It’s always been a city that has supported us from the very beginning. One of our first shows in Leeds was this festival, so to come back and headline is unreal.

Anything else we should know?

Looking forward to when Leeds get promoted to the premier league – we have a soft spot for Leeds from the Kewell and Viduka days.

Live At Leeds will take place on 2nd May, visit for more info.

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