An interview with DMA’s Johnny Took

6 mins read

Australian band DMA’s are preparing for their online global concert set to take place on 29 May.

In an interview with Brig, Johnny Took (guitar) discussed this and how it has been to perform in Australia (one of the only countries able to host in-person music events).

He described these limited gigs of around 150 people as a “weird transition” but said that “doing something is better than nothing”.

DMA’s were one of the first bands to do ‘COVID safe shows’ but have stuck to doing acoustic sets instead of full band versions, which Took misses.

“You can tell that people were really happy to be in the room”.


The band were able to play at a festival in their home country recently, performing to roughly 15,000 people – which he described as “surreal”.

Took revealed that the festival stage was set up on both sides of the audience in order for it to rotate.

DMA’s released their third studio album The Glow last summer. Took said the UK is such an important market for the band now, so it has been different not being able to perform their latest tracks for them.

Their last UK gig was at the Brixton Academy on March 6th of last year, which has now been released as a live album.

“Super excited to get back over there and play those songs to people because it’s been such an important album to us and it’s weird not being able to play them yet”.


Took’s personal favourites from The Glow (although they keep changing) are Cobracaine and Hello Girlfriend.

When talking about what it was like to tour with the likes of Liam Gallagher, Took said that it was great as they each grew up as massive Oasis fans.

“We hadn’t really had the chance to play many arenas so it’s a different vibe to playing your own show… the crew and everyone involved were super friendly so that was nice,” he continued.

It is known that Oasis are an influence of DMA’s. However, some other names that Took mentioned include Neil Young, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Chemical Brothers and Underworld.

He grew up listening to country music, with Mason from the band also introducing him to American bands.

“Because of my love for production, I am constantly jumping from lots of different genres… a bit of everything really,” he added.

Image credit – DMA’s on Instagram

When asked if they were excited for the online global concert, Took said: “Yes we are”.

“We know how hard it’s been particularly in the UK and other parts of the world, we’re super lucky in Australia so to be able to play something like that is super cool”.

“We’re purposely going to make it different, so play some songs that we didn’t get to play at Brixton and hopefully chuck in a few special acoustic numbers too”.


This will be the first time that some tracks from The Glow will be performed live.

The Glow positioned fourth in the UK album chart. Took was asked if the reception the DMA’s receive in the UK happened gradually or if it was sudden, in which he replied: No, it’s been quite a journey for us… we’ve been touring the UK for a while”.

“That was another thing that so heartbreaking with the pandemic is that we’d worked so hard like a lot of people to get to a certain point and everything stopped”.

“When things start back up again, people are going to miss live music and us not being from the UK I think it will be exciting to play again,” he continued.

Image credit – Ian Cheek Press

In response to a question about the band’s decision-making process when writing new material, Took said: “We all write and we all have ideas and then we get together in a room and we play them”.

“Every song is kind of different, we never really know what kind of album that we’re going to be making”.

Took said that the band has been busy working on new material throughout the past year.

“I’ve had fun particularly working on production… I’m kind of focusing on getting back to my roots and writing songs in the more classic sense of just an acoustic guitar and the piano”.

DMA’s announced this morning that they are featuring on a track from electronic music producer What So Not. The Change is out tomorrow.

Featured image credit – Johnny Took on Instagram

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