Keeping it local (to us) with Edinburgh band DMS…
Based in Edinburgh but Callum is from the frozen north (also known as Inverness)
How did you meet?
Mikey went to high school with Jen but met John after a jam session with his cousin in early 2006. Callum ended up joining the band they were in at the time after a recommendation from a mutual friend. Mush was playing in another local band so we became mates after playing a bunch of bills together. Reconnected with Jen after running through a bunch of keys players.
How long have you been playing as a band?
DMS have been going for a couple of years now but Mikey/Callum/John played together in several bands together over the past decade.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
DMS = Deaf Mute Society. The Deaf Mute reference originated from the tagline of The Laughing Man from Ghost in the Shell since Mikey is an otaku! It also reflects how society has changed. A lot of people would prefer to be buried in their phones with headphones on rather than interact with strangers nowadays. As a society we are being rendered both deaf and mute by technology despite promises of a more open world. Just look at any online comment section to see how that turned out…
What are your influences?
We all have a wide varied taste in music but occasional common ground has been found through bands such as Tool/Soundgarden/Pink Floyd/Vulfpeck/Daft Punk. The individual influences could go on for days…
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Most bands hate this kind of question. We usually turn it round on whoever asks and get them to give us a listen then try to answer. Most people are as stumped as we are when it’s their turn so guess that confirms we’re pretty hard to pin down. It’s hard not to sound clichéd when claiming to have a “unique” sound but when the scope of our influences are condensed down into a 3-4 minute jam you really get something that stands on its own (in our collective modest opinion)
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
John handles most of the writing but Mikey occasionally pens a tune. We certainly don’t consciously work towards any particular themes. Generally we’ll have a hook then the rest of a song will naturally form around it. It’s worked pretty well so far.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We try not to take live sets too seriously. It’s always good to have some banter back and forth with the fans. At the end of the day we’re there to put on a fun show for everyone. As DMS we’ve probably played about 40-50 shows together but if you’re counting the earlier years then Mikey/John/Callum have played several hundred together!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
A few years ago when DMS was first coming together, Mikey broke his wrist on a stag do in Berlin (stories for another time) but still played the following week with his cast on. What a trooper! We also played a charity gig years ago with a bunch of hip hop acts where a group of break-dancers started having a battle during our set which was pretty cool to watch.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Callum uses a Mapex kit with Sabian cymbals. Mikey has too many guitars but his main axe is by Spalt Instruments. Mush is endorsed by Overwater bases. Jen recently bought a Roland AX that looks like Pyramid Head’s sword!
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our new EP Impostor Syndrome comes out 29th November just after our new single “Vain” which is releasing 2 weeks before on the 15th so we’ll be shouting about that for the foreseeable future.
What are your plans for 2019?
We’re supporting As December Falls at The Attic in Glasgow mid-October and then the EP launch party is at Cab Vol in Edinburgh at the end of November. We have some plans for a secret show ahead of this for folk that pre-save the release on streaming platforms but still figuring all the nuts and bolts of it. December will mostly be filled with drinking and song writing as we have a pile of half-written material to get through.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I feel like we would have been a pretty good support band for Queen back in the day when Freddy was still with us. I guess we have aspirations of stadium rock. We would have our pals The Naked Feedback open up.