Exclusive Interview: DAO on “Worthless”!

Having skipped any thoughts of an EP to test the waters and released their debut full length “Worthless” on 27th September, Leeds natives DAO have given us tinnitus from listening to it in the best way. Far too loud. Seeing as they were kind enough to let us review the album before it landed everywhere that was good for your listening pleasure, we figured it would only be right to ask them a few questions about how the album came about.

Firstly, lets get the Elephant out of the room. We could understand DOA (Dead on Arrival), given the sheer adrenaline rush of your music giving someone a heart attack, so what does DAO stand for? and while we’re at it, what does it mean to you being in a band?

DAO came from the concept of daoism but rather than meaning too much we liked how bold and simple it looks. This band means we all have a creative and enjoyable outlet which distracts us from our boring jobs as well as a chance to let out some anger and frustrations with life.

How long have you been sat on “Worthless” waiting for the right moment to let the cat out of the bag?  As you recorded with Tom Dring of Vagrant Recordings (who also did the mixing and mastering) between 2018 and 2019, is there a back story to the release having a longer recording period?

We actually haven’t been sat on the album for that long. We recorded it across 3 sessions with Tom Dring (please check out Tom’s band CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR they rule and he’s an incredible drummer!) at Vagrant Recordings over the best part of 2018 with the final session in early 2019; the last few months have been spent sorting artwork, merch and booking shows. We all work a lot so finding three days at a time where we all were free to go to Southport was a challenge so that mostly explains why we spent so long on it. The idea to turn it into an album came later as the music and writing developed and became consistent, we incorporated the ambient parts into our live sets and by then it started to make more sense to us as a complete piece. 

The use of odd time signatures and tempos is frequently used in the album. Was that something that came about naturally or was there a conscious effort to write in a certain style?

Me, Dave and Mike had been playing around with some weirder/mathier music for a while before DAO but after hitting a bit of a wall with that we decided to start with some heavier styles and it was a pretty quick progression into what we’re doing now. It was definitely a conscious decision but i feel we naturally lean towards different time signatures and tempos anyway, we wanted the music and rhythms to be interesting and constantly changing rather than repeating the same parts over and over. We had Lewis in mind for vocals very early so as soon as we had 2 or 3 songs we got him in, his vocal style was perfect for what we were wanting to do & John after being in about half of the bands in Leeds anyway was a very obvious choice when it came to getting a full time bass player. Luckily they both understood what we wanted to do and both settled in right away.

We were going to call them white noise parts, but that’s not the case at all. What’s the idea behind the music that plays between some of the tracks?

The noise between the tracks came from me and Mike looping loads of delays and happy accidents with a few pedals and layering them until something sounded cool or weird. We recorded them in my flat in Leeds and Tom worked them in when he was mixing the album. We wanted WORTHLESS to be loud and abrasive and the noises create a momentary calm in-between the chaos. 

You’ve cited bands like Botch, Gaza, Drowning Man, Nine Iron Spitfire, Keelhaul and Everytime I Die as being an influence so which bands would you like to tour with as the opener across Europe should the chance come up?

Radiohead, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Tears for Fears 

“Worthless” by DAO is out now and available over at bandcamp

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