RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW BIRMINGHAM BAND DAME
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
I have always loved writing songs on my own growing up, taking inspiration from female singer-songwriters like KT Tunstall and Lucy Rose. At university, I’d just been signed to student run record label ‘New Street Records’, and I started to play my music with other musicians, and I realised I enjoyed playing music collaboratively, this is when DAME started.(Shan)
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Shan sings and plays keys, Jake plays guitar and synths and George plays bass and tells jokes in between song changes. We also play with an awesome drummer Jake Thomas. We met at University of Birmingham through the Selly Oak music scene, and instantly connected with our love of pop (and beer). (Shan)
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
What’s it like being in a female-fronted band? We’re a band. ‘Female-fronted’ isn’t a genre and it also takes away from the amount Shan does – she ain’t frontin’! (Jake)
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
No, not really… although where is Avril Lavigne?! (Shan)
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
An unofficial Kanye Graduation hoodie, cost a fortune and looks awful lol. (Jake)
What useless party trick do you have?
George is your guy, he can flip full decks of cards off a table and catch them, balance objects on his back – loads of useless stuff (Shan).
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Probably when we played the main stage of Camper Calling fest in the summer of 2019, the sun was shining and we had this huuuuuuuge stage to jump about on. The sound was great too, it’s so nice when you can just feel comfortable enough to have a boogie. (Shan)
What was the worst experience on stage?
When George was working long hours in Winchester, and had to get up for a gig in London, he accidentally fell asleep on the train and missed his stop. We thought we were going to have to play the whole set without a bassist but he managed to jump on stage (rock star style) and plug in just in time for the 2nd chorus in our opener. (Shan)
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
George has a degree in medicine and is a fully trained doctor.
Jake studied French at university and is a fluent speaker
Shan is grade 8 trombone, to the point where she was going to study trombone at university (she didn’t!).
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Fun, optimistic, occasionally cheeky, pop. (Jake)
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I think our songs are very direct and upfront. We’re not afraid of really leaning into the pop thing. Who doesn’t love pop music right?! (Jake)
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )
The thought that I might not get Glastonbury tickets in the resale…!! (Shan)
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
My favourite to play is selfishly always the new one that people haven’t heard yet, I guess because it’s usually the most lyrically relevant in my life and is a good way to express current emotions. Also, the more we write together, the tighter and generally better the songs are, so there’s that! (Shan)
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it? Talk me through the thought process of the single?
We do! And we’re really excited about it considering it’s been almost a year since our last. ‘Be There’ is a fun and flirty poptimistic anthem about having the confidence to vocalise your desires and set your intentions straight. It’s a response to the unspoken lust between two people who are playing games and waiting to see who makes the first move.
What was the recording process like?
The studio session for ‘Be There’ was in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit. Because we couldn’t finish producing in the studio, and partly out of pandemic boredom, we took on the tasks of producing the song ourselves (learning on the job) which took a while but was very rewarding. Then we sent it off to Ryan Pinson at RML to mix and he did a fantastic job! (Jake)
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
It sounds obvious, but just keeping in mind the power of in-person writing sessions. Especially now with everything on Zoom/Teams, and with us not all living in the same place, it’s very easy to default to distanced writing and sending bits back and forth. With ‘Be There’, and the majority of our favourite tunes, one of us has started them and then brought them to the band where we all finish it in one room together. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the simplest method is often the best! (Jake)
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I’d turn down the guitar lick in the second verse but I’m defo the only one who’s going to notice that! (Jake)
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Keep writing, recording and releasing. We have so much in the works so this year is all about pulling it together and getting it out into the world. We definitely want to squeeze in a few gigs too! (Shan)