Hailing from sunny NT, indie-groovepop 5 piece At The Dakota have forged their way in the local scene with their addictive pop sensibilities and hooky, quirky lyrics and melodies.
Question: How would you describe your music?
At The Dakota: We really wanted our music to be fun and chill and have people be able to dance to our songs, while not diving completely into a 'Pop" genre, so we like to call it 'indie groovepop".
Question: What inspired the Stories EP?
At The Dakota: -Stories' was pretty much born out of necessity. We had just started playing live shows and we really wanted to have some of our music recorded. We had a lot of people telling us they had our songs stuck in their head, and so we just picked our favourites from our live show. When we got the songs back from recording, they sounded so much better than just a demo, so we decided to release it as an EP!
Question: What should we expect from the upcoming tour?
At The Dakota: Some good tunes, some of fun and some good hangs! We really enjoy playing our music to new people and making sure everyone has a good time. Our first interstate show was a few weeks ago, and we were really surprised when over 100 people showed up with a such good energy. The vibe was great, and we hope our tour will maintain that buzz!
Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?
At The Dakota: We thought it was all about people in suits who had no idea about what it means to be a creative person, and that it's all about profit and the bottom dollar. But we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the music industry is full of people just like us, who have ventured out from being a musician to being a musician and a band manager or booking agent, etc. It's great to know that you're talking to people who actually get it.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
At The Dakota: Creating music is one of the biggest buzzes you can get from being an artist, so we really enjoy that process. Our inspiration can be drawn from lots of different things, although mostly it's pretty random!
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
At The Dakota: We all have different tastes in music, and by bringing those separate influences into the band really helps us maintain that eclectic dynamic within the band. But the common ground we share is bands like Incubus, Smith Street Band, Violent Soho, Arctic Monkeys, The Rubens, Birds of Tokyo. We do definitely try and listen to as much Aussie music as we can, supporting our bros.
Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?
At The Dakota: When we get back from tour, we're supporting The Rubens on their Darwin -Hoops' tour show, so we're really excited about that. We're also planning on getting started on our next EP in November, hopefully releasing the first single early next year, to keep the wheels moving!
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
At The Dakota: We had a rough patch after the original guitarist and founder of the band Steve-O relocated to Melbourne, but we soon found our feet and our bassist Zac stepped up to the plate and really helped put the band's plans into action. We really want to give this a good go and see where it takes us!
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
At The Dakota: That's such a hard question, because both are really fun. But we like to create connections with people who enjoy our music, so in that regard, playing live is always the best format. It's awesome to look out mid-set to see a stretch of people dancing and smiling and just having a great time with us!
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
At The Dakota: It's just one of those things, you know? It's a calling, something that you just have to do. But if we have to answer, we'd say the inspiration comes from watching or listening to our favourite bands and artists playing shows and making records and making a living out of creating music.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
At The Dakota: We don't think we're successful yet! Haha! But probably the biggest challenge is our work schedules and making sure we've not creeping too much on our work commitments. It really it a difficult thing to balance, especially when our passion is music.
Question: What's a typical day like?
At The Dakota: I don't think we have a usual routine as yet, so that question's a bit tricky to answer. If anything, it's go to work, get home, get to practice, run through the set, work on a new song, run through the set, have a break, run through the set, then a quick band meeting.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
At The Dakota: If we were to close our eyes and point at one thing in particular, it's probably the creation of new music itself, we really get a kick out of that. But also to play music in front of people is a whole lot of fun as well. People like to dance, and we like to make them dance!
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
At The Dakota: Kayne! …joking. We'd probably have to have a good discussion about that, given we all have different tastes. Maybe even someone from our local scene would be good, we're lucky to be a part of a very creative and talented community here in Darwin.
Question: Do you have a website fans can visit?
At The Dakota: Sure can – www.atthedakotaband.com
But social media is always the best way if they want to get in touch with us!
Question: What is the story behind the band's name?
At The Dakota: We're all avid Beatles fans, and the previous guitarist Steve-O was reading a few of John Lennon's biographies and the 'at the Dakota" just stuck. We all agree - it's a great name!
Interview by Brooke Hunter