The Buddha Den

Everything you wanted to know about the Dayton music scene and more but were afraid to ask

Monday, January 21, 2008

PROFILE: De Novo Dahl

...this Thursday night at The Nite Owl you've got a real treat in store: De Novo Dahl from Nashville will be making a stop in Dayton during a brief winter outing. With their incredibly upbeat,danceable brand of indie pop,we couldn't recommend any higher that you do everything you can to make this show.

We were able to wrangle an interview with De Novo Dahl bassist, Keith Lowen. Read on...

The Buddha Den: What is the function of De Novo Dahl? What motivates you as a group to do what you do? What brought you all together in the first place? From where do you all pull influences?

Keith Lowen: I think you would get 5 totally different answers to that question depending on which one of us you asked. In my opinion, De Novo Dahl tries to be what our name describes. Roughly, "De Novo Dahl" means "the new Dahl." Roald Dahl was an eccentric, creative, exciting, and FUN
writer. We try to encompass all of those adjectives in our music, hence
"the new Dahl." Also, I think we want our shows and music to highly
incorporate crowd participation and try to eliminate the division
between band and audience as much as possible. We love shows where fans
get on stage and dance with us or when there's no stage at all.

The band formed six or seven years ago when Joel and a guy named Mark
Bond, who now plays in a band called The Features, formed a new band
after their high school band broke up, long story short. De Novo Dahl
started as a six-piece and in late 2005, half the band quit. Joel, Joey,
and Serai wanted to keep it going and Joel and I were pretty close and
had worked on some other music projects together. That, plus I was
already a huge fan of the band, so it didn't take much to convince me to
join. Matt just joined about 6 months ago. We went to high school
together and he was an excellent musician even back then, so he was an
easy choice when we had yet another keyboardist leave the band.

I think our influences are across the board. I definitely had a long
funk phase where all I listened to was Sly and The Family Stone, The
Meters, James Brown, and stuff like that so I probably incorporate some
of that into my playing. I also listen to a fair amount of brit-rock and
power pop which influences my playing and writing. Joel listens to a lot
of Kinks, Bowie, and Hip Hop. Joey listens to a lot of hip hop, but it's
not rare to catch him listening to Peter Gabriel, Sting, and stuff like
that. Matt likes a lot of random, obscure Japanese rock and also lots of
glam stuff. Anyway, it's all over the board, which probably has a lot to
do with the music we create.

TBD: How would you describe the current scene in Nashville?

KL: I think Nashville has the best music scene in the world. We had a
festival recently called Next Big Nashville in venues all over town
featuring almost exclusively Nashville-area bands and I would put the
quality of music up against South by Southwest or CMJ any day.
Obviously, Nashville is known as a country town, but there are so many
great rock bands here, pretty much all of whom are getting out on the
road a lot now, so I think the stigma of "Nashville band" will change
very soon.

TBD: What continues to bring you back to Dayton? Why the decision to do a small tour now?

KL: We probably have more fun in Dayton than any other city. The first time we played there after I joined the band, we played at The Pearl Club on a night where they were also doing a tattoo exhibition featuring nude women in body paint. De Novo Dahl plus drunk dudes plus naked girls
dancing equaled a pretty crazy, amazing show. Ever since, we've gotten
great reactions every time we've played in Dayton and there are a
handful of kids that come to our shows that always make us dinner and
show us a good time when we're in town. And as I said before, we like
playing shows where the band and crowd seem to be equally involved in
creating the show, and Dayton seems to have the most interactive crowds
we've played for...or with.

TBD: What can we expect from De Novo Dahl in 2008?

KL: Our new record, Move Every Muscle Make Every Sound comes out March 25th. I am incredibly proud of the record and think people are going to love it. We'll most likely be touring constantly once it comes out, so you
can expect a really good record and lots and lots of De Novo Dahl shows
in 2008.

Why did you abandon the stripes for the glam threads?

We didn't abandon the stripes. In fact we played a show in Nashville
wearing the stripes this week. It's just that we just got the Nudie
Suits (look up Nudie Cohn on Wikipedia), we paid a lot of money for
them, and we love them so we wear them most of the time. You can
definitely expect for De Novo Dahl to keep coming up with crazy wardrobe
ideas. I absolutely can't wait for our record release show, because we
have something different up our sleeves that is going to be incredible
if we pull it off.

De Novo Dahl will be at The Nite Owl this Thursday, January, 24, with We Are the Fury and Grizzzy Bear. If you need a little more to go by, view this intro to the band by their label, Roadrunner Records. Apparently, it's causing quite a stir...

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