For fans of Lower Than Atlantis, Citizen, Badflower
We first first heard the music of Southampton rockers Dali at a event they were playing in London towards the end of 2019 and were blown away by their massive live sound, well crafted songs and energetic performance! Their latest single, 'Borrowed Time', was released April 9th.
We caught up with the Alt Rock 4 piece to discuss everything from supporting Mallory Knox to being featured by the likes of Kerrang! & Discovered Magazine...
So why the name Dali?
Matt - When Jack asked me to join the band, he had a few names on the table and "Dali" was the one that stood out to me. I think with things such as band names you can overthink it and the simplicity of the name is perfect. Plus, we're all fans of his work, I'm sure most people are.
Jack - Dali himself as an artist has always inspired me as a creative. The way he works and gets his ideas, philosophies and of course, the art itself. I saw a painting for the first time a few years back and instantly thought, "that's a great band name," so I put it in my pocket and waited for the right time.
If you had to explain your sound in just one sentence, what would it be?
Matt - Passionate, loud and honest.
What are your full names and who plays what?
Matt Dudman - Lead Vocals and rhythm guitar
Pete Wright - Lead guitar and backing vocals
Ewan Williams - Bass guitar and backing vocals
Jack Grossman - Drums, percussion and backing vocals
How did the band form?
Jack - I started the band in October 2017, after I had recently left a prior project. It ended badly and gave me this tremendous, relentless drive to go after my dreams with everything I could possibly muster. I couldn't find the right musicians from where I was from, I was looking for something, someone, very specific. I relocated to Southampton and that's where I met the rest of the guys. The vision for Dali had been building in my mind for many years and a bad band 'break up' was the catalyst to put all my years of mental planning and preparing to action.
Matt - Jack moved down from Surrey to start the group, I knew Pete from a previous project and Ewan was one of the photographers we used to use, but we work so well as a unit. Out of the projects I've been involved in prior to Dali, this is by far the most cohesive band I've ever been lucky enough to be a part of.
What have been your best moments as a band so far?
Matt - There's been loads. Some small milestones that we've been lucky enough to tick off, some much bigger ones. Off the top of my head, supporting Mallory Knox, supporting Bellevue Days on our first show, and then they supported us on our single release show, being featured on Kerrang and Discovered Magazine. I could go on, but yeah, we've been very blessed with opportunities and I couldn't be more thankful.
Pete - Like Matt said, there have been a few milestones we've been able to tick off. Getting played on Kerrang has to be up there. It was one of those moments you dream of as a kid and for it to come true was crazy. We've supported many great bands such as Bellevue Days, Big Spring, Sick Joy and of course Mallory Knox. It's amazing playing with these bands because you always learn new things, which motivates you even more to work harder.
What can we expect from a Dali live show?
Matt - It's intense. You know we put a lot of heart into what we write and then by proxy how we play. We deliver every song with convictions, whether the song be heartfelt and poetic, or from a place of anger and angst, we feel what we play. That's almost key in everything we do.
Ewan - Normally a lot of sweating and shouting and thrashing around coming from my side of the stage. I wouldn't be able to stand still and play if I wanted to, which is why I love playing our music so much.
Pete - In our live shows we very much feel the music we are playing. I like to play Dali's music with a lot of emotion and I think this shows live. Instantly, from the get go of the set we are into it and we only lose ourselves deeper into the music and the set goes on.
Jack - A bloody good, god damn rock show.
If you could support any band/artist, who would it be and why?
Jack - I always find this question so difficult. I would personally love to see Dali support anyone who is kind enough to appreciate our band and music enough to ask us to share the stage with them. It's all about playing music together, and if we are all doing the same thing and for the same love, then that's cool with me.
Matt - No matter how you spin it, you'll get four different answers here! Personally, for me? Citizen, Deaf Havana, Dayseeker. Lower Than Atlantis would have been up there before their split as well.
Ewan - I don't know how we could ever fit on the same bill but I would love to play a show with Architects, complete musical heroes for me.
Pete - For me, at the top of my list would be Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Badflower, Catfish and the Bottlemen and lastly, Bellevue Days.
The music industry can be incredibly difficult, especially for upcoming music artists - what has your experience been like so far balancing ‘doing band things’ with also running the business side?
Matt - We share a lot of responsibilities, we're lucky enough and blessed enough to have the right "attitude" if you want to call it that. Granted there are certain areas where some members shine more than others, but at the end of the day we all want the same thing and we're all prepared to give it (the band) what it needs and requires, and that is paramount to the function of an ensemble in my eyes, being able to do what the band calls for, not solo efforts.
Jack - There's a lot to be done, absolutely, and being proactive and making sure we are on top of all things at all times and pushing for new things as well takes a lot of time, dedication and perseverance. There are a lot of areas to be covered. I try to keep my organisation and schedule as tidy and neat as possible. It can be overwhelming if you don't keep your mind and work tidy. Personally, I revel in it. I'm a busy body, so I always have to be creating something or working, otherwise I go crazy! I am super hands on when it comes to Dali, as mentioned before, I've always had a vision for Dali so I'm constantly pushing for growth and couldn't be prouder when we hit milestones. At the end of the day, business or not, we are making music and above all else, that is what matters. I love it. Always have. Always will.
Who are 3 other bands/music artists that we should all go and check out?
Ewan - As Matt mentioned earlier we have had honour of playing with Bellevue Days a couple times now. They brought out their debut full-length at the end of last year and it's so sick. I'm also pretty sure Pete knows every word of it at this point.
Pete - Ewan's not wrong here, it's no secret I'm huge on Bellevue Days. you should definitely check them out if you haven't. Toreador, a band we have been lucky enough to meet on the Southampton scene, have a very good sound to them with great vocals and harmonies, so for me you should definitely check them out.
Jack - I am really into Americana/Folk music. I'm completely obsessed with an artist called Jeffrey Martin. I was mean to see him in March, but unfortunately due to travel restrictions, he had to postpone. His songwriting is real, honest and beautiful Check out a song called 'Sad Blue Eyes' on his record 'One Go Around'. A band I'm really into at the moment are called 'Dawes'. I've been spinning their latest record 'Passwords' for like two straight, pretty much exclusively and can't get enough. Some great sounds on that album and amazing songwriting. My personal favourite from it would be the first track, 'Living In The Future'. CHECK IT OUT! Thank me later.
What’s next for Dali?
Jack - We've got a lot to be working for in the coming months and we are entering the most exciting times yet as a band. You will see all this will begin to unfold very soon if you follow our social media! Who knows what will be next? But you better be in the front row.
Dali's latest single 'Borrowed Time', released April 9th, is out now. Check it out below!
Dali's latest releases 'Borrowed Time' & 'You're Not The One' is available now on Spotify!