From experimental rebellion to high-BPM pub pumpers, nobody is renovating their sound like Dada Ono

With many bands, it’s easy to track the process of musical creation from one song to the next, one album to the next. However, Melbourne four-piece Dada Ono offer nothing so simple. The eclectic nature of each new release is clearly a factor in the excitement surrounding their latest single Don’t Wanna Spend My Money.

The new cut’s high tempo intensity and powerful guitar lines are certainly a departure from previous releases such as Should the Sun and Blurred Vision, which offered chilled out, dreamy electronica vibes with sparing vocal samples.

dada ono don't wanna spend my money album launch
Photo by Brianna Clare Photography

As incongruous and passionate as the art movement from which they take their name, Dada Ono is one band who will never bat an eyelid in the winds of change.

This distinct change in style has a seemingly frivolous justification according Dada Ono front-woman Nik Ranger.

“I wrote this song for my friend Karen, we figured out all her favourite songs were 170bpm so I endeavoured to write in that timing,”

However, this playful and carefree approach is one of the major attractions of the band, and frivolity, in my opinion, is highly underrated. The unconventional starting point for Dada Ono is one of the reasons for this unpredictability. We got the low-down on the band’s humble beginnings from Ranger.

“Dada Ono began being conceptualised in Siem Reap, Cambodia whilst I was working there teaching music in an effort to not completely lose my mind… I found a cheap MIDIkeyboard and started banging away at it in my free time and brought those ideas to Melbourne.”

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The rest of the band, comprised of guitarist Jason Whatt, bassist Tom Hainsworth, and Broghan O’Loughlin on the drums, came together around the concept Ranhad started in Cambodia, and began banging out a great variety of tunes, brimming with originality.

Comparing Don’t Wanna Spend My Money with previous releases such as Paradise or Blurred Vision, one could be forgiven for thinking it had come from a totally different band. In an effort to reconcile the different sounds, we asked Ranger how the recording process on the new single differed from previous releases.

“I think all of us had a crack at the guitar line which was really fun. In the end it’s actually our drummer Broghan who had the final say, he was able to imbue himself into that great sound. It’s nice to know that people are noticing how we’re evolving as a band, there’s been an emphasis on wanting to have a diverse sound and to give each song its own unique temperament.”

The concept of Dadaism, obviously part of the band’s namesake, is an artistic ideology revolving around anarchic rejection of logic and reason in art. Of course, Dada Ono’s relationship with the movement isn’t black and white.

“My interpretation of Dada is that of the rebel. One who says no, but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. One that says yes as soon as one thinks for themselves. When I first started creating this music I wanted each song to have some Avant Garde, meta approach that explored this definition and its various interpretations. Over time that got a bit boring because of the narrow scope, it’s more fun to write dumb songs for your friends. I guess now it’s more of an ideology that loosely wraps itself around the work that we create.”

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This ideological complexity so free of pretension adds a depth to the seeming simplicity of a song like Don’t Wanna Spend My Money. Exciting times lie ahead for fans of Dada Ono, with the band set to embark on a huge undertaking in the next couple of months.

“We’re going on tour in April to properly launch this beast (the album) and inflict it upon as many Australians along the east coast. We launch the album at The Evelyn March 10th. That’s going to be with our good friends from Masco Sound System and The Dead Heir. Being our album launch we’re planning something extra special and have a few antics in the works, I can’t wait to unleash.”

Grab all the info you need for Dada Ono’s album launch right here. 

Don’t Wanna Spend My Money is out now.

Read: If you’re hunting around for some samples, check out our list of the best Youtube to MP3 converters.