By Alex Distefano
By Daniel Kohn
By Aimee Murillo
By Nick Schou
By Nate Jackson
By Nate Jackson
By Dave Lieberman
By Daniel Kohn
Dahga Bloom channel a higher power through their garage-inflected psychedelic rock. The Fullerton-based sextet—vocalist/guitarist Bryan King, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Lucas Drake, guitarist/vocalist Matt Mason, bassist/vocalist Manny Lopez, violinist/mandolinist/vocalist Zach Nelson and drummer Sean Yakubovsky—were known as the Living Suns until five months ago, when a few members shared a dream. It sounds slightly ludicrous, but in it, the African god Dahga emerged from a blooming flower and commanded them to change their name. Musically, the group have switched gears as well, moving away from straight-up rock & roll into a new sound. Dahga Bloom meld Seeds-ish protopunk, atmospheric keyboards and jittery kraut-rock experimentation into a glorious cosmic slop. They are set to release a self-titled 12-inch and will celebrate the new work with shows at PB&J Gallery and the House of Blues. Don’t miss your chance to explore interstellar space with this wild-eyed crew.
OC Weekly: So, your new band name is based on a dream that most of you had during the past few months?
Lucas Drake: It’s the direction that Dahga has led us to take. It was a very spiritual experience. It’s not like the Bible that’s written down and you try to follow, but everyone is arguing over it. It’s something that we collectively felt directed to do.
Manny Lopez: We talk about it like it’s a dream because people freak out. I haven’t had mine yet.
Drake: He had the dream. He’s just denying it. It’s blasphemy.
Lopez: I make my own reality.
Matt Mason: We don’t worship him or anything [laughs].
Other than your dreams, what influences you guys to write and play music?
Lopez: I was biking by an oil foundry, and I heard drilling noises and constant buzzing that made some cool beats. I was like, “Whoa!” Everyone hears weird noises sometimes.
Mason: Alcohol, babies, alcohol, humans and canines.
Stylistically,how has your music changed?
Nelson: It’s very different, both in our vocals and what we are doing musically.
Mason: It’s like the culture of the Dogons.
Bryan King: It’s just self-critical, really. We don’t think about it as much anymore. It’s a lot less contrived.
You just finished your first self-titled, eight-track EP. What was the experience like for you?
Mason: It was very non-sterile. In most studios, everything is quiet—there is no one around, and you can’t hear anything but what’s in your headphones. We didn’t use headphones. When we laid down the guitars, we had half of My Pet Saddle and Audacity there, drinking and recording.
Lopez: It only took us a week.
Mason: If you soloed everything out, you’d hear people talking in the background.
You’ve only had two shows as Dahga Bloom. Have you had any crazy moments onstage? What do you want your fans to take away from your live performances?
Nelson: We played our first show as Dahga Bloom in June at the Continental Room with the Growlers and Death Hymn Number 9. There were girls fighting in the middle of our second song.
Mason: Everyone was drunk.
Lopez: It was hot, sweaty, salty and gross.
Mason: It’s like when Coltrane made A Love Supreme after he kicked heroin. He wanted to make music to make people happy. That is the purest reason for making music. We just want people to be happy.
Dahga Bloom perform with Casket Salesmen and Jeffertitti’s Nile at PB&J Gallery and Studio, 226 S. Main St., Pomona, (909) 287-9617; www.reverbnation.com/venue/pbjstudioandgallery. Fri., 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages. Also with My Pet Saddle, Free the Robots, Crystal Antlers, Cosmonauts and Lumerians at the House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; www.houseofblues.com. July 31, 8 p.m. $12.50. All ages. For more info on the band, visit www.myspace.com/dahgabloom.
Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and impending show dates for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to: email@example.com.
This column appeared in print as "Everything’s Coming Up Psychedelic."