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The Dazed Digital Age


UPSTAIRS: 29/12/23

So first of all, could you let us know where you are from what brought you all together?


We all have various backgrounds. I am originally from Inverness having lived in Glasgow for years for my art degree with various long stints in NYC and across the US. Martin is from Inverness where he developed his musical interests in producing electronic music and dj-ing amongst becoming an accomplished stonemason and builder. Ali has an interesting story being a gaelic speaking lad from Berlin who has now been in Inverness many years playing guitar in multiple different bands in the area. Gowans and I became friends around 2014 after I came back from uni meeting at various parties, and also vaguely knowing each other through mutual friends. We hit it off instantly through our sense of humour and we eventually decided to jam together in around 2018 when the band was formed. Ali joined a little over a year ago as Gowans and I fell in love with his amazing guitar melodies and hooks that he adds to each track.


Also how did you all decide on the name The Dazed Digital Age (Which we love btw)?


The Dazed Digital Age was the title of a track and lyric of one of our first songs and I instantly was drawn to it when considering names. I felt it encapsulated everything that we are about and relevant to the here and now. Because underneath the black comedy that is within a lot of our tracks (and even our name), we are a serious band that has a lot to say, commenting on our own lives and the world we have experienced. The name also holds connections to the style of music so we thought it just worked. Saying that, it is a contentious name choice, a lot of people think its too long and far too much of a tongue twister which I totally get but I think the name is unique and it fits us perfectly. 

Living up in the Scottish Highlands isn't for everyone. What keeps you here? And does the Highlands give you a lot of inspiration for the music that you make?


Funnily enough I have been living in Shetland the last four months but I have decided to move back to the Highlands in the new year so it seems I can't stay away from it. The area has definitely inspired a lot of the music but more importantly the visual aspect of a lot of our stuff has been taken from Highlands scenery such as the video for Symon and our press shots above Loch Ness. I am drawn to things of global interest and stuff that has a legacy whether it be a landscape, person or movement or whatever. I think we think outwardly too when writing taking influence from media, experience, art, sound and imagery rather than a place. I know heritage is extremely important and relevant to artists and should be but I personally don't like to dwell on where I'm from because I see everything and everyone as being fundamentally connected rather than isolated areas of influence or importance. Don't get me wrong,  I celebrate loads of artists that do endorse the areas they are from and it is an enriching thing, and it is an essential part of creating art. It will always be relevant because it is the environment you exist, but we now live in the world of the internet which is ultimately forming the whole of the western outlook on where they are 'from'. I think we have really brought that to our music recently with the concepts and imagery involved.

That said, Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations and why?


We have an eclectic set of music influences that broadens from music into culture and vice versa. We usually site Depeche Mode, The Chemical Brothers, Radiohead and Aphex Twin as being some of the artists that have had a direct influence on how our stuff has progressed. There is absolutely no doubt that's true and you can hear that in the music but in many ways I have personally been inspired by the lyrics and singing style of people like Morrissey, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor, Julian Casablancas, Alex Turner, Pete Doherty, Thom Yorke and Ian Curtis. I like simplicity in lyrics with an emotive conceptual drive  - quite often I repeat verses. Marilyn Manson's early work on Portrait of an American Family, Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals has had a huge influence on me. I know that isn't a cool thing to admit but he was veering on genius in his day. It went off the wagon a bit of course. I think it's because the music, albums and his band had a brutal concept. I love that. I think that is what divides you from the rest. It goes back to that legacy thing I was talking about, I'm drawn to artists like that - I would even site Hip Hop artists like Eminem and early Plan B as being an influence on me. I was always drawn to what was considered a bit controversial at the time. During my late teens there was only Pete Doherty and The Libertines. They were like Gods to me. Not the healthiest of idols to behold. That eventually fades though doesn't it, and you see the relevance of what they were and still are. Almost a symbol of a time in a way. I think repeating phrases in songs with little changes is effective as it allows you to alter the harmony slightly while saying the same thing or almost the same thing. It gives time to get the message across. Ali has been inspired to play guitar and develop his sound through listening to shoegaze bands - early Verve, Ride and My Chemical Romance are some of the ones that stick out to him. I can hear a lot of The XX in a lot of his hooks and phrases especially in our new stuff. Gowans has always been drawn to eighties synth sounds and bands, but also Prodigy, Aphex and Nirvana are some of his highlights of all time. and I would even say cultural influences like Stranger Things and Grand Theft Auto Vice City as being a relevant influence. The song Out of Touch by Hall and Oates is a banger. 

Tell us about your new track “Fragmented In Time”? How long has it been in the works for and what is the story behind it?

I honestly cannot remember when we wrote Fragmented but it started through an instrumental Gowans brought to the studio and the lyrics kind of fell into place while jamming. It was quite a while ago now. I think the highlight of writing that one was coming up with the lyric lead into the chorus - 'I wanna live'. It's actually a little difficult and I forgot how I even did it when we came up with it so we had to go back to lo fi recordings we had of the first jam to retrace my steps. I then finalised the vocal melody and lyrics in the verses. It is really about the realisation that you are a part of something bigger, that you are a significant part of space and time - that your consciousness will live on and that we are all part of a complex system. Kind of I guess about wanting to be apart of that forever, and the realisation that you are anyway. 'I am a holy part of space and time... I wanna live, I don't want to die, little pieces of my mind, fragmented in time.' 


You played in Upstairs around this time last year! For us, the venue has changed a fair bit. But how about you guys! What can we expect from you guys on the 29th December?


We want our performance and set this year to be immediate and to advocate us at our best and most refined. We are immensely excited to utilise the new elements you guys have to bring more to the show but we know the energy from us is going to be the most intense we have ever brought to the table. We went mad at Belladrum this year and this is going to be a little like that but on Steroids. 

The loss of Ironworks and Mad Hatters has been a big hit for grassroots live acts looking to play out. When TDDA first started, how important would you say having local spaces to put on gigs and of course what was a big end goal for a lot of local bands to play at a local venue of bigger scale like Ironworks? 


The ironworks was essential to our first few shows and we were lucky enough that they even put us on because we were completely unknown then but after those shows we seemed to get a little following within the area and it's definitely grown recently evidenced on ticket sales and how many people came to see us at Bella. I think releasing Symon helped a lot. I think Belladrum is a big focus for a lot of the local acts as it is a great feeling when you know you are on the bill. Its self assuring that you are doing ok. It's almost an extension of what the Ironworks was, but it's essential to play locally anywhere you can as the more it happens the more these places will grow. Some of our best shows have been in small spaces at home, if not the best. 

Do you have anything else to comment on about the current music scene in Inverness?  

I genuinely think its thriving at the moment and its at a bit of an exciting stage where people from the Highlands are starting to get noticed and also been completely noticed to the point of huge signings. Stand outs are The Joshua Hotel and Katie Gregson Macleod, both people I know, one a lot more than the other :) but they are both doing really well at the moment with their music which enriches the area more and quite possibly drives more interest from industry to the area as there is a huge amount of talent here in all genres. I think when you stick at it as long as Josh and I have you are past the point of no return of no longer doing it. It's a part of who you are. 

Thank you again, last one from us…

What can we expect from TDDA in 2024!?

You can expect a homage to a cultural icon of the early 2000's in the form of a new single from us, a lot of head banging, a lot more patience testing stage performances from me, and quite possible world domination. It's going to happen. Watch this space. 


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