After Hours ‘18 Festival, Shanghai – for the first time in its 19 year history, MONO of Japan took the stage with a new member. He is Dahm Majuri Cipolla, a New York-based multi-instrumentalist, and he’s MONO’s new drummer.
Filling a role that has been occupied for nearly two decades is no simple feat. Dahm jumps straight into the action, with MONO in the midst of their latest album release, Nowhere Now here. Dahm has got all the qualities the band looked for in a drummer and his impressive CV backs that up. Originating from the indie-rock scene in Louisville, Kentucky, he’s worked with a host of artists which he tells us more later in the interview.
We speak to Dahm about his experiences with his new band MONO, his previous projects, and what’s in the bag.
You must be stoked to join a band like MONO. Could you share with us how you got the gig?
Yes, I am very grateful and lucky. I was playing with the band Watter that is also on the Temporary Residence record label. The members of MONO and myself share a mutual good friend Jeremy deVine who also runs Temporary Residence. He was the link that brought us together.
How has working and touring with MONO been so far? Any cool stories on the road?
Working with them has been really great and very natural. We connected from the first day playing together. I had been a fan of the band for years, seen them live and watched many performances on YouTube.
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My first show with them was at the After Hours Festival in Shanghai and it was a pretty surreal experience. Looking up from behind the drums to see the three of them playing, and that I was suddenly there as well, was a wild moment for me.
How do you see yourself contributing both creatively and technically to the band now that you’ve joined?
We have approached the music together truly as a band. Everyone shares ideas on ways to play certain parts and we figure out what works best for the song.
Tell us a bit about your projects and band prior to joining MONO.
I come from Louisville KY, where over the years, I was lucky to work on some projects with artists like Dave Pajo (Slint), Sapat, Bonnie Prince Billy, Evan Patterson (Young Widows) and Watter (Om/Grails). Since 2006, I’ve also been recording my own material under the name Phantom Family Halo. It’s an outlet for me to record almost all of the instruments and have friends contribute. I moved to NYC ten years ago and got involved in working with Lydia Lunch, Torres, Martin Bisi (Swans/Sonic Youth producer) and various session gigs.
Who are some of your musical influences?
My influences are very wide ranged. My favorite drummer is Jaki Liebezeit of CAN, but Bill Ward from Black Sabbath is a close second. I am influenced by many things from Throbbing Gristle to Bing Crosby.
Tell us how you got into music. What was the first instrument you picked up?
I am a multi-instrumentalist, but I had wanted to play the drums since as early as I can remember. My parents were very supportive and I got my first drum set on my 8th birthday.
If there was one artist you could collaborate with, past or present, who would that be and why?
Scott Walker. I would just love to create any sound that his voice would be applied to.
What MONO gear do you use at home, in the studio or on tour?
I have a MONO Cymbal Case, Snare Case, Double Pedal Case and a Studio Stick Case. I have a Zildjian early 70s 22-inch ride, 18-inch K crash, 16-inch A crash and 14-inch hi-hats in the Cymbal case, a Ludwig Rocker in the Snare Case, a DW5000 in the Double Pedal Case, and Vic Firth Extreme 5B’s in the Stick case.
I basically use all my MONO bags to get back and forth from home to studio and of course, they are with me on tour.
What is it about your MONO product that you like and why?
So strong and durable. I have no worries about my bags/cases falling apart.