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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Five things we learnt from DMB’s bassist Stefan Lessard

The bassist talks about the band's first visit to Abu Dhabi, changing things up when playing tracks, opening for big legends and more.
Stefan Lessard. Jason Squires /WireImage / Getty Images
Stefan Lessard. Jason Squires /WireImage / Getty Images

None of the band have ­visited Abu Dhabi before.

“It will be our first time there, so we’ll be very pumped up and excited to play for some new audience members. We love travelling outside of our comfort zone, it’s a real treat for us. ­Musically, we’re going pretty much a month after our summer tour, so the band will be pretty tuned, all our chops will be ready to go, it’s a good time to see us.”

They play things different every night.

“After playing a song for 25 years, you want to try to do something a little more interesting for yourself. Nothing is planned. Every night is a journey, and even though we might play four on five of the same songs we played the night before, there’ll be different moments, we’ll switch stuff up right onstage. We’re not connected to any sort of click track or loops.”

We might get to hear some brand new material.

“Hopefully by the time we get over there we’ll have a couple of new ones. It’s great to throw in those news songs even before the record comes out, it gives the audience a taste of something they’ve never heard before, and it also shows us how they react.”

The band have backed legends including James Brown, Bob Dylan, Al Green and Neil Young.

“Playing with James Brown was pretty intimidating. You have to play loose when you play with Neil, listen to what he’s doing to fit into his groove. I love the way he approaches his songs, it was such a learning experience. That’s a powerful thing to just strum an open E chord on a guitar, which for some reason, when Neil picks up a guitar and does it, just sounds like Neil.”

They don’t really care about the jibes.

“We hope it’s cool, but we’re up there having too much fun to really care.”

rgarratt@thenational.ae