Dakona

Dakona

BandRock

Biography

It’s not often that a young band’s major label debut shows the lyrical depth and sonic sophistication of a seasoned rock outfit. But on their first U.S. recording, Perfect Change (Maverick Recordings), the Vancouver based Dakona have done just that. Perfect Change is both current and timeless, intimate and epic.
The rock quartet has a lush, atmospheric quality that combines heady guitar textures with deep, fluid grooves and piercingly beautiful melodies. Their album, produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day), Arnold Lanni (Our Lady Peace), mixed by Randy Staub (P.O.D., Nickelback), Tom Lord-Alge (Weezer, Avril Lavigne), drives and uplifts with emotionally charged songs of soulful grit and grace.
The rock quartet has a lush, atmospheric quality that combines heady guitar textures with deep, fluid grooves and piercingly beautiful melodies.
Dakona came together six years ago, when Ryan McAllister and cousin John Biondolillo teamed up with friends Shane Dueck and Brook Winstanley. The quartet spent the next several years locked away in a barn-turned-rehearsal space developing a sound that would eventually become their own.
Along the way, they built a fastidiously loyal following throughout Canada and Seattle, playing—as McAllister puts it—"anywhere and everywhere: high schools, parking lots, waterslides, wherever anyone would listen. We even played a hospital benefit once where we opened for a sex therapist that was doing a question and answer session for teens," he laughs. "Certain shows you try to forget." In 1998, the blue-collar band went the D.I.Y. route and released Good Enough For Me to rave reviews. Two years later, they followed up with Ordinary Heroes, which became the number one independent-selling album in Vancouver, garnering both local radio play and record company interest.
After fielding offers from a number of labels, they chose Maverick, and headed into a Toronto studio with producer Arnold Lanni. As the band would soon find out recording a major label debut is no small task. "We were still growing as a band," says Winstanley. "It was our first experience in a professional recording studio, and in the end we all felt that we needed to rethink our approach to the album. We had suddenly acquired a budget to record with, but money means nothing without the magic" So the band wrapped up the Lanni sessions with an unfinished album and a ton of questions about what their next move would be.
Two months later the band packed their bags again, setting off on the course that would eventually result in Perfect Change. That path headed south and into the hands of Grammy winning producer Rob Cavallo. After just 18 days in the studio they had nailed the album. "In Toronto, we took a very methodical thought-out process where we tried everything to find the right part," explains McAllister. "With Rob, we’d talk about each song for 20 minutes and then cut it and it was done. We were looking for something more spontaneous. And we found it." McAllister, a gifted lyricist who writes songs rich with imagery, is intent on connecting with the emotions of the listener. On Perfect Change, the singer turns a sharp eye to the world outside his window and looks for the light in a landscape littered with broken promises, lost souls and lonely hearts. His deeply affecting wordplay and evocative vocals give the record an intensity that has little to do with amp settings. Simply put, it’s an album for those who remember how to really listen.
McAllister [is] a gifted lyricist who writes songs rich with imagery
...intent on connecting with the emotions of the listener.
On Revelation, he finds a friend standing at the crossroads and torn between directions. McAllister explains: "It’s about a man who is utterly broken. It’s a song about that instant where you decide between what you know you want to do and what you should do. It’s a plea for direction…a plea for guidance."
Revolving, speaks of the damage done when one doesn’t possess the strength to walk away from a broken relationship. McAllister sums up the song with the impassioned lyric, "I should go and make this clear / But instead I will hang like a cheap chandelier / Over you, over you, over you." "That’s by far the most personal track on the record," says McAllister.
Other highlights include the album’s first single, Good, an infectious piece of urban imagery that delves deeper with each listen and "Trampoline," a song about finding peace in the midst of unanswerable questions. "Richest Man in the World" speaks of immaterial wealth while In God’s Name, one of the most affecting tracks on the album, explores the hypocrisy of the evil that is done in the name of religion.
After navigating their way through the growing pains of industry infancy, after keeping their heads above water through bidding wars and production difficulties, Dakona is finally ready to take their shot at the mainstream. With Perfect Change, their aim is dead on.