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Q&A With Don't Tell Dena

Don’t Tell Dena is a psychedelic/indie rock band from Oklahoma City. The quartet of buffoons channel Pink Floyd, Tame Impala, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and Soulja Boy. Started in 2015 by front man Chris Krummrich and drummer Sean Kanaly and later adding fellow ACM@UCO students lead guitarist Campbell Young and bassist Triston Lightner, the band has released two albums to date. Our solid rhythm section, tight vocal harmonies and energetic live show help us put a new spin on old psychedelic.

When and how did Don't Tell Dena come together as a band?

The band formed after Chris and Sean met in training class at Topgolf in 2015 when it was being opened. We ended up moving in together after we both realized we were both into music and began writing songs. After cycling through different members, we found Campbell Young, who we met at a show we both played, and later met Triston after he contacted us after we hung up posters looking for members.

What's your favorite show you've played to date?

One of our favorite shows we’ve played to date was The Yet in Tulsa. I (Chris) remember it was one of the first shows we played where the people were vibing to the music despite having no idea who we were. I think Tulsa’s music scene is much more developed than the one in Oklahoma City. People seem to appreciate live music much more in Tulsa than they do here. Too bad that venue has since closed; it was a cool place.

Who are some of your favorite bands in the local scene and why?

Some of the first bands that come to mind are Flock of Pigs, Johnny Manchild & the Poor Bastards and Rousey; all for the same reason. They put on a great show. I’ve always thought that making great music is one thing; but also being able to put on a show that captivates the audience is what makes a great band. We’re also very fond of our friends from Tulsa, Roots of Thought. They’re great musicians and even better people.

Who are your musical influences? (In life and those who influence the sound of the band)

We all come from different musical backgrounds. For example, Sean is heavily inspired by classic rock while Triston is big into progressive rock and funk-based music. Campbell likes more obscure groups such as The Flaming Lips and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard while I like groups such as The Strokes and Phoenix. I think our differences in taste help create our own sound. One band that we all appreciate, though, is Tame Impala. Hope we get to see them (or even play with them) one day!

What does your music writing process look like?

Usually, one of us will come to practice with a general song idea. If we all dig it, we will flush it out into a complete song. Sometimes, one of us will come to the table with a fully finished song and we’ll add it to our rotation. There are times, though, where we can be honest with each other and admit we don’t like a song. Being honest with one another has helped us resolve matters pretty quickly, and that’s something we appreciate about each other.

What can we look forward to from Don't Tell Dena?

We are doing a short tour mid-November with shows in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas so we’re pretty excited for that! (If you haven’t seen our tour bus, check out the socials, it’s REALLY cool.) We are also planning a short tour at the beginning of the new year passing through Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Tennessee. As far as music, we plan on using 2020 as a year to write and record our best album yet while also touring and gigging to gain more fans. We may release a single mid-2020 so that we’re not left completely in the dust.

You can keep up with Don't Tell Dena on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @donttelldena and stream their music here:

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