Watch the video for ‘Curious Things’ below.
How would you describe your music?
I write dark, post-punk rock’n’roll songs that are said to lie at some intersection between Danzig, Leonard Cohen, Billy Idol and Alice in Chains. It’s very subdued and sparse stuff, and I think I play with open space a lot. And it gets pretty narrative. Lyrically, I like kind of unnerving subjects, and the LP I’m wrapping up now is rife with stories about voyeurism, blackmail and secrecy.
In this day and age where anyone is pretty much able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets you apart from the rest?
I think the biggest difference is that many songwriters seem determined to sound like somebody else. “I’m gonna write some shoegazey shit like My Bloody Valentine!” or “I really want to start a Nick Cave-like project!” which is fucking ridiculous. I grew up on my parents’ jazz, blues, classical and French chanson singers, and supplemented that with Ozzy Osbourne, Morgoth, Exploited and the Pixies. I think I somehow stored learnings from all of those sounds, and I believe they — all of them — creep out in my songs. I can barely play my guitar, but I think that lack of proficiency results in a sort of ‘economy of style’ that forces me to write very simple songs with lots of looming, open tension. And, rather than trying to recreate something that other artists have already done, I just write what feels right. It’s not until after the song is written that I realize I’ve maybe tapped into some influence from my youth; something lying dormant in my DNA that helped shape me. Anyway, that’s what I think makes me different. I’m not setting out to ape something specific or fit into some particular hip, indie niche.
Where are people able to hear your songs?
All of my released material can be streamed on my bandcamp page (https://damiendone.bandcamp.
Are you playing any shows anytime soon?
My wife and I are expecting a baby in November, so I’m taking a break and then resuming shows around the release of the LP in February. Looking to do an east coast tour in the spring, and have been invited to Europe in the summer, so next year should be pretty busy for Damien Done.
What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a musician?
Anything I’m in the middle of is my proudest moment at that moment, so right now I’d say it’s the upcoming LP. It’s my first full-length album as a songwriter, and I think the mix of songs is pretty killer, and the producer (James Paul Wisner) helping me bring it to life has really helped unlock their potential. It’s dense, creepy and glossy, simultaneously lush and emotive and eerily cold. I’m really, really excited about it.