With his genre-defying approach to music, Australia-based musician DAMIEN fuses rock, electro and pop in a unique way. We speak with the eclectic artist about his new single ‘2 Out Of 10’, discovering new music, bad habits and more.
OSR: What drew you to music?
DAMIEN: I have always enjoyed singing. I would often sing in the car as a kid. My dad was a big Beach Boys fan, so we would nearly always have the Beach Boys playing when on road trips and I loved singing along. I didn’t start songwriting until I was 16 and found it a cathartic way to communicate my emotions. I think that is what has continued to fuel my love for music.
OSR: What inspires you to make music?
DAMIEN: For me, inspiration is constant and feels like an immense ball of energy deep within my soul that I can feel swelling in my chest and churning in my stomach. It is energy so powerful that it feels as though somedays it could cause me to explode, or other days it may suck me inwards into a vacuum. Music is how I find a release for that energy.
OSR: What can you tell us about your single ‘2 Out Of 10’?
DAMIEN: ‘2 Out Of 10’ is a playful critique of how we rate people based on appearance, and also how we often seek validation from our relationships and the people we associate it with. For me, it taps into my own insecurities about my worth and value, and my envy towards those who I think have it all.
OSR: Did you face any challenges when recording and producing the track?
DAMIEN: The biggest challenge I face is waiting for my neighbours to be quiet enough for me to hit record on the vocal microphone. I record everything at home and whilst the room I work in has naturally pleasant acoustics, it is not insulated from exterior sounds, so yelling neighbours, noisy birds or hooning vehicles are always a challenge.
OSR: Which do find more difficult: melody or lyrics?
DAMIEN: Definitely the melody. Words come very easily to me, but writing melodies that are interesting and different from what I have previously written is more difficult.
OSR: What do you believe is the best way to discover music nowadays?
DAMIEN: Live venues without a doubt. There is so, so much music in the world. Unfortunately, radio and editorial playlists will only serve you a very small proportion of what is available and they are usually driven by their own agendas. I find that going to live gigs in my hometown helps me to discover new bands that I may never hear on the radio, but who I connect with in a very real and personal way.
OSR: If you could change anything about ‘2 Out Of 10’, what would it be?
DAMIEN: It’d be cool to hear it done by a band like Violent Soho, The Black Keys or Kings of Leon, you know, a really dirty-ass rock version. I think that would be amazing.
OSR: Do you have any bad habits?
DAMIEN: Yeah, I argue with anyone who comes across forcefully in their demeanour. I don’t know why, but I really dislike being told what to do and when it occurs I automatically default to an antagonistic position.
OSR: What about good ones?
DAMIEN: I exercise regularly, which I guess is a good habit. Although, it probably stems from insecurity and vanity rather than for health. Trying to up my ranking to more than a 2, you know.
OSR: What does the future hold for DAMIEN?
DAMIEN: I plan on releasing one more single from my new album ahead of the album release. The album will come out in May and I am already nearing completion on the next set of works to be released after that. In between writing and releasing music, I hope to gig as much as possible and maybe secure the support of a good agent…we’ll see.