Interview: The Damed
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
The riot grrrl movement made me want to start a band. I felt invigorated and encouraged as a woman to play music and express my views even if my skill level didn’t feel top notch and the music scene wasn’t inviting because it was male dominant and sexist.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love going to see live music and this definitely inspires and motivates my creativity as a musician.
How long has music been your career?
I’ve been playing in bands since 1995.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Los Angeles. Native bands from here like X definitely influence our music. They embrace a range of styles while being punk foremost and I feel we do the same. Car chases aired on the local news are a very popular occurrence here and I wrote a song (“Pursuit”) about one involving a pedophile. The ending is quite lethal.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Best was probably our record release show of our debut album at The Highland Park Bowl. It was such an exhilarating night with so many friends, family and fans in attendance + 2 incredible all-women bands (Agender + Object As Subject) who also shared the stage with us. Don’t really have a worst. I guess I would say one that wasn’t well promoted so the attendance level was low, having technical difficulties or a condescending/incompetent sound guy can really make a show more challenging.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Love playing at The Redwood Bar in DTLA because the owner/promoter Eddie is such a supporter of underground music and the vibe there is always cool and it’s a good time. Plus it’s a pirate bar! Would love to play The Fonda, Echoplex and The Teragram Ballroom.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Siouxsie and the Banshees and Sonic Youth!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Put forward music that comes from the heart even if it goes against the grain. Have intention.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Set more boundaries with yourself, others and have more self-care. Don’t care about what anyone thinks or how they view you because of that.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Pulse” still affects me when I play it to this day. It’s about the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando during gay pride in 2016. I was at a pride event in a bar myself in Los Angeles when I heard this news. At the time it was the biggest mass shooting. 49 people died and 53 wounded. It was such a traumatic hateful act that hit very close to home. Gun violence is a subject I am very passionate about and I wrote this song shortly after it happened.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Ritual Revolution, Little Ship, Pursuit, We Are The Proof, Pulse. I would say Ritual Revolution, Equal Pay Day and Pursuit get a big response.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
Either jamming on my acoustic guitar, a riff from a collaborative band jam or sometimes the lyrics come first and start driving the song.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Women empowerment, political/social unrest and seeking justice, interesting news stories and how they personally affect us individually and on a mass level.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Sometimes, yes. The key is having open/honest communication and the willingness to compromise and let go without egos getting in the way. Try out ideas before you decide not to use them. That is the beauty of collaborating.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Our new single “Lost Days” will be released March 18 with a music video to follow on A Diamond Heart Production.
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