.damaged Interview

Like everyone we are always looking out for something new to light up the internal fires and bring something different to the ear. German band .damaged is one band this year which has certainly managed to do that with their excellent Road Trip EP. Without particularly breaking down new doors the band creates the kind of rock music which ears and hearts were evolved for. We had the opportunity to find out more about the young band and their music as they sat down to our questions and inquisitiveness.

Hi and welcome to The Ringmaster Review.

Hello and thanks for having us!

Tell us about the beginning of the band and its members.

We founded .damaged in 2008 with Flo, Alex and Sven. It was easy to get the connection to Christian because he played several projects with Alex and Sven before. Phil was the lead singer of a band we knew from our rehearsal room. The band broke up and so Phil decided to join .damaged!

Initially you were without a lead vocalist and second guitarist was it evident early on you needed to expand he line-up?

Yes, it was important for us to find a second guitarist and a vocalist as soon as possible because otherwise our music wouldn’t have worked! So with Phil and Christian we completed the band.

How long did it take to find the right people?

It didn’t take long to find the right people. We only had one change with Pascal who played at least one show with us and then decided to go into another music genre.

Once the band was settled original songs quickly followed?

They followed quickly but first we started out with punk rock. It took us almost two years to finally figure out in which direction we wanted to head with the band. Or in other words: To reach the ROAD TRIP.

And that the settled line-up led to live shows quickly too one can assume?

We watched out for gigs all the time, especially for band contest cause they give you the opportunity to play in big venues and more than one show if you convince the crowd and win the voting.

In 2010 we made the 4th place at the Emergenza contest in the local final, that brought us to Amsterdam! We also had the chance to play a support gig for David Reece and two shows on Ibiza in a Bar called “Hogans Rock Bar”.

With Sven on drums there was obviously that link to his father Udo Dirkschneider but one guesses there was the intention to do it alone as a band. Were you able to draw on his experiences though for advice?

We would lie by saying that we’re not glad to have that connection but the most of the things we’ve done came up from our minds. Anyway the experience of Udo and the rest of the band U.D.O., particularly the recordings of the EP in the studio with Stefan Kaufmann, is something that you can’t buy!

Tell us about those early songs and their subsequent recording.

In the beginning we were influenced by a lot of punk bands from America and our songs were similar to them. Because Flo has worked in an event engineering company we could borrow the stuff we needed to record the songs in our rehearsal room.  We recorded the songs twice but we weren’t satisfied with the results anyway.

As you said those songs were more punk driven songs compared to your later ones, what inspired the shift in direction?

By getting a bit older we expanded our interests in different rock styles. And that is how it came that we began to create a concept, which combined elements of the classic rock and metal styles with a modern attitude.

Around this point in the band timeline you were gigging heavily and occasionally beyond your homeland?

Yes it’s true we were gigging fucking heavily and that was a whole new experience for us. Above all the gigs in Spain and the Czech Republic showed us a new professional level back in these days.

I read that the band locked themselves in a rehearsal room to create the new collection of songs with the new direction in style, was it like that in reality?

This is a totally true story.

The new songs which emerged from the band felt as if the true .damaged had emerged or was just part of the bands continuing evolution?

It was a break in the story of our band because we didn’t continuously work to that point but it came from one day to another.

You recorded your latest EP Road Trip as you said with U.D.O. guitarist and producer Stefan Kaufmann. Was it a simple case of asking for his contribution?

We have to disappoint you but it was not just a case of asking. Fortunately the guys of U.D.O. were already interested in what we did, so logically we showed them the new stuff as well. By hearing this Stefan decided to help us to record our first professional EP!

Tell us about the recording of the EP.

Of course it was a big experience for us to record the EP with Stefan. And we learned a lot in the studio. It’s really great when you have your first professional recording and the guy behind the mixer knows what he is doing!

When we reviewed the release we said it comes without frills and plays like a buddy that you know well and without trying have a strong affection for. Does that sound fair?

It sounds fair so far because we’re really happy with the result of the EP. But after writing new songs, which are not always as straight as the first ones we will try to work more with effects and stuff to let the album kick your ass even more!!

How did the shows with U.D.O. last November come about?

After we were done with the recordings we gave the songs to U.D.O. and in the late summer when we were on our holidays on Ibiza Udo told us that we can support them on three shows.

Are there new recordings in the pipeline?

As we said we wrote enough songs for a whole album now we just need to get the material into the studio.

How have the songs you are now writing changed from not only those early days but Road Trip?

In our opinion with every song we write we think there is still a progress going on.

What is next for .damaged?

We have a few gigs coming up in July! One is the opening slot on the “Out Loud Festival” at the arena in Trier, Germany.  In August we’ll have a little break, but after that we’re still on the hunt for more gigs until the end of the year!

Any chance the UK will get to see you guys live in the foreseeable future?

We hope so!! We will try anything to get to the UK as soon as possible!!!

Many thanks for chatting with us, have you any final words for sure to be future fans of the band?

Many thanks for the invitation to the interview.

And to all you rockers out there: visit us on our homepage or on our Facebook page; listen to our songs on Youtube!!! Hope to see you somewhere on stage!!!  Rock on!!!

Find out more about .damagedhttps://www.facebook.com/damagedmusic

http://www.damaged-music.de

http://www.youtube.com/user/damagedtubetv?feature=watch

Read the Road Trip EP review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/damaged-road-trip-ep/

The Ringmaster Review 03/07/2012

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.damaged: Road Trip EP

If you are looking for some unfussy straight forward strong rock sounds then you should go checking out the new EP from German band .damaged. Consisting of five tracks that rumble through the ear to party with your senses, the Road Trip EP is a satisfying and more than decent slab of rock music as it should always be, pure, highly charged, and honest.

      .damaged had its beginnings in 2008 formed by guitarist Alex Staschko, bassist Florian Schmitz, and drummer Sven Dirkschneider, the son of metal legend Udo Dirkschneider (Accept, U.D.O.). With the line-up soon completed by second guitarist Christian Meinke and vocalist Phil Werbelow, the band set to work on writing original songs with a punk flavouring. Finished, self recorded and produced these became the first offering from the band though by the dying embers of 2009 the band decided they were not up to their evolving standard and re-recorded them. Success and good progress in the Emergenza Contest 2010, plus a continual series of gigs including supporting David Reece followed before the band sat down to work on new material. What emerged were songs that had naturally removed themselves from the punk genre into a defined rock fuelled area. Redefining their whole set and direction the band then approached U.D.O. guitarist and producer Stefan Kaufmann, with whom they recorded the Road Trip EP in the Summer of 2011.

Road Trip is an accomplished and fulfilling release that gives strong pleasure but also lays down great promise for the band ahead. It comes without frills or indulgences to simply rock out with each and every new friend who comes across it. The EP plays like a mate, a buddy that you know well and without trying have a strong affection for. It does not make one work through startlingly new ideas and sounds to get to know it but instead feeds from familiar rock elements to make a companion that one can enjoy life with and sink beers alongside easily.

The first two songs on the release are the strongest and has one recruited instantly to the band and their sound. Liquor & Poker is a smoky whiskey soaked slice of rock n roll. With rhythms that poke and incite alongside a bass that growls wonderfully the song unveils dirty riffs and suggestive melodies. Vocalist Werbelow has a great gritty delivery that compliments the sounds around him. The song does not explode preferring to saunter through the ear with a calm presence whilst holding a sense of menace suggesting get it riled up and watch out.

The title song is the best thing on the release, a track that bristles and cruises with high octane energy and muscular power. By the first chorus it has all joining in as if we have known it for years, fists clenched and emotions flying in its wake. As mentioned the release does not venture down new detours but what is given as proven here is accomplished and very digestible rock music. As the song plays the guitars whip up feelings and the pulse rate whilst the rhythms lead one in energetic enthusiasm, the combination irresistible.

The remaining tracks Long Gone Creed, Given Up To Praise, and Never Leaves My Mind, continue the pleasing and very agreeable sounds. The first retains some punk elements though still firmly a rock n roll track with anthemic qualities whilst the second of the three is an instantaneous stomp that engages and gets one again fully involved. By this point on the release it is impossible to ignore the excellent individual contributions, especially bassist Schmitz, his grumbling prowling riffs a constant dark pleasure that gets the juices flowing.

Road Trip is not the most original release to come along but it is one of the most satisfying and easy to become at one with. In future output from the band maybe we will be looking for more distinct and original ideas but right now the EP firmly shows .damaged as a band to follow and keep a close eye on.

https://www.facebook.com/damagedmusic

RingMaster 24/04/2012

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