I first saw DAMAGES in a tiny little pub in Taunton a few weeks ago, as part of a amazingly ear-destroying line up of local punk/thrash/ska bands. DAMAGES stood out due to their almost poppy take on the alt-punk genre they play. Like Test Icicles belting out Smashing Pumkin covers over a broken PA system; it’s this combination which got me so entranced. Alice ‘Jelly Pegs’, the bassist, plays it like she’s breaking someone’s neck. Scott, meanwhile, flicks between thrashing his guitar to pummeling his synth/drum/noise pad effortlessly and Dan gets pretty sweaty – he’s one of the most energetic drummers I’ve seen in ages. All this together also makes DAMAGES one of the most authentic new punk bands I’ve seen in a while too.
What inspired you to start the group?
Scott: Just music in general, like doing nothing is not fun so its good doing something, and that something is super cool being music, like playing shows and stuff.
Alice: Yeah like Scott said, I think just listening to music is inspiration enough, and perhaps the want to create and put your time and effort into something is good to be able to do.
Dan: I wanted to make delicious noise with my friends, something that doesn’t sound like anything ever created before.
Where are you from and how has that place affected your music?
Scott: I’m from east Huntspill, that’s like 5 miles away from Burnham where Dan and Alice live. So it affects me in the way that it makes me fit having two band pracs a week. Also because nothing happens there i think it makes me concentrate more on music.
Alice: I think the lack of music scene in Burnham and East Huntspill makes you try harder to be heard and makes you focus on the direction you actually want to take.
Dan: Burnham on Sea is like a landfill full of cover bands. I didn’t want to play covers, I wanted something completely my own.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes?
Dan: Sure why not?
Scott: What does it take?
Alice: I guess we’ve got what we’ve got.
Inspirations… who are yours and what songs from them have inspired you the most?
Scott: Grunge and electro house. It makes me think about not only relentless chords but the melodies that get you hooked.
Alice: The entire creative spectrum, but musically mainly 90s noise. My bloody valentine, sonic youth and pixies are probably the most prominent to the sound of the band on my part.
Dan: Lots of things, Deerhoof, Lightning Bolt and Battles mainly. I like the frantic drumming and the tasty rhythms.
Has the group go a manifesto, if so, what is it?
Alice: If we did it would probably be blank, maybe it’s best not to say what you’re all about and just see what happens, I mean we sing songs about bumble bees, how can you put that in a manifesto? “The oath of the bumble bee”?!!?
Scott: I don’t even know if that’s in context
Dan: Yes, It’s a secret.
Describe the band to someone who has never heard you before.
Scott: Grunge that you can dance too.
Alice: We’ve been told we remind people of ADHD.
Dan: Ear Candy
By Nicholas Burman.