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RockBandAide’s Interview with Damone: Real Rock, No Filler

by on Feb.24, 2010, under Top News

Our good friend Tommy Wall at RockBandAide recently scored a gut-busting, yet enlightening interview Mike Vasquez and Mike Woods of Damone.

As we announced earlier this month, RockGamer Studios is authoring tracks from Damone’s 2008 album Roll the Dice. Keep an eye out for “Serial Killer”, “Conquer Me” and “Roll the Dice”. All of these going to available soon via RBN.

[Editor's Note: As of publishing, "Roll the Dice" is available for playtesting on the RBN Creators Club]

RBA’s Damone interview is full of favorites: favorite song,

favorite overseas venue to play, favorite way to avoid being screwed over by record companies, you get the gist.

Check out the full interview for the story behind the band name, embarrassing predicaments in a Japanese Restaurant and Damone’s very own PSA announcement.

Here are a few highlights from the RBA/Damone interview:


RockBandAide: For some of those in the Rock Band community not familiar with you, tell us a little bit about Damone.

Mike Woods: Pop metal band with some 80’s flair? Good? Good.
Vasquez: We ARE a rock band. We don’t have angular hair cuts, we don’t wear skinny jeans. We plug in and play and give 100% every time. We are here to help people escape all the crappy music out there right now sh*tting in their ears. Damone rocks!

RBA: What are some of your musical influences?

MW: As a guitarist everything from Eddie Van Halen, Hendrix, Randy Rhoades, to Wes Mongomery, George Harrison, or Les Paul.  As a band, Def Leppard, Motley, The Beatles, Joan Jett… stuff like that.
V: Guns n’ Roses, Van Halen but only the David Lee Roth era, Metallica, Johnny Cash, Hall and Oates; its kind of all over the place.

Woods and Vazquez rock Japan

RBA: Where do you find inspiration for your songs? What has been the oddest source of inspiration?

MW: I’ve been writing music for as long as I can remember. And ever since grade school it’s been a form of a mental escape (if that makes sense). Like, while I was sitting in class, and just HATING school, I would stare off into space and compose music in my head. It was my way of removing myself from the classroom. I continued doing this for most of my life too. Like when I worked at crappy-ass jobs, or anything like that, off into music land I would go.
Years ago I had this brutal retail job selling high-end clothing to the city’s wealthy elite. Clients would come up in there, all sparkling in their bazillion dollar jewelry, talking to me like a child, and chewing me out over nothin’ at all… and all the while, I wasn’t hearing a word they were saying. It was as if I wasn’t even there at all.
In fact, most of the “Out Here All Night” record was written under those circumstances.
I will say this though, I DO regret missing out on so much of my education years though.
V: I saw the movie Crazy Heart and the main character Bad Blake was asked that same question and he says “Life unfortunately.” I’m going with that answer.

RBA: Do you have any specific tracks that you are particularly proud of?

MW: “When You Live” and “New Change of Heart” are two of my favorites from the old record, and “Bored To Death” and “Conquer Me” from “Roll The Dice.”

V: Well I know Wood was really proud of “Conquer Me” but for me it’s “Talk of the Town.”  It’s the one I get to sing, so obviously its my favorite and I had so much fun recording it. I remember trying to figure out the break down where I’m discount viagra soft gels speaking and I didn’t even realize my friend’s 5 year old daughter was standing there totally confused watching on the mic. It was embarrassing and funny all at the same time.

RBA: Do you feel that games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have an impact on a player’s interest in playing a real instrument at some point?

MW: Absolutely. I joke about it, but I think games like these are awesome.
For instance, I’ll never play professional football (well… we’ll see, but most likely not) and I love playing football games on PS3 or whatever. So why is this concept so different for music?
Just like in sporting games, there comes a point of limitation. It’ll never be the same as actually going out and doing it. So as the player becomes more deeply involved, I think that they will start craving the real thing, and then… Well you can see where I’m going with this.

V: I feel like they are a blessing. There’s so much bad music and it gives kids a chance to hear some real rock songs. Am I alone to feel like kids today need to hear Skid Row and love them? In some way it reaches people much better than radio.

RBA: What led up to you pursuing putting more music in the Rock Band Network?

V: We want people to enjoy the music we work hard to make. We know radio won’t play it. The Rock Band Network is going to do more for artist than MTV and radio ever will. I’m just glad we have opportunity.

RBA: Is there anything that you would like the Rock Band community to know about you before your 2nd debut on the Rock Band Network?

MW: Nope. Just have fun and let me know it goes for ya.  And for any questions, comments, or info about me or my band, come find me at Mwoodsmusic.com

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