So do you remember that group who’s EP we said we really, really liked around a week ago? Well guess what? We have had an interview with them! You should of really guessed by the title, but I won’t hold that one against you. Just to jog your memory, Damage Protocol are a group of lads who impressed us hugely with their debut efforts on their self titled EP. With a sweet blend of grunge, hard rock and alt-rock, we were left with smiles up to our ears just listening to them crank it up. We were so impressed, that we had to ask them for an interview segment; it would of been wrong for us not to! So here you have it, our Q&A with Damage Protocol, sit back, put some logs on the fire and get ready for some fun…
Q. How did you all originally meet?
A. David – Damage Protocol started when I moved to Leicester, as a solo project until I found a band, I was gonna play drums. then I met Mitch through “Join my band” during our first jam I started singing to one of his riffs and he suggested we get a drummer instead so that I could sing. Calum joined the band about a year and a bit ago after our previous drummer had to leave and from there things quickly took off. since then we’ve done about 20 gigs this year so far, had our debut ep recorded and been on the radio a few times including on BBC Introducing.
Q. Where did you get the name ‘Damage Protocol’ from?
A. David – The name Damage Protocol comes from the title of a song I wrote just before the band started, ended up not really liking the tune (don’t even think the rest of the band have heard it) but I liked the name and decided to use it for the band.
Q. Would you say you come from musical backgrounds?
A. David – My granddad plays guitar and helped me buy my first bass when I was 15 so partially. But I didn’t get music lessons or that much encouragement musically, my family felt education was more important (probably a fair point for most).Calum – Sort of? There’s a right mix of types of musicians in my extended family, and I’ve been playing music most of my life, but it’s never something I’ve really had (or needed) much encouragement onMitch – Nope, I don’t think anyone in my family really played any sort of instrument, or even listens to music which involves real instruments. I used to play clarinet in an orchestra during primary school, but guitar is the only interest I’ve ever stuck at.
Q. How is the music scene in your local area?
A. Calum – Varied!David – I agree it can be varied, some gigs are pretty quiet others are very busy thought this seems pretty random. Always have a good time playing though, especially when our “three super-fans” turn up then its chaos every time.Mitch – Yeah, it can be very diverse and unpredictable. I’m happy playing to any amount of people though. If not many are watching, I just see it as a chance to perfect our set and take risks, and add a little something here and there. It keeps Dave and Calum on their toes.
Q. Who would you say are your biggest influences and how are they shown through your music?
A. David – Singing wise I think that my influences are bands like Tool, Incubus, Jeff Buckley, Linkin Park, tho I don’t think I sound much like any of them. I do think my lyrical style is influenced by these bands and probably Placebo too. Bass wise I’m not really sure, I really like the bassist in AFI and Tool.Mitch – My main influences in my guitar playing are; Matthew Followill (Kings Of Leon) & Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains). Also for songwriting inspiration, I like to listen to Deftones, Green Day, Brand New & Taking Back Sunday.I suppose it’s show through our music in one way or another, as most of our tracks have a darker meaning within the lyrics, but its often decorated with pretty guitar parts or drumming.Calum– My biggest influences in drumming with DP are mostly from Metalcore bands – Matt Greiner (August Burns Red), Nic Petersen (Northlane), Dan Searle (Architects) etc. Obviously with our sound I can’t go as heavy as they do and am nowhere near as talented, but I really enjoy the complexity and subtleties in their playing, and would like to think some of my drum parts are fairly intricate too.
Q. I’ve got to say I have a soft spot for your track ‘Man Down in Missouri’, would you say you have any favourite tracks, whether they be to perform or to listen to?
A. Mitch – That’s very nice to hear as it is one of the first songs I have ever written and been proud of. I think it was actually the first track we recorded as a band in the studio too. Also, that song started off from the title rather than the lyrics. One of my favourite songs to listen to is “The Face” – Kings Of Leon.Calum – Depends what tempo they start at! The heavier ones tend to be my favourites to play – Mortar Life is an obvious favourite for me.David – To listen to on our EP my favourite track is probably “Special” thought this changes frequently. To play I am more enjoying the material we have written since the EP was recorded (we got the offer to record after Alex Van Rose, the producer heard us play at our second gig) our tunes “Anomie” and “Witches” are most fun for me to play at the moment or our newest tune “Desolate” that we’ve just started adding to our set. It’s a soft then heavy type of thing and very fun to play.
Q. Do you have any big plans in the near future?
A. David – One of the local university’s music recording society has offered to record us, not sure if we’re planning and EP or album with them but we will definitely be recording “Anomie” and “Witches”. I’d really like to do a proper music video too. The videos we have so far are live or made by me so having a slick band video would be pretty cool. I also want to do even more gigs next year, a few festivals maybe do a bit of Europe, but we’ll see where future will take us.Mitch – Hopefully we will record some of our newer material during 2017, as our music has kind of came out of its shell, and our new tracks such as “Witches” & “Desolate” would sound so epic once worked on in the studio. I’d also love to have a proper quality music video filmed some time next year.
Q. What song did you listen to last and would you recommend it?
A. David – Dinosaur jnr, I was listening to a bunch of bands that don’t just do the typical pop track structure, and yeah they’re pretty cool. I mostly listen to unsigned shows though as I think that’s where the interesting music is to be found.Calum – Honestly can’t remember. Maybe something by Hail The Sun? Really enjoying them recently.Mitch – “Modern Age” by The Alchemy.I heard this song on Planet Rock months ago whilst at work, and loved it! Then about a month later, realised that we were playing a gig with them at The Shed in Leicester.
So there we have it! We urge you to check out the group’s music and social pages; send some love! I can’t wait to hear the big things happening in the future for this group, so let’s all make a concentrated effort to make that happen!