Interview with Victoria S. of Damad
Interview by Mike C. - 1998
Live pictures by Mike C.
Damad is an intense band that will appeal to any extreme music fan. I was able to check them out at Milwaukee Fest last year and I must say it was a treat watching them perform. If you're looking for a unique band that stands out from the rest, definitely check them out!
The Outcast: First of all, please give the readers a brief description of the art you perform and why the band started. What are the goals behind Damad? And how long has Damad been around? I guess, in short, a history lesson for the kids.
Victoria: Well, we've been together now for almost seven years. Time seems to have moved gracefully over us, because it doesn't seem like it has been that long, and at the same time it almost feels like I've been a part of this all my life. Before Damad, I had a friend talk me into singing for a band he wanted to start. I thought it was pretty funny, since I've never had the desire to sing for a band, so trying to be open to the new, I agreed to try it out. I ended up really enjoying this form of release, and that's how I met Phillip (guitarist). After about two years, Phillip and I decided we wanted to try out a different sound, one that was more intense in feeling and that's how Damad started. Friends hanging out, different in fabric, but same in feeling. We wanted to deliver a sound that would draw everyone in a little closer to each other. Pure emotions do that, because everyone has them.
The Outcast: What exactly does Damad mean? Why such a name?
Victoria: I was just sitting around writing a bunch of words down on a piece of paper, playing around trying to find a word that might symbolize balance, and at the same time trying to make up a word that didn't exist. In that play, came forth a palindrome, dammad. Same from front and back, balanced, then dropped an "m" for a more fluid sound. What that really means to us is recognizing everyone's individuality with respect, with an open mind, and finding the common grounds, digging into the deep emotions that we all share.
The Outcast: What are some of Damad's influences? I hear a Today Is the day, old Napalm Death, Eye Hate God type influence to a degree. Would I be totally off thinking them to be influences?
Victoria: I think we all take what we like from everything in life and try to ignore the rest, and sometimes the rest has a way of slipping in. If I were to write all the great bands we dig, it would be one sick long list. We all do have those first musical inspirations that are amusing. For me, my earliest I would have to say came from the Greek orthodox church my mother took me to when I was a child. I really loved to listen to the beautiful gothic singing and chants. Even though I could not understand the words, I was really moved by the sound.
The Outcast: In Damad's "Rise and Fall" release, the art work was created by you. Why didn't you continue with the second release as well? What made you choose Pus Head for the art work on the last release? What does the cover represent for the first release?
Victoria: I've been drawing/painting since I was a little girl. Sometimes I would paint pictures I didn't understand, only to have them make sense to me later on. Like some dreams I guess. Anyway, being able to create visuals for Damad has been a great pleasure for me, as I am now able to illustrate my feelings much easier. Pushead is such a great guy, not many make the transition of growing and still being true to themselves. We have a 7" on Bacteria Sour, and naturally loved the artwork. All of us being old fans, we were that much more pleased when he agreed to do the artwork on "Burning Cold." On the first album; "Rise and Fall", we chose to use a piece I did representing the sometimes very empty cycle of getting up from bed, going to work, getting back in bed, and so on. The prematurely aged man has his arms raised in contempt for the sun, instead of praise. A rather sad story I think many are familiar with.
The Outcast: Who writes Damads's lyrics? Does the whole band contribute? What inspires the lyrics? My guess would be everyday life.
Victoria: I have written all the lyrics for Damad. I try to observe what is on our mind and in our hearts at the time, or from the past, and reflect in a way that maybe others might be able to relate to. I write in a cryptic way for that purpose, one word for many.
The Outcast: What are the peoples/crowds reactions to you fronting such an extreme band? I must compliment you on your eerie and disturbing vocal approach.
Victoria: It's the book by the cover thing I guess. I'm sure some people are not startled, but others are like; "What kind of voice is that coming from a female?" "I thought you were a male, how do you do that?" But it has all been positive, and pretty funny at times, because I don't feel freakish at all when I am singing. I choose voices that are inside me to go along to this music that I am very moved by.
The Outcast: What do you guys believe in as far as spiritually? Does the band as a whole have the same beliefs, or similar beliefs?
Victoria: What can I say here? We don't really go to church on Sunday, so I guess that's a choice we share. Everything after that varies. My beliefs are pretty simple. In body being holy, getting out what you put in, like karma. Everything, I believe has a soul.
The Outcast: What do you think of religion as a whole, not just one specific religion? What do you think of Jesus Christ and for what he stood for?
Victoria: I think it's good to find something in life that brings you strength, and religion does that for a lot of people. I'm not here to judge anyone for what they believe in. Everyone has different needs, and there are so many different religions. It's good to decide and not have the decision made for you. I think there is a reason for everything, but not sure it's based on one mans words. It's nice when things unfold to you through personal experiences (That's for sure!! - Mike).
The Outcast: What do you want your epitaph to say?
Victoria: "What was fresh is now rotten. Long since gone, but not forgotten. Breathe in the moment, exhale from the past."
The Outcast: What do you hope to find after death?
The Outcast: What do you think would be the worst way to die? Best?
Victoria: Long. Short.
The Outcast: Will Damad or has Damad been on the road yet? Will Damad ever play out of state?
Victoria: We've done about 3 month long tours to California. Just finished one in July. We also toured to New York a few times. We all really enjoy touring, because it gives us the chance to reconnect with old friends, and a family of people who sincerely care about what we are doing as a band. We feel very fortunate to have the support of these great people behind us.
The Outcast: And finally, what can we expect from a Damad performance?
Victoria: You can expect 4 down to earth people sharing themselves with you. Thanks for the interest, and take care.
121 East 63rd Street
Savannah, Georgia 31405
(Address may not be correct. I'm pretty sure they have broken up and now perform with other bands, but you can write and see what happens, they rock!! - Mike)