Andrew Morrison (Damages, All Through a Life, Deadsure) Interview

カナダはヴァンクーヴァーのエモ/ハードコア・バンド、DamagesのAndrewにインタビューさせてもらいました。彼はClue #2 Recordsというレーベルをやってて、そこでDamagesやAll Through a Life, Render Uselessなどの音源を出してたので、ディストリビューションさせてほしいとメールしたのが最初のコンタクト。その後Damagesの新しいEPが出たので扱ってほしいというメールが向こうから来て、あれこれメール交換してるうちに今回のインタビューにいたりました。
本文でも触れられてる通り、DamagesはもともとAll Through a Life (R.I.P)のサイドプロジェクトとして始まったバンド。Navio Forge, Unsane, Shellac, Shotmakerなどの影響を感じる90's emo + ノイズロックという感じの独特な音を出してるので、90年代激エモが好きな人やAmphetamine Reptileら辺のジャンクなバンドが好きな人は一聴の価値ありだと思います。

I always ask this question because it’s always interesting to hear; how did you get into hardcore / DIY emo originally? And how did you get involved in it?

I was lucky, I had a couple uncles who were into 70's and 80's punk and hardcore. They turned me on to punk when I was eleven years old, it's stuck with me ever since. Once I started playing an instrument it was inevitable that I would play punk and hardcore music.

How did Damages get started? And what was the original concept?

I've been playing music with Hieg in various bands for years. We started a band called All Through A Life while we were still playing in a band called Deadsure. The idea of All Through A Life was to do an emo band like the ones we loved from the 90's. As Deadsure finished we made ATAL our focus, but the singer in ATAL was in university and it took a lot of his time, so we started Damages as a side idea so we could keep playing music when we weren't able to do ATAL. Eventually ATAL's singer moved for school and Damages became our main focus. We got Carl on vocals and Andy was our drummer in ATAL too. When Andy moved we got Motor on drums, and when he moved Ryan took over for him.

The original concept was to do an emo band inspired by similar influences to ATAL, mainly Ebullition and Discord bands, but also include other influences like Amphetamine Reptile and early Touch and Go noise rock. We wanted to take a familiar sound and do something new with it. While it's easy to hear Damages influences in the music, I don't think we sound like a copy of any other band, which is what we aimed for.

I read some of the Damages members (used to) play in youth crew bands (Blue Monday, Keep it Clear, etc.). I grew up going to youth crew shows and eventually got into DIY emo scene, but people like me are rare in Japan. So I was surprised that people who came from youth crew scene formed a band like Damages. Is it ordinary for people in Canadian scene to like both Policy of 3 and Champion?

Hah, well two of us filled in in Champion in the past, so we definitely like both Policy of 3 and Champion. But fans of both aren't common in Canada either.
However, it's more the other way around for me. I was into emo before I ever played in any youth crew bands. I like all kinds of hardcore, but Revolution Summer era bands and 90's emo has always been the music I'm most excited about.

Damages share members with All Through a Life. What’s the difference between Damages and All Through a Life to you?

Because of how Damages came about simultaneous to All Through A Life we were purposeful to include other influences in Damages. I think Damages is more abrasive sounding and ugly than All Through A Life, and musically and lyrically darker.

It seems like ATAL is not very active currently in contrast to Damages. Is ATAL still going now?

All Through A Life is done. We hoped to do more with it but it didn't work out. Maybe sometime in the future.

Tell me about the new EP. I was little surprised when I heard that your new EP is released by React! Records, because I considered React! as very youth crew oriented label. Why did you decide to release it from React!, not by yourself?

We never expected to put out a record with React. Even though Aram who runs React is a friend, the style of other React bands is pretty different from what we do. But he asked us if we wanted to do a record with him, and explained the idea of how he wants to expand React's sound. We liked his ideas and wanted to support his plans. Plus getting to put out your records with a friend is nice too. Our LP will be out on React later this year.

What’s the meaning behind the title [Unrequited]?

I think Unrequited represents the kinds of emotions and experiences we want to address. Where most emo bands express upset at the world around them, we want to in part address the negative internalized feeling we all go through; self doubt, self loathing, frustration, alienation, those sorts of feelings and the emotions they bring.

I thought Unrequited is heavier and darker than Scars, and has strong Amphetamine Reptile influence. What do you think of the new 7” compared to the first 7”?

I'm proud of both records, but Scars was the first one and we put more work ourselves into getting it together so I have an affection for it. i agree Unrequited is a bit heavier and darker than Scars, but we wrote songs closer in feel to Scars at the same time as the two on Unrequited, it just happened that Aram wanted those two for the 7" he put out. Blame him for the difference between the two, haha.

You released awesome Render Useless discography by your own Clue#2 Records years ago. Why did you decide to release it?

Render Useless was a special band for both Hieg and I when we were young. Them and Republic of Freedom Fighters were the first emo hardcore bands I saw live, and they opened us up to a lot of other bands. I wanted to start a label and to get to do the RU discography was all the incentive I needed to get started.

What was great about the Render Useless shows to you back then?

The intensity and the immediacy of what they did. They had a message, and opinions about issues and ideals, and they used really great music to deliver them. One of the great things about hardcore is it allows you to express your upset and reflection on things in a physical way without being violent. That is a rare outlet in our culture. And an art form that is both mentally and physically stimulating makes hardcore pretty great too.

What do you think of downloading culture? Which effect does it affect you, positive or negative?

I'm fine with downloading, and for emo hardcore I think it's healthy. So many truly great records were put out in small runs years ago and never re-pressed. Downloading gives people a way to hear these obscure records that deserve to be heard.

I agree with you about obscure emo records. But if someone uploads Clue #2 releases online without permission, do you mind it?

As long as the music isn't being used to make money or attached to video or writing I don't agree with I'm fine with Clue#2 records being posted online. If someone enjoys the music and thinks it's worth sharing with others please do. If you do post a Clue#2 record on your blog I would appreciate you emailing me a link so I can read what you have to say about the record, for my own curiosity.

What’s the scene like in your area?

I think the scene in western Canada is really good right now. We have good bands making interesting music with different styles of hardcore and punk, lots of shows and people are excited to be part of the hardcore community. We could use more venues, but that's a problem most scenes have.

Do you listen to Japanese bands?

Not as much as I'd like. I like Envy of course, and The Sun. One of the members of Caitlyn Bailey lives in Japan now. If anyone reading this plays in bands get in touch, we'd like to connect with bands from Japan.

What are you currently listening to?

The past few weeks I can't stop listening to the Navio Forge lp, and Loma Prieta, Born Against, The Cure, Roosevelt's Inaugural Parade, Swans, Devotion, Hose.Got.Cable, Moss Icon and Fela Kuti have all gotten some play too.

Thank you for the interview. Any last words?

Thank you for wanting to do the interview. If anyone wants to get in touch, please do, we like connecting with people. Don't be shy to email or write to us. Also, Damages would very much like to come to Japan for a tour. If anyone can help us do this please get in touch. We have a split 7" coming out with the band Book of Caverns soon, please watch for it. Hopefully we can get to Japan and meet some of you soon.


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