'Changing The Face of Music's Perception'
Soaring vocals over a scorching hotbed of guitar, bass and drums: melody meets metaphor in the searing rock of the Los Angeles-based band, D'Amato. Between fact and fascination, says Anthony D'Amato, the group's namesake, founder and vocalist, is where his band connects. “People want to see a spectacle, and it's not something you can fake.”
From the downbeat, audiences have been enthralled by the relentless grooves and sterling songcraft. In the rock halls of Hollywood it's clear that D'Amato is on a mission, blazing stages like The Key Club, Whiskey A Go-Go and The Viper Room. Licensing tracks for independent films and network television has stretched this power far beyond the band's hometown and laid the foundation for Synesthesia, their potent, four-song debut.
To assemble a band, D'Amato enlisted guitarist Jason Gile, Dave Filice on bass, and drummer Glen Sobel, all rock solid players with impressive credentials; moreover, willing compatriots who have forged an extraordinary bond. “They're such a strong backing force - just to have those guys behind me and know I can go out and concentrate on my performance,” confirms D'Amato.
If the band raised the bar, the new CD's production team arced it into the stratosphere. First tracking with Offspring/Alice in Chains/Billy Idol producer/engineer Bryan Carlstrom and Bowie/Rod Stewart vet J.J. Blair, it was a multiple Grammy winner Thom Russo's mix that brought the project to completion. With a diverse roster including Jay-Z, System of a Down and Audioslave, Russo retained the live fire of D'Amato's riveting shows and fused it into a thunderous, world class audio testament.
Chatting recently with Anthony, and noting that their upcoming release was only to be a 4-track EP, I first wondered why instead of a full-length album? "We wanted to do something that leaves listeners wanting more. Our live shows have always been packed, and were asked by so many people, “where can I buy your CD?” We are working on a full-length album with Thom Russo now."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new EP 'Synesthesia', how would you yourself describe your sound? "White Zombie meets Depeche Mode in Korn’s living room."
Your EP title 'Synesthesia' is a very interesting and creative one to say the least. But perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? "Synesthesia is about perception, about things changing, morphing, always evolving. Change and perception are just as tactile and sensual as heat, deep as color, full of darkness and hope. It’s the common thread we all share in this band. We play just as we live; Chaos, sex and reckless abandon. Is there another way?"
If there was one track on 'Synesthesia' that truly encapsulated D'Amato at their musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? “Killer In Me” is the flagship single for us. It really is what opened the doors on a worldwide scale after being placed in MTV’s “Pimp My Ride.” The response was amazing, and fans were singing along from the first time we played it live, thanks to our internet following and our ySpace.com/damato music page. But all the tracks are very personal to me in their own way."
Having licensed tracks to indie movies - such as the wonderful 'Dead & Breakfast' - do you crave for the day when your music will be up there on the big Hollywood screens instead of just people's home theatres? "The live shows, recording and the music itself, that’s what we are really about. We also have a great time in the studio together since we are all very good friends. It would be nice to get some D’Amato music into some big blockbuster movie, and spend our cash on a huge lifestyle with hookers, alcohol and drugs, leading to an untimely demise, but we hate paperwork."
Was the band name always to be your last name or were there other options being considered back when? "Is that my last name? Damn, we picked it out of a hat. I knew it sounded familiar!"
How were you lucky enough to get this EP mixed by Grammy Winning mixer / engineer Thom Russo (Audioslave, System of a Down)? "Pure luck is exactly it. That’s the funny part of it. We were friends and had hung out on several occasions before it even dawned upon me to ask him. I had the sessions from JJ Blair and Bryan Carlstrom ready to be mixed. Our schedules worked out, and Thom did his magic. I also offered to do all his yardwork for the next fifteen years."
Just for fun, and taking the title of one of your new EP tracks, please let us know:
'Edge Of Disaster' - Have you ever found yourself on the edge of disaster and yet found your way back to safe ground? If the answer is yes, how did you manage to avert the trouble? "I recently had a pretty bad motorcycle crash, and I found safe ground after flying 30 feet through the air and hitting it. Survival is an interesting mechanism. I averted death by wearing all the proper safety gear and a full face helmet. Prevention is better than the cure."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "'Der Kommissar' by Falco. Don’t really know why."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "I have two of them. Great security. No one f#@%s with penguins!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of D'Amato's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Anthony D'Amato grew up in two (2) US cities ... which two would they be?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before July 1st with your answer and the subject title 'D'AMATO SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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