Surrey/Berkshire based +10 Damage are one of those bands that I love discovering; on the surface, they are a pretty decent pop punk rock band but there is so much more to their songs than that. What I really love though is that I can hear so many good aspects of bands from the past that I am pretty certain that +10 Damage have never even heard of. There is an incredibly good reason why those bands came to the forefront of their genres in their day and the point I am hamfistingly making here is that it is these same qualities, depth of song, earnestness and (something I always love) melancholy that +10 Damage share with these forbearers.
+10 Damage themselves describe bands such as Weezer as their influences but I can hear the likes of Superchunk and Magnapop. I also can hear elements of bands like Mega City Four and The Senseless Things who were operating in the late 80’s / early 90’s. Both great bands, both went beyond just that punk pop grunge formula that got them famous. Even the artwork on the album reminds me of that period (just look up Jamie Hewlett’s Senseless Things cover art designs).
Take a song like “The Night is Young” from +10 Damages debut EP Serious Suggestions Please. Its catchy, it has dynamics but it has a soulfulness that beguiles the band’s years and the image. Having enjoyed the EP we thought we would catch up with Dan of the band and find out a little bit more about +10 Damage.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re all from in and around Berkshire/Surrey.
How did you meet?
Myself, Pete and Matt have known each other since school, and I had played in other bands in the same scene with Gareth’s other band Second In Line.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
A few years now. The initial year or so was mainly spent writing songs and searching for a permanent drummer!
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We’re all massive videogame fans and nerds in general so it’s taken from our love of that! (mainly RPGs and fighting games!)
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
We all grew up listening to the punk, rock, indie and metal bands of the 90s, but bring something to bare on the sound through our individual tastes. Also, a little mutual love of Weezer .
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I wouldn’t say we’re unique, it’s so hard to genuinely claim you’re doing something new these days when all music is an evolution of what’s preceded it. What I would say is we combine pop melody and punk aggression in a slightly nostalgic sound that might remind of you of the rock/indie bands you loved growing up in the 90s.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
I’m awful at the lyric writing process, but I tend to cover the classics: love, conflict and a determination to escape your current situation.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve only played a handful of gigs so far but are looking to do more! We like to have a good time but nothing crazy.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I dunno really, various human pyramids, singers crowd surfing to the back of the room or corralling entire swathes of the audience.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I play an Epiphone Les Paul. It’s really heavy.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
More gigs and another EP!
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
Weezer, Wannadies and us?
What gigs have you got coming up?
We should have some dates coming up in the summer with the excellent BarCreeps, who just put out their new record on Dirty Sushi. We played with them very recently, great bunch of guys with some cracking tunes!