It’s that time of year again, when in the run-up to Bloodstock we endeavour to interview every band gracing the Sophie Lancaster, New Blood and Jägermeister stages from 8th – 11th August 2019. This means you’ve got a chance to read up on all your favourite bands set to play over the weekend and decide which new ones you’ll want to check out.
As ever, we’re predicting some horrible clashes because, true to form, there are some great bands across all three stages so you should start planning who you want to see.
Our thanks to all the bands for taking the time out to answer our questions!
Damim – New Blood Stage, Sunday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Mostly London. Our drummer Flow lives in Northamptonshire.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
As Damim, since 2015. As Dam, the first incarnation was around in 1998.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Damim is Hebrew for Bloodshed or the plural of blood.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music? The sound of melting flesh consumed by an ever-expanding void tearing into the fabric of reality. The deafening sense of futility that accompanies the personal effects and possessions of the deceased. Fractal patterns of lifeform activity mingling and decaying in an endless swirling fight againsty entropy. I think it’s fair to say we have our own sound and identity, part of which is our live delivery. We don’t have a specifically “death”, “black”, “thrash” or any variant or combination of these labels that can easily convey the coherence of what we do to someone who has yet to hear us. But to anyone reading this, please don’t take my word for it: make your own mind up.
Another aspect is the presentation – we didn’t want to simply make a “performance” (i.e. miming) video to promote the album. As a result we went out of our way to create something that tells a story, and can be viewed with interest whatever your perspective. I think the result is not something you’ll see a band come up with everyday.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
We do not rely on theatrics or gimmicks, live or otherwise. Everything we invest ourselves in is an end in itself and is its own reward. I don’t give a damn if this comes across as cliché, but we are our own gestalt.
I can’t tell you what to wear, how to think, what to eat, and neither would I want to. You don’t spend two decades making this kind of racket with any illusions that it is for everyone. However, if you love music, if you appreciate art, if you want passion, craft and authenticity, if you want to witness something of substance that will challenge you on some level whether you understand it or not you need to hear and you need to experience Damim.
Have you been to Bloodstock before? What did you think?
Indeed! The first time I performed with the reformed Akercocke, it was on Bloodstock main stage. It was phenomenal. There’s a reason the festival is such an institution.
Which M2tM region did you win, or did you come through other channels?
We were fortunate enough to have been invited to perform.
Can you put into 10 words or fewer how it felt when you realised you were heading to Bloodstock?
Like all our water had been turned into wine.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
The material will be drawn from across our discography with focus on newer material.
Which other bands do you most hope you’re not squished up next to so you can see them play?
At this point the set times are known, but if I had not seen the clashfinder, I would have hoped to see Anthrax, Xentrix, Death Angel, Taake, Zealot Cult, Red Method, Hypocrisy, Boss Keloid, and Soulfly in the hope they play some Cavalera-era Sepultura.
What are you working on at the moment?
More shows, more videos, new material and some unexpected things I can’t tell you about just yet.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I lost a filling in the mosh watching Meshuggah, someone fissured my ribs at an Immolation show, and how could I forget spraining my back playing guitar for Leech Woman. Are you spotting a pattern yet? Either way, much of the less conventional behaviour tends to happen off stage in my experience. When it comes to us there are no gimmicks, no pigs blood, no razors, no chugging Jim Beam, only uncompromising emotional and musical extremity.
Wildest? How about stupidest. Wilson from Gorerotted invading the stage in the nude. Jon from Gorerotted covered in fake blood and practically paralytic, vomiting between songs before resuming a staggering drum performance. I have seen Gwar – that was entertaining.
What drink do you throw back to get yourself fired up before going on stage?
You mean alcohol? I don’t drink to perform, as I have on rare occasions in the distant past mixed the two and it’s not something I care to repeat. If I’m not driving I might have a dram or two but it’s not essential by any stretch of the imagination. Our bass player Faust likes a shot before stage time. I’ll tell you what: I hate playing on an empty stomach, so usually there’s some sort of excursion to a nearby eatery ahead of stage time.
Header image by Tina Korhonen