Damone, Interview with Vasquez

I caught up with Damone via a very shaky cell phone connection as they headed into Canada for their last few dates on the Warped Tour. Vasquez, bassist for the Waltham, Mass. foursome, was kind enough to keep calling me back everytime his phone droped the call.

You guys seem to have a pretty grueling tour schedule…
Yeah, we’re hooked up until September. It’s pretty good, you know.

You’re enjoying it?
Oh absolutely. We actually have the time of our lives out here. Being on the Warped Tour thing is like Summer camp for bands, pretty much. We’ve been enjoying the food. It’s catered really well. And hanging out with all the other bands. We’ve actually gotten to meet a lot of people that didn’t know the band and that did know the band, so it’s really nice. Getting to see all these different places and everything.

You’re playing all these stadiums and amphitheaters and then you’re coming to this shitty little club in Nashville.
Well, we’re not playing these huge stages or anything. Warped Tour is multiple stages. So it’s just like playing in a club except we’re outside.

What time of day are you usually going on?
We usually go on in the afternoon. Between 2 and 5 we go on usually.

So you’ve got the whole night to check everybody else out.
It’s been great cause every day the schedule changes, so you don’t really know when you’re going to go on so every day you get to see different bands cause they’re on different times. So you don’t have to worry about missing anybody. It’s very cool like that.

Is it going to be cool for you guys to get back into playing small clubs?
Absolutely, there’s air conditioning in there.

Not necessarily.
When you’re playing outside like that, the sun is beating down on you. So the clubs are going to be a relief almost in terms of just not having the sun beat down on us, but you know, we can’t complain. It’s gonna be fun.

Do you have a worst club experience or a really gruesome tour story you could give me?
Mostly the weird shit that happens on tour is just like playing jokes on each other and everything. And that usually just has to do with going to the bathroom. Our new thing is you take a piss in a bottle and then put the top back on and then it’s all warm so you touch somebody’s arm or face with it when they’re not looking and they’re all freaked out.

So it’s pretty juvenile.
Oh yeah, man, you gotta do something to keep yourself entertained. Every day on the Warped Tour… I got a squirt gun, one of those Super Soakers, so before and after we play, I’m just out squirting girls and stuff like that. Some of them enjoy it and some of them just get pissed off. It’s kind of funny when they get pissed off. It’s like it’s 95 degrees out. It’s water. What are you complaining about? A lot of crazy shit like that going on. And the fireworks too… There’s all kinds of fireworks at all these truckstops. So we’ve been having fun with those too.

You have all those home movies on your website and they kind of have that quality to them, that prankster quality.
Yeh, I guess we’re always kind of fucking around. When we’re not playing or anything like that or working. Keep ourselves pretty well entertained.

Have you sustained any bad injuries doing that kind of crap?
Actually a couple of days ago, I think it was in Sommerset, Wisconsin, somebody had a bicycle backstage. So I was riding on that. And like for some reason, I pulled a wheelie and I had to put my foot down ’cause I pulled it too hard. And when I put my foot down, I hit my toe against the door of a trailer or something and it bent my toenail in half all the way back. It was so painful. And then I had to push the toenail back over again. That was even worse doing that. Right now I got this bloody sock on from that whole debacle.

Good work.
Sometimes that kind of shit happens. That’s the worst injury I’ve gotten on the road.

That’s not too bad after all the gunplay and midnight golfing…
Yeah! We could have been killed with a lot of the shit that we’ve done out there, you know. I guess that’s part of it you know. It’s about having a good time.

So you seem to be the most metal member of the band.
Oh no no, not me. Actually Dustin’s more like the real metal guy. I like some metal but not as much as Dustin does.

Are there any Dokken tapes in the van?
We do have some 80s stuff. We have Motley Crue Too Fast for Love in here right now. And then we have a lot of country music in here too. We listen to Hank Sr and George Strait and stuff like that.

Have you been to Nashville before?
No no, I can’t wait. It’s kind of intimidating ’cause it’s such a famous city for music, you know what I mean? So, it’s definitely like an honor to go to a city like that that’s just like all about music.

You’re playing a really tiny club which is really odd, but don’t let that…
No no, we’ll play anywhere, man.

It’ll be really great because it’s an all ages venue, but I’d hate for, if you had a bad show, for that to taint your view of the city.
No, no, no way. There’s too much history there to have a tainted view of it.

Are you guys going to have any time to sightsee here?
I think we have to drive to New York the next day. I think maybe before we play, we’ll get to do some walking around.

The club is right behind the World’s Largest Adult Bookstore.
Awesome. We’ll definitely make use of that too then. That’s always good, you know.

We’ve covered entertaining yourself on tour, but is there anything you do to entertain yourself in the van?
Well, Noelle and I, we kind of read a lot and try to bring CDs with us and also, we have acoustic guitars in here so we can rehearse vocal things and work on new music and stuff like that. That’s pretty much what we do in the van.

Is there any difference to Noelle the band and Damone or is it the same thing?
Yeah, the Noelle the band thing was kind of like… it was a hobby and it wasn’t really serious. I mean a lot of the songs are the same, but no one really had any intentions of doing anything more than local stuff with it at the time. Whereas when it became Damone and the lineup change happened and everything, then it seemed like okay this is something we can do for real now. That’s the main difference really.

Do you care to hypothesize on what you’d be doing if you weren’t on tour in a rock band right now?
Probably be fixing computers in my home town. Working for the city… That’s what I was doing before the touring picked up. Three or four months ago, I still had a job, you know.