Interview: Silent Rage's Jesse Damon
SO IT'S 2002 AND SILENT RAGE IS STILL A RECORDING ROCK GROUP! WOULD YOU HAVE EVER BELIEVED THAT YEARS AGO?
Yes, because my experiences as a Recording Artist have been positive, and memorable.
You don't always know what the future holds, but back then I knew that the music was such, a driving force for us, that we would be involved in it for the rest of our lives
HAS THE BAND BEEN IN HIATUS MAKING THIS A FULL COMEBACK, OR HAVE YOU BEEN OCCASIONALLY GETTING TOGETHER IN CALIFORNIA?
Yes the band had been on an extended hiatus, and this comeback brings a renewed desire! Occasionally Silent Rage would appear and perform a few songs at some LA clubs.
YOU OBVIOUSLY KEPT IN CONTACT WITH THE REST OF THE GUYS?
Yeah, we'd get together and socialize, you know, birthdays, holidays, some concerts, and even a cruise. Every Christmas Holiday, we throw our annual Silent Rage Christmas Party.
WAS ANY OF YOU AT ALL HESITANT TO MAKE THIS COMMITMENT TO RECORD AGAIN?
We all had questions, and concerns to hash out, and there were plenty of meetings to talk about our different schedules, and all the logistics involved, but when this opportunity came to us we went for it!
WHAT HAVE YOU - AND THE OTHER GUYS BEEN UP TO IN THE DOWN TIME BETWEEN RECORDS?
I've been songwriting, and recording a lot. I co-wrote songs with Gene Simmons through the 90's for new KISS material, involving the Revenge, and Psycho Circus CD's. Since then, I've recorded my first Solo CD which is about to be released, and it includes a song co-written by Gene and I!
EJ continued his acting, and modeling career in Hollywood. He landed some roles in film, commercials, and calendars, and continues to keep his chops up jamming in a cover band.
Mark was involved with session singing, and guitar playing on a couple of other Artist's projects, and has produced a number of new band demos. He also keeps his chops up in a cover band.
I THINK MANY ARE VERY CURIOUS WITHOUT GETTING TO PERSONAL IN LEARNING HOW MUSICIANS LIKE YOURSELF AND THE GUYS ACTUALLY MAKE A LIVING WHILE ENDURING SUCH A PERIOD OF INACTIVITY. I MEAN IT'S TOUGH OUT THERE FOR ROCKERS!
Like I just got through saying, we kept our interest focused on the music industry, and entertainment industry through our period of inactivity.
TELL US ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM STILL ALIVE HOW IS IT TAKING SHAPE?
There's brand new material produced by us, as well as some unreleased songs produced by Bob Ezrin.
AND THE SOUND DIRECTION OF THE ALBUM?
It has a hard edge side to it, which satisfies the metal fans, and a melodic side for the rest.
Still Alive CD has some of our classic sound, but the band is evolving.
HOW EASY IS IT TO PICK UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF?
I think for our situation it was easy in the sense that we have a history together, you draw from that.
No doubt there's adjustments to be made. When you've jammed for as long as we have together, ya feel this intuition when ya play live, as well as dealing with business!
IS IT NICE TO SEE YOUR OLD RECORD BACK ON SOME STORE SHELVES AGAIN, IN REGARDS TO Z RE-RELEASING THE CATALOGUE?
Oh yes, it's getting a second life so to speak. We're getting responses with letters and e-mails from lots of our fans, which in turn makes us feel real good that our music's still raging!
MANY BANDS DON'T HAVE CONTROL OVER THEIR CATALOGUE HOW DID YOU MANAGE THAT?
We own our catalogue, we always have.
AND ESPECIALLY AS GENE SIMMONS AND HIS RECORD LABEL WERE INVOLVED
THAT'S A RARE FEAT!
Gene is a big supporter of us, and always wishes the band well.
WELL THAT'S VERY COOL
.DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD STORIES ABOUT THE DAYS OF DEALING WITH SIMMONS AND THE LABEL?
One story that stands out is: the first time Gene called us to inquire about the band, and he talked to EJ.
EJ thought it was one of us fucking around, Gene had to reassure him that he was the real Gene Simmons calling! From that point on, we forged a great relationship with Gene and the Label!
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BAND AT THE END OF THE LAST CHAPTER?
RCA cleaned house, causing us to find a new label. Also, the 90's grunge scene came into place, which stirred a lot of change in the industry.
LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING OUT THERE AND PLAYING LIVE AGAIN?
Bet your ass we are. We're doing it for the fans, for us, and for everyone!
Z ROCK UK IS COMING UP ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING TO SOME CRAZED UK ROCK FANS?
Yeah we're looking forward to it. This is the bands first time abroad, and we can't wait!
AND WHAT THEN JESSE AFTER THE ALBUM RELEASE
. MORE SILENT RAGE ALBUMS
The way things are going, I would say yes. We'll see
HOW WOULD YOU DISCRIBE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING WITH A MAJOR AND NOW A SMALLER MELODIC LABEL?
A Major Label tends to have more resources in promoting, and launching a band or artist. They also
Reach further markets, and territories due to a bigger staff roster!
Smaller Labels can be more accessible in their working relationships with bands.
Any Label is a step up for an unsigned band; you just have to find out if it's the right one for you!
ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO AD?
To all of the Silent Rage Fans out there, I want to say that YOU are what makes it all worth while.
Thanks for the all the e-mails with your messages of support! Come see us when we hit your town!