Nordic New Music: Damen

We are not entirely sure how our boombox in Minnis2Society HQ managed to fall upon Damen’s album ‘Sagrada Familia’ but the album has had at least several listens, daily, ever since! We managed to get hold of Danial from the band whose album, in our ears, sounds like a blissful Local Natives record with a Swedish edge added to it.

Tell us who you are and what’s your sound

Damen is Adrian Gejrot on the drums, Gustav Bondesson on lead guitar, David Nordell on bass and Danial Bin Ismail Ärlig on guitar and vocals. 

We have a love for 90 early 2000 indierock. Influenced from the bands from Gothenburg but also a lot other things that makes it a bit different from the traditional Gothenburg sound. Its guitar driven, melodic and quite dynamic. I always love it when people tell us how we sound. For some reason it’s always kinda hard for me pinpointing our sound but I feel its a quite honest and dreamy. 

What exciting projects have you got coming up? 

We are in the studio at the moment working on new material. So the work for new music is on the way and that’s exciting. Think It’s gonna be good. 

The Pandemic kinda made us go back in the studio since all of our shows got cancelled. 

Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?

I had my first years in Malaysia. My parents had a Guesthouse in my fathers hometown Marang then we moved home to mothers hometown Jönköping in Sweden. Moved to Gothenburg in 2014. 

Adrian, David and Gustav grew up in Gothenburg. 

DAMEN actually started with Gustav and Adrian re-starting their old band from years ago ago with some new members. 

David and Gustav went to University with each other and then met up with me at University to. 

When we started the band the music we all liked was things like The Strokes, Arcade Fire and War on Drugs etc…  Everyone differs a bit in their music preferences but that music was like the common ground for all of us.

What cool places do you recommend to visit in your city (bars, restaurants, etc)?

If you come here and just want a good vibe and pretty cheap beer then you should go to the bars at 2 and 3 långgatan. Like ”Dansken.”  It’s a good place to just be with your friends and drink beer. 

Then definitely eat Ice cream at ”Lejonet och Björnen” .

We love recommendations – what have you been listening to, watching, or reading recently?

I’ve been watching the show Succession on HBO. It’s the best thing I watched in a long time. Also got like the best Theme song. 

Then I’ve been playing some good video games like Last of us part 2, Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding. Great stuff. 

Music wise I’ve mostly been listening to Little Simz lately. Her album Grey Area is pretty awesome. 

Finally, what was the last thing that made you swear out loud? 

I was moving a bookshelf. A bit too heavy for me but I tried to do it alone. Dropped it. Bookshelf totally wrecked and the wall also destroyed. Probably that. 

Damen’s opening track ‘Americana’ is one of many favourites here at HQ

Get following and listening to Damen by checking out their Facebook page HERE and their Instagram @damenmusic

Interview by Alex Minnis

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