AudioDamn is an up and coming German-based rock-pop band with R&B influences. The three bandmates have just made their stateside debut by releasing "Lights Out" via Epic Records and with a sound like that, we'll definitely be hearing more from them. So, how about becoming familiar with them?
PopWrapped: Hey guys, it’s nice to be doing this with you! Would you like to kick things off by introducing yourselves to the world?
AudioDamn!: Hey! Thanks for the opportunity to do this with you! We are AudioDamn!, Ali (Bass with guitar and fuzzy distortion stuff), Oliver (Singing, Guitar) and Mudi (Drumming). We’re a band with a fun mixture of gritty rock and R&B-influenced singing and songwriting. We just released the first song, "Lights Out", and a music video to go along with it. Damn!
PW: Tell us a bit about how you came together and formed the band.
AD: The band was formed in Mannheim, Germany. The three of us moved there to study music at the very awesome Popakademie, though Ali and Oliver have actually known each other for quite some time from their hometown Vienna, Austria. Oliver had just won a singing competition and somehow ended up with the same manager that Ali worked with for his band. That man “convinced“ Ali and Oliver to meet (obviously Oliver, the singing competition winner didn’t seem like a “cool guy“ to play music with). Luckily we met and have shared our passion for rock music ever since. Then Mudi came into play. Ali and Oliver were both in a few bands (Mudi was in some of them), but we eventually wanted to find a group with a gritty and more basic kind of raw sound. So fortunately, we needed a drummer (and a bass player) for our first gig. Best coincidence ever! We asked Mudi to play drums and replaced our bass with a guitar that's playing bass, played by Ali. Too complicated? The sound was developed over the years but the gritty rock trio is still the center of it.
PW: Can each of you use a single word to describe your sound?
PW: I found out you’re preparing to release your debut studio album. How was the process of recording it? Did you know what you were going for from the beginning?
AD: Actually the credo of the band, why we formed it, was always having fun. Like, forgetting about everything else you’ve learned over the years about marketing and how you could look on stage etc. and just go into a rehearsal room and sweat and have fun! So we decided, right at the beginning of our ambitions, to record an album with this band! So with Ali serving as a producer, we just did it and got into a basement-like-studio-rehearsal space and played our songs live with everything in the same room. We moved to a bigger room for two songs and a studio for another three of them, but the concept was always the same: Record a band-arrangement live in the same room and then mess with the tracks in whatever way we feel like the song needed to go. The last few months consisted of a few “updating sessions”, which means making the arrangements a little better, working on new tracks that will make it on the album, collaborating with songwriters etc.
PW: Can you reveal any more details about it? Is there a title or a release date in your mind?
AD: There’s not a release date yet but we’re hoping to have one very soon! Can’t wait for everyone to hear it!!
PW: What can we expect from it? Do you feel "Lights Out” expresses the overall idea of the record?
AD: “Lights Out” certainly shows one face of the record. It expresses the gritty basement-rock sound and the stories we want to tell. There’s more where that came from! There’s also the similar-sounding but more soulful, R&B-influenced side of the record with falsetto, horns, and backing choirs, and there’s even a few tracks that are a little softer and insightful.
PW: Now that the lead single is out, what’s next? Will you be pushing more tunes before the album release?
AD: Certainly yes! There’s another single coming very soon, which will have horns and cool riffs in it - and a great, fun video. Excited for that to come out!
PW: Do you have any performances scheduled at the moment?
AD: At the moment, we’re doing many promo shows but we’re hoping to have full tour dates ready as soon as possible. We love playing live and everything that comes with it. The band is founded on the idea that magic moments can only happen when music is played live. So, we’re super excited to share some magic moments with people out there soon.
PW: You’ve been preparing for all this for a while, but how does it feel now that it’s finally coming to life?
AD: We’re having a hard time finding the right words here, because starting as a young Austrian/German musician, you never imagine your record coming out in the US and your band being part of a label like Epuc Records. And, although it seems impossible, there is this little voice that won't stop reminding you of your dreams; so right now, we’re so grateful to be able to do all this and just do what we love the most every day.
PW: Was music what you always wanted to do? What would you be doing if it weren’t an option?
AD: Well first of all, it has never been “not an option”, but there’s so much creative work that all of us could have fun with. Mudi for instance, would be a kickass photographer, Ali could pursue a surfing career - tried it for the first time in the Pacific recently, but anything creative that’s fun and challenging. Of course the opportunities to do such things are only there if you grow up in a safe and peaceful country, like we did. Unfortunately, there are so many people around the world that never even get the chance to think about doing what we do.
PW: Can you name a few artists that have influenced you on your own music?
AD: You could say that we mostly listen to great songs from many different genres of music. It’s often more about the songs. The three of us love bands like the Foo Fighters and The Black Keys, but a big part of our sound and writing songs are all the different genres, and I guess you can really hear them. Oliver is a little more on the Soul and R&B side (Ne-Yo, Justin Timberlake, Usher etc.), Mudi as well (D’Angelo, Erykah Badu), but he also studied Jazz and always drew inspiration from the big legends (Coltrane etc.), and Ali likes gritty rock tunes every once in a while (Juliette and the Licks, Presidents of the United States, Less than Jake).
PW: From producers and songwriters to singers and musicians in general, what’s your dream collaboration?
AD: Dave Grohl! He has done so much that we love. The Foo Fighters, Nirvana...
PW: What’s the best and worst thing about being an up and coming band in the industry at this point?
AD: Well, there’s so much good music out there, which is made possible by all of us being globally connected. Maybe one big challenge for musicians these days is to not get overwhelmed by all the possibilities out there, the late night phone calls, the constantly being able to answer e-mails or fan messages. The music industry is at a turning point, but adapting, fortunately. You can stream music and TV shows now, and with all that changing, music is still such a big part of everybody’s life and people still want to experience music live. As long as that never changes, we should be fine; and the best thing will always be the moment when a song reaches someone's heart and they can't help but dance, cry, run or whatever.
PW: Where do you see yourselves in a couple of years from now, what would you like to have achieved at the time?
AD: That’s an easy question: having fun, making music, being surrounded by people we care about and respect. As long as we are able to do that, it’s all good.
PW: And before we call for an end, what would you like to say to all the people that are just getting to know you?
AD: You know... Again, it’s just amazing that we get the chance to do all of this, and we’re so excited to get our music out there!!!