RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SHEFFIELDS DAMIAN LUKE AND THE SWEET BEAST
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
From when I was a baby I was moving and shaking away to Eddie Cochrane, Gene Vincent, and Elvis. Life’s been one constant soundtrack ever since so it was inevitable that music would play a massive part in My Life
Introduce us to all of the members and your musical history.
Curt Drums, Matt Guitar and Danny bass had been in various bands in and around Sheffield over the years including Wired and Perfect Crimes
Damian Luke / songwriter Lead Vocals: I only began writing songs properly during the lockdown. Once I started I couldn’t stop. I became Obsessed. As soon as restrictions lifted i was out playing what is now our set on my acoustic guitar and shortly thereafter the Sweet Beast was born
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I think we had a hell of a start firstly recording with Gav Monaghan at Magic Garden was a dream come true. I made a reference to The Blinders on the first single which was one of the first i wrote and just over a year later we record it in the same studio as they recorded Columbia.
How Good is that?
We had some cracking gigs over the Summer and headlined a few smaller festivals.
Our first-ever gig we were the main support to The Pagans SOH one of the most unique, energetic, and outright refreshing bands around. The first time I saw them they were playing at the Ritz in Manchester. Then we support them on our first outing.
Whatever direction we go from here I think we made some Great progress in a very short amount of time.
How have your songwriting skills developed over time?
They went from nonexistent 2 years ago to being played in Costa Coffee and Next in Belfast.
Songwriting for me is pure magic. Once that channel was opened it doesn’t close.
The first wave of songs I wrote, almost wrote themselves. They fell out as they were and that was that. It was Like they’d been bursting to come out for years. I’ve been writing my best work yet over the past few weeks and I’ve taken my time on them. I hear them in my sleep and when i first wake up. I’m now a lot more handy on the guitar than when i started out which is giving me a lot more options in trying to replicate the songs i hear in my dreams
I’m seeing a lot of debate about females not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
I don’t know what the answer is to that but I would love to see more female bands on the stage inspiring more people to come to the shows for the Love of the music. Nobody should feel unsafe at a gig. It’s the one place everyone can go together and follow the same team.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
I think understanding how social media works is key. Personally, I’m not as savvy with it as I should be but Harri Larkin the wee legend has offered to give me a crash course on using it more effectively. I heard someone say recently if you’re a band with 4 members get a 5th and make them your social media person. It’s that essential today there’s no escaping it.
Tell us a funny story from the road.
Going to a biker clubhouse before a gig in Rotherham because Danny heard they had nice burgers. You know when you stick out like a sore thumb but there are 4 of you. That happened. I felt like we were the in-betweeners. Lovely burger though.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I can’t knock them because we’re on a playlist with Placebo and bringing Mighty Muse to the ears of happy shoppers in retail stores and cafés all over the country but i miss and will always miss going out and buying a single or an album. Looking at the cover for 2 hours front, back, and inside and putting it on. I think that physical element brings you closer to the artist rather than a simple click that you semi-listen to because there was no real effort in accessing the song.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
Have you ever seen Lewis Capaldi and Batman in the same place at the same time?
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
I bought a projector that projected the Universe all around my living room. I didn’t need it but my God did I have some good nights with that.
What was the worst experience on stage?
We were playing at a Summer festival and I forgot my belt. I am quite partial to bouncing about the stage. We were just finishing Kundalingo, the heavy section at the end. I got a bit carried away and lost my balance. I’m not one for underwear so I basically mooned the Sunday afternoon crowd.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Damian Luke: can name every member of KISS ever
Curt: is an actual Jedi
Matt: Plays Dungeons and Dragons
Danny: watches Cobra Kai and wants to be Johnny
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I think as a band we have 3 exceptional musicians and I feel like I know what people want to hear. It’s not reinventing the wheel it’s taking Rock n Roll as it was intended and making the tunes that I think have been missing for a while and delivering them full of energy and soul. Energetic Rock n Soul
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
The next single is called Mad Love which is out November 10th. Recorded again by Gav Monaghan. It’s got a proper catchy chorus that will stick in your head for the week but you’ll keep singing it anyway.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
My Girlfriend at the time dared me to pick up the guitar and write a song. I did and i used the Title Mad Love from a tattoo i have on my arm. It built from there and became a declaration of Loving Life passionately in the moment and letting go of your fear and woes of and for the past and future.
What was the recording process like?
Recording at Magic Garden studios is a dream. You go in get comfortable, have a catch up with Gav, and then each of us individually recorded our parts. We were done with 3 hours to spare on that Saturday.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
The biggest learning curve has been to slow down and master the song.
If the lyrics don’t come right away, i know they will eventually or if a song doesnt feel right, i know to wait until it does where as before what came out in the first draught was Gospel
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No, it is what it is and how it should be.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Never Give Up, Never let anyone tell you that you can’t, and Believe in yourself Always.