Damned Age Revel in Their Dirty, Desert Rock Sound

Damned Age Revel in Their Dirty, Desert Rock SoundEXPAND
Allison Oh

Have you ever felt the real music scene has been forgotten or lost? Why are we stuck with the legacy of Ke$ha, twerking, and the selfie when the other generations got The Rolling Stones, The Serpentine, and Polaroids? You, like many others, want to change this situation quickly—before it’s too late.

Luckily there is still hope, and the Huntington Beach/Long Beach-based, self-proclaimed local mini-super group, Damned Age will guide us through this era that has been seemingly forlorned through their classic rock roots.

What is music missing exactly? Well, according to bassist/vocalist Nigel Burk, drummer Nick Rickenbach and guitarists Alex Desloover and Brian Latorraca of this “desert metal” band, some good ol’ fashioned rock n’roll—that’s what. The kind that makes you want to get in your power stance, bang your head, and proudly throw those devil horns up in the air—just like the old days. So break out those band shirts, grow out those locks, and follow Damned Age to a place that will make Riki Rachtman nod in approval once again.

On becoming a “mini super group”

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BL: It was actually kind of accidental. The timing was just kind of great.

NB: Yeah, I was living in San Francisco for a couple years, and towards the end of that Brian and I started talking about getting something started when I was moving back. We had a couple different ideas that we were shooting around, but we didn’t really know what we were going to do. Once I moved down here, we got together with Nick and started playing and got some songs together. Our practices were right by Des’ [Alex’s] house, so we asked him to come by. He really just filled out the sound and completed what we had. All of us had been friends for quite some time, and all of us have been playing together in one way or another since high school.

BL: It’s like our mini super group.

Interpreting Desert Rock, Stoner Metal, and Psych Music

NB: We have a lot of diversity in the band, and we try not to stick to one sound. We have some psychedelic influenced breaks and softer sides of the music too. We basically try to throw in everything we like to as many songs as possible. As far as structure, we don’t really have a limit nor do we follow a formula; it’s just whatever we are feeling at the time. In general, we all have our own foundation, and I thought that was an interesting way to describe it.

AD: We like a lot of complex stuff as well, and we also try to incorporate that into our sound too, but we also don’t want it to be overwhelming. We like to stick to the simplicity is key ideology because you have to recreate it at a show and people have to gravitate to it. We like that old rock n’ roll structure.

NR: That’s what all of us always had in common, so it was easy for us to come together on classic rock n’ roll.

On the dark side of songwriting

NB: The way I write lyrics is based very inward and geared towards the darker side of my psyche. I really let it come organically to be honest; I don’t think about it too much. I find that I tend to gravitate towards darker things, but don’t a lot of songwriters (laughs)?

The current time that is the “damned age”

NB: Basically the idea is based on the way I view our generation. It’s like another ‘80s or something. It’s a really interesting time to be in our age group especially. There’s a lot of negative shit in the world, and it feels like we’re the forgotten children. No one really cares about our generation, especially our music, more specifically our rock n’ roll. Being known for trends like the dubstep, isn’t saying much. I think our name perfectly conveys our message.

What is the damned message?

AD: There’s still hope—maybe!

NR: You can change!

What’s next for Damned Age?

NR: We just got back into the studio, so we're gonna focus on our new record for the next few months.

NB: We’re going to play some shows, build up our funds, then put all of that into this recording. Luckily for us, Alex does a lot of our audio stuff.

AD: Yeah. I’m the Pro Tools/audio guy of the band.

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