Sunday, May 16, 2010

From the Archives - Damien Jurado Interview

Songs To Learn And Sing - Damien Jurado

Photo: Damien Jurado at Primavera Sound 2009

Damien Jurado has a great new album out called Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian). A few years ago I interviewed him when he was in Dublin in support of his sixth album, On My Way To Absence. He was a really gracious interviewee and happily revealed how he got into music: "I stole my first bass at 13 from school and taught myself how to play an entire Black Flag record, that's pretty much how it all started, I then started writing my own songs."  

Damien Jurado's classic 2005 album On My Way To Absence

Damien started getting into folk and country music in the early 90s when Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirt was crossing over. "I felt a little bit betrayed - because when your enemies at school start wearing Nirvana t-shirts, dying their hair and wearing boots, you look for another alternative and for me I discovered Simon & Garfunkel records and Phil Ochs and people like that."

Damien is a great storyteller and draws huge inspiration from the idea of people escaping the humdrum everyday existence in Middle America: "The bored teenager, the bored adult who has nothing going on for them, they'll pretty much work themselves to death until they're about seventy, not much happens so they have to make things happen."

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