I recently had the opportunity to chat with Damion Suomi whose band; Damion Soumi & The Minor Prophets is preparing to release their newest disc, Go And Sell All Of Your Things. The Irish-influenced indie band is currently touring the United States in support of the new record. Here’s how the conversation with Damion went.
Now that your brand new CD, Go And Sell All Of Your Things is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Damion: Yes I am, but most of all I’m just really happy that the release date is almost upon us. We’ve been sitting on the album now for some months, and we’ve been very anxious to get it out there. Overall I think we are all very happy about the way it turned out.
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Damion: The album was written over the course of year. I suppose the process is a little different for every song, but for the most part I bring a somewhat finished version of a song, and then we tear it apart together until we find what works. I now realize how important it is to take new songs on the road before they are recorded. When you live with the songs on the road, singing them day in and day out, they evolve and start telling you how they are going to exists. It was a lot fun watching that process happen.
Give us some insight into the record and the meaning behind its title?
Damion: This record is about living a life of meaning, and not one you just think you should be living, and the title points to letting go of things that hold you back from living that life.
Give us some insight into the album lyrically. There are tons of religious references on the record? Is this a religious record?
Damion: A lot of metaphors are used on this album, which is pretty different from anything I’ve written in the past. They were used to try and explain, what I ultimately believe, is unexplainable.
What message, if any, do you want your listeners to take away after listening to this disc?
Damion: “If you’re going to try, go all the way.” -C. Bukowski
Are there any tracks on this disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Damion: One of my favorites is “City On A Hill.” It’s about our road of trials. From being robbed in New York, to vans breaking down, to running out of gas, and how everywhere we go we seem to have, or meet people, who make it possible for us to do this. I am eternally grateful for those individuals.
What are some of the songs you get the best audience response to?
Damion: “Let My Love” and “Pearls Before the Swine.”
You stay very connected to the community and are very active in different charitable organizations. Can you tell me a little about those organizations and why you are involved with them?
Damion: I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a lot of TWLOHA (To Write Love on Her Arms) events. I believe in what they do and I’ve personally seen the results of their work. They are good people talking about things most people won’t talk about.
Do you have any touring plans made yet?
Damion: We are currently on the road with one our favorite’s bands, The Builders & The Butchers. I would tour forever with those crazy bastards if I could. Nothing else scheduled as of now.
What artists would fans be surprised to find on your iPod?
Damion: Probably James Brown, or Vampire Weekend.
Tell me about a book or two that you’ve read that you think other people should read?
Damion: “Power of Myth,” by Joseph Campbell and “A Peoples History of the United States of America,” by Howard Zinn. Those two books changed my life.
If you had not become a musician what other career path would you have liked to attempt?
Damion: I’d probably be a lifelong bartender. Pints in the afternoon just talking to people.
What three words best describe your band?
Damion: Pow, Bang, Boom.
If you were a superhero, who would it be and why?
Damion: I’d be Shane MacGowan, because nothing seems to be able to kill him.
Any closing words?
Damion: His name is Nutty, and he’s three years old.