I first heard Damien Jurado a few years ago. It wasn’t until “Rehearsals for Departure” that I was captivated by is music. He now has a band “Gathered in Song” with a new album out on Sub Pop he’s definitely someone worth checking out. We were able to get a few minutes with him before the show at the El Rey. Here’s what was said….
BT: Being on the road, what do you look forward to?
DJ: Mostly just like meeting people who have been affected by what I do. I don’t really enjoy touring much. There’s a lot of headache that goes into it so that’s really the only thing I like doing, meeting people.
BT: You’re really hard to pigeonhole musically. What’s more you the acoustic Damien, or with the full band behind you?
DJ: I think both. It’s both because I really like having the band behind me. I grew up with rock and roll and everything, but the acoustic side of it’s easier to have stories and stuff like that. I think you’re heard better that way. There’s a lot more detail that goes into the lyrics when it’s all stripped down versus with a band it’s hard to be heard.
BT: With you and Pedro the Lion out together, can we call this a “Tooth and Nail” reunion tour?
DJ: Oh no…
BT: Those days gone…
DJ: Yeah, I have known Dave since high school. We played in various bands together before and what not. He produced my last record, he’s taken on other stuff like that I’ve done as well…
BT: Where do you think art and personal faith interact?
DJ: They don’t really meet for me. For me it’s more my faith, my family, and my politics they stay out of my music because I don’t want my music to be a podium. I don’t think it’s necessary…I do sing things about death a lot. I don’t know if you could tie that into my faith or not. Actually, I don’t think you could because my songs about death are really questionable about what happens to you. So kind of like singing from a standpoint of someone who really doesn’t know. Although I know, I hope I know, I have faith I know. But again, I don’t like mixing my politics or religious beliefs with my music.
BT: Do you think with you, Pedro, and Elliot Smith making in roads that the next wave from the northwest will be music that actually means something?
DJ: I think so, there’s a girl that we’re good friend with, Rosie Thomas who put out a record a few months ago. There’s a lot of good things happening to her, at the end of next week she starts a European tour with Jewel. We’re hanging out with some guys out here called the Blood Brothers who are from Seattle who are recording an album out here for Artist Direct. There’s a lot of neat things happening in the Northwest right now. I think there’s a big, good songwriting movement right now. I think that’s something that been missing in music for the longest time. Lyrics that actually say something, musicians who are really down to earth…
BT: who aren’t just underground…
DJ: yeah yeah
BT: Where do you go artistically from here?
DJ: Artistically, I don’t know…I’m basically separating the two things now. Gathered in Song will be it’s own deal with the band and then me just on my own. I think it can be confusing for people, they don’t know what record to buy. When they buy a record they don’t know which to buy. My stuff is always changing. I have new record coming out in October. Then Gathered in Song, I don’t know what we’re doing…. we’re basically looking right now; we’ve had some label interest..
BT: Are you off Subpop?
DJ: Yeah I’m off since last week, which I’m totally fine with…
BT: Well thanks for your time, and good luck with the tour.
DJ: No problem, no problem at all