First of all when did the idea of a reunion tour come into your mind?
Damien: About a year ago, I guess. I went to say Hello to Against Me! when they passed through Detroit (they're old friends from Gainesville) and their roadie John, who used to roadie for us in the early AS FRIENDS RUST days. During this visit it was suggested that AFR do a reunion. I think it started as somewhat of a joke, but I mentioned it to Tim (drummer) over the phone soon after that, and before long it ended up becoming a reality. We just really missed it.
You have been gone for 7 years and played 7 shows in Europe. Coincidence?
It was 7 shows in total: 1 in the States, 6 in Europe... mostly coincidence. We did sort pretend that there was some symbolism behind it, stating that each show was for one year that we were gone, but really we just wanted to do something short and sweet.
How did it feel to be back with AS FRIENDS RUST having all these kids screaming your lyrics? Lots of them pretty young obviously not having heard AS FRIENDS RUST when they released the records.
It was incredible. We felt really honored to have gotten such a great response after all these years. And yeah, the fact that such a huge portion of the audience were younger was really amazing, and it showed us that our music resonated through the years in a way that we hadn't realized. It was just very moving and emotional for all of us to see that kind of reception and enthusiasm from the crowd. It's one thing to have great shows like that when you're actually an active band because you're trying to prove yourselves, to get some exposure. But for us, we had nothing to prove, and no idea what to expect. We're not active, so getting exposure wouldn't really do us any good, you know? We just played with the most innocent of intentions: to have fun.
There are so many reunions and reunion tours of really important bands. Why do you think is this the case?
I don't know. I can only use the reasons that we chose to do reunion shows as reference: We missed it, we missed each other, we missed old friends that we'd never see otherwise, we needed to get outside of our everyday lives for a minute.
At Ieper Fest you started a MORNING AGAIN song for a few seconds. Can we hope for a reunion here?
You are busy with a lot of projects, what are you currently working on?
Musically, nothing really. DAMIEN DONE, the solo project, is sort of frozen in time. The songs were recorded years ago, but hopefully it'll see the light of day soon. Aside from that, myself and a friend of mine DJ a punk night called OLD MAN UNDERGROUND a couple times a month. I'm also trying to develop a limited edition t-shirt project called DAMN 50, which will hopefully launch around December 1st.
It feels strange, you are just 31 (almost 32) and have already such a long musical history. How did you see the scene change?
You know, I don't really think it has changed at all, in terms of the attitude and personality of the scene. Musically however, it seems that the metal thing just got way, way out of hand. Personally, despite having fronted a couple of early metal/hardcore bands, I can't stand that shit. There are a few exceptions, I suppose, but if I want to hear metal, I'll throw on some fucking Sepultura. Not some awful band with a name like "Hell's Blood of the Seven Demons of Broken-Hearted Skies" or whatever.
I've seen your BOLD rip off shirt stating OLD on Ieper Fest. Do you feel already old? Is Hardcore basically for younger kids growing up, starting to become informed and having extreme attitudes?
I'm definitely feeling old. But no, I think hardcore is for whoever feels it. You may take a few years away from it, but it'll call you back.
At your Cologne Show you said "See you again in 7 years". Do we really
have to wait that long and is there any chance of some new AS FRIENDS RUST material?
All I can say at this point is... I have no idea. We really only wanted to focus on this reunion, and enjoy it for what it was. As it turns out, we got along great and felt like we really delivered the songs better than we ever had. That said, we have decided to do another short tour, but this time in Japan and Australia. We like to travel, we like each other, and people seem to like our music, so fuck it. As far as new material goes, only time will tell. For now we just want to rock out a few more times.