Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 20th, 2005
This has to be the weirdest interview I have ever done. I was told to meet a person who would take me to interview the masked wonder Damian. I followed the directions given to me. I arrived at my destination and met this guy who took me in his car to a undisclosed location. I am saying to myself, ‘What the fuck! This is an interview not an assassination plot’. I have to admit this was pretty cool. We entered this basement that was pitch black. The basement was long and I was a little nervous; well, at least I had a chair and food to eat. A dim light came on and about thirty feet there was a person in chair with their back to me. It was that masked entity Damian. This was cool. I asked could I take some photos. That request was declined. I asked could I see your face. That answer was ‘no’ also. Oh well at least I have an interview. Every once in awhile I would try and peek to the side to see if I can see who it was... no luck. The interview lasted about sixty minutes. Then the lights went off for about 30 seconds. When all the lights came back on there was just an empty chair. Damian sooner or later you will be known!!!
Is the reason why you wear a mask is it because you’re in another band and you don’t want conflict?
It could be, lol. We will have to let everyone wonder about that question… Maybe in the future fans will get to find out.
Whose idea was the mask up?
It’s just an image I started a while back and the character took its own entity in this band. I’m very much into theatrics as is everyone else in COS. Individually, we all have our own dark look going on that comes very natural to us, everyone’s very different from each other yet it all fits and we’re all the same. Lee has a very cool image and when you look into his freaky white eyes you think you can see through to his soul, Gene has a dark ‘Crow’ type image, The Machine has a living Zombie look and Bobby… well Bobby is so damn cool and an animal on the drums I can’t go any further, lol. The Fans are always saying how they really dig the look of this band. So we just go with it.
What is the meaning behind the mask? Who are you suppose to be?
There is no true meaning behind it other than it bringing out the dark element that adds to the COS image. We use a lot of skull imagery that is also part of a Goth type city, which is a 3-Dimensional theatrical background in our stage show. Damian is just a dark part of that and comes to life “live.”
Why won’t you let people know who you are? Are you a famous person?
I like to keep the mystique. People are always wondering who’s behind the mask and it’s cool.
When did you first start singing?
I originally played guitar in different local bands when I was around 17. At one point, we couldn’t find a singer, and I always sang the harmonies, so I started to take lead vocals because it was too frustrating to keep waiting on the right person to come along. Been singing ever since.
When you were in the other bands, did you release any material?
Yeah we released some CD’s and demos but nothing even close to COS.
Did you have a dream then?
My dream was always to make it in a rock and roll band. It’s something I live for and would never give up.
Do you have different colored masks?
No... COS colors are black and blue and that’s the colors I like to stick with…they are dark.
I had three interviews with members of COS so far Gene, Lee and The Machine and they will not give me any information except saying you’re the backbone of the band. Why do you think they say that?
I am not exactly sure why they feel that way. I do put a lot of time and effort into COS, but I guess we all feel a strong bond with each other and give each other the support and credit for what we all do. This band is a team and every member is a key player. We have respect for each other and that’s the only way to be.
How can you maintain the energy without passing out in the outfit from the lights and the passion of performing?
I am conditioned to it. It does get very hot, especially when you’re playing outside shows, like Festivals and Rally’s. It’s like 100 degrees and it’s hotter in the suit. You just pace yourself and make sure you stay hydrated.
Do you drink anything during the show?
Water and Gatorade.
What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended?
First album was Iron Maiden “Killers” and the first concert was a Kiss concert.
What is the latest CD that you listened to besides your own?
I listen to Disturbed a lot, Rob Zombie and System Of A Down. Those are 3 of my favorite bands.
Do you think you will ever get to be out in front singing a song and giving Lee a break?
Lee, need a break? Lol, that guy is un f*ckin believable. He is an amazing singer and has such power that he doesn’t need a break. Lee is the front man of COS and I am there backing him up with harmonies, whispers and some lower end stuff. It’s a lot of underlining that adds to the bands sound, but Lee has a sound of his own. His vocals are unique and he doesn’t sound like anyone out there which makes COS’s sound very original. Giving Lee a break isn’t something ever thought about, lol.
During your live set you really don’t come to the front of the stage is there a reason why?
I do come to the front and hang off and throw skulls out. The thing is everyone in this band is extremely energetic and constantly moving across the stage. So sometimes, I don’t come to the front as much because Lee is always moving around and The Machine is spinning his guitar and is all over the stage, and Gene, that guy is never in one spot, lol. So depending on the size of the stage area is what I base it on. One time Lee and I were at a show in LA where we started slamming into each other on purpose. The band can be really aggressive because we have so much energy when we hit the stage so we have to try and be aware of each other.
If someone snapped a picture of you without the mask what could happen?
I don’t think it will matter because no one knows who is in the mask. They would never catch me with my mask off. When I get changed, I am alone and very few know who I am without it. It’s limited to band members and our techs.
What is the most exciting part of being in COS?
Just playing with these guys is as exciting as it’s going to get. Every dude in this band is family to me and I probably see them more then my family, lol. When we’re on the road none of us get on each others nerves. We are all cool with each other. It’s the best band situation you can ever be in. So every performance, every show, everything we do together is an adventure and totally exciting.
Do you feel fans get the wrong impression that Bobby is out with Gary Howey touring. How do you have time to get to practice and get together and do things with COS if everyone is in different directions?
None of us are in a different direction. We all have the same goal and focus so you have to keep that in mind. All our intentions are the same.
Bobby goes out one tour with others because he has been a pro drummer for years and continues to work as a pro. The guy is a power house and is always sought after for his talents. It doesn’t interfere with COS at all. If something came up, a big tour, his priorities are with COS. We are all professionals and cool with it.
What is your feeling toward each member of the band?
To start off I’d have to say these guys are all like my brothers… we’re all tight… we’re together as a band…and we hang even on our down time…
The Machine: His personality is probably one of the quietest guitar players you will ever meet until he hits the stage, then that dude is f*cking deadly, totally comes alive. He is a great guitar player. His style reminds me of some of my favorite players like Randy Rhoads, Ace Frehley and Eddie Van Halen. The Machine has so much talent. Once people get exposed to him, he will definitely make a statement in the guitar world.
Lee: Lee is awesome, what more can I say. He is a great guy to hang with and to be part of this band with. Probably the best singer in any band I’ve ever worked with. He has so much power in his voice and a strong presence as a frontman. Always taking control of an audience whether its 500 people or 7,000 people. The dude is amazing.
Gene: There is only one word that sums up Gene, A genius… he is the locomotive of this band. He has great ideas, great visions as to what COS can do, and he keeps us focused. We all have the same goals in mind and believe in what this band is heading for, but Gene will always be the guy thinking way ahead knowing exactly how things are going to go. He is so damn focused. He is like the energizer bunny on acid, lol. His energy in believing in us really carries us sometimes. If it wasn’t for him, COS would not be… a very cool guy… unbelievable when it comes to motivation.
Bobby: A great drummer and a great person to be around; he is one of the best drummers out there and was able to come in on such short notice and pull off what he did. Lets face it, the COS tunes aren’t the easiest to just come in and play without really sitting down and working the parts out. Bobby showed everyone different, lol. Came in shot 2 videos, learned “Grey” 5 minutes before the shoot, unbelievable, lol… the guy is awesome and its great having him part of COS. We all get along great with him.
When do you think the CD will be out?
Hopefully in late fall. We are deciding what to do. Go with a major label or a bigger independent label. We are showcasing in October / November.
We have six major labels interested. If we go with a major label unfortunately, it will be delayed because they will most likely make us re-record the entire album even though it is top quality. If we go with a big independent, we will be able to release what we have now. So we will see what happens. We know the Fans have been waiting patiently for the release and appreciate them.
You have a show coming up in October. What can people expect from that show?
It’s a warm up show before we go out to the west coast. The show will be at Dingbatz in Clifton, New Jersey. It’s a cool little Goth type club.
What will you be doing on the west coast?
We are going to be playing several shows and we might be showcasing out there as well.
What do fans mean to you?
Fans are the most important things to the band. They love your music, they love what you do, and they support you. Our Fans are at every show and have been with us for the past three years. We appreciate our Fans, the COS Soulgers, they are really loyal to this band.
What is a typical day for you?
Trying to get up in the morning and getting out of bed. I am a very bad sleeper and usually don’t go to sleep until 3 or 4 am the earliest. I guess I have a little bit of Vampire in me, lol. From there I do things that pertain to the band… and the usual daily shit…
Thanks to everyone at Rockeyez for taking the time out and supporting COS and we thank all the COS Fans for coming back constantly to check the site and leave posts up on the guest book for us. The band appreciates you… you guys are awesome!