DAMN FREAKS play a classic sort of hardrock that I don’t hear too often but always enjoy when it comes my way. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

I am a word buff so when I find a band name that excites me I want to know the reason behind the choice. So how did you pick your name?
Jack: now this is a real story… it’s never easy to find a band’s name believe me. While we were recording the album we had a blank paper next to the mixing desk where we wrote hundreds of names, logos but none of them seemed to work. Then out of the blue came Rusty Nails that we all seemed to like: it’s also a cocktail name so we thought it suits the band image – we all agreed on the southern/hillbilly look – BUT there was already an Italian band with that name and, most important Michael H. Andersen – CO of Target – wasn’t too keen on the name. We were stuck and time was running out… I think the name came by watching at the complete photo session we did: we really looked like some sort of “freaks”, out of time musician still in love with the ’80 sound and we added the “damn” both as a tribute to Damn Yankees and because we thought they sounded great together!

There are so many genres and sub-genres today that it is hard to keep track of them all. So what was it that made you pick the style you play?
-The songs were there already when I was contacted by my old friend Matteo – Panichi the drummer – and when I heard the demoes I was so impressed that I started writing melodies and lyrics in that same ’80 vibe of the music. It was natural. We all grew up with bands such as Dokken, Van Halen, White Lion, Motley Crue.

What influences you in creating your music? What is/has been the single greatest influence?
-As I said, I had never had a chance to pay my own personal tribute to ’80 Hard Rock. Way back then I was a kid who was listening to Kiss, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and at school I was definitively a minority… when Bon Jovi and Motley Crue released their big albums all of a sudden the Music I loved was on the radio and on MTV and everybody loved it. It was such a special moment for me. This album is a tribute to those happy years of my youth.

How important is it to have a message as a band?
-Tough question: I feel there has been far too many “preachers” in Music so far who, and it’s a personal opinion, didn’t have the talent of Bob Dylan or The Who to name two of my all time heroes. With Damn Freaks we are trying to offer some sort of distraction, we want be considered as a party band, a band you listen and come to sere knowing you are going to have a good time and a laugh. I think people deserve to enjoy themselves.

Is image an important factor to the bands appearance?
-I think band need to take care of their image, in order to create a link between their music and the look.

How important is it to have an album cover that stands out to grab people’s attention in this day and age?
-Back in the days it was really important because you could buy records only at the record stores. Now it’s a bit more complicated… to say the least… this said we all really love our album cover: it’s colorful and should capture the attention. And, more important it suits the songs

What kind of respect do you get from your local scene?
-I’m an old man (Ahahahahah). The Italian scene is alive and we know everybody and the simple fact I am the singer of an iconic band such as Tygers of Pan Tang surely makes a difference. It’s something that makes every Italian metal fan very proud. It’s a responsibility for me but at the same time it’s so natural: I am the long lasting singer of the Tygers and I’m in the band since 2004.
How massive is it to get response from places you have never heard of?
-That’s the power of Internet! It’s great. You are exposed to the whole world. It’s challenging.

Is playing live still a great way to get new fans to discover you?
-Playing live “IS” the reason I play. I’m maybe old fashion but rock’n’roll is a live thing: only when you are on stage performing you know if a song is a good song. There is so many things you can do while you are in a studio, but when it comes to do a live show there should be no tricks.

What does the future have in its womb?
Playing live as much as possible and starting writing songs for the new Tygers of Pan Tang’s new album. We have got already some killer riffs and songs already written. We are so excited about it we can’t wait to get back in the rehearsal room and work on them!

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