Damien Johnson releases his new album, 'Girl', 30 April, 2021.
Creating an industrial/ electro ruckus out of Ipswich, Damien Johnson has been creating poignant social commentaries with his recent releases.
His current single ‘Your Woman’ – a cover of White Town's 1997 classic – actively promotes mainstream support for shifting broader community attitudes about transgender people so everyone can "experience love, acceptance and connection".
Damien has produced an accompanying music video for 'Your Woman' that features him going on a first date with a transgender person; and includes a string of harrowing real-life testimonies of local transgender people and their experiences with dating cisgender individuals.
Damien's motivation to support the transgender community arose from his own sense of identity within the context of gender and sexuality. "I really struggle with the obsession that we need to find labels for everyone," he says.
"I think it's important, not just for the success of the video, but also for the success in changing cultural attitudes for people to see mainstream media getting behind projects like this."
At the end of April, Damien will release his second album, 'Girl', with a Brisbane launch show in May.
I sound like... Depeche Mode got really drunk at a dance party and hooked up with Regurgitator and Nine Inch Nails.
My first gig was... At Ric's Bar. At least I think it was; my memory gets a little hazy at times.
In the studio... I usually start with a single lyrical idea, a bassline and a beat, and just make stuff from there.
If I could tour with anyone... I would like to be opening for The Dandy Warhols – they are my go to for inspiration at the moment.
Social media is... Overrated. It's useful and I'm on it, but only minimally – I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, and Instagram because I like pictures. The rest doesn't add any value to my life.
My favourite app at the moment... is the Voice Memo recorder on my phone because I can record ideas on the fly where ever I happen to be.
To date, my most embarrassing moment was the time... I vomited on a roller coaster over the girl I was on a date with.
Life on the road... Can be a great opportunity to simply admire the quirks and character of places you would not otherwise venture to.
If you'll have me on your bill, all I ask is that my rider contains... Imperial Stouts – I love dark craft beer.
The most scary scenario I've found myself in, was... In an Uber in Thailand with no phone reception, no internet and a driver who couldn't speak English and was taking me down a lot of winding roads in the middle of nowhere.
What celebrity/ famous person would you love to endorse you? It would make my day if Dave Grohl one day said: "I discovered this guy, Damien Johnson, the other day, and his sh.t was really cool. You should definitely check it out!" It would also make my day if Scott Morrison was quoted as saying: "Damien Johnson is an irreverent motherf...er and has no respect for authority or the values that the Liberal Party stand by."
If you had to live in a city abroad, where would you choose and why? Possibly Birmingham, England. I have family there, and it has a progressive culture immersed in a lot of historical architecture.
If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? I grow my own vegetables and bake my own bread, so I would probably cook you a creamy pumpkin soup with crusty bread on the side.
No matter the expense, send me a case of... Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout.
The last time I saw the inside of a gym was... This morning. I'm totally insecure about my appearance and getting old so work out all the time. I used to be embarrassed by that, but now I just own it.
What's the one chore you dislike the most? Cleaning the shower.
Do you have any phobias? I have an irrational fear of shirt buttons, I really dislike them and it grosses me out when dolls have them for eyes.
Would you ever partake in a reality show? Yeah, I would definitely go on 'The Bachelor'. I find meeting new people interesting and it would be a funny experience to converse deeply with others while also feeling you were putting on a performance for the camera.
If you could prank any of your friends, who's your target, and how are you bringing them down? My brother. He is a soft target because he has an irrational fear of bananas. You could rob him with a cavendish pointed at his chest, I kid you not.
He's also a highly successful architect in New York and works with some very high profile people. I would prank him by putting a bowl of ladyfingers in the table at his next major pitch, and have everyone else in the room start eating them as he's about to start presenting.
Damien Johnson’s debut album 'Girl' will be released 30 April. He'll launch it at Lefty's Music Hall (Brisbane) 13 May. Damien also plays Anywhere Festival at Banshees Bar (Ipswich) 8 May.