Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Damage.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Working in an industry where electronic sounds reign king, I’m attempting to bring a unique live flair to the art of electronica. Born in Pittsburgh, I now make my home in South Florida. I was classically trained as a violinist, starting when I was 5 or 6 years old; my parents wanted me to learn an instrument and I showed potential for the violin at a young age. After taking Suzuki lessons from that time through high school, I actually put the violin down for three or four years until late in college. As a kid I wasn’t a huge fan of classical music, and I taught myself to play jazz and also learned Irish fiddling and other fiddle styles of playing out of boredom. When I picked up the violin again, I put those skills (improvisation and playing by ear) to good use. Blending styles to allow the violin to break out of its traditional/classical shell, I challenge the way people see the violin.
I started off playing at an open mic night in South Miami (at a bar called Titanic) playing blues, and quickly began to play with a dirty blues band as a special guest. From there, I joined a live hip hop act. After writing and performing around South Florida with them for about 8 months, I received a call that would change the direction I took my music in: I was asked to perform to house music at Living Room Nightclub in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. – and the rest is history. I began to make a name for myself in local nightclubs and lounges, and eventually began to travel to perform. I have also performed at a huge variety of venues as well as types of events – ranging from Ultra Music Festival, exclusive beach parties, the Groove Cruise and performances in Mexico, Canada and more – to weddings, bar mitzvah’s, fashion shows and corporate events. I’ve also participated in fashion events for Miami Swim Week and Fashion Week, WMC/Winter Conference and Miami Music Week, Art Basel, and more.
Please tell us about your art.
I’m an electric violinist; I play by ear, primarily to house music, techno, EDM, hip hop, Latin music and rock. I work with a variety of DJs as well as other musicians, and I particularly enjoy writing strings and recording to original tracks for both myself and other artists.
I’ve marketed myself in a unique way. I wanted to emulate the rocker attitude and style that I grew up loving (I’m a big fan of heavy metal, punk, and grunge) so I came up with the name Dave Damage; I’ve had blue hair for over a decade – and this is both a personal choice and also part of my branding, haha – I’m known by some as the Blue Haired Freak!
My inspiration comes from music itself – I cannot live without music. Jazz, rock, electronica, Irish fiddling and even classical music all influence my art/performance. I try to challenge the way people look at my instrument; typically, people do not expect to hear the violin in a nightclub, much less a violin that fits into non-traditional music (AKA music that isn’t classical music). Someone who looks the way that I do, who plays the instrument that I do, to the music and in the capacity that I do, tends to stick out like a sore thumb – and that’s what I want. It’s an amazing feeling when someone approaches me at a gig to tell me how much they enjoyed seeing the violin break out of its mold.
Something interesting about my music: Typically, when I perform live, no two performances are exactly the same – even if the same songs are played by the venue or DJ. This is because I am improvising during each performance – I often don’t know what songs will be played, nor do I know the order!
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success to me is defined in two parts: Am I enjoying what I am doing? Am I bringing other people joy?
As long as I’m having fun as I create, I consider that a success. If I’m able to make someone stop what they’re doing for just a moment to listen to my music, that’s also what I’d consider a success. I’ve had people come to me after a show and tell me how much what I did has influenced them. I met another musician at a gig, who began to work with DJs after seeing me perform – something which was something awesome to hear as a musician myself, as I’ve been influenced by bands and performers that I’ve seen as well – and a perfect example of what I consider being “successful” in music. Money, fame – this is all fleeting. Making an impact on someone’s life is what I feel brings it full circle and is what makes being a musician worthwhile for me.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My website: www.damageviolin.com
Facebook fan page:
For booking info: email@example.com or call my cell: (412)951-0577
Twitter and Instagram are both: @damageviolin
I perform all over South Florida, and currently work regularly with Area 31 at the Epic Hotel. I am also currently holding a residency in Tampa at WTR for their Saturdays, I’m helping to build a new Sunday brunch concept at Society in Fort Meyers, and more bookings are in the works as we speak for several other venues in Florida and beyond.
- Website: www.damageviolin.com
- Phone: 412-951-0577 (only for booking – this is my personal cell)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @damageviolin
- Facebook: facebook.com/DamageViolin
- Twitter: @damageviolin
David Ramos, Patrick Nichols.