Interview with Mike McTernan of Damnation A.D. & When Tigers Fight.
Mike sings in Damnation A.D, who are probably one of the lesser known Rev bands, but also one of my favourites. Damnation A.D also featured Ken Olden (Better Than A Thousand, Battery) so they had some pedigree! If you are not familiar with their Rev album "Kingdom Of Lost Souls, ya'll need to remedy that. Check it out, read the interview, wash your hands.
If you had to introduce extraterrestrials to music with five records, what would they be?
This is one of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer! I have started this multiple times and the furthest I have gotten to is 4 and then I start again!
- Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss - I have never been much of a metal fan but I think this is a great introduction to someone. My first memory is how much the samples in Dead Skin Mask creeped me out. It pushed me to check out their other stuff.
- Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth - This may be my favorite hip hop album. I think introducing someone who is not familiar to hip hop to this is a great place to start. It is filled with such emotion and at the same time catchy!
- Minor Threat - Discography - I think Minor Threat is a perfect introduction into punk music. The lyrics cover such a wide array of topics centered around teen angst. I think almost every song of theirs is perfect.
- The Cure - Disintegration - Disintegration might be the perfect introduction to The Cure. It has a perfect mix of hope and despair to not scare someone off.
- Johnny Cash - The American Recordings - I am cheating and could not choose one album. Many of these songs are haunting. Reading about how he recording these while his health was declining was heartbreaking.
Are there any albums that changed your life? If so, what are they?
7 Seconds - The Crew - Before I was introduced tot he record I had mainly been exposed to angry English punk.This was punk on a different level. It opened my eyes to music with a message. They went on to write some of the most important yet overlooked songs ever!
Boogie Down Productions - By All Means Necessary - My first real job was working at a yogurt store at the mall. One of my supervisors there was really into hip hop and my biggest memory of him was that he could recite every single song from Eric B. and Rakim with precision! One day I wore a Go Vegetarian shirt to work and he started spitting lines from BDP. I was instantly hooked and bothered him relentlessly for other groups I should check out. I realized that hip hop and punk shared a lot of the same core values.
Elliott Smith - Either/Or - On one of my trips to visit my brother in Boston he introduced me to Elliott Smith. We quickly dropped by Salad Days to say hello to Another Victim and then rushed back to his apartment to watch Elliott perform at the Oscars. It was so beautiful. I immediately related to his vulnerability and have been hooked ever since. I can still do with out the flute in the background during that performance though. Haha
A couple years ago for Record Store Day, Damnation A.D put out (and nailed, by the way) a covers album of The Cure's most harrowing (in my opinion) album "Pornography". How did you settle on that particular album?
Before damnation was a real band Ken and I recorded the song Cold. He has such a unique ability to hear the final product of something before it is even done. He explained for similar our songs where to The Cure. Especially the Pornography album. That album is so dark and devoid of hope. I think that is how both of us pictured where we were heading.
Will we have to wait another ten years for new Damnation A.D music, covers or otherwise?
I think so! All of us are still really close. We don’t see each other much because adulting sucks but I think at some point we will make it happen!
Are you still involved in any other musical ventures?
I am always writing but at the moment I am not doing much else.
What's the near future got in store for Mike McTernan? (new Damnation A.D material is an acceptable answer).
Spending time with my family. Making bad jokes. Listening to podcasts. Taking walks. I enjoy the simple things.