5 Drummerszone artists - Damien Girardi

Damien Girardi
* August 30, 1976
United States
Damien Girardi (Brooklyn, NY, 1976) plays drums in The Outside. Previously he played with Passing Strange, 42 wetman, 4 guys and a fish, and Poop. Girardi started playing drums at age twelve. He took a couple of reading lessons in college but just ended up memorizing the pieces instead of actually reading them.

Asked about his musical inspiration, Damien Girardi answers:
"I find that inspiration comes from whatever Im listening to and who ever Im playing with. Things tend to pop in my head at random so Ill usually carry a tape recorder with me so I dont forget. My parents were very into music so I was exposed to lots of Stevie Wonder, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and other stuff growing up. They were also very supportive which was a huge deal.

When The Outside is writing new material I listen to what everybodys doing for inspiration and really just go with my gut. Could be a guitar or bass part or something Tree does vocally, I just feed off whichever hits me the most. If it feels right then it probably is, you just have to trust your instincts."
Musicwise he learned several important lessons last year. Says Damien Girardi:
"I have to stop hitting so hard. Its difficult sometimes because The Outsides music is so emotional and I tend to get caught up in that. Maybe its just how Im wired but I swear its like a war zone up there sometimes. I guess its better to feel too much than feel nothing at all."
The other thing Girardi has learnt isnt something specific about himself but more about the industry:
"I think more people need to take chances, do something different, be yourself. People are so concerned with getting deals and getting signed these days that I think the music gets put on the back burner sometimes and that flippin scares me. Maybe its just New York, but I really miss being inspired by a live band when I walk into a bar."
Damien Girardi's biography - in his own words:
Growing up, like most kids, I played a ton of instruments: melodica, saxophone, violin, guitar, and who knows what else. I liked them all (except for the violin, and I think my parents can agree) but they just werent fun to play or practice. As soon as I sat behind a drum kit, I was hooked, I loved it. The feeling you get, the energy, the sound, it was definitely for me.

In downtown Plattsburgh youll find a bar called The Monopole. Growing up, many Saturdays with my dad were spent doing renovation work there. Luckily for me, the bands that played the night before would sometimes leave their equipment set up, including the drums. A full drum kit at your disposal with nobody around is like heaven to a 10 year old. Dad would work, and I would playuntil I had to work. Soon after that my neighbor and best bud had started studying drums so hed let me tool around on his kit. Between the two, thats all it took.

In the next 17 years I would own 4 kits: my first, a red sparkle no name 4 piece which I bought for $150; my second, a blue Tama 5 piece; my third, a 5 piece Sonor Force 3000; and my most recent, a 6 piece Tama Starclassic Maple. I had no interest in taking more lessons of any kind and absolutely no interest in being in band, I just wanted to have fun. So these years were spent tooling around in bands and teaching myself every album I could get my hands on that inspired me. Guys like Jimmy Chamberlin, Lars Ulrich, Chad Smith, Danny Carey, Bob Seinberg, Dave Lombardo, Keith Moon, Nick Mason ,John Bohnam, Tim Alexander, Mitch Mitchell, Carter Beauford, Charlie Benante, Matt Cameron, the list could go on, they were all huge influences on me because thats how I taught myself. Id spend hours practicing with my walkman on trying to learn everything these guys did because I was blown away by it all.

Also, for about 10 years during this time, I was in a very interesting band called Passing Strange. Headed up by Sean Clute (composer, guitarist, computer wiz and all-around strange guy) we were and experimental band whos sound seemed to change every 10 minutes. It was a different challenge everyday and taught me a lot about playing with people and how to collaborate. This is really where I started to write my own parts and develop a sense of how I liked to play. Looking back now, it was probably the most important musical growing experience Ive ever had.

After we parted ways and college was finally over, a brief hiatus was taken and a job needed to be found. When I got back on my feet, I answered the first ad I saw in the Village Voice looking for creative musicians. Through that, I met Will (bass) and Ben (guitar). We added Tree (vocals) a year later and The Outside was formed. Our chemistry was great from the start, we write tons of material, we all get along and respect each other and everyone brings completely different things to the table. Its been 4 years, and Ive never been happier writing and playing music.

For me its always been about being creative and having fun. So far, its worked quite well.

My future plans? Actually I was planning on getting lunchoh the other near future, sorry. Well, The Outside is heading into the studio very soon so Im really focusing on that right now. Trying to iron out my parts and get everything semi-organized before we embark on that long and arduous road. We record ourselves so its always a challenge. Im also our graphic designer so Ill be thinking about the new CD and press kit packaging. Oh, and I need to get endorsed by a cymbal company soon because I keep breaking mine!

With The Outside Damien Girardi released the EP "Blue Collar Overtime" in 2003 and the EP "You are the alphagracias por nada" in 2004. Reflecting on this latest release, Girardi states:
"Im really happy with our latest EP. It did a good job of capturing the energy of our live show, which is always a challenge for bands. As far as my playing on the release, Im very pleased with it. Of course there are some things Id do a little differently now but overall I like the sound we got out of the drums and I think the parts fit the songs, which is the most important thing for me."
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