I'LL BE DAMNED
There is something archaic in Rock'n'Roll, a wild and ferocious edge, as untamed and insane as a wild beast. There are those who harness this quality, those who are willingly devoured by it. And there are those who only pretend to get it. Who studied Rock'n'Roll like they studied Algebra. All it takes to find out where Danish Rock heavyweights I'll Be Damned set up camp is the opening track (aptly titled „Fever“) of their stormy debut album „I'll Be Damned“. „Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it“, Elvis Presley once said. Not about I'll Be Damned in particular, of course, but about the same values these guys stand for. You want to move, that's what happens when you listen to I'll Be Damned. You want to bang your head and to tear the fucking place apart! A beer would also help.
After six years in existence and countless big and small gigs under their leather belts, the hungry five-piece from Aarhus is about to internationally unleash its first strike upon the sinful world of Rock'n'Roll, a testimony for the left hand path so irrepressible, powerful and stomping it will march right over you. But I fear I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's all stay as cool as a cucumber and take a closer look at this wild bunch of troublemakers. „We come from fairly different places musically. From Death Metal over Alternative to straight up Rock. As a band our first points of inspiration were the likes of Monster Magnet, Entombed, Transport League and D-A-D“, guitarist Kristian Sloth confides. Of course, it's close to impossible to not stumble over D-A-D as a Danish Rock enthusiast. „D-A-D is in fact all of Denmarks Rock daddies. We owe them our Rock'n'Roll lives! We were extremely happy and honored, thus, to support them in our hometown Aarhus in front of 12,000 people last year.“
You get it slowly, don't you? This is not your ordinary Rock newbie. I’ll Be Damned is a force with a sharpened edge, a band embracing the true virtues of Rock'n'Roll while sporting a punchy attitude at the same time. „Rock'n'Roll is rebel music for the people! It’s all about shaking your fist at the establishment, screaming: Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!“ Don't get me wrong: I'll Be Damned are not a couple of copycats in leather jackets and sunglasses using way too much hair grease and sounding like a cheap copy of Buddy Holly. They're a bunch of passionate maniacs with a crush on Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, groove and Blues Rock, equally dividing their hearts between the huge melodies of Volbeat, the feverish groove of Clutch, the throbbing of Kvelertak and the chutzpah of bearded superheroes ZZ Top. Add to this a blessing from the God of all riffs himself plus a strong pinch of humor and you get a vague notion of what I'll Be Damned are all about. „To get by in this world we need humor as our bullet proof vests“, Kristian says and laughs. „Otherwise we would have to play Black Metal.“
These guys are not doing it for fame, money or girls although they would certainly not mind it. They're doing it for themselves alone. „It should be a blast playing in I'll Be Damned – and it is!“ Rock'n'Roll lore tells us, however, that any band is only as strong as its front man. That being said, I'll Be Damned seem to have no boundaries whatsoever. Bearing the words of the great Robert Plant in mind who once said „I don't know how much more expressive you can get than being a Rock and Roll singer“ you can only marvel at the stage persona, the sheer charisma and the bottomless energy of vocalist Stig Gamborg. A marvel of a front man, this guy is the epitome of a bad-ass Rock'n'Roll star. And always has been, as Kristian points out: „At the age of one, Stig’s parents knew – at the age of two, Stig knew and never looked back. Later on while studying religion and social science at the university he got so pissed that he had to scream it to the world. And then he joined I'll Be Damned.“ Good for this howling, preaching specimen of a lead singer. He'd probably be in serious trouble by now without having this outlet.
Quickly after founding the band back in 2010, it became obvious for the young troupe that it's all about playing live. „It’s all about the Rock'n'Roll party! We are possessed on stage and the crowd quickly responds. It’s impossible for us to play a low key show. When it’s on it’s fucking on – twelve or twelve-thousand people.“ So far, they had both scenarios, with opening slots ranging from D-A-D to Airbourne or Steel Panther, not to mention their stunt at Copenhell. „The power of the riff compels us! Even rehearsing it’s impossible for us to hold back.“ The riff compels them indeed. Twelve fine examples of this bewitchment have now found their way on to „I'll be Damned“, a record so pure, direct and untamed it could have been forged in Rock'n'Roll limbo itself. „We don’t try to play like someone else or to hit a special genre. It’s a fusion of what each of us brings to the table, and the final output is this mixture of all the best things from different Rock'n'Roll angels. That is what makes our sound stand out from other Hard Rock acts.” There's nothing left to add, really.
Emerging from Denmark's second biggest city Aarhus and the beloved local Rock bar „Escobar“, I'll Be Damned are next in line to up the ante of Danish Rock'n'Roll. „The rock-scene in Denmark is definitely rising. There’s a lot of new bands coming with blood on their teeth inspired by Volbeat and others who have paved the way internationally.” With the unfiltered force of debut album „I'll Be Damned“ in their wake and a ravenous hunger to destroy every stage they can sink their teeth in, the final verdict for these rocking and rolling parvenus is as unambiguously as a hooker in a dark alley. So just „fuck the world and be happy“, as they sing. It may very well be the wisest thing you will hear today.