Don Broco’s Rob Damiani: The 10 songs that changed my life

From singing Queen in his school choir to crowd-surfing to Foo Fighters, Don Broco frontman Rob Damiani reflects the significant songs in his life…

Don Broco’s Rob Damiani: The 10 songs that changed my life
Nick Ruskell
Paul Harries
Originally published:
August 2018

From K! reader to K! cover star, Don Broco vocalist Rob Damiani has lived life by way of the riff. Except when he used to be ‘Robert’ Jackson…

The first song that I remember hearing…The Jackson Five – ABC (1970)

“This might be because I remembered ‘ABC’, and when you’re a kid the alphabet is important to your formative education. My parents pretty much exclusively played The Jackson Five and Michael Jackson around the house. Me and my brother used to pretend we were in The Jackson Five, and we’d do performances with dance routines. I’m not called Michael and my brother is, so I was the fictional ‘Robert’ Jackson.”

The song that reminds me of childhood…Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)

“I started singing in the choir at school. You didn’t have to be good and I didn’t really enjoy the songs that much, but the teacher slipped this in one day and I remember being so happy about it. It was like the treat at the end of practice, and I’d lose my mind. It’s so complicated, but it’s fun to sing.”

The first song that I learned to play…Metallica – Enter Sandman (1991)

“I can’t say I learned the entire song as that would be lying, but before I was in Don Broco I played drums in my first band. I wasn’t much of a drummer, but we did play Enter Sandman. I think the intro is such a signature thing – those toms are so primal and easy to play, and that build-up is amazing. It was the first time I’d played something like that and it always fell apart halfway through, but it was still loads of fun.”

The song that inspired me to be in a band…New Found Glory – My Friends Over You (2002)

“I remember seeing them in Kerrang! and thinking, ’Woah, these guys look cool as fuck.’ I was really into pop-punk, but they were bringing something new to it. They seemed like super-fun guys with catchy tunes and I thought Jordan [Pundik] was an absolute legend. He made me want to get up onstage. Their combination of catchiness and slightly heavy guitars with breakdowns was great. I thought, ‘Maybe I can be a lead vocalist.’”

The first of our songs I heard on the radio…Don Broco – Thug Workout (2008)

“This was back when we first started out, and things were more old-school. The internet was already massive, and MySpace was still a thing, but we just took a punt and burnt a load of CDs and sent them to radio stations. We didn’t think it’d come to anything, but Alex Baker at Kerrang! Radio liked it, and we couldn’t believe he played it. Everyone we knew tuned in and it was amazing. He’s still got the original CD with our handwritten note, too.”

My favourite song to play live…Don Broco – Pretty (2018)

“This has become a highlight of our set now. We’ve closed with it on a lot of shows ’cause it feels like it reaches fever pitch. The anticipation for when the riffs drop is something else. It was one of the first songs we got buzzed for when we were jamming it in my living room. We knew when it was played live it was going to sound sick.”

The song that reminds me of my first love…Biffy Clyro – Scary Mary (2002)

“My girlfriend at the time wasn’t called Mary, but I loved that song. There’s one lyric that made me all emotional and think of her: ‘You painted pictures with my tears.’ We were, like, 17, there was no real emotional heartache, and she never made me cry, but she was a really keen artist and painter, which connected that lyric to her for me. Still now when I hear it, I think of her. Un-Scary Mary, I call her, because she wasn’t scary, or called Mary.”

The first song that I crowd-surfed to…Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench (1997)

“I’ll never forget that first feeling. It was Wembley Arena and I was scared. My mate gave me a leg up and I went from the back to the front as my heart was racing. Then I found my mates and did it all again. I love crowd-surfing, though I don’t get a chance to do it much these days.”

The song that picks me up when I’m down…Jimmy Eat World – My Sundown (2001)

“It’s a song that doesn’t necessarily make you feel happy, but it’s kind of melancholy, and when you feel like that it’s good to match your mood. A lot of that album [Bleed American] is like that, and it reminds me of simpler times.”

The song I want played at my funeral…Don Broco – Everybody (2018)

“In the final scene of the video the detective who’s been shot by his partner joins the Cowboy Cult and he comes back from the dead. During the eulogy he pops out of the coffin and scares the shit out of everyone. Imagine that!”

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