From trying to play peacekeeper when fights get out of hand to eating octopus while hanging out with Kerrang! in Japan, Don Broco vocalist Rob Damiani shares plenty of interesting stories in this edition of 13 Questions. There’s also the small matter of his love of dinosaurs, his fascination with Iceland and why you should care about his band’s star-studded latest single, Action…
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“A dinosaur explorer. As a lot of kids do, I had dinosaur-themed clothes and toys – I seemed to know the names of loads of dinosaurs before I knew most of the words that would be useful in everyday life. I didn’t know what a melon was, but I sure as hell could identify a stegosaurus. I loved Jurassic Park, too.”
What’s the best place you’ve ever been?
“I went to Iceland recently, and that was phenomenal. You can really enjoy that country for its natural beauty and crazy landscapes – seeing pictures online only gives you a small glimpse of what it has to offer. For such a small country, it’s got a huge variety of natural attractions – from mountains to waterfalls to glaciers. A lot of sci-fi movies get filmed in Iceland, which is cool, because it’s probably the only country that I’ve been to where I’ve been like, ‘Wow, this actually doesn’t feel like Earth.’”
What would you like it to say on your gravestone?
“My friends and I had this pretty lame phrase when we were younger that we nicked off the Pepsi Max advert; whenever we were getting hyped up to play a game of football, we’d throw the horns at each other and be like, ‘LIVE LIFE TO THE MAX!’ It was silly, but it’s actually a good mantra to live your life by. When I die, I hope people remember me as someone who lived life to the fullest.”
What’s your party trick?
“I don’t have a traditional one… I’d probably say it’s just me thinking I can handle drinking a lot more than I can, and consequently getting wasted before everyone else. If I haven’t had a beer in a while, I can get carried away very quickly.”
What’s your biggest fear?
“Probably heights, but it’s more to do with my balance, so I’m scared of heights when I don’t have anything to hang on to. It doesn’t even have to be that high – small walls can be a problem, to the extent that I’ll end up injuring myself.”
What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
“Definitely the octopus that Kerrang! made me eat in Japan! It was unlike anything I’ve ever put in my mouth – warm, soft and slimy but with a weird crunch to it. It felt so wrong. You guys came to one of the shows when we played with ONE OK ROCK in Osaka and we ended up ordering some octopus. I’m a big believer in trying new things, but I didn’t discover my new favourite food that day.”
What’s the worst injury you’ve ever suffered?
“I got my back snapped in a mosh-pit. We were running late for a show and I picked an amp up really badly and hurt my back. Then once the show had started I jumped in the pit for a wall of death and basically got snapped in half – I was crippled for a year after that. I was walking around like an old man for ages.”
Who is the most famous person in your contacts list?
“Probably Mike Shinoda… he’s a pretty famous dude!”
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
“I worked at the Autoglass call centre – that got pretty boring. There was only a handful of things people would ring up about – if I was lucky, someone would ring up and say their back windscreen had smashed which made things vaguely interesting, but that hardly ever happened. There’s definitely a limited number of variables with that job. Simon [Delaney, guitar] and Matt [Donnelly, drums] also worked there, so we could at least have a bit of a laugh.”
Have you ever been in a fight?
“Yeah – I’m terrible at fighting, though. I’ve never been in one on purpose, but when I get drunk and a fight breaks out in front of me, I always think I can stop it. I’ve done it with randomers: I’ve seen them scrapping on the street and I’ve gone over with this bravado thinking I can calm things down. Next thing I know someone’s clocked me and I’m on the ground, and that’s me done for the evening. So basically, I’ve never swung a punch, but I have been hit before!”
If your house was on fire, what one thing would you save?
“Right now, it’d be my laptop, purely because it’s got everything we’ve worked on over the last few months. If we had to go back to square one that’d be gutting. I’d like to grab all my CDs, too – they’re very sentimental to me.”
If you had the power to turn off the internet, would you do it?
“Yeah. I’m guilty of looking back at the past with rose-tinted glasses, but I do remember a time without the internet – it meant that, as a kid, you had much less to worry about, because there was no social media or anything like that. That said, I couldn’t imagine a life without Netflix, so maybe we should keep it after all.”
Why should people check out your recent single, Action?
“It’s a sick song – a straight-up banging tune. It’s fun, stupid rock music that you can go nuts to. This is the first time we’ve really collaborated with anyone, and we’ve got all the singers from our favourite bands to appear on it, which was super-exciting. The video is mental, too – you need to check that out!”
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