EVERY TIME I DIE bassist Josh Newton has joined the touring lineup of THE DAMNED THINGS, the new band featuring members of FALL OUT BOY (Joe Trohman, Andy Hurley), ANTHRAX (Scott Ian, Rob Caggiano) and EVERY TIME I DIE (Keith Buckley).Rough-mix versions of two tracks — "We've Got a Situation Here" and "Ironiclast" — from THE DAMNED THINGS can be streamed on the group's MySpace page.
While each individual in the band has experienced their own successes, THE DAMNED THINGS' debut Island/Def Jam album, which combines their love of classic rock anthems and powerful melodies with a heavy metal intensity, turns out to be much more than the sum of the separate parts.
"This is an amalgam of three very different bands," explains FALL OUT BOY guitarist Joe Trohman, who was first introduced to ANTHRAX's Scott Ian three years ago, when the two became fast friends and immediately began writing together. "It seemed unlikely, but it turned out we were on the same page musically. We were both interested in putting together a heavy/classic-rock, blues-oriented, riff-based band while trying to stay away from what makes that sound generic and overplayed."
"We're trying not to over-think it," chimes in Ian. "Nobody's arm is being twisted to be here. We're just doing it as we go along, and this is the natural progression. We're able to do things exactly how we want to do them by keeping it simple and comfortable for everyone."
With Trohman and Caggiano handling the production duties, the group began writing and recording songs mostly in Brooklyn, Chicago, and Buffalo (where Buckley resides). The template began to take shape, combining those elements of classic rock with the heavier aspects of ANTHRAX and EVERY TIME I DIE, and the hook-laden choruses of FALL OUT BOY.
According to Buckley, THE DAMNED THINGS name was inspired by the lyrics in RAM JAM's '70s version of LEDBELLY's "Black Betty".
While they've all experienced a degree of success, every member of THE DAMNED THINGS acts like there's something still to prove, and part of the exhilaration of it is starting over, going back to the reasons they first started playing music.
"I feel like I'm giving birth," laughs Trohman. "It's painful and necessary at the same time for me to get this record made. It's really coming together the way I envisioned it in my head."
"This is still all so new to us," says Scott. "There's no baggage yet. We're still very much in the honeymoon period. I remember what it was like to be in ANTHRAX back in 1984. It's just really exciting to get to do that again. I'm in a new band again. It's a blast."
THE DAMNED THINGS is: Keith Buckley: Lead Vocals
Scott Ian: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Rob Caggiano: Rhythm, Lead Guitar, Vocals
Joe Trohman: Rhythm, Lead Guitar, Vocals
Andy Hurley: Drums, Percussion
Josh Newton: Bass