As reported in early spring, legendary punks The Damned signed a new label deal with Search & Destroy and announced plans for their 11th studio album. Now, the band have announced that preparations are underway.
The band’s raw, primal and macabre energy will see its match in the studio this October in Brooklyn, NY with famed producer Tony Visconti who for over five decades has produced some of the world’s most influential artists and their greatest albums (David Bowie, T.Rex, Morrisey, U2, The Stranglers, Iggy Pop and Thin Lizzy). On Engineer duties is four time Grammy-winning producer /engineer/mixer Kevin Killen, who has also worked with Bowie and has spent the last several decades compiling an impressive list of credentials featuring premiere pop artists Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, Bryan Ferry and Brandon Flowers.
The New York Observer proclaimed, “The Damned are a band of infinite depth and a wide variety of pleasures… high-quality blurs of melodic punk, Beach Boys-ish flowery psych-pop, chiming, bittersweet post-punk, Moody Blues-ish bombastmopherics, spiraling goth and soaring faux soul, all brilliantly executed…”
It’s rather fitting that the band who in 1976 launched an alchemic, heady new British rock sound collaborates with one of the most important and influential producers in the history of rock. “We want to do the unexpected,” noting that the new album will offer some of the old and a lot of the new. “We’ve never been predictable and well, neither has Tony. There will be a measure of experimentation and we know he’ll do his best to artistically challenge us. He’s been at the top of our producer list since we first started thinking about recording the album, dream come true he’s on board!” The as-yet-unnamed new album will be their first new album for nearly ten years and is the follow up to, ‘So, Who’s Paranoid?’ which came out in 2008.
This news also comes with a change in The Damned’s line up: the band announce the bitter sweet news of the departure of bassist Stu West. “We had a great time with Stu on this long journey. We have infinite respect for him and are forever grateful for his contributions to The Damned. As a result of this mutual understanding, we respect his decision, support him wholeheartedly and wish him the best of luck and success.”
Furthermore, The Damned reveal that once again they will reunite with their former bass player Paul Gray (Eddie and the Hot Rods/Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls, Rob Tyner (MC5)/UFO), who was an essential part of the Damned during the 80s and who played bass on previous Damned albums ‘The Black Album‘ and ‘Strawberries‘. Gray will be joining the Damned in the studio this fall.
A dizzying mix of dedication, creativity and stubborn will continue to fuel Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Monty Oxymoron, and Andrew “Pinch” Pinching. While The Damned’s 40 year journey has been challenging, rewarding and shocking at best, they continue to reign as Punk’s original connoisseurs and feel very positive about what lies ahead in the future. That evidence will be heard on their new album and in venues worldwide as the blitz continues on their Evil Spirits Tour set to rock intimate venues through out the UK this January.
The Damned ‘Evil Spirits’ 2018 UK tour dates
17 February London O2 Forum
Watch the video for vintage The Damned via YouTube below.