Last Show EVER! >>
Posted on 11/6/2003

TDD to record Final EP >>
Posted on 11/6/2003

The Damage Is DONE >>
Posted on 11/6/2003




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The Damage Done started in the small college town of San Luis Obispo, CA during the spring of 2001 as a close group of friends looking to play some straight up hardcore that actually had something to say. The very first incarnation of TDD was Nick Koets on guitar, Chris Voegtli on bass, Dave Copp on drums, and Kyle Whitlow on vocals. By the end the summer of 2001, James Gianello joined on 2nd guitar, and we recorded our demo 2001 with Jeremy Johnson in October of that year. We played our first shows on October 19th and 20th, the 20th being the Carry On and Over My Dead Body double record release show in Ojai, CA.

We spent the Winter of 2001-2002 playing as many shows as possible and writing new material, meanwhile teaming up with Western Front Records to release our 4 song 2001 demo on vinyl in February of 2002. In May of 2002, we went into the studio and recorded 8 new songs. But that recording quickly got put on the back burner as we departed on an East Coast tour in June of 2002, and then I took off to Europe for the summer, returning in late August. When I got back, we started trying to figure out what to do with these 8 songs that we had recorded. While in Italy, I had met up with an old record trading pal, Paolo Bilia, and we had discussed releasing some TDD material in Europe with Paolo's friend Dario Adamic. We decided that a split 7" would probably be the best idea. When everything finally got sorted out, the 8 song recording became the 5 song Never Wash Away 7" on Western Front Records, with the remaining 3 songs going to a split 7" with Day Of The Dead (from Portugal) on Goodwill Records (from Italy). All 8 songs would then be compiled to come out later on the 8 song Never Wash Away CD on Western Front Records.

To make things a little more complicated, our original guitarist (Nick Koets) had left the band in June right after our East Coast tour, and I had moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area after graduating college. We had to make a couple decisions. First of all, either break up, or continue the band as a long distance band. Also, we had to choose between one of the following - 1. find another guitarist, 2. continue as a 4 piece, or 3. have Dave move to a his more natural instrument (guitar) and find a new drummer. We chose #3. We recruited a friend that I'd known since grade school, Justin Hoffman, who played drums in a band called Conscientious Objector. He had recently moved to the Bay Area to attend SF State, so we decided to try Justin out. Things went well, and Justin and I began making the 4 hour trip to San Luis Obispo every 2 weeks for practice so that we could tighten up our set and start playing shows again.

We played a record release show for the Never Wash Away EP on November 23rd, 2002 at 924 Gilman St. in Berkeley, CA. The show was by far the best show to date, and it made it even sweeter that we basically got to hand pick the lineup. We played the show with friends in Allegiance, For The Crown, Scissorhands, and Embrace The End. Basically, that show put a lot of wind in our sails. After that, we played a TON of shows in both Northern and Southern California. We did a lot of weekend trips - a weekend with Champion in December, a weekend with In Control in January, and a weekend with Comeback Kid in early March. But even though we were playing a ton of shows in a lot of different places, we just weren't picking up much steam, a large part due to the fact that there were a lot of delays with our CDs and we just didn't have much to sell for kids to listen to.

At the end of March, we made another weekend trip - this time to the Northwest, with Allegiance, to play Portland and Seattle. We had an amazing time, mostly just hanging out and having fun on the road, and everything just felt really "right"... We just felt overall rejuvenated. Unfortunately, it was short lived - when we got home, I had a message on my answering machine from a close friend that basically just said "Call me immediately, I need to talk to you." I pretty much instantly knew what it was about. Our friend Jeremy Johnson, who had been fighting a battle with leukemia for just a little over a year, had passed away while we were gone. I had to walk into the living room and tell everyone the horrible news, and it pretty much devastated all of us...

From that point on, our visits to San Luis Obispo just kind of got harder and harder. Like I said, we were all just generally devastated, and that town just reminded us all of Jeremy Johnson. We had planned to write material for a full length CD/LP, but it just wasn't happening - we were having trouble pleasing everyone at practice, and we were all just moving in different musical directions. Finally in May, we all had a talk and just realized that it was time for us to end things. We had 5 new songs written, but we just felt like we were hitting a brick wall and the long distance thing was taking its toll. At that point, we weren't even willing to record those last few songs, we were all just beat. Almost as if a nail was put in our coffin, we finally got our Never Wash Away CDs that very same weekend. Too little, too late. We all agreed to keep things quiet, and just play the Sink With California and Che Festivals in Los Angeles and San Diego in the summer, followed by one big last show in the fall.

After a month or two, we all did some thinking and realized that we needed to record those last 5 songs, mostly as a memorial to Jeremy Johnson. 2 of the songs on that EP were written specifically for him, and we just didn't feel right about letting those songs die like that. We booked some recording time with a friend to record the songs in his bedroom for $200 or $300. We didn't know if the songs would ever be heard by anyone but us. We just wanted to have these songs for us, so that we didn't regret it later on.

We went ahead and played the first Sink With Cali festival in L.A. on August 10th of 2003... The response was incredible. We only played 7 or 8 songs, and finished with CITY OF HOPE, a song dedicated to Jeremy Johnson. It was the first time we'd ever really played that song live at a hardcore show... The place erupted. I couldn't believe how people responded to a song they'd never heard before.

After playing Che Fest on August 31st, we finished up recording the "final" 5 song EP on September 1st. It came out better than we expected. It sounded pretty raw, but it captured the moment. We decided to bust our asses and get it released as quick 5 song EP entitled "City Of Hope" on RIVAL Records. We got the CDs in just in time for our last show ever on October 4th, 2003.

The last show felt much like our record release show of the year prior, but 100 times more intense. Again, we were allowed to hand pick the bill, this time sharing the stage for the last time with FOR THE CROWN (their last show ever, as well), Champion, Allegiance, and Lights Out. I couldn't have asked for anything more. Everyone there gave it up for pretty much all of the bands, and there was a feeling at the show that this was so much more than a hardcore show. I felt like we were part of something more, that's the best way I can describe it. You could actually FEEL the energy and SEE it in people's eyes, you know? ...The kind of stuff that made me get into hardcore in the first place. We closed up the set with the song CITY OF HOPE again, and I think everyone really kind of stopped for a moment and realized what that band and what that song meant to the 5 dudes on that stage. Overall, it was just an amazing way to go out, and it made me feel like we went out on top.

I guess this turned into a little more than a "bio". As I was writing it, I got a little bit nostalgic about the whole thing, considering I'm writing this on February 9th, 2004. A bit late, but better late than never. But anyways, that's THE DAMAGE DONE in a nutshell - thanks to everyone that cared about us over the years, we're all really glad to have had the opportunities we had.

- Kyle

Release History:
- Demo 7" on Western Front Records (February 2002)
- Never Wash Away 7" on Western Front Records (Winter 2002)
- split 7" with Day Of The Dead on Goodwill Records (February 2003)
- Never Wash Away CD on Western Front Records (June 2003)
- City Of Hope CDEP on Rival Records (October 2003)

Interview in Maximum Rock N Roll
Interview in Straight Jacket Society #1

Never Wash Away 7inch

City Of Hope BL 7inch

City Of Hope DD3,7inchC

City Of Hope DD3,CDC,7inchC


Never Wash Away 7"

Never Wash Away MCD