Interview with Jasmine Marceau.
We chatted with Damon Tate, guitarist of Of Virtue while they’re touring the UK.
“OMEN for me listens like a specific set of stories from someone who was unable to overcome their own battles in life but wanted to warn anyone who listens – you do not have to be a victim to your circumstances like they were.” Damon Tate
Your new album OMEN is launching this month. There’s already a few tracks out, including ‘Cannibals’ and ‘Holy’, how would you describe your sound to those who don’t know you?
We are the heaviest soft band you can think of! But in all seriousness though, I’d say we take the catchiness of rock music, the in-your-face energy of hardcore/metalcore and fuse it with our own personal tastes like industrial/pop/r&b etc!
Could you talk about the themes within the album and what your fans can expect from the release?
OMEN for me listens like a specific set of stories from someone who was unable to overcome their own battles in life but wanted to warn anyone who listens – you do not have to be a victim to your circumstances like they were. It is a case of “if I knew what I know now, back then”. You cannot change the past but only take the position of where you’re are in life and do your best moving forward. Addiction, loss, relationship struggle, depression/anxiety, social and cultural beliefs… all and more discussed in the 12 songs that make up our new record. When people listen to OMEN hopefully they will be able to feel the weight of everything from not just the last three years, but throughout our lifetimes.
What do you listen to for pleasure, and does that influence your music writing?
Might sound like a cop out answer but I do listen to a lot of different genres! I love pop and r&b music which has made its way into some of our newer music. Post-show or when I’m in a more chill mood, I like indie rock or some chill hip-hop to set the mood as well. Growing up in Michigan, we set music to the weather outside as well (we experience all four seasons plus some) so there’s a tune for everything!
Do you have a routine with your writing process, or does it vary?
For our old records, we would all prepare demos on our own and bring ideas to the table – whatever everyone would vibe would with we would continue to work on at that point. For OMEN, it felt like we took it back to the roots of being in a band for us. 4-5 getting into a room with no preconceived ideas talking about life, social issues, personal stories we may not have shared with each other in the past… All of this would lead to a way more spontaneous and in a lot of ways, more involved songwriting process from the ground up from everyone. Some songs like ‘Sinner’ felt like literal magic when we finished making it!
You’ve been out on the road with Being As An Ocean, how have the crowds been?
The crowds have been absolutely mental! We can’t thank Being As An Ocean enough for taking us out on their headliner and their fans for being some of the most receptive that our band has played for. The best part is we are seeing a lot of people from past tours coming out and showing their continued support which makes it a double bonus!
Any tour highlights from this year?
We’ve had a chance to play some of the sickest festivals of our bands career this year – Summer Breeze, Fallen Fortress, Inkcarceration, Upheaval Fest just to name a few! There was a run of shows in the Baltics with Three Days Grace that were beyond our wildest expectations. Playing with a band most of us grew up listening to is an awesome full circle moment. To be honest, there hasn’t been a dull show moment to be had in 2023 and we’re hoping to continue that streak.
You’re playing a headline tour back home when OMEN is out, are you expecting a wilder crowd?
It’s always great to get back stateside and get some of that hometown cookin! The line up for the tour is sick and we can’t wait to get those shows started!
What are your ambitions as a band?
Have fun, see the world, connect with different people and cultures in places that we have never dreamed or thought we would be able to reach – all while growing into the best version of ourselves and playing some sick shows and enjoying this journey in life. It’s been an absolute privilege being able to play music with some of my best friends and in the process, inspiring others to want to live their lives to the fullest and chase their own dreams.
Of Virtue’s album OMEN comes out 29th September. Tickets available for their US tour.