erasing clouds

100 Musicians Answer the Same 10 Questions

Part Twenty-Two: Damon Krukowski (of Damon and Naomi)

instigated by dave heaton

Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang may have earned a mention in music history books for their youthful band (and deserved fan-favorite) Galaxie 500, but if you ignore the fantastic music they've made over the last 14 years as Damon and Naomi, you'll be seriously missing out on some of the most gorgeous and gently exploratory music around. Their sound is constantly evolving in intriguing ways; it's gaining an international scope while continuing to be spellbinding and involving. Their fifth album The Earth Is Blue just might be their best; it's patient yet sensuous music, provocative in sound, idea, feeling and atmosphere. For more information on Damon and Naomi, visit their website. (And check out their book publishing company, Exact Change, while you're at it.)


What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

Singing. Playing with friends. The risk of writing lyrics you really mean.

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?

Putting the fannies in the seats, as a booking agent (now retired) once said to us . . .

What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, extravaganzas, experiments, top-secret projects, etc).

Writing songs for a new album. And preparing a compilation of Asian singer-songwriters we admire, for our label 20/20/20.

What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording?

Unusual place for a show: a garden in Nara, Japan. I think our hosts thought we played folk music. We had to run extension cords from the nearest building, to plug in the amps. It was too hot, and then it rained. Disaster, but a very funny and very memorable day.

In what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived), affect the music you create, or your taste in music?

We record in our house, so the sound of our records is the sound of where we live.

When was the last time you wrote a song? What can you tell us about it?

We're writing right now, as in, added a comma this morning and took it out this evening. Chord progressions finished, melodies almost there, lyrics slowly, slowly . . .

As you create more music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people...and why do you think that is?

More, I suppose, if it's changed at all -- there's so much music to discover in the world, we're always finding more to enjoy.

Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener? (Old or new music? Music like yours or different from yours?)


Name a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?

Bonga. "Angola 74" is a masterpiece.

What's the saddest song you've ever heard?

Well, we're releasing a compilation of them on our label this fall, it's called International Sad Hits, volume one: Altaic Language Group, and it's a collection of sad songs in Turkish, Korean, and Japanese. Every culture has its melancholy, but some really revel in it! One of the songs is reputed to have caused two suicides in Korea. We didn't know that when we chose it -- we just couldn't stop listening to it!

Photo taken Chris Buck.

To check out the rest of the Q&As, click here.

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