Damion’s ‘Special Interest’ Was Shaped By Thousands Of Hours Of Late Night Radio

Bloomington, IN singer/songwriter Damion (Damion Schiralli) has shared “Your Secret is Safe With Me,” the final single from his recent debut solo LP, Special Interest out now via Earth Libraries. One of the contributing factors to his discovery of classic Rock was logging thousands of hours as a late-night delivery person and the impact of radio stations.

Of the new single, Damion writes:

The song is about secrets, but only because that’s what felt right in the context of the music. I always write the music first, so the mood is typically established there. I knew the last line of that chorus needed to be the hook, and one day a co-worker confided something in me, and I sort of jokingly said ‘your secret is safe with me,’ because to me that phrase can’t be said in a very serious way. But those words just sort of stuck with me, so I decided to write the song around that hook.

I wanted to write a song that sounds like it oozes out of the speakers.

Speaking about the creation of the new album, he continues:

“My favorite way to discover music is in settings where I don’t pick what the music is. I’ve spent probably ten-thousand hours delivering pizzas really late at night listening to classic hits radio. After like 11pm on radio stations like that, you stop hearing the regular Eric Clapton-ey classic rock and start hearing more esoteric stuff (one hit wonders from 1976, or really minor singles from artists I thought I didn’t like because I just hadn’t heard this one weird song before). I’d pull over on the side of the road and look up the lyrics.

Eventually, I just started writing songs that sounded like that stuff to me, and made some demos at home on my Tascam 488 cassette machine. There’s no narrative concept or anything like that. I don’t think about themes when I write, but the album is definitely influenced by my experiences driving around listening to the radio. In an ideal world, that would certainly be how I would want the album to reach listeners.

Ben Lumsdaine and Lewis Rogers produced the album. I had really meticulously demoed every song on my cassette machine at home, so the recording process was just a matter of adapting the songs to a more hi-fi context. Ben and Lewis each have a ton of studio experience, so we were able to work really quick. I like the limitations of recording to cassette tape (you either have to play the part right, or learn to love the way it sounds wrong), so even in the studio we kind of abided by those same limitations. Ben played all the drums, some music students came in to do the horns, and I brought in a bunch of friends to do the occasional overdub. Besides that I played most instruments myself.”

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