By Ben Cameron


The Bon Scotts are back. After spending much of 2015 abroad pursuing other passions, Coburg based lead singer Damien Sutton talks to The Northsider about the raucous six piece’s near demise and eventual rebirth with new album, When I’m Lonely I Still Think Of You, queued for release in March next year.


Thanks for your time, Damien, I’m really enjoying the first single. 

Not at all a problem. Glad to hear you are liking the track.

How much of 2015 did you take off and what was the main reason for the break?

All up it was about 8 months. Some of it for just taking a break and 5 months traveling around Australia, Europe and Asia. Something I was really itching to do and have barely found time for in the last few years.

What did you enjoy doing last year that perhaps got neglected with your day job and the band?

I took most of that time off work too. It was the first time I was able to just turn off from daily emails and routines and I wanted to make the most of it. I rediscovered books and this strange thing called daily conversation.

How close did you come to calling it quits? 

As close as you can really. I honestly thought we were done. I would say everyone in the band is indispensable now and one of us were offered a job that was pretty hard to turn down. So we sat down and talked through the options. I was surprised by the amount of love we all have for what we do. While we fight a lot about music, politics and dinner plans, everyone came back to me and said this is something we want to do. We love it. The offer was turned down and here we are.

What was the main reason for wanting to call time, and what kept the band together?

I didn’t want to do it without Jim or anyone else in the band. I was really sad about it, but at the same time it gave me an opportunity to try and finish my other project that has been about ½ finished for years now. Our friendship and love of performing a group kept us together.

Is the title of the album directed at anybody specific in your life?

Of course… And she knows.

Do you live in Brunswick? And is the Spotted Mallard a regular staple for you, personally?

 Most of us live in Coburg. But Brunswick is the heart of Melbourne’s music scene, with so many great venues supporting so many great bands. We think the Spotted Mallard one of the best and we are really excited about getting back there.

 What’s your personal opinion on the race rally back in May?

 That is quite a multifaceted question. I fully supported the Moreland says No to Racism rally and was really interested in what Samantha Ratnam was going to say. Moreland has some colourful politicians with great motivations, from Sue Bolton on the council to Kelvin Thomson Federally who Ratnam has a real shot at replacing in Wills.

She is a voice our democracy desperately needs, so when Ratnam pulled out I guess I started to take the threats of certain groups seriously. I still went along on the day to show my support for what I see as a just cause and I was really proud of the amount of people who had shown up in support of Coburg’s multiculturalism, regardless of the threats.

But after spending a few hours filming and talking to people on both sides I walked away extremely disheartened.I fear the actions of a very select few are doing detrimental and unbridgeable damage. Yes we need to tackle racism and Islamophobia, but this sobering experience has given me a very real understanding that violence isn’t the solution, but a huge part of the problem. I found lot of the aggression on the day wasn’t aimed at the asylum seekers or immigrant issues, but the belligerent attitudes each side holds towards each other.

 What role does music have in possibly bridging the gap between these two factions?

 It may have once, but I am not sure it does now. I would be happy to be given evidence to the contrary.

 Has it been difficult juggling the band with other work? What does your day job involve?

Not really. My day job comes a healthy second to life. I mostly record or mix bands and design record covers. I have worked in the music industry a while now, and as a booker and publicist I saw a really interesting side of the music business. But the creative side is a really nice side to be on, I enjoy the excitement of working with young bands, and damn it baffles me how much great music is around at the moment.

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