We’ve been fans of Damon Curtis since he won over our ears and our hearts with his debut EP “Changing Lanes”, released back in 2017. Since then, he’s spent lots of time on the TMP Spotify playlist and on Texas radio. Damon regularly plays shows throughout the Hill Country area and keeps fans satisfied by posting lots of acoustic songs (both originals and covers) on his Instagram.
We got the chance to chat with Damon Curtis, hear more about him and his music, AND get to share his new song “Love Me Back” with y’all. It’s set to be on his upcoming record, “Gasoline”.
Texas Music Pickers: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Damon Curtis: Well my name is Damon Curtis. I was born and raised in the town of Moulton, TX. Curtis is actually my middle name and it was also my dad’s first name. He passed away when I was a teenager so this was a way I could honor him and I’ll be honest it’s a lot more marketable than my real last name. Which I won’t say. Haha. I was a CMM programmer for a plastics manufacturing company for 8 years and in April of 2018 I decided to take a chance and chase music full time. It’s been the best decision I ever made. I’m doing something I absolutely Iove but I sure do get tired of eating ramen noodles. It was a complete lifestyle change, but I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.
TMP: Who would you describe as your musical influences?
DC: Keith Whitley I would say is my absolute all-time favorite. I’m a sucker for sad old country songs and he always just spoke to my soul. I can say though the exact moment I knew music was gonna be a part of my life. It was 5 or 6 in the morning. I was in junior high I think. I was in line with my pigs at the San Antonio rodeo for the livestock show and I heard Randy Rogers Band on the radio. The song was “Down & Out” and for some reason that lit the spark in me. It was the first song I ever heard of theirs. I knew from then on that I wanted to play music. I then Iearned about the rest of the Texas/Red Dirt Scene shortly after that. Honestly changed my life.
TMP: How would you describe your style and sound?
DC: We definitely lean more towards the traditional side of things. I’m not the type that’s gonna wear a cowboy hat to every show, but it’s definitely not out of the norm for me to wear one either. We are a five-piece band with a fiddle player so it’s hard not stay pretty country. It’s the lane that we want to stay in overall, but we can rock out for sure. I think the record we are working on will showcase a little more versatility while still staying true to who we are.
TMP: Why did you title your debut EP “Changing Lanes”?
DC: I felt like “Changing Lanes” was the perfect title then because it’s about where I was and where I was going. For me it was all about new beginnings and taking the first step to chasing this dream and eventually quitting my job and finally leaving my hometown. I was never going to get anywhere with music by staying there. I just felt like there was nothing left for me there. That’s not to say I don’t love and appreciate everyone back home in Moulton and Shiner for supporting me and pushing me to dream big. The music scene is just lacking a little there. I know everyone is proud of me and I hope one day I can repay back all of which they have done for me.
TMP: Our favorite track is “Heart of Stone”, can you give us some background on it?
DC: I wrote “Heart of Stone” about 8-10 years ago. For me it was all about hoping that one person I loved wasn’t doing well after things went south. I guess I was being petty really. After pouring your heart out and not receiving any of that love back a heart can grow cold real quick and a person can put up wall. I essentially ended up shutting people out who tried to get close to me for a long time. I have grown up a little since then and I don’t hold on to hate anymore. There has definitely been some more heartbreak since then so don’t be surprised of hearing a couple of sad songs in the future. Haha
TMP: If you had to pick just one song from the EP, which song are you proudest of?
DC: At this moment I would have to say “Here’s To Goodbye”. It was my first single to radio, it ended up being on the TMP Spotify playlist for almost a year I think too. But I’m most proud of it because I wrote that one with good buddy of mine Tyler Swartz. We’re from the same small town. He was my lead guitar player for a couple years, but he left us last year to chase his dream. He’s now an officer and a pilot in the United States Navy, and I couldn’t be more proud of him and all of his accomplishments. We’ve written a dozen or so songs together, but I feel like I’ll always play that song for him.
TMP: As of right now, what has been your most memorable live show so far?
DC: Honestly, there have been a few, between playing some bucket list venues and getting a chance to open for so many guys in the scene that I’ve looked up to for so long. The most memorable ones though have been the shows where we are playing some new songs that no one has ever heard before and the crowd is singing the chorus back to us by the end of it. That’s always just a crazy cool feeling. I live for those moments and to just see fans and the crowd believing in what we’re doing.
TMP: Where are you based out of? What is the music scene like there?
DC: Most of us in the group live in New Braunfels now. So it’s a good home base and middle ground for us with the other two guys being out of Austin and San Antonio. The music scene in this town and surrounding area is incredible. There are multiple bars and venues that have live music every day. So even if your off for the night, the chances of you hopping up on stage for a couple songs during a buddy’s set are pretty good. Since moving here I’ve met some of the most incredible humans ever. All the talent out here is unreal, and everyone supports each other. I think that’s what Iove the most. Everyone in this scene just wants to see each other do good.
TMP: What does 2020 look like for you and your music?
DC: Well the guys and I have been busy in the studio these last couple months. Working hard to finish up a full length 14 song album called “Gasoline”. We are looking at a mid-spring release and we’re pretty proud of what we’ve finished up so far! Just excited to finally have some new music for everyone to hear. So between the new record and continuing to play our shows across Texas. We’re looking forward to fun and busy 2020!
“Lover of live music and greasy bar food. Firm believer that sad, slow country songs should be played at all times. Just might be Turnpike’s #1 fan.”