New York-based groove-metal outfit Damn Your Eyes recently dropped their debut full-length, Kill the Outside. “In the bed of all of these songs lies personal experiences,” says guitarist Artie Alexander, who also played with Suicidal Tendencies, among other bands. “Experiences that every person on this planet can identify with, having either lived through them themselves or watched someone they love go through them. The album is about being human and the images seen through our eyes. Moments of anger, frustration, sorrow, loss, redemption, hope, recovery, revenge, survival and healing.”
Featuring current and former members of Black Water Rising, We Are the Enemy and Bonesmith, the quartet formed in 2015 and quickly recorded an EP. Based largely on their energetic onstage performances, their presence and fan base has kept growing since then. So we caught up Alexander to talk about live shows, both looking back at his first, worst and craziest gigs, but also looking ahead to his dream gig. Read below for his thoughts and recollections.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST SHOW?
ARTIE ALEXANDER Apocalypse. The Right Track Inn in Freeport, New York. I was 16 and I remember we were all so chill that day except our bassist, Webb. He was having panic attacks. By the time we were about to go on, Webb was fine and the rest of us were nervous wrecks.
WHAT WAS YOUR WORST SHOW?
V.S. Central Auditorium. Just me and another guy acoustic, and we bombed in front of the whole school.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR CRAZIEST SHOW?
Venice Hardcore Fest. I was playing for a bigger hardcore band at the time. My third show on my very first European Tour. It was so hot in the venue and the crowd was climbing the walls and over each other to get to the stage. Absolutely amazing energy!
WHAT’S THE SMALLEST SHOW YOU’VE EVER PLAYED?
At a club In Brooklyn just a few weeks ago. [Laughs] It was pretty pathetic. We ripped it up for, like, seven people.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SHOW YOU PLAYED?
For me, personally, performing at Prudential Center in New Jersey, opening for the Original Misfits. I was playing for a bigger hardcore band at the time. I was more excited to play with Suicidal [Tendencies] than anyone else. It was the most incredible experience of my musical career.
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM SHOW?
Damn Your Eyes with Gojira and Metallica. I have always wanted to open for Metallica because they are the kings of our genre. I idolized them when I was growing up and they started me on my journey into the heavy. Gojira is just an incredible band. I am a huge fan of their style, music and their abilities. I always want to surround myself with the best because it will only make me better at what I do, on and off the stage. I feel we would be a better band after an experience like that. That’s all I really want — is to be a better band. If you’re not growing, you’re dying!