19 Aug 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Damien Binder - Damien Binder Newsletter Interview

02 Apr 2016 // An interview by Shade

Accomplished singer-songwriter Damien Binder has recently released his fourth album A New World, which showcases his effortless ability to swing from soulful hymn-like ballads to moody rock and country-tinged numbers. The ten new songs find him in an expectant and buoyant frame of mind with meditations on destiny hope and rejuvenation. Damien answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:

How did you become involved in music? 

I was at school with Luke Casey (Eye TV) and he encouraged me to come with him to meet some guys he was jamming with in Titarangi.  That’s where I met Chris Van de Geer (Stellar*) and we went on to form Second Child.

I couldn’t really sing or play but I was super keen to get on the mic and express myself. Obviously they saw something in me so I became the singer.

I knew a few chords so I was pushed (thankfully by Chris) into the second guitar spot and gradually then later through that developed my songwriting. I was the least accomplished musician but playing with others who were streets ahead definitely made me lift my game and learn fast!

We had a good run making a couple of records under that name (Magnet, Slinky) with some different line ups and played some high profile supports: Fugazi, Jesus & Mary Chain, Hunters & Collectors, Rollins Band and Nirvana. We split around 1996.

If you could perform with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

My heroes are many and varied so it’s hard to single one out. I’d like to try and write something with Bruce Springsteen or Jackson Browne – actually just to maybe have a beer with them would be great! Equally there are lesser-known favourites like Bob Mould who was a big influence on me coming up and still listen to, Ron Sexsmith – too many.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

I wrote a song called Ships Sail Out on my latest record A New World. It looks back on the first bloom of a relationship, an idyllic time, through to some inevitable ups and downs then ends with a pledge for a future together. I really like how it turned out and it conjures up some vibrant images for me. People really seem to respond to it so I guess it’s done its job. I like different songs at different times. I feel happy with that one now.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

It’s kind of classic singer-songwriter stuff really. It’s optimistic while acknowledging some darker stuff. It’s hymn-like at times but not shy of a quirky upbeat turn here and there. It’s melodic though doesn’t always go the way you think it’s going to. I go from minor to major a bit sometimes in the same song.

What can we expect to see from you in the next year? 

I want get A New World heard by as many as possible and hopefully see it reviewed a great deal too. The last record While The Wind’s At Your Back was good but not a lot of people heard it and didn’t get much press despite being reviewed favourably. So my aim is to get it in front of as many folks as possible. I’ve been working on some publicity now.

I’ve just finished a new video for the title track A New World and a few weeks ago and I did an interview and performed 3 songs on Marty Duda’s 13th Floor webcast series in Auckland on a recent visit.

I’m making another video in a couple of weeks in Sydney with an old NZ friend. Aside from those things I’m currently organising a record release gig here in Sydney and a gig later in the year in Auckland.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

I admire Dave Dobbyn’s songwriting a whole lot, which reminds me I’ve gotta buy his new album. I like what Wayne Bell does, he played drums on this record I was honoured, very talented and tasteful guy.

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc.?

It’s tricky at times. I have a full time job which I like but it can be draining so I have to force myself to rehearse when I really not in the mood. I do it and I’m always glad I did - it pays off. I try to do one thing a day towards music whether it’s admin/emails/contacting or singing/playing/writing. I feel better when I do. In terms of a balance, most of my friends have children and zero time, so I feel I’ve nothing really to complain about.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Sometimes when I get a chance to reflect on events and specific times – good or bad that’s when songs come. In really quiet times songs come like when you’re almost asleep a song will come and tug at you to get up and get the guitar or paper and pen. 

When I hear a great album or see a great artist perform it can give you a rush or to try a new direction or idea. If I see a good or interesting movie sometimes it will spur an idea – though quality movies are rare these days. I do love words and language though and conversations with friends or others are a big source of material for me.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Play with people much better than you and you’ll be better.


About Damien Binder

Singer-songwriter Damien Binder has been writing and recording his original style of moody alt-rock for more than 20 years.

Since his self-titled debut in the early 2000’s, the APRA Silver Scroll nominated artist has gone on to release four acclaimed solo albums and performed internationally supporting some of the world's leading acts including David Gray, Marianne Faithfull and Ani Di Franco.

Prior to pursuing his solo career, Damien fronted New Zealand rock band Second Child who shot to fame with their debut album Slinky which saw the band play esteemed support slots for acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Powderfinger, Rollins Band, Hunters & Collectors, Fugazi and famously Nirvana on their only NZ tour.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Damien Binder


A New World
Year: 2016
Type: Album
While The Wind's At Your Back
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Til Now
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Damien Binder
Year: 2000
Type: Album

Other Interviews By Shade

n1ghtmar3cat Newsletter Interview
07 Aug 2022 // by Shade
It's one thing to produce music from within two different genres, but it's a completely different thing to master each genre to perfection. One person who has mastered two genres to perfection is Dave Johnston - the hard hitting drummer from one of NZ's most well-known Rock acts, Villainy, also creates  immersive indie-electronica / EDM music as n1ghtmar3cat.
Yung Ludd Newsletter Interview
28 Apr 2022 // by Shade
There's been a lot of NZ rappers making their debut in recent times, with Lyttelton's Yung Ludd leading at the fore. Having spent some time in Auckland in his twenties, he was exposed to a lot of the underground hip-hop scene there which proved to be very influential on his sound.
Ersha Island Newsletter Interview
30 Mar 2022 // by Shade
How did you become involved in music? Both of us started learning classical music at very young ages and picked up piano at three and five, respectively.
Arjuna Oakes Newsletter Interview
24 Mar 2022 // by Shade
Arjuna Oakes is a singer-songwriter and producer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa (Wellington, New Zealand). Following the release of his debut EP The Watcher in 2019, Arjuna has released 2020’s Recovery Pt.
Daniel Hayles Newsletter Interview
01 Mar 2022 // by Shade
Daniel Hayles is a piano player, producer, Musical Director and teacher living in Wellington, New Zealand. With his brand new album Other Futures recently released on 4 March, he had a few words with Muzic.
MNZ Interview: Shihad
20 Dec 2021 // by Shade
“Rupert Murdoch’s got a lot of blood on his hands,” Jon Toogood, Shihad’s front man and lyricist tells me when i start our interview. I’d asked, by way of a reference to the title of the first single Tear Down Those Names, which name would you tear down first?
Avya Newsletter Interview
23 Nov 2021 // by Shade
Rising musical talent Avya has released her breakout single, In Love with Broken, after its television debut on TVNZ's Popstars earlier this year.Produced by Joseph Faris (Ezra Vine, Daily J, Julius Black), the song is one of self-realization, telling her personal story of being trapped in a repetitive cycle of wanting to help hurting people, but to her own detriment.
OdESSA Newsletter Interview
28 Sep 2021 // by Shade
Your favourite garage funksters are back with a new look, a refined sound and a new track - the first in over 13 years! 2021 has been electrifying for the high energy funk band OdESSA after their show-stealing performances at Garden City Magic, CubaDupa and Newtown Festival.
View All Articles By Shade

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Steve Lacy
    Luude And Mattafix
  • DOJA
    Central Cee
    Doja Cat
    Cat Burns
    Harry Styles
    Kate Bush
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem