Maybe you don't know Damm by name, but take a good look at his picture--because chances are, if you've been involved in the local all-ages music community for any period of time you've run into him at one time or another. The Seattle native has been attending shows at the Fire House since the young age of 14; he was a booker at Ground Zero in Bellevue for three years, starting when he was 16; he played drums for the now-defunct Tight Bros From Way Back When; and he currently pounds out the beats for local heavy rockers Akimbo. And what else? He's designed show posters for nearly every mentionable club in Seattle (Graceland, the Crocodile, the EMP, and the Vera Project, to name a few).
Since Damm has a long history as both a musician and a fan in the community, he's able to draw from his own experiences to try to give the Eastside kids what they're looking for in a venue.
"When I was a freshman in high school, I had a routine," Damm says with a grin. "I would go home from school, get something to eat, and I would call Kate Becker, asking to play a show at the Fire House. I did that every day for about six months. Every day she would answer the phone and say, 'I'm sorry, we don't have anything for you right now, but I'll call you as soon as I do.' Finally she calls me back and asks if my band at the time, the Dissidents, wants to open up for MxPx. It was only our third show and the place was packed--it was amazing."
Damm knows exactly how important those kinds of opportunities are to young bands, and he's really looking forward to passing on the favor.
"I want to work with kids on the Eastside, and try to be what Kate Becker was to me," he says. "I'm going to be keeping regular hours at the Fire House so kids will know that I'm there and they can bring me demos, come talk to me. I want to be accessible. I've had so many bad experiences with booking agents--they totally blew me off. I'm going to make an effort to get back to everyone and be honest with them."
Speaking of the Old Fire House, not only should you head over to congratulate Damm on his new job, but you should also check out the show the place has booked for Friday, December 5: These Arms are Snakes, Suffering and the Hideous Thieves, Your T.O.L.L., and one of my new favorite local bands, the Fall of Troy. Show starts at 8 pm and it's six bucks. It'll be fantastic. Honest. MEGAN SELING