The Quarantine Questionnaire: Damn The Weather

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Photos courtesy of Damn The Weather

Who are you and are you in a band or do you perform solo? If in a band(s), what is the name of that band?

Damn The Weather consists of Shane Hunt, Sam Camacho, Jon Watkins, Asher Brooks-Hlodnicki, and Logan Trim.

What instrument(s) do you play?

Shane : In the group I play guitar and vocals-occasionally manipulate the mandolin or bludgeon a bass, depending on needs.

Sam: I play violin (primarily) and sing.

Jon: I play the guitar and sing

Asher: I play drums (poorly)

How long have you been making music? And what first drew you to your craft?

Shane : I’ve been performing music since the age of 15 – and have done so publicly since I was 17. It’s safe to say at this point that I have been making music for more of my life than I wasn’t making it. I was always a music enthusiast – and I love to write and perform, so I taught myself guitar and was in several choirs to help refine my singing. The love of music has just grown in the intervening years.

Sam: Been at it for almost 24 years. I started at 8 years old in my public school music program out of pure curiosity and peer pressure when my friends joined. I fell in love with music and got such a high from performing that I never stopped.

Jon: I have been making music since I was 16. My whole life I have been heavily influenced by music and really drawn to how therapeutic it can be to not only listen- but to write and perform.

Asher: Been hitting things with sticks for about 13 years. I was drawn to my craft by a strong desire to not take group showers in high school.

 What was your favorite show of all the shows you’ve ever played?

Shane: That is VERY difficult. If we’re basing this on merit – and that is really relative – the most piquant memory of a sheer sense of community, euphoria and dynamite sets was either our show with The Family Crest and 76th Street at Valley Bar – or our show with The Edisons, Wild Giants and The Vicarious King at The Rebel Lounge. The atmosphere was wonderful in both venues, the other bands were incredibly supportive, and everyone gave phenomenal performances. Those nights were electric – and as they occurred in such close proximity to the quarantine lockdown, there is a veneer of perfection over the proceedings for me.

Sam: Family Crest at Valley Bar was one of my favorite experiences. They are one of the kindest and most inspiring groups of musicians. Usually when we play with bigger touring acts they (understandably) are exhausted and tend to hide from it in the green room until their set. These guys were making a true effort to get to know us, swapping ideas about gear and trading stories and it was such a positive experience that made all our hard work feel really validated. Plus Valley Bar is always an amazing setting, such a good vibe there, one of our favorite local venues.

Jon: My answer is basically the same as the rest of the group. We had an amazing string of shows from November till the world got set on fire. I am constantly thinking about how amazing the past 4-5 gigs were.

Asher: Fav show was definitely with Bent Knee at Pub Rock. It was the day before Thanksgiving and the crowd’s energy was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Everyone just really cut loose and had a great time. I also got to meet one of my idols, Fake Dr. Levin

What would be your dream lineup/location?

Shane : Ooooh… what a scintillating thought. If I’m being indulgent, have us open for The Dear Hunter and The Family Crest @ the Orpheum Theater to allow us to share a theatrical setting with two bands that really inspired us and the formation of our concept album… or Noah Gundersen and Richard Edwards & The Velvet Ocean with us mucking everything up as the opener at Valley Bar. I think the vibe for either evening would be surreal for me.

Sam: Dear Hunter, Family Crest, at Van Buren.

Jon: Hahaha, I am in a band with my best friends and we share a common thread. Dear Hunter, Family Crest, Coyote Kid, Bear Ghost and us – at Crescent Ballroom.

Asher: Dream lineup would consist of us, Paranoid Void, Little Tybee, Bent Knee and The Family Crest.

What are you listening to during this period of social distancing?

Shane : What am I not listening to… I have a wealth of podcasts in regular rotation, but with music I’ve been binging Jason Isbell and Richard Edwards’ latest offerings, as well as a slew of sounds from my youth like old Genesis or Elvis Costello records. Leaven that in with a mélange of Pinegrove, Young in the City, Kings of Leon, Stellar Young, The 1975 and Telekinesis and you have my schizophrenic playlist.

Sam: A lot of chill and vibey stuff to keep anxiety down. Phoebe Bridgers, Portugal the Man, Tame Impala, Death Cab for Cutie, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and Eisley.

Jon: I have been OBSESSED with a band called Necktr. Probably listen to their EP at least once a day. In addition I have been diggin Spanish Love Songs, Restorations, Richard Edwards, Empty Atlas, Vernon Jane (they just dropped an amazing new album), Yung Saeko, Tera Melos/ Disheveled Cuss, and Pile.

Asher: During this whole crisis I’ve been getting into jazzy neo soul stuff like Necktr, Pocket Dragon and B-ahwe.

What are you binge watching/reading?

Shane : I read a slew of Stephen King books (4 in a week), some graphic novels, the novelization of Alice Isn’t Dead, and some M.R. James short stories. I did a run through of all the Quentin Tarantino and Marvel studios films, in addition to the third season of Hannibal and a season of the Great British Bake Off. How’s that for eclectic?

Sam: Somebody Feed Phil, F is for Family, Black Monday, Hoarders, and every show about ghosts available on Travel Channel. I don’t read as much as I should, but I have been working through Harry Potter via FaceTime with my niece in Austin. We read a chapter every other day or so. It’s so fun to watch her read it for the first time and has really re-kindled my love for the series.

Jon: Also on a Stephen King binge. I have ONE MORE Dark Tower book to go and am re-reading The Stand because I love the torture. The wife and I are binging My Hero Academia, Mr. Robot, and blew through The Great! Also working my way through a chronological viewing of the Marvel movies. Can’t forget to mention my weekly YouTube viewing of Your Mom’s House podcast and eagerly awaiting every installment of Girlfriend Reviews.

Asher: Don’t watch or read too much. Been binging Final Fantasy VII Remake and Remnant: From the Ashes.

damn the weather 01What else are you doing with these extra hours at home? Extra creative time?

Shane : Indulging in a lot of the recuperative activities that the hectic life of booking and performing coupled with a full-time job rarely afforded me. Jon and myself record a weekly podcast with our cohort Michael called The Disinformed Podcast, I read like a fiend, play the occasional video game, and watch a LOT of old movies and basketball games. My creative drive has been akin to a caged animal… I want to hunt, but I feel like it won’t actively engage as a motivator again until I can run free and actually indulge the whims. There’s a real organic exchange of energy you get from performing for a room of people that I miss simply playing to a telephone… so I’ve not really chased the dragon of streaming shows. I look forward to getting back in one of our wonderful venues with people where we can share an experience again!

Sam: I’ve been doing a lot of crafting to ward off the impending doom. I made an entire flowerbed of felt succulents and just created a full size Mandrake from Harry Potter. I’ve been trying to get out to lake, when we can maintain distance, to do some paddle boarding and kayaking. Also a lot of cuddling with my pups and drinking White Claw.

Jon: Shane, Asher, and I cooperatively tackled Bloodborne. That was pretty cool. Then I fell deep into a game called Dead By Daylight and I have no life now. Shane put it really well that the world kind of forced us to slam on the brakes and we were hustling prior to all this. So, just trying to enjoy the down time and not see it as the literal end of days.

Asher: Been spending a lot of time in the kitchen practicing my cooking basics. Currently trying to master the mother sauces.

If you could Facetime/Zoom anyone in the world for an extended convo right now, who would it be? Facetime or Zoom?

Shane : I would truly relish a Zoom conversation with Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino or Jonathan Sims from The Magnus Archives podcast. Those are a trio of cerebrums that I need to plunder.

Jon: Oh shit. I would love to video chat with Norm Summerton. My safety, if he was alive and not feathering it in heaven, would be Conald Petersen.

Asher: If I could have an extended conversation with anyone in the world it would be the Dalai Lama. I could definitely use some advice on how to balance my emotions right now. No preference for Facetime or Zoom. I’d like to add that astral projection would be my preferred alternative to FaceTime or Zoom.

Sam: I’m going to parrot Asher, my buddy in anxiety struggles. Need help on how to calm down.

Favorite food you can make at home?

Shane: I absolutely adore a good taco salad these days – but if I have the time and availability, a swordfish steak is always a chart-topper for me.

Sam: Mac and Cheese, preferably with hot dogs… AKA: Dirty Mac

Jon: Aye! A quarantine project of mine, which I finished, was to learn how to make GOOD omelettes. I am proud to say that my spinach and cheese omelette game is officially on point.

Asher: Favorite food I can make at home right now is farfalle with roasted asparagus and mushrooms in a white wine sauce.

Are you currently working on any new musical projects? If so, what?

Shane (and the rest of us): We are currently mixing two of the final tunes for our concept album Saturnalia – and that’s been my primary focus right now. We have been laboring with these songs for such a prolonged period, it will be very liberating once we have them set in stone and in the hot little hands of listeners. I feel that moment will be a real watershed, and will give me a proper boost and kick in the pants to start something new. With that said, we are releasing a new single – “Naloxone” – that brings us one step closer to completion of the full album, with those other two songs rapidly rolling down the pike. We are going to have plenty to share with you over the next couple months!!!

Sam: Trying to do 30 second cover videos for DTW by when the mood strikes. I’ve been arranging versions of popular songs I find on MuseScore and record myself playing them with the Acapella app. Soon I will be remotely recording a piece of chamber music for strings and oboe with some of my music education colleagues. I’m also going to be featured on some tracks for the new Phoenix band Let Alone’s first album. I hope to maybe work on my cello skills at some point.

Jon: I am not working on any music really- I tend to write to get an emotional release and that makes most of my material somber, sad, and pissy. I feel like the world has enough of that so I’m keeping my mouth shut. However, I am taking this time to start learning the piano.

Asher: Not working on any new musical projects. Just trying to improve my facilities on the drumset so I’ll be ready when this whole crisis is over

How can folx support your musical endeavors? Can people check out or purchase your work online? What other options might be available?

We are on all the preferred publishing platforms; you can find us on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, etc., and we publish all our material to Bandcamp as well if you want to track us down there. We are also finding ways to get more of our physical merch on BC as well – seeing as we haven’t had a chance to see folks in the flesh for a minute at shows. Also, you can always find us and get updates on our activities at our wonderful website! Or just jot us a note at and we can try to finagle something for you away from the online realm.

Jon here with a silly bit of nonsense if you made it this far. We make a monthly mixtape and publish it on our Spotify EVERY month. You can find June’s here. Also, and I know this is a jumble at this point, here is the master playlist of every song that has ever been on a mixtape of ours and a link for Asher’s curated “chill” playlist which will calm even your most hectic days.


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