(Written by longtime co-collaborator Xoc)
At age 3, Damian Sol was encouraged to choose an instrument from the wall at Jack’s House of Music in Carmichael, California. As a classic example of “be careful what you wish for,” he chose a tiny violin.
Under his mother’s diligent tutelage, he was soon fine-tuning his classical chops for 3-4 hours a day, and by age eight began winning competitions and performing solo slots with various orchestras. At age 16, he sat next to the concertmaster of the Sacramento State University Orchestra. (He was far too punk rock, not to mention young, to occupy the concertmaster position.)
Unfortunately, by this time, he was also miserable with classical music. Groomed to be a prodigy, his violin teacher had him playing Paganini’s Violin Concerto #1 for three straight years, with big plans to ship him off to New York to attend the Julliard School of Music.
This is when he discovered KILL ‘EM ALL, Metallica’s first major label release. He plugged his violin into an amplifier shortly thereafter, officially beginning his quest to ROCK.
To further this pursuit, he became an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, teaching himself guitar, bass, piano, drums and voice, as well as furthering his exploration of the violin through the study of jazz, country, rock and pop styles. He spent the next 10 years recording and performing with various projects in Northern California, along the way spending four years behind mixing consoles as a student of the recording arts at American River College in Sacramento.
- Damian paid his punk rock dues as a superb drummer in the sadly defunct OLD MAN HOMO, a persistent favorite of the Sacramento punk scene in the 90’s.
- He explored multiple musical roles — and practically every style of music conceivable — in the obscure experimental collective STICKMAN LINCOLN, progressing from a noisy garage hobby into a full-fledged folk-metal ensemble, and back again.
- He delved into the backwoods intensity of country fiddle with the FREIGHT TRAIN RIDERS OF AMERICA BAND, a traditionally twisted (and highly critically acclaimed) acoustic bluegrass group. During his time in the band, they won the Sacramento News & Review’s Sammie Award for best new band.
- He has appeared as a guest musician on many recording projects over the years: Little Guilt Shrine, Roberta Chevrette, James Finch Jr., The Proles, Headrush, Autumn Skye, Chelsea Wolfe, Songs for Presidents, Michelle Schmitt and many more.
- He is most commonly known in his hometown of Sacramento as a member and de facto leader of the klezmer/rock/surf/prog band known as LAS PESADILLAS. A five-time recipient of the Sacramento News & Review’s Sammie Award, this band was eventually inducted into the Sammie Fall of Fame for winning so many times. Their 2005 semi-scientific concept album, “Quantum Immortality” was released and distributed by The Americans Are Coming Recordings, and was well-received by college radio stations around the country.