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Damian Lewis on Jazz FM’s Nigel Williams Saturday Show

Surround Yourself With People More Talented Than Yourself

by Gingersnap | | September 23, 2023

Damian was on Jazz FM Saturday show with Nigel Williams today, September 23, 2023 discussing his music, debut album Mission Creep and UK tour – with Brighton, Manchester and Leeds coming up next! You can view tour dates and ticket outlets here. During the segment Nigel played four of Damian’s songs: After Midnight (at 115:30), Hole in My Roof (at 122:36), She Comes (at 165:38) and Harvest Moon (at 173:47).

Nigel asked Damian if he had picked up anything from being around other musicians like Giacomo Smith. Damian replied, “You must surround yourself with people more talented than yourself at all times in whatever you do in life, and I’m doing that. What’s interesting, you know, is there are guys in our band – Giacomo is one of them – who write and are releasing their own records. Everyone is writing their own stuff but I’m the only person that writes songs. I’m the only lyricist. I think we all…I think they bring an immeasurable amount to me and I think pleasingly – and maybe a bit surprisingly – I bring something to them, which is an opportunity to play songs, written lyrical songs. And it’s a privilege and a joy to be in there with them.”

Nigel proclaims Damian has taken a rare route in terms of being famous for one thing, then switching gears. Damian replied he’s gotten away with it 😉 “We develop attachments to the artists, actors, musicians that we like or that we love and if they go and do something else, it can be quite confusing. For example, I think it is probably quite confusing if you’re going to come to the gig in Basingstoke, you’re gonna sit there, and if you really like Band of Brothers you’re going to stand in the audience thinking, ‘why is Major Winters in Basingstoke singing me a love song?’ That is a bit of a head fry. What is requires is a bit of imagination from everybody to go with it.”

Nigel asked how comfortable Damian was with being a musician now. Damian answered, “To formalize it, go away and write some songs from original material, take it into a studio, mix and record, turn it into a record and then tour it, and be picked up by a major record label is really a series of accidents. I’d be lying if I didn’t sort of admit to some sort of small kernel of ambition to do something with music that’s always been in my life.”

Nigel asked Damian what tunes he would play while busking in South of France and Spain. Damian said, “All the cheesy greatest hits that you know everyone loves. Rock-n-roll medleys, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, Bowie, John Martin, Nick Drake, everything.”

Nigel was curious about what was going on in Damian’s life when he wrote his songs. Damian explained, “The influences for the album is interesting. I don’t like the phrase ‘Americana’ really, especially as I’m a Brit but I suppose it does have an ‘Americana-esque,’ certainly rootsy, storytelling, blues and rock-n-roll feel to it. I think our show has got more rock-n-roll in it. It’s a much more, sort of rambunctious, show than the album is. It’s really fun. But with those moments that reflect the time in which the album was written, which was a particular time in my life over the last couple of years so there are some more reflective songs in there, sort of balladic songs in there. Unless they’re all lying, or just really drunk, they all seem to have a really good time. It’s been amazing fun starting up an actual UK Tour because as you say, all we’ve done before is played a lot of gigs in London and played a few festivals. But to actually go out on a tour is the best fun.”

Then Nigel reflected it had been some time since Damian had written these songs and asked him if there was one that he particularly looks forward to doing in the set. Damian answered, “I’m already restless about new music. I’ve been playing these songs publicly only for a year, but I’ve started writing songs for a second record and those are the songs I like playing because no one has heard them.”

Nigel then turns the focus of the interview on acting since Damian is back on Billions as Bobby Axelrod. “I went away for a couple of season, maybe a season. Axe is back. This is the final season, season seven. For anyone who likes the show, Mike Prince bought Axe Capital off of Axe and Axe went off into exile. We will rediscover Axe and the usual shennigans. The cut and thrust of the big con will take place over season seven as Mike Prince makes a run for the White House. Billions fans are going to love it. I think this will deliver in a satisfying way.”

You can catch the latest Jazz FM episode here, with Damian’s segment beginning around 115:30: