During the last week of June, a fan of the band Damone noticed an unusual number of comments showing up on a video she'd posted to YouTube. Damone themselves saw a sudden spike in the iTunes sales of "You're The One," a song from their 2006 album Out Here All Night. Something was up: the group has been essentially broken up ever since its singer, Noelle LeBlanc, took a leave of absence to become a park ranger -- although the rest of the group, using some material they'd recorded before she left, went ahead and released a new album called Roll The Dice. This sudden burst of attention, however, was out of the blue. There was a simple explanation, but it took them a few days to figure it out. Nick Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers, had pulled Out Here All Night out of his collection -- he'd liked it when it came out, but then he'd come across it again and, shortly thereafter, Entertainment Weekly asked him what music he'd been listening to. His answer:
As far as music goes, there's a
band I liked a couple of years ago that I just recently rediscovered. I
guess you can call it taking it off the shelf, kind of dusting it off.
It's a Boston-based band called Damone -- kind of power-pop meets metal.
It's pretty good. There is a girl lead singer backed up by like five
guys. It's a really cool sound. I listened to it the other day again
and just fell right back in love with it. There's one particular song
called "You're the One," and it's fantastic.
And that, as they say, was that. The phenomenon experienced by Damone is not new -- Jonas Brothers fans call it the Jonas Bump -- and it can make an enormous impact. On a YouTube video of "You're the One," 100 new comments sprouted up. "Nick said he enjoyed their music, so of course i had to check them
out," goes one typical response. "Anything they suggest, i listen to. That's how i got into Kings of Leon." As a thank you, Damone sent along some new CDs and a couple of t-shirts to Jonas Bros HQ, and word got back to them that the Brothers had flipped out. (Nick Jonas was photographed wearing one of the shirts.) Some years ago, the Jonas Brothers had seen Damone play in New Jersey, and it had made something of an impression. So when the Jonas Bros World Tour swung through Boston a couple weeks ago, they left backstage passes and front-row seats for the Damone kids.
Damone tend to favor bullet belts, skinny jeans, and ripped t-shirts, as if they'd just rolled out of a tour bus parked on the Sunset Strip in 1985. So when they showed up at the Jonas Brothers' soundcheck, even Joe Jonas felt a little self conscious: "I saw you guys walk in and I felt dumb because of what I was wearing," he confided. "Dude," said Vazquez, Damone's flamboyant, Jeff Spicoli-like bassist, "it's only soundcheck."
Even though they're essentially not even a band anymore, Damone found themselves being treated like rock stars by one of the world's most popular pop groups. Although Damone were quite impressed as well. "I have never seen a band be so good to their fans," Vazquez said later. "If bands around here did 1/10 of what those guys do, they would all be doing much better."