During the last week of June, a fan of the Boston pop-metal 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 the record when it came out,
even seen them once in New Jersey. But recently 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.
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 for the EW shoutout,
Damone sent along some new CDs and a couple of t-shirts to Jonas Bros
HQ. Nick Jonas was photographed wearing one of the shirts. And when the
Jonas Bros World Tour swung through Boston a couple weeks ago, they
left backstage passes and tickets for the Damone kids.
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 to Damone's
flamboyant, Jeff Spicoli-like bassist, who goes by Vazquez. "Dude,"
replied Vazquez, "it's only soundcheck."
Vazquez confided that
the band had planned on skipping out after their private audience but
before the show started. But one of Damone's former tour managers, who
now works for the Jonas Bros, told them they couldn't: the Jonases had
placed Damone in front-row seats, right in their line of sight. Vazquez
joked that he could've sold those seats for a month's mortage payment,
but they decided to stick around for the show.
So, 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. Not that Damone weren't 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