'The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead' screened as part of the film portion of the Texan festival
The Damned attended the world premiere of a biographical documentary about the iconic punk band at SXSW in Austin, Texas (March 18) before playing at the Mohawk venue later in the day.
The film, entitled The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead is directed by filmmaker Wes Orshoski, who also co-directed 2010’s Lemmy, about the Motörhead frontman.
Speaking at the premiere at the Paramount Theatre, he commented: “I made this film in a completely punk rock fashion. It was one guy, one camera, one credit card.” Discussing the band, he added: “They allowed me to make this film without compromise, which is what the band deserved.”
Captain Sensible of the band spoke after the premiere to discuss why frontman Dave Vanian was not in attendance, commenting: “I phoned him just before I left for the screening and said, ‘What should I say?’ He said, ‘Tell them I died this morning’.”
The film features appearances from The Clash’s Mick Jones, Chrissie Hynde, The Offspring’s Dexter Holland, Fugazi/Minor Threat’s Ian MacKaye, the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock, Blondie’s Clem Burke and Chris Stein, Portlandia‘s Fred Armisen, Don Letts, Eagles Of Death Metal’s Hughes, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys, The Melvins’ Buzz Osborne and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, as well as members of The Damned from throughout the years.
The film documents the band’s sonic evolution, as well as tensions between current and former band members. “All bands have got these skeletons in the closet,” said Captain Sensible after the film. “I love [former members] Brian [James] and Rat [Scabies]… That thing we did in 1977 [debut album ‘Damned Damned Damned’] will last forever, but there’s only room for one guitarist and one drummer in The Damned. What can you do? I’m not going to give up my job, because the beer’s free and it’s a fucking good laugh.”
He also spoke about Guns N’ Roses’ 1993 cover of ‘New Rose’, saying he had never heard it. “The truth is, I haven’t heard it, because I don’t listen to any music made after 1980.”