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If bands, like countries and colleges, had mottos, Damiera’s would be “You have to sacrifice to gain.” While some bands embark on a road scattered with obstacles after their inception, it was that creation itself that marked the greatest challenge Buffalo’s Damiera will ever face.

The tribulation began at the dawning of 2005, when singer and guitarist Dave Raymond broke up his former band League to “write the music I wanted to write and have everybody in the same mindset. ” Pulling guitarist Matthew Kipp with him out of the wreckage of League, Raymond set about to design a line-up that both befit the musical sensibilities he hoped to foster and which championed a sense of internal camaraderie. Now comes the first sacrifice: Brad McRae, former drummer of Sleeping Girl Drowning, hopped on a bus from Orlando to Buffalo, a 30-plus hour ride, to join Raymond’s vision as drummer.

So with a line-up of a three, Damiera began writing songs that they used to audition bassists. When luck did not proffer up a musician who fit the band’s mold, Damiera’s friend Mark Henry, then the singer of Queen City Nights, stepped in to help record bass on Damiera’s debut EP, which the group self-produced and released in March of 2005 and immediately followed with self-booked tours (“I figured it out by doing things all the wrong ways first and then making it work,” Raymond says of booking shows). Sacrifice two: After a term with a touring bassist, Henry called Raymond to announce he was breaking up his band of eight years to become Damiera’s full-time bassist.


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