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Interview: Damage

6 min read

Damage were one of the biggest RnB acts to come to prominence in the nineties throughout the UK. With hits that included Ghetto Romance, Forever and a memorable cover of the Eric Clapton tearjerker Wonderful Tonight, the lads – Jade Jones, Rahsaan J Bromfield, Andrez Harriott, Noel Simpson and Coreé Richards – achieved enormous success over two albums, 11 hit singles and seemed like an unstoppable force in the genre until their sudden breakup in 2001.

With this years Big Reunion bringing together some of the most loved collectives from the 90’s, Damage have joined fellow reunited acts Eternal, A1, Girl Thing, JT and 5th Story (a newly created act comprising of Gareth Hates, Dane Bowers, Kavana, Kenzie and Adam Rickett) on a trip back in time and on a mission to relight the success that burned bright for the 5 piece back in their heyday, though this time around without original member Coreé Richards.

With the Big Reunion’s recent show at West London’s Eventim Apollo being hailed a huge success, we caught up with Rahsaan Bromfield to talk about the reuniting of Damage, the groups plans for the future and what they learned through taking part in this years Big Reunion. Here is what he had to tell us:

Brendon Veevers: How are you doing today Rahsaan and wherein the world does our interview find you?

Rahsaan Bromfield: Hey, today I’m sat in my office at the moment prepping work for a motivational session in a school, which I’m looking forward to. I love working with young people.

BV: The Big Reunion is currently airing for its second season in ITV. How has the whole experience been for you and the lads of Damage so far?

RB: For the boys and I, it’s been very therapeutic. We had been through a lot as a band and certain things were never resolved. So to be able to get certain things off of our chest, after not speaking for 6/7 years and after actions from certain individuals hurting us, it was great for us and helped with reuniting us as friends.

BV: You performed the big show recently at the Eventim Apollo in West London. Did the show have with any hitches or was it all fairly smooth on the night?

RB: THE NIGHT WAS AMAZING!! Every single act performed like they had never left the stage! Many of the acts were our friends and to see them up on the stage in all their glory was great! The fans sang their hearts out, waved their arms and fully did what they came to do, and that was to enjoy themselves! What a night!!!

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BV: What’s was it like to be back on stage performing to fans who have waited for so many years to see you back together again?

RB: Performing with the band was the most comfortable and natural thing. Our aim was just to enjoy the moment, which we took for granted in our early days. It’s safe to say that the four of us are in a great place as a band with a great sense of unity.

BV: How have you coped with the dance moves after so many years away from the band – were you rusty or did you fall straight back into it with ease?

RB: After maybe an hour of dancing, we had to call for a time out!!! And new moves that were put in, we forget within minutes of learning them!

BV: What has been the most rewarding part about being back together after so many years?

RB: Regaining a friendship. I lost touch with all the guys for about 6/7 years. I missed Andrez’s wedding, the birth of Jade’s son (Tate), and so many other things that I shouldn’t have. So to be back as friends again is amazing for me because I swore blind I would never talk to them again.

BV: Did you follow last years Big Reunion bands and were you apprehensive at all about taking part in the show yourself?

RB: Last years show was amazing and we wanted to be apart of it from then. Our reservations were that our story would get told in a wrong way. But the ITV team were very good in dealing with issues, and backstories from the previous show, so we came into this show, still feeling nervous but more comfortable then we would have normally.

Big ReunionBV: What are the biggest differences you have noticed this time around compared to your previous time in the spotlight back in the nineties in terms of how the music industry has evolved? What’s changed the most?

RB: THE INTERNET!! My god, we would have to trudge up and down the motorway for months on end to promote one single let alone an album! Now you can send an email to a database, or send a tweet! It’s great because you have so much more interaction with your fans. No more need to send pigeons out!!

BV: What would you say you miss the most about the old days. What things do you tend to feel nostalgic about?

RB: I miss the old pop road shows. Like Smash Hits Road Show, Radio 1 Road Show and Mizz Road Shows. These concerts brought bands together and the opportunity for the fans to have an incredible night.

BV: What changes have you each had to make in order for this to work this time around?

RB: Lots of changes! Mainly with home life, as we are all family men. So juggling school runs with TV and rehearsals have been a test. Then getting time off work also was difficult as the majority of us work with young people and its important for them to have some form of routine, so scheduling has had its problems! Top that off with Noel doing his dissertation in Youth and Community, it hasn’t been easy!!

BV: Do you all think you achieved what you wanted to by taking part in the Big Reunion and do you feel closure on the past and the circumstances behind the bands disbandment?

RB: Most definitely. Well between the four of us. There are still a lot of unresolved issues with Coree. But we have let them lie. All about positivity from us.

BV: Of the other bands involved in the Reunion show, who would you say you gelled with the most?

RB: We got on with them all to be fair. We have a great banter with 5th Story, which is featured heavily in the show. Eternal we have known for a long time so it was great to catch up with them. But we love the 3T boys! So humble and down to earth guys! Looking forward to keeping in touch with those guys.

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BV: Do you see a future for Damage after going through this year’s Big Reunion and if so, what can fans look forward to?

RB: Funny you asked that! We have plans for this year that will see us release new music and a small tour that we are creating the magic for now!! Exciting!!

BV: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans who have stuck by Damage since the early years and who have followed the show this year?

RB: To our fans, you have made this whole experience so enjoyable! Hearing and reminiscing about old stories, sharing pictures and old merchandise has been great to see! We thank you greatly and we look forward to creating new memories that we can talk about in another 14 years!!

BV: Are there plans for a big tour for this year’s Big Reunion bands as there was with last year’s line-up that you can tell us about?

RB: WATCH THIS SPACE!! We would love to tour with Eternal!!

BV: So, what’s next for Damage?

RB: Photo shoots, TV, Shows, Music, Films. A full on Damage takeover!!

BV: Thanks for your time Rahsaan

The Big Reunion compilation album is out on March 3rd through Universal Music.

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