Damian Cowell

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Damian Cowell
Also known as Humphrey B. Flaubert
DC Root
Born 25 October
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Alternative rock
Instruments Vocals, drums, drum machine
Years active 1970s-present
Labels Elvis
Meek Joe
Museum of Old and New Art
Associated acts Root!
Jock Cheese
The DC3
Damian Cowell's Disco Machine
I Can Run

Damian Joseph Cowell[1] (born on 25 October [year unknown, possibly in the early 1960s]), also known by his former stage names Humphrey B. Flaubert and DC Root, is a Melbourne musician who is best known as the frontman for TISM, Root! and the DC3.[2]


Cowell was born and schooled in Melbourne. His musical output began in the 1970s, when he played in various high school bands. In the early 1980s, he was part of a little-known group called I Can Run, featuring future TISM bandmates Peter Minack and Eugene Cester. In December 1982, TISM formed and Cowell adopted the pseudonym "Humphrey B. Flaubert", a play on Australian children's television character Humphrey B. Bear. The group enjoyed underground success in the late 1980s and reached the ARIA top 10 in 1995 with their album Machiavelli and the Four Seasons.

TISM remained largely anonymous throughout their career. Cowell publicly acknowledged his involvement in TISM via the debut single of his band the DC3 - a song titled I Was The Guy In TISM[3].


Cowell returned to the stage in 2007 under the moniker DC Root, fronting a band called ROOT![4] During this period Cowell was commissioned by David Walsh to create a soundtrack for his Museum of Old and New Art. The soundtrack was titled Vs Art.

In 2010, ROOT! disbanded, and quickly re-formed as The DC3.[5]

Even though much of Cowell's work uses programmed drums, he has played live drums at times, most notably during some songs in TISM's performance at Homebake 1998.

The current lineup of his backing band consist of:

  • Gordon Blake - guitar
  • Ryan Adamson - bass
  • Gary Walker - drums
  • Emily Jarrett - backing vocals, dancing, violin
  • Bek Chapman - backing vocals, dancing



  1. ^ https://musicbrainz.org/artist/758dcd1d-2dac-4c58-91b8-f04ac8eff196
  2. ^ An Interview With Damian Cowell
  3. ^ a b Stafford, Andrew (16 February 2017). "Damian Cowell: Get Yer Dag On review – TISM frontman lampoons us again, and pines for Waleed Aly". the Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2018. 
  4. ^ Root: a musical celebration of our beloved national verb
  5. ^ The DC3 / Ponyloaf
  6. ^ Dwyer, Michael (12 February 2015). "The mirror ball imperative". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 March 2018. 
  7. ^ Dwyer, Michael (3 January 2017). "A tale of two dags: TISM's Damian Cowell and Tony Martin continue the satire with new album". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 March 2018.