Damian Wilson

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Damian Wilson
DamianWilsonLive.jpg
Damian Wilson at Gigant Theater Apeldoorn, The Netherlands 2015
Background information
Born 1969 (age 47–48)
England
Genres Singer-songwriter, Progressive metal
Occupation(s) Singer
Associated acts Headspace, Maiden uniteD, Star One, Ayreon, Landmarq, Threshold
Website www.damian-wilson.net

Damian Wilson is an English musician, songwriter and vocalist that has appeared on over 70 separate album releases. Damian is mostly known in the progressive metal genre, as the lead singer of Headspace and (formerly) Threshold. He also sang and toured with bands and projects such as for Star One, Ayreon, Landmarq, Praying Mantis and with Rick Wakeman's English Rock Ensemble. As a solo artist he has released 5 solo albums, a DVD and a retrospective compilation album.

1990 - 2000[edit]

Damian began recording music in 1991 with the band Landmarq. He featured on their debut album, Solitary Witness which was released in 1992, followed by a second album, Infinity Parade (1993) and The Vision Pit (1995).[1]

Damian sang on English prog metal band Threshold’s debut album Wounded Land' (1993). In 1996, Damian would join up with Threshold again to record their third album Extinct Instinct'. Another successful European tour followed, after which Damian left the group. During that time Iron Maiden approached Damian to audition and considered him as a replacement for the departing Bruce Dickinson.[2]

In 1997, Damian’s first solo album Cosmas was released. This album was a departure from the heavy/progressive rock sound that his fans had been used to.

In 1998 Damian was one of the lead vocalists on Arjen Lucassen's Ayreon album Into The Electric Castle.

From 1998 to 2000 he played the lead role of Jean Valjean in Cameron Mackintosh's touring production of Les Misérables. He was asked to audition for the role after he tripped over the dog owned by an actor who knew his work, while running along the Thames.[3]

2000 – 2010[edit]

After the Les Misérables tour Damian sang on the next three Ayreon albums The Dream Sequencer, Flight of the Migrator and Ayreonauts Only. His collaboration with Arjen Lucassen would result in three more Star One albums; Space Metal (2002), Live on Earth (2003) and Victims of the Modern Age (2010).[4] In 2000 and 2001, Damian toured Europe and South America with Rick Wakeman as part of the English Rock Ensemble. This resulted in a Live DVD and an album Out There.

After the tour with Rick Wakeman, Damian released his second solo album Disciple (2001) which was partially recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. The recording session at Abbey Road was filmed and broadcast by the BBC.[5]

Damian toured his solo material with a full band under the name Damian Wilson Band.[6] A second tour was planned, but Damian was hospitalized and the tour was cancelled. A studio session recording of the rehearsals for the tour was released on CD in 2002, Live in Rehearsal. In 2003 Damian’s third official album Let’s Start A Commune was released.

Together with Adam Wakeman Damian formed the progressive rock band Headspace. Mainly to keep in contact with each other between their busy touring schedules. An EP I Am was released in 2007 and they supported Ozzy Osbourne on his Black Rain tour in 2007.[7]

Just before the start of their Dead Reckoning tour, Threshold singer Andrew McDermott leaves the band. Having only a few days to learn the new Threshold material, Damian stepped in as lead vocalist for the tour.[8] Reinstated as lead vocalist, for the first time since 1997, Damian continued to tour with the band. In 2009 Damian tours Europe with his Damian Wilson Band. This time he performs songs from the bands and projects he has been involved in as well as solo material.[9] The tour is filmed and released in 2011 as 3DVD set including a live concert and tour documentary Cheers Lads; 20 Years Of Avoiding A Job.

2010 – present[edit]

Within Temptation guitarist Ruud Jolie, who also played guitar during the 2009 DWB tour, asks Damian to sing for his side project Maiden uniteD’; a collective of musicians that play rearranged acoustic version of Iron Maiden tracks. Damian and Anneke van Giersbergen sing on their first album Mind The Acoustic Pieces (2010). After a small club tour the project takes off and Damian finds himself playing venues and big festivals all over Europe.[10] He records two more albums with the project Across The Seventh Sea (2012) and Remembrance (2015).

In the same year as the Damian Wilson Band live DVD set is released, Damian also releases a 31-track retrospective double album, I Thought The World Was Listening 1997 - 2011. This album featured remastered tracks from throughout Damian’s solo career, re-recorded versions of songs and previously unreleased new material. The release of this album also marked the return to the stage as a solo artist.[11] Damian has been playing select solo shows, mainly acoustic, through Europe since 2011.

Damian’s solo album Cosmas is re-released as a remastered edition in 2012. On the last of a series of solo shows he played the album in its entirety.[12]

Headspace signs a 3-record deal with Inside Out Music and their debut album I Am Anonymous is released in 2012. It is a concept album in which Damian’s lyrics are directed the listener. “This is about you and your relationship with humanity, ultimately the battles fought within the mind from child to man. Through Kubler Ross’ model of impending death, with reference to war, the turmoil leads us to peace and acceptance... only then to swing straight back round to chaos.” [13] A second album was released in 2016; All That You Fear Is Gone.

2012 is also the year in which Threshold releases its first album since 1996 with Damian as lead vocalist, March Of Progress, followed by an extensive European club and festival tour. A second album, For The Journey, follows in 2014. The following tour is recorded and released as double live album European Journey in 2015. Threshold and Damian parted ways in 2017.[14]

In October 2015 Damian announced two new albums for 2016. Weir Keeper’s Tale; an acoustic album with Adam Wakeman, which was released in January 2016, and a new solo album, his first in over a decade.[15] “I’ve never stopped writing songs so I have accumulated a lot since my last solo album. In June we have started recording in Dublin with some amazing musicians from all over Europe. We’re happy to say that we’ve come a long way these last couple of months and the album is taking shape. I believe we’re creating something worthy of your expectations. The songs reflect on how our personal relationships are relevant to the bigger picture, even on a world level.”

The new album Built for Fighting was released September 9, 2016. The album contains 11 new original songs and a cover of Depeche Mode’s Somebody[16] Built for Fighting was mixed and mastered in Sweden by the Fascination Street duo Jens Bogren and Tony Lindgren, who have worked with acts such as Opeth, Devin Townsend and Headspace.

The track Thrill Me was released as a single on August 9.

Discography[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

  • Cosmas - 1997 (Remastered version released in 2012)
  • Disciple - 2001
  • Live in Rehearsal (live) - 2002
  • Let's Start a Commune - 2003
  • 20 Years of Avoiding a Job (DVD) - 2011
  • I Thought the World Was Listening. 1997 - 2011 - 2011
  • "Wedding Song" - 2012 (7" vinyl single. B-side contains the same song performed by Alex Sharpe)
  • "Thrill Me" - 2016 (single)
  • Built for Fighting - 2016

With Landmarq[edit]

  • Solitary Witness - 1992
  • Infinity Parade - 1993
  • The Vision Pit - 1995

With Threshold[edit]

With Rick Wakeman and the New English Rock Ensemble[edit]

  • Out Of The Blue (live) – 2001
  • Live in Buenos Aires (DVD) - 2001
  • Out There - The movie - 2003

With Headspace[edit]

With Maiden United[edit]

With Arjen Anthony Lucassen[edit]

With Adam Wakeman[edit]

  • Weir Keeper's Tale (2016)

With Other Artists[edit]

  • After Forever - Mea Culpa - 2006
  • After Forever- Emphasis (Single) – 2001 (Lead vocals on "Imperfect Tenses" & "Who Wants to Live Forever")
  • Aina - Days of Rising Doom – 2003 (Vocals on "Revelations")
  • Alarion - Waves of Destruction – 2016 (Lead & backing vocals on “Chains of the Collective”, “Waves of Destruction - II - Struggle for Survival”, “Colourblind”, “The Whistleblower - I – Devastation”, “The Whistleblower - II - Vindication”, narration on: “Waves of Destruction - I - Rising Tide”, “The Whistleblower - II - Vindication”) [17]
  • Archangel - The Akallabeth - 2009
  • Archangel - Tales of Love and Blood - 2013
  • Casual Silence - Lost In Life – 2007 (Guest Vocals)
  • Clive Nolan - Alchemy - 2013
  • Computer Mind - The Aspie Project - 2014
  • Dave Bainbridge - Celestial Fire - 2014
  • Ex Libris - Medea (Song of Discord) - 2014
  • For All We Know – For All We Know - 2011
  • Fughu - Human (The Facts) - 2013 (as Mr. Tloth)
  • Galexia – Recidivate – 2008 (Single)
  • Gary Hughes - Once & Future King Part 1 - 2003 (Lead vocals on "Excalibur")
  • Guy Fletcher – Inamorata – 2008 (Backing Vocals)
  • Jeronimo Road - Live at the Orange - 2006
  • LaSalle – LaSalle – 1993
  • Micha Calvin - Evolution 2 - 1995 (Backing vocals)
  • Mostly Autumn - Passengers – 2003 (Backing vocals)
  • Peter Gee - East Of Eden - 2011
  • Port Mahadia – Echoes in Time- 2007
  • Resource - More Than a Feeling – 2006 (Single)
  • Revealing Songs of Yes -2001 (Lead vocals on "Going For the One" & "And You & I")
  • Seti - Discoveries - 2010
  • Shadowkeep- A Chaos Theory – 2001 (Backing vocals)
  • Shadowland - Mad as a Hatter – 1996 (Backing vocals on "Salvation Comes")
  • Shadrane – Neurastasia - 2004
  • Tales from Yesterday w/Jeronimo Road - 1995 (Lead vocals on the "Starship Trooper")
  • Thomas Zwijsen - Perferct Storm (Nylonized Album) - 2014 [18]
  • Unwritten Pages – Part 1. Noah - 2010
  • Wicked Sensation- Reflected – 2002 (Backing vocals on "You're the Answer", "Stand Tall", "Highspeed Chase", "The Preacher", "Night on Fire", "Caught in a Fantasy", "Let it Ride", and "Joker in the Pack")

Films[edit]

  • Guy Fletcher - Sergeant Pepper – My Best Friend vocals/co-written (2004)
  • Guy Fletcher – Spirit Trap - Tie me down (Spirit Trap) vocal/co-written (2006)

References[edit]

External links[edit]