An AllSwell Music Interview
By Laura Rubin + Glen Walsh
What does a successful skate rat / surfer wear when he (sort of) grows up? General Admission is a store in Venice, CA that provides a sartorial answer to that burning question. They also throw some great parties and at the center of those events is an affable, tall, South African named Damien “Dooma” Fahrenfort. After following up a pro-surfing career (sponsored by Billabong and Rusty) he turned to the dark side: publishing, taking on the role of US publisher of STAB Magazine. After a considerable stint in fine editorial and #professional #sports commentating, Dooma opened up General Admission at 52 Brooks and hasn’t looked back. Speaking of admissions, he comes clean in our interview below about his blink-182 moment and how long you can count on him in amorous interactions.
Part of the ongoing series of interviews created in conjunction with Whalebone read on and listen in to the playlist DJ Glen Walsh created based on Dooma’s addiction to Taylor Steele films and his mom’s respect for Eminem.
What’s your go-to first listen of the day?
I start the morning off with a Bullet Proof and some Michael Kiwanuku or something similar and mellow. I’m slow in the mornings so I listen to music that’s the same pace.
Do you listen to music while you create or do you consider that a distraction?
I have to listen to music while I’m working -- or doing anything in my life for that matter. Silence makes me overthink. I’m a person that thrives in chaos and background noise eases my anxieties. My quiet time is in the surf.
Do you have certain music that puts you in the mood to create?
Maybe some Childish Gambino or rap music with a bit of flow, a bit up-tempo. I like to be strung out on coffee punching away at the emails and big picture plans.
Old school question. What were you listening to in Junior High? And be honest.
Because I was so into surfing my music taste was heavily influenced by the movies Taylor Steele was making. I was super into Blink-182, Millencolin, The Offspring, that sorta shit. I didn’t mind Eminem either. I appreciated how articulate he was and got his frustrations across.
Who are your musical muses? Who inspires you / influences your work?
I’m super into people that are creating imagery beyond their music. J. Cole is precise about every beat or piano key in a song. The way he controls his visuals and messaging is amazing. What Beyoncé did with Lemonade was inspiring. And while he might be a psycho the early day Kanye stuff -- he did one 45 minute music video -- was really cool.
Most recent live show?
I saw Kanye at the forum recently. Actually, I saw Sting and the Goo Goo Dolls at the Super Bowl in a private concert with about 150 other people. I loved Sting in The Police and he played all their best hits so I was loving it.
Speaking of dolls, what music puts you in the mood for nookie?
- Junkfood sex
I mean, Migos’ Bad and Boujee. Is there any better song than that? 4 minutes is about all I have in me anyway haha.
- Lovey dovey
R&B all day long here. Can’t beat it for getting in the mood with someone you dig.
We love a good roadtrip. What musical memories do you have from roadtrips past?
I’m all about podcasts on road trips. I think they’re better for getting through the drive. I’ve been super into The Moth, which has people tell their own stories or experiences around a subject, and NPR’s “How I Built This”. They sit with successful folks like the founders of Airbnb, Instagram, etc. It’s relevant to our biz and hearing their early struggles makes me feel better [laughs].
Top live music moment?
Andy Irons gave me a ticket to see Eddie Vedder one year when I was in Hawaii. It was a private fundraiser and Eddie floated through the crowd playing his acoustic guitar. That was pretty cool.
Floating Vedder. Sounds dreamy. First album you ever bought with your own money?
Oasis' “What’s the Story Morning Glory?” I loved that album so much. I must have listened to it 10,000 times.
We will now have “Wonderwall” stuck in our heads for at least 24 hours. Was music a big part of how you grew up? What was the soundtrack from your early youth?
My dad has great music taste, a lot better than mine. He brought me up listening to all the classics. From Rodriguez to Frank Zappa to Led Zeppelin. He would play me all his new favorite albums and I’d wake up in the morning hearing him sing them in the shower.
Let’s get real. What’s a dater deal breaker in terms of music? AKA: If they own the T-shirt from the tour, you’re out.
Well, I’m married now but say I wasn’t and I went out with a chick who wore a vintage tee that was hip or cool but she didn’t know any of the band’s songs or words to any songs. I’d be pretty inclined to tell her she is a fraud.
Fair. Quick: Vinyl, Cassette or Digital? Don’t think just answer.
Digital. The other shit is too much effort.
Best lyricist? Barry Manilow to Solange, nobody is off limits except Springsteen and Dylan. Too predictable.
Eminem’s early stuff. No joke my Mom freaked when I got the Slim Shady LP. One day I came home and she was reading the lyrics. Instantly I was like, “Oh shit, this thing is about to get thrown in the bin.” But she had the opposite reaction. She was blown away by his lyrics and writing.
Favorite music venue?
Out in the open. Can’t beat the vibe of an outdoor show. Not like Coachella though, that shit sucks.
Photo Credit: Lyon Herron