Damien Platt Interview - A Loveable Larrikin
Meet Damien Platt, a loveable larrikin hailing from Melbourne's diverse music scene. This year, Damien launched Palms Management after actively being involved in various aspects of the music industry. He has rostered on up and coming sensations, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community, and Flamingo Jones. We had a chat to this jack of all trades about the creation of his management agency, career highlights, and more!
Futuremag Music: How'd you enter the music scene? What's your relationship with music been like over the years?
Damien Platt: I guess I started off as a musician. I play a few instruments and love writing pop music. As a teenager this opened up some amazing opportunities and whilst I was still in high school I found myself travelling overseas for writing sessions. In my early 20s I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (Music Industry) at RMIT. Whilst studying I completed about seven internships and got involved with an incredible not-for-profit called The Push. They develop and nurture young musicians and industry professionals and I have so much to thank them for. My relationship with music has changed over the years. However now that I work more on the business side of things, I think having musician ears and understanding what processes an artist goes through creativity really helps when working across A&R, publishing and management.
Futuremag Music: What's the state of the Australian music scene in your eyes?
Damien Platt: I guess there is many different things I could comment on. I think for independent acts there are great platforms now to get discovered and developed. There is a surge of boutique festivals they can play on, discovery on Spotify and support from community and national radio. All eyes are on Australia at the moment globally. It’s inspiring to see artists kicking goals internationally early on in their career. I am also constantly inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit within the local music scene. It’s great seeing so many startup businesses.
Futuremag Music: Can you tell us about Palms Management?
Damien Platt: I started Palms Management back in September this year. I currently represent Flamingo Jones and Approachable Members Of Your Local Community, in addition to two new acts launching in 2018. Beforehand I was working in management and publishing at Teamtrick and on the side I was doing some entertainment consulting work. I’ve always liked the idea of running my own management business but I was waiting on the right act. I went to a demo launch for a 7-piece indie-pop band ‘Approachable Members Of Your Local Community’, when I arrived the room was already packed with no space to move, the front person gave the most charismatic performance I’ve seen and said to myself, I think they’re the ones.
I have dabbled in most facets of the industry and I also currently work at a independent record label Vicious Recordings, where I oversee the product management for the label and their four sub labels. Getting as much experience within different fields of the industry has been super helpful within management and understanding how the nitty gritty details of the industry work. In the future I’d like to apply the skills I’ve learnt and expand Palms Management to provide other services perhaps within the label and publishing fields.
Futuremag Music: What do you love about working in music and what have been some highlights of your time in the industry?
Damien Platt: I get a lot of enjoyment from helping others, I think that’s why management is so satisfying. Setting goals and helping artists achieve them, perhaps in a field they don’t know how to navigate on their own. I just finished a two year term sitting on the board for two not-for-profits, The Push and Face the Music. Their focus is about providing opportunities and supporting the music community, it was great seeing the outcomes they’ve been achieving recently. I think we are really lucky to work in a industry where it feels like a massive friendship group, achieving great things. I don’t like to use the term ‘networking’, I like to think of it as ‘making friends’.
On more of a novelty side of things, I think a highlight from working in the industry would’ve been being apart of Public Enemy’s Australian touring party and getting to see a lot of the world and Australia through various music opportunities over the years.
Futuremag Music: What's usually in your bag for a festival, event, or gig?
Damien Platt: Well, in my bag for a camping festival, I pretty much take my whole bedroom in the back of my car. It is much easier than planning out what you are going to wear in advance and packing light. Usually for a gig I have my custom ear plugs (a must have, protect your hearing), phone and wallet. Something I wish I could take, but can’t are my two dogs. Perhaps one day Australia will become like France where you can take dogs pretty much anywhere.
Futuremag Music: If 'Damien Platt' was a cocktail what would be in it to best describe your work and you as a person?
Damien Platt:I’m a bit of an old soul, I love my period dramas (Downton Abbey fans, let’s talk), I’d probably be a French 75 as its sounds like something they’d drink on the show. It’s also a mixture of gin and champagne and you can never have too much of a good thing.