Of Virtue’s Damon Tate: In Depth on Music, Wrestling, and Their Album ‘Omen’

Of Virtue is well known within the Michigan Music Scene, but as we love to push Music Discovery at ACRONYM ZINE and have readers all over the world, we took the time to chat with Guitarist and Vocalist Damon Tate about their most recent album ‘Omen,’ a deep dive on lyrics and meanings of some of its songs, and of course, with Wrestlemania 40 hitting this weekend, we had to ask about Tate’s love of Pro Wrestling.


ACRONYM ZINE: Of Virtue started off the album with the single “Omen,” and the track kind of kicks you right in the face starting out with ferocity, but contains lyrics that are very relatable to a lot of struggles people are facing today, without being too drilled into a specific topic. It’s been noted that it was an “open letter to your younger self.” At what point did you know that it would be the title track/name of the album, and how did it feel for that to happen?


DAMON TATE: We knew the album title for quite a while, in fact, we built the idea of the record and the art around that. It just felt right. It’s a bit brooding and ominous, setting the tone we wanted to hold with this record.



ACRONYM ZINE: Some of the tracks on the album like “Hypocrite” seem like there’s a juxtaposition of either religious or political ties to it. With everything that’s happened in the last 4+ years, did you guys find ways to channel this into the music for a cathartic release? Or were you all writing from a space where you wanted to create songs that people would have for their own cathartic release/response to what they’re dealing with?


DAMON TATE: To clarify, Hypocrite is neither religious nor political, however, there’s enough hypocrisy in the world that you can attach the song to whatever your feelings at the moment may be. What the song is, in fact about, is your mirror reflection looking at you, judging you, but at the same time being you.



ACRONYM ZINE: You’ve been very open about your sobriety journey, including on the track “Sober” I assume – which congrats for 15 years! I am on a bit of my own sobriety journey when it comes to alcohol, and I know there are a lot of people in entertainment who struggle being in social settings without partaking – especially those on tours or are playing in bar settings. Do you have any tips or messages for any of us who are trying to stay on the path? 


DAMON TATE: Set small goals for yourself, it’s easy to aim high and be number-conscious – but you can’t get to a month sober without a day sober. Not only is it a number to celebrate, but allows you to get the dopamine you need thanks to your celebration. That and of course, hold yourself accountable. For instance, with me, the reason I get to play in a setting surrounded by these vices is because I am awarded the luxury to do so however I am also conscious that it can all disappear in one moment if I don’t acknowledge that I am responsible for myself.



ACRONYM ZINE: “A.N.X.I.E.T.Y” has been one of my favorites on this album (no surprise there, I’ve also got ANXIETY) – This has got to be an electrifying track to play live. Did you guys intend or have you gotten the crowd to chant the spelling back to you? And if so – how does it feel when you see a fanbase or a crowd of first-time listeners engage with you guys that hard at a performance?


DAMON TATE: This song specifically was written in mind for the big festivals, scorching heat, expensive drinks, and merch – and we have been lucky enough to see the song play out well in the exact environment it was intended for. That said, there’s nothing that tops hearing your supporters sing your lyrics back to you – especially with a song like this, ultra high-energy moment.



ACRONYM ZINE: You guys have a lot of songs that have themes of mental health and being open about struggles – and with no intention of making it sound like a “trend” – there’s been a lot more people opening up these days when it comes to these topics, i.e. David Draiman, James Hetfield, etc. How important do you feel it is for musicians to speak to these topics, especially with what’s happened in 2020 and beyond?


DAMON TATE: It’s very important – but only if it’s organic and honest. Not every person wants to speak about themselves or their flaws. Musicians and anyone with a platform should utilize it the best they can as these songs, just like someone’s speech or painting, are as much your songs as they are ours.





ACRONYM ZINE: As far as being Michigan-made, you’ve played Upheaval Festival in Grand Rapids, and 101 WRIF’s Riff Fest in Metro Detroit over the past few years. What does it mean to you to have your local scene embrace Of Virtue as you’ve grown, and what is your dream “hometown” venue that you’d love to play at?


DAMON TATE: Playing Upheaval and Riff Fest were not only awesome opportunities, but also very validating for all of the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into this band for over 10 years. As for our local scene embracing the band, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do if it wasn’t for those back home. We are grateful and acknowledge the importance of our local scene. In regards to the dream venue – hopefully one day we can make it to Pine Knob Amphitheatre, The Fillmore, or 20 Monroe Live. Those would be bucket list venues to play and hopefully sell out one day. One can dream!


However, an old friend of ours recently started an incredible new venue in our hometown of Lansing, Grewal Hall at 224, and as much as we’d love to be in front of 15,000 people at Pine Knob there’s no better feeling than having your friends & family pack out a show just down the road.




ACRONYM ZINE: LAST QUESTION – A (hopefully) softball compared to my others! It’s been shared with me that you love wrestling and your favorite wrestler is Kane. If you could book a fatal 4-way match with anyone – active or not – and pick an Of Virtue song off ‘Omen’ to be the WWE PLE song, what would it be? (It doesn’t have to be all WWE signees either – give me your dream match!)


DAMON TATE: Kane, Triple H, Mankind, The Rock – and the guest ref would be Rhea Ripley. The song, which was inspired by wrestling to begin with, would of course be “Cold Blooded.”




Stream Of Virtue‘s ‘Omen‘ as well as their back catalog on your favorite streaming service of choice, follow them on social media, and be sure to tell your friends about this phenomenal band. If you’ve ever worked or been around the music industry, you know it starts with us, and word of mouth is one of the most important avenues of getting new music out there.




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