After Taylor Swift was named NYC’s “Global Welcome Ambassador,” Lower East Side punk collective DAMEHT fled to Los Angeles. This motion, which the band calls, “DAMEHT In Exile,” is a performance art protest against Swift’s glossy campaign, depicting a fantasy New York—one that’s only reality for tourists and billionaires.
DAMEHT created a fictional storyline, claiming NYC exiled them after seeing their collaborator Clayton Patterson’s viral response to Swift’s official appointment. While in LA, the band has been forced to adapt to a foreign, Californian way of life, which they’ve been documenting in a series of hilarious YouTube videos. We asked DAMEHT to document their entire excursion across America. This is their story:
The road west across America is long and hard, but there’s promise of gold at the end.
Before you make it west, you must survive rest stop boredom.
And ghost towns along historic routes.
Progress is made with daydreaming of heisting UPS trains like a modern-day Western.
And keeping your eyes on the prize through treacherous conditions.
Life in LA:
Melrose Avenue at Sunset. We Made It.
Soon, we realize LA is much like NY. Loitering around with friends like Bradley Soileau.
Life in LA gets surreal. Roman taking a drag.
Warhol: I really regret saying everyone is going to get their 15 minutes of fame in the future.
Dali: I am drugs and I can’t feel my body.
In the studio with Bilal the Chef. Little secret: We use iPhone speakers for our very professional productions.
Riv writing songs in the comforts of the studio.
Studio meditations with the production guru DVLP.
Hammer filming Charlie in the first episode of ‘DAMEHT in EXILE’
Riv giving Lucas a haircut before a show. Not shown: Brazilian waxes.
Roman making sure the DAMEHT Foot Clan is ready for battle.
Rivington getting ready for another sold out show.
DAMEHT on the marquee at legendary venue The Viper Room.