Exposed meets Jade Jones of Damage. Reformed as part of ITV’s The Big Reunion, Damage are heading out on tour, hitting Sheffield O2 Academy tonight. Jade tells us about the tour, The Big Reunion and picking up those 90’s dance moves again.

Hi Jade, we’re here to talk about Damage’s upcoming tour, are you looking forward to being back on the road?

Yes! It’s been such a long time since we’ve been on the road. Last time we performed was on The Big Reunion tour which was great- hitting the road with a bunch of crazy lads! It’s really a pleasure and a blessing to be getting back out there.

So how was The Big Reunion Tour?

It was really good and went really well, a great tour to be a part of. The TV show was crazy, it allowed us to get out those feelings we’d bottled up for years, it was quite therapeutic. We weren’t sure about taking part at first, as we’ve never been exposed like that, but it was good to do, we didn’t want to hide behind lies and just wanted people to see us how we are.

You mentioned you weren’t sure about taking part at first, what made you change your mind?

Well, the producers of the show asked us to get involved in the first series and we were really dubious about it. So we said no on that occasion. Then we watched it and it completely changed our mind. You can’t help but have that fear of how you’re going to be portrayed through editing. But we saw how they respected the artists on the show and that it actually portrayed the truth. I’m glad we did it, it’s open up so many new opportunities and we’ve gained new fans. So it was definitely a positive experience.

Are there any bands you’d like to see reform?

Well we’re big RnB fans, so maybe someone like Jodeci. We performed with them at Wembley a couple of years ago as part of a big RnB event. Or maybe someone like The Backstreet Boys who we used to support back in the day. I think the 90’s are coming back in a big way!

This is the first headline tour Damage have done, are you feeling the pressure going it alone?

Well we had the tour planned a few years ago, but we couldn’t go ahead with it due to illnesses within the band. But we’ve always been working and touring, and we’ve supported huge acts like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC previously. But we’re on our own this time, so I suppose there is a little bit of pressure. But we’ll rise to the challenge hopefully!

I’ve heard you’ve got the lads from the X Factor’s Rough Copy supporting you?

We have, it’s going to be great! On The Big Reunion tour we were always pulling pranks, so we’ll have to pull a few on them while we’re on the road. They’re good lads; they’ve got a lot of hunger and good spirit. In a way, they remind me of us when we were younger, very passionate and excited.

Which song are you most looking forward to performing?

Ooh that’s difficult- there’s so many! I would probably have to say For Your Pleasure. It’s an album track from our second album, but it’s really funky with a great bassline. It’s definitely uptempo and fun, we usually play it towards the start of a set to get everybody going!

You posted a video on the Damage twitter account of you guys in rehearsals, showing off some pretty impressive dance moves! Who’s been the best at picking the moves back up?

I’d have to say myself! I’ve not got the boys with me today so I’m allowed to say that! Well, until they read this anyway [laughs]. We all always put in 110% in rehearsals and fully go for it. We want a tight show and to actually be entertaining, rather than just standing there singing. A proper throwback to the 90’s!

Damage rose to fame back in the 90’s, do you feel older and wiser as a band in 2015?

I was saying this the other day, even though I’m now a father of two, I actually don’t feel any older. Definitely wiser, but not older. I can still get down!

Being wiser, if you could give yourself any advice back then, what would it be?

Back then I took things very seriously so I didn’t enjoy myself as much. We had management who were a ball ache, so we didn’t have as much fun. Today we sort ourselves out and don’t have to be dictated to so we enjoy it more. So in a way I’ve made up for it a little bit.

Following the tour, what are Damage’s plans for the rest of the year?

Well we’ve got more music coming out; we brought out our EP Acoustically Yours out. We’ll be heading to Wireless Festival. It’s all about the music!

Damage hit the O2 Academy April 23. For tickets and info go to www.o2academysheffield.co.uk

Words:Emily Beaumont

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