Chicago’s Damned Praise has released their first single, “Hahahaha (Hahahaha).” The project was birthed by Jason Swearingen (Turnspit) with the intention of being a typical Punk band. They wrote an EP, started constructing a band, and felt like it was coming together after a few practices.
But then they had a realization:
“I did not want to be in another band. I did not want to schedule practices. I did not want to book shows. I did not want to play shows (or, rather, 30 minutes on stage was a lot less appealing to me at 40 than anything that did not involve an entire evening of hurry-up-and-wait and moving gear around). Being in a band meant countless amounts of unreciprocated emotional labor in addition to actual manual labor. It’s a money pit. I saw all of that returning to my life, and asked myself why I would choose to upend the life I had, which, for the first time, I truly enjoy.
The answer was the same as it was when I was fifteen: I love writing music and sharing it with people. As a neurodivergent person, music has always been the way I process life. Playing shows, building a following – all of that was part of the game, and at the end was the prize: professionally recorded versions of the rambling noise in my head.
I had already spent some time learning to track better demos, so I decided to fully commit and began learning to produce my own songs. Damned Praise is the ongoing result. I’m not sure what it will grow into or even in which direction, but I have a handful of songs to start with, and I am having the time of my life.”
“Hahahaha (Hahahaha)” was meant for an EP and is the first complete song Swearingen has produced themself. They stated:
“Usually, it would give me pause to celebrate the death of another human being so brazenly, but considering that the subject, Rush Limbaugh, had a recurring segment on his radio show where he mocked those dying from AIDS, it doesn’t. Limbaugh and his ilk were (and still are) a driving force behind the religious homophobia which played an enormous role in the severity and length of the AIDS crisis he then belittled for profit. It was a narrative that overwhelmed me as a child, cost me the ability to enjoy life for decades, and kept me close to death by my own hand for far too many years. ‘Evil’ is a term that is often used in lieu of parsing the moral complexity of a situation, but in the case of Limbaugh, there is no nuance; He was an evil man, and I wish there was a hell so he could suffer there eternally.”
Stream “Hahahaha (Hahahaha)” now below!