SPOTLIGHT BAND #8:
Vietnamese Progressive Metal Band DaVang Breaks Into the U.S.
Interview with Ross Knapp and Dat Nguyen Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
DaVang, who is extremely well known in Vietnam, moved to the States in 2010 to break into the U.S. market. They definitely found their missing piece with American drummer Ross Knapp, who was already emerged in Asian culture. It was so educational and interesting to learn more about DaVang, Vietnamese culture, and the similarities and difference between Vietnamese fans/venues versus the States.
Metal Babe: Tell me a little about your background as a drummer, bands you were in before DaVang, and any professional training that you’ve had.
Ross Knapp: I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio before moving to California. I graduated from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. I played in several bands in Ohio, including The Haymarket Riot. We had a record contract with London records and our keyboardist, Gary Griffin, went on to play with The Beach Boys. He is out touring now with Brian Wilson to promote The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds.’ He is out touring now with Brian Wilson to promote The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’ album. We booked A.J. Entertainment, who was the same agency that handled Adrian Blue and Seymour Duncan. Adrian was a drummer long before he became a world famous guitarist for King Crimson, Frank Zappa, and David Bowie. He was my role model because he was one of the first singing drummers I ever saw.
Metal Babe: DaVang came to the U.S. in 2010. How did you end up being the drummer of the band? Did you know about them when they were in Vietnam?
Ross: I came into DaVang knowing one thing…they were a Vietnamese metal band that was famous in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
DaVang Band Members:
· Nguyen Dat (Vocals, Guitar)
· Phil Nguyen (Bass)
· Ross Knapp (Vocals, Drums)
· Khang Tran (Guitars)