The moves Perth’s Billy Damage plans to pull to win the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland
After a near miss at Eurovision this year, Perth could still become the holders of a global music crown as Billy Damage is heads to Europe in a bid to become the air guitar world champion.The Perth would-be rocker reckons his classic windmill and power slide on his knees will be enough to get the judges headbanging at the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland.Damage, real name William Denton, already has one title under his belt, qualifying to enter the championships after he won a competition at Perth’s Fringe World — and now he is up against the world’s best.
‘Its a bit daunting — we’re talking the cream of the world in air guitar that I’m there going up against, but I’m not going there to make up the numbers. I want to take home the chocolates, mate,” the 44-year-old, who is Australia’s No.1 ranked air guitarist, said.“I won the competition at Perth Fringe in January which qualified me to go to the championships as the highest-ranked air guitarist in Australia. So the people in Finland got in contact and said ‘there’s a spot here if you want it’.”
As for what will make him stand out from the other imaginary rockers, he said: “The old classic windmills. Also, when there’s a pause in the song, throw the air guitar in the air to rev up the crowd then catch it into a power cord — that’s a good one. There’s a big power slide which is a big knee slide. It’s all about getting the crowd up and about.”
Damage will have music by the band Van Halen in his arsenal at the championships. Damage, who is a plumber by day, said: “He was the ultimate shredder old Eddie (Van Halen), RIP. Hot For Teacher is one of my favourites with the fret tapping. Cherry Pie is another classic from Warrant. Also, I love Hendrix — set your air guitar on fire, shred, lets go! ”Ironically the winning prize is a Flying Finn guitar but Damge says he is “15 years clean of playing any guitar”.
Win or lose, the visit will at least look good on Damage’s Instagram feed.“The championships are in a little town of about 200,000 people called Oulu,” he told Perth Mates Podcast with Robbie Von.“And it’s a crazy place with Arctic temperatures and reindeers. They’ve held it there since about 1996.
“It’s the heartland of air guitar and it originally started for their summer solstice when there’s, like, 22 hours of daylight. It’s so Scando its not even funny — saunas, drinking, air guitar and sunlight!”
Listen to the full interview on the Perth Mates Podcast with Robbie Von wherever you get your podcasts.