Thursday, March 7, 2013

Diamond Head Interview

  1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days? 
  2. Mainly we are concentrating on getting the band out playing live as much as possible. There are still many territories that Diamond Head have never been to so while we all get on so well and love what we are doing then we shall continue to break new ground wherever possible and enjoy the ride.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer music and how it differs from previous recordings? 
The last album ‘What’s In Your Head?’ was recorded on my home PC with Pro Tools LE. It is the cheapest album we have ever made yet sounds great. It proves that albums can be made with digital equipment on a budget now and that the artist can make some money out of it without having to sell a million copies to break even. We have gone with the times a little sound wise but guitar riffs are always at the heart of Diamond Head songs. It always starts with the riff.

  1. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
  2. I dont write lyrics but it sounds like Nick is singing about the usual rock themes. Relationships, sex, war, revenge, obsession, paranoia and suicide.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name? 
The Name Diamond Head comes from the title of a 1975 album released by Phil Manzanera from Roxy Music. I had a poster of it on my wall and when I was forming the band in the summer of 1976 I cut the name Diamond Head out thinking it would be a good name for the band. Much latter I discovered Diamond Head was the name of a volcano in Hawaii and also a movie starring Charlton Heston.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
 One of my favourite shows was the Reading festival back in 1982. It all felt like it was coming together and the band was continually moving upwards. Also the 2005 European tour with Megadeth was a wonderful experience. Dave Mustaine was very helpful to us on this tour and as it was sold out we felt like every night was a great opportunity to convert more and more people to the Diamond Head cause.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
 Diamond Head have a 17 date East Coast US tour beginning April 10th and we will be touring Europe in September then  returning to the US for a West coast tour in October. Some of the dates have been announced already and are on it looks like being a busy year and we are all looking forward to it.

7. The band has been an influence on alot of metal bands, what are your thoughts of the groups that took inspiration from your albums? 
It’s very flattering, they say “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and it means that other musicians really got what the band was about and wanted to do something similar. Of course it would mean a lot less if Metallica had not covered Diamond Head songs. If all they had done was steal a few riffs and arrangement ideas then I would not be so happy. The fact that I get songwriters royalties every 6 months is a life saver for me.

8. The band has broken up a couple of times, what was the cause behind the splits and what was it that motivated you to get the band going again?
 It very hard to keep a band together, I really admire bands like U2 and Aerosmith that has had a stable line up for many years. It’s very easy to get fed up with someone’s attitude or to decide that you would like all the shit to stop. I used to wonder why big bands who obviously don’t need the money continue to tour and I reckon its like a drug playing in front of 10,000 people every night, they need that buzz and when the tour ends and they go home they miss it. Our first split in 1983 was when the band was under huge pressure to get an album recorded in a very expensive London studio. We were not ready for that level of perfection and the strain broke us up, the band reformed in 1990 when Metallica had covered 3 Diamond Head songs and were constantly name checking us all over the world as a major influence. It seemed daft not to.
Now the motivation is that we all love it and want to keep it going as long as possible.

9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of metal?
Very good, it’s a more modern sound and a lot of the songs work great live, so a lot of our newer fans enjoy the last few albums. We cannot compete with the very heavy bands and don’t particularly want to, we do what we do and hope there is a market for it.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
 I guess we have a sound and a style so it will be business as usual; it’s a bit late in the day to anything radical.

11. What are some bands or musical styles that influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
 My writing is mostly influenced by the things I grew up listening to but now and again I hear something I really like and it inspires me to write a new song. At the moment I am listening to Muse, Kings of Leon, Porcupine Tree, Biffy Clyro, Rival Sons and Bob Dylan.

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests? 
I like reading and watching movies. I am the keeper of the Diamond Head archive and there is usually something going on that I have to take care of or oversee whether its T shirt design, posters, the web site, DVDs, CDs, interviews, photographs, artwork, etc so that takes up a lot of my time but I am not complaining, it’s my baby.

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