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  PRIYA OF DIEMONDS TALKS ABOUT THEIR HISTORY, THEIR NEXT ALBUM AND THEIR FIRST UK TOUR

ian sutherland
Words: and Pictures: Ian Sutherland
31st July 2017

diemonds



Toronto hard rockers Diemonds have been making waves on the North American continent for ten years. Now, two years after the release of their storming 'Never Wanna Die' album they are about to make their assault on the UK and Europe. MetalTalk caught up with singer Priya Panda as she was preparing for the tour.

This will be your first ever European tour, right?

"Yes, our first time playing shows in the UK and Europe. It's really, really exciting for us as we've been a band for ten years now and this has always been on our radar for us. This is the first time we've ever made it happen."

Many people on this side of the pond will just be finding out about you guys so tell us, who are Diemonds? What are you guys about?

"We're a hard rock band from Toronto. I started the band myself ten years ago, since then we've put out three records and we're working on our fourth one. I've got to go and play with a bunch of our heroes, we've played the Kiss Kruise, we've played lots of awesome festivals.

"I'm just floored by the fact that if you put in a lot of hard work, if you envision something you can make it pretty much happen. It can be a lot slower than you thought then all of a sudden you're rocking and rolling and we're going on a trip across the ocean. We've just been working hard, playing shows and rockin' for the last ten years."

I think your tour over here starts at the Hair Metal Heaven festival in Hull...

"Yes we're playing Hair Metal Heaven in Hull. They're the ones who got the ball rolling on this tour by inviting us out. The thing about the festival that for me is so exciting is that they're pretty much all of my favourite bands all playing in one place.

"I love hair metal, I love glam rock and eighties hard rock and they've basically pulled bands from all over the world in that vein and put them all together including my favourite band Vain! It's pretty exciting for us, I'm so excited. I can't really hold it back right now, I'm pretty stoked!"

diemonds

Will you get to see all three days of the festival? [Diemonds play on the last day]

"Yes, the promoter has been gracious enough to let us come out and hang out and see the whole thing. He knows how excited we are.

"It's so awesome because when the festival was in the planning stages he was asking what bands would you love to see and I mentioned a bunch of them and he actually booked so many of them it's so cool. I'm so excited."

Hair Metal Heaven suggests a particular style of music which you guys obviously relate to. I can hear a lot of Metal and even punk in your sound though. What are your influences?

"I think that all kinds of heavy music has influenced us. In particular I tend to like hard rock and glam and then there's CC who grew up in punk and hardcore so that's his background, his roots.

"Daniel's a thrash guy, he loves Metal, he loves underground metal and that's where his interests in heavy music lie and we've all shared our favourite bands with each other over the years and we've spent a lot of time with each other. You know, trapped in a van listening to each other's records and they've all kind of grown on us.

"I think that our records speak to that mix of music that we've all taught each other about, learned from each other. We go and watch bands live together and it just comes together in our music."

diemonds

There's a thriving female fronted Metal scene in Europe which is looked on as a genre in it's own right. Is this something that you are aware of and that you relate to as band with a female singer? Or do you just see yourselves as a rock'n'roll band?

"Of course we're aware that there's a female fronted Metal scene going on, the internet makes it kind of easy to follow and we have friends who have been more involved in that world but I don't think we necessarily fit the bill. Especially with the symphonic, operatic kind of stuff. We're definitely not that, that's not where we see ourselves at all. We're just a straightforward heavy, hard rock band.

"We just like to leave it all on the stage, have a good time, we don't have tracks, it's just a different thing. We're a five piece rock'n'roll band and that's where we see ourselves. We love all kinds of bands, all kinds of talent but we don't see ourselves as grouped in the female fronted scene at all. I think that we fit into a lot of other genres as well."

'Never Wanna Die' in 2015 was your third release, right?

"It was our second full-length release and the first on an international label which is how we're lucky enough to have it come into your hands for example. I think our last album really helped us grow our reach."

There is a big difference to me between that and the previous full-length album 'The Bad Pack'.

"Yes, there is a big difference between the two records. So many things happened to us in our lives. We played so many shows, it's only natural to improve as musicians and songwriters. I think that's what we displayed on our last record.

"We were kids when we recorded 'The Bad Pack' and then we kind of grew up in rock'n'roll and in the back of a van and then we put out another record and that's 'Never Wanna Die'. A lot of people do mention that but when you want to talk about our roots, my interests, my influences are heavily visible on our first full length, on 'The Bad Pack'.

"I think in 'Never Wanna Die' we were able to interpret what we enjoy, what we listen to and create our own voice and sound."

What can expect from the next album? Are you already thinking that way?

"Oh yeah, we're pretty much ready to record. We have a good number of songs, we're kind of sifting through them to decide which ones we want to use and which ones are going to end up on the back burner for now. We're an independent band and finances are always an issue and that's kind of where we're at right now.

"We're lucky to be in Canada where we've been lucky enough to get a government grant to record our next record as our last record was nominated for an award. That album made us eligible so we have a grant for our next record and now we're figuring out how to budget the work as we definitely want to keep up the quality and sound that we had on our last album.

"We're just figuring out who we want to work with, where we want to record and that's the stage where we're at. As soon as we're back from this tour which will be October we'll really be getting down into the nitty gritty of that.

"We've already started some demos, they're sounding pretty cool, we'll play some of the songs live which you'll hear and we'll probably add a couple of more songs to our set before we hit the UK and Europe as we're doing America in first so we'll have different setlists for all the regions."

diemonds

Any changes in style from 'Never Wanna Die'?

"No, I think we're just growing into our sound where it's melodic and it's heavier. It's more melodic which is exactly where I've always seen us going. That's exactly what I love to listen to, heavy really like singalongable songs and choruses and that kind of thing. That's where I think we're headed.

"We just want you to be able to sing along to our songs and have a good time when you come see us. Hear the song once and that's where you kind of get into it is where our heads are at."

What can UK fans expect from a Diemonds live show?

"You're going to get some headbanging tunes, we're going to put it all out on stage, there's going to be some spit, some sweat, gonna be some good times. You're probably going to meet some really cool people too so you're going to want to come out and hang out with us! We always meet the raddest people at our shows."

We'll be there for sure. Thanks for your time and good luck with the tour!

Diemonds Alive In The UK:
27th August: Hull, Hair Metal Heaven
29th August: Birmingham, Subside
30th August: Glasgowm, Bloc+
31st August: Perth, The Green Room
1st September: Edinburgh, Bannermans Bar
2nd September: London, Camden Underworld



Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.





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