DIAMOND PLATE – Evolution
- by Dan Barkasi
- Posted on 09-12-2013
There are many a young thrashers abound in the modern metal scene. So many that it can get difficult to wade through the old Nike white high tops and denim vests to find the better acts going around the circuit.
Diamond Plate is one of those bands, playing an old school style with a lot of influence from classic heavy metal. That classic style is more evident than ever with their latest release "Pulse", and is a step up in both maturity and songwriting for this Chicago trio.
We were able to catch up with guitarist Konrad Kupiec on Halloween night on their stop on their tour with Death Angel, 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross, and Revocation.
Topics covered were the state of the current tour, how much fun they had on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise in 2012, their tightened chemistry due to their new front man, and their non-connection with traditional Chicago pizza.
Have fun! These are really fun and dedicated guys, and I wish all the best to them!
How has the reaction to the new album been?
It’s been great, man. People are starting to really get the album a lot more, now that it’s been out for a month or two. It was a big change for us, as far as style goes. People are finally getting it! It’s been great!
How has the tour been?
Best tour we’ve ever done! Really big. The whole lineup is filled with relevant bands, and bands that are doing something special in the metal music industry today. We’re just really proud to be a part of it.
How did the recording process go?
It was a lot different than the first time around. Mainly, because we went into it with the intention of capturing the live energy from our shows. There’s no click track. What people hear are usually combinations of the first, second, maybe third take. So, everything is just very raw and in your face. We spent a lot of time on overdubs to perfect everything and to make everything as big as possible. Our goal was to capture the vibe of each song and why we wrote it, in the most natural way possible. It was a lot of hard work, but the fact that we didn’t play to a click and we played what we felt and tried to capture that. I can hear a lot of all our personalities. I connect a lot more with the music than anything we’ve ever done in the past.
Do you have any favorite songs to play live?
Oh man! Live, I’d say, on this tour, is probably "Price You Pay", off of the new record. It’s really groovy and captures the way we feel – being a young band on the road, trying to make it and all that. Then "At the Mountains of Madness" is always a favorite. It’s shit me and Jim wrote when we were 15-years-old, so that’s always going to be a staple for us live. It’s a lot of fun.
Tell me a little bit about your experience on the 7000 Tons of Metal cruise.
The best fucking experience ever! We were on a cruise ship with some of our favorite bands. We got to play two shows and take the most badass vacation ever. Everything about it was super, super cool. The fact that you can just be one with all of these different bands, and most of all, the listeners. It’s just one big party! It was nothing but positive. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do it again. I know they don’t really bring back bands consecutively, but hopefully down the line, we can go back and take a badass vacation. It’s the best, man! I recommend it to anyone who is into metal and enjoys a good time. It’s one of the most ingenious ideas to come out as far as a festival goes. It’s basically Wacken on a boat! So it was really, really unique.
Wacken does have a cruise now!
Do they have a cruise? Everybody’s jumping on the boat – no pun intended!
Where do you see your band in the next couple of years?
Just growing and developing – whatever that might mean! We want to be on the road, and we want to work our asses off. We’re always going to be hungry. We’re always going to be writing and thinking of ways to do what we do better. It’s up in the air as far as what that will mean to us a week from now, a year from now, or many years from now. We always just do what we feel, so that’s always going to change, and people can always expect the music to change with us. Evolution. I guess that would sum it up in one word.
What do you like to do to keep occupied on tour?
Honestly, the majority of the day revolves around music. We’re trying to stay focused, especially with this tour being the first tour with Matt (Ares), the new singer/bass player, and the first tour on the new record "Pulse". We want to stay as focused as possible. It pretty much revolves around staying in shape for the stage, perfecting the set list, perfecting our instruments. Occasional partying, if it’s a short drive. All of us are really on the same page as far as why we’re here and why we’re doing this shit. It all comes back to the music and bringing people a good fucking show every night.
Has the singer change made you guys a tighter group?
Yeah, absolutely! Matt is a hell of a bass player. He’s a real musician. I think that’s why. He fills up so much space. Especially being a three-piece, that’s extremely important. Me being a guitar player – to have a band like Jim (Nicademus) our drummer and Matt on bass. Doing what they do makes my life a lot easier, because they fill up so much space. It’s great. I know that whenever I go to solo, I’m just going to have two motherfuckers playing their asses off. That’s more than I could ever ask for! It’s really, really cool. Matt’s just a musician. That kid wakes up every morning and starts singing; picks up a guitar and writes. So it’s inspiring for myself. It’s like "Oh shit, this kid’s the real deal!" I got to make sure I’m pulling my weight, as well. Because of that, everyone’s on the same page, and the band is a lot tighter and closer because of it.
What kind of stuff have you been listening to lately?
Lately, we’ve all been really into Meshuggah. Today, particularly, the "Contradictions Collapse" album. A lot of blues-based stuff, like Zeppelin, Black Sabbath. There’s this band called Hookfoot with a guitar player called Caleb Quaye that I’ve been really digging on. Just the occasional jazz, like John Coltrane, Miles Davis – old fusion era shit. That’s the thing with all of us – we’re really open-minded when it comes to music. We just kind of absorb everything. Being on the road is badass, because we have super long drives, so we just have an iPod. My iPod has like 20,000 songs on it. So, there’s never any lack of "What do we put on for this eight hour drive to Texas?" We like to run through everything and absorb as much as possible.
I’m sure you’ve been asked this many times, but being from Chicago, what’s the best pizza place you have?
I wouldn’t really know! *laughs* We don’t care too much about pizza. Giordano’s is the name in Chicago. We all stay in shape! We get asked that every time, and we don’t know!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Check out the record "Pulse", and check us out live, first and foremost. You can expect a lot of fucking energy and expect a good time!