Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interview with Diamond Plate

Diamond Plate have been a busy band. Their debut album 'Generation Why?' has hit the literal and virtual shelves today and they are prepping for the upcoming America Torn Asunder tour with headliners Warbringer.

Still, Diamond Plate guitarist Konrad Kupiec was able to take some time and answer a few questions about the new album.

Since you signed to Earache, things seem to be moving quickly for you - from recording, getting the record out and hitting the road. Does it all feel like a whirlwind to you? How are you handling everything?

This past year has definitely gone by insanely fast because of how busy we’ve been. Even though we took a considerable break from playing any type of shows, we’ve been busier than ever. Our work ethic has definitely been at an all-time high, so everything is going great for us. We all couldn’t be more excited to finally hit the road and really push the record to future fans that haven’t heard of Diamond Plate yet.

You all started this band at a very young age. Did you ever dream it would go this far?

Being in a band is the only thing I’ve ever dreamed about as a kid. I still dream about everything that we still have yet to accomplish as a band, because for me (and the rest of the guys), this is only the beginning of our dream. I’m 19, and still have a lot of room to grow as a guitarist, songwriter, and human being; I’m nowhere close to reaching my potential in any of those areas.

How did you hook up with Earache?

We’ve been on Earache’s radar ever since our first ‘Mountains of Madness’ EP was released in 2008. A close friend/fan of the band showed our music to Digby, the owner of Earache. It wasn’t until the summer of 2010 that Earache finally decided to give us a chance to prove ourselves and offered us a record deal.

Has Earache gave you any indication into how they want to market Diamond Plate to the metal community?

It’s the label’s job to stamp a genre on a band and then sell the band to that specific market. As artists though, we can never have that in mind when we’re writing music. We’ve never tried to write music to fit into a certain type of market. We’ve always just played we felt, and let the market ‘come to us.’ And that’s the only thing we’ll ever do. At the end of the day, the music just speaks for itself.

I am a huge fan of Generation Why?, and bridging from your first EP to the new album, there is an obvious evolution to your sound. How did those changes evolve and what decisions were made in how to incorporate them into the new material?

Thanks! There wasn’t ever a conscious decision to change our “sound.” The change heard from the ‘Mountains of Madness’ EP to ‘Generation Why?’ is just a natural evolution. Three years of practicing, playing shows, writing songs, and going through different stages of our lives helped shape the music on the album in a very natural and pure way. On top of that, it was our first time recording in a professional studio, so the vibe while tracking was completely new and exciting to us; people can hear that when they listen to the songs. It’s a different kind of energy, but it’s undeniably there more than it ever was before.

How long was the recording process for Generation Why?

We spent a few months writing and doing preproduction with all the songs, but once we entered the studio, we recorded the entire album in only 10 days.

Since this is your debut album for a big label, how did it feel to get the finished product in your hands?

Absolutely incredible, as you might imagine. We’ve never been prouder and felt more accomplished after recording our music. Having the CDs in our hands was the most gratifying thing after putting in months of hard work into finishing the album.

How are you preparing yourselves for life on the road?

We’ve just been trying to stay as organized as possible, and in addition to practicing all of our songs, we’ve been in a way mentally preparing ourselves for the long road and hard work ahead of us. We plan on living out of our RV and touring for the entire year, write the second album, and start the cycle all over again! But we’re all ready for the best times of our lives as well!

Thrash metal has enjoyed a lifespan of approximately three decades with tons of fans from different generations. Do you feel that Diamond Plate can attract the old-school thrash fans? Do they show up to your gigs?

Diamond Plate has always had a strong ‘old-school’ following. There are always a ton of old school fans at our shows. To me, ‘old-school’ isn’t a type of look or a type of sound. It’s not wearing hi-tops and jean jackets, or having a record that sounds like it was produced 20 years ago. It’s an energy and an attitude. I think that is what attracts those fans to us. We’re just trying to write the best and heaviest songs and deliver them with as much energy as possible. And above all, we want to stay relevant without sounding like anyone else. That’s exactly what the bands that we idolize did in the ‘80s, and old-school fans can feel that in our music and at our shows.

What do you want people to take away from a Diamond Plate concert?

Although we accomplished a lot on record with ‘Generation Why?’ we’ve always felt our live show is where the band truly shines. There’s a quality in our music that’s best represented live and in its rawest form. I want people to be able to feel our music like they’ve never felt it before. And I want them to keep feeling it on the ride back home, the next morning at school/work, a week later, a month later, and up until they see us the next time around. And then have it happen all over again. Maybe the word I’m looking for is whiplash…And lots of it.

Chicago has a killer metal scene. Do you have any hometown favorites?

There are a ton of great bands here in Chicago; off the top of my head: Dawnbringer, High Spirits, Bible of the Devil, Zuul, Jungle Rot, Trouble, Smash Potater, Nachtmystium...

Final words?

To all the readers, don’t take my word and or anyone else’s word about Diamond Plate, check out ‘Generation Why?’ and decide for yourself! Thanks for using your ears! And thanks for a killer interview!

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