Well, they still ARE on their way to album number two, but apparently the chemistry between Jon and the rest of the band had deteriorated to the point of kicking the guy out!
Here is the band's statement:
“Over the past few months we have been writing and demoing songs for the next album. During that time, we felt that the chemistry between Jon and the rest of the band wasn’t as strong as it needed to be. We decided to move on, and find someone that shared the same passion to create the music that we’ve always wanted to make. We wish Jon all the best, and we want to thank him for being a part of this band. We are extremely excited to announce and welcome Matt Ares into the band as vocalist and bassist. Matt has really been a breath of fresh air for us, and in the first two weeks of jamming with him we were able to create an entirely new batch of songs and finish demoing the second album. Matt’s voice and playing add new dimensions to our sound, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear the band now. Thanks for always supporting, and keep your ears open for a new Diamond Plate record in 2013.”
This hit me like a ton of bricks, but after the dust settled in my head, I began speculating. That usually leads to trouble.
Well, I HAVE to speculate since (as of this writing) I have yet to read an official statement from Jon himself as to what the hell happened between him and the other fellas. Maybe it's none of my business, but as a big fan of Diamond Plate who invests time into the band's music, I can't help but wonder.
I love the Generation Why? album but I know that there was a huge backlash from those who believe that Diamond Plate strayed from the sound found on their demo. Many detested the vocals. Personally, the vocals did not bother me in the least. Others didn't like that every song was full-on traditional thrash metal. Again, this did not bother me because the dynamics between the "slow" songs and the thrash numbers worked well within the album as a whole.
I'm bringing this up because I wonder if the backlash had something to do with Jon's dismissal. Were they listening to the detractors and decided a change would be for the better? Did management have a hand in this? Did the band want to go further into what Generation Why? had begun or did they want to abandon that and go pure thrash metal? Which camp did Jon fall into and was this the reason for the breakdown in band chemistry?
Speculation. My thoughts could all be bullsh*t and maybe he was let go because he's a Raiders fan or something. I don't know.
However, I am a fan of Jon Macak and if he chooses to continue in another band, I will check it out.
Also, I am a huge fan of Konrad Kupiec and Mario Cianci (he was in Thrash or Die for God's sake!!), so I will absolutely check out the new Diamond Plate album. I am curious as to which direction they will venture toward musically.
And yes, James Nicademus is killer, too (drummers don't get enough love around here!). James, you kick ass! \m/
In the end, I do wish the best for everyone involved, including new bassist/vocalist Matt Ares. I hope the future bodes well for 'em, 'cause I'm ready for some new metal!
It looks like Jon Macak had released a statement publicly. Here's what he had to say:
To all who are not yet aware, I am no longer with Diamond Plate. It has been an extremely difficult pill to swallow but it is the truth. I would like to take a minute to thank all of the wonderful people who have played a part in the good times and successes that we enjoyed while I was a member of the band: our manager Frank Mastalerz for providing a calm voice and leading us through the difficult decisions; everyone at Earache Records for giving a bunch of kids a chance to live their dream when others would not; and all of the talented bands that we were fortunate enough to have toured and shared the stage with over the years for helping us learn how to be true professionals. All of the people mentioned above have my utmost respect and gratitude for the support that they have shown for me as well as the band during my time as a member.
In regard to my former band mates, I will attempt to jump the gun on some of the questions that I am expecting to get. I assume that many fans will want to know how or why the situation came to this resolution and my response to anyone wondering is that what happened is between Konrad, Jim, Mario, and I. My hope is that everyone will understand and respect that fact by trying to avoid any incendiary questions. What I will say is that due to how things transpired I am not currently on the best of terms with the guys but cannot overlook the reality of the situation. We grew up together, we shared countless adventures and amazing experiences together, worked our asses off to get where we got, and are who we are today because of the time we spent together. I am not happy about the end result but it would be ridiculous to release this statement without acknowledging what we accomplished.
Above all else, I would like to thank the fans that have given me the chance to perform onstage. Playing for you guys is what I am most thankful for and passionate about and I owe every good thing in my life to you for letting me do so all these years. Many of you know that my life has hit some difficult times in the past few years but the incredible and unending support that I have received from you was literally what helped give me the strength to get out of bed on a daily basis and face the obstacles that have been thrown my way. I have grown to be friends with many of you, especially in the Chicago scene, and I love and cherish each and every one of you. Going onstage to entertain you and bullshitting with you at the merch table is what I am on this planet to do and I will continue to pursue music as my career to do so. I will find a band that values the positives in my personality and performance and I will be onstage again. My desire to carry on despite what has transpired in my life is one-hundred percent thanks to all of you.
So there you have it. Sounds like it wasn't amicable, but at least Jon seems determined to continue with music one way or another. I wish him luck!