When most people think of rock music, grit, sweat, edginess and rebellion spring to mind. Yet when you take the 80's Hard Rock sound, swagger, slickness and empowerment are drawn into the mix and Diamante's take on said period sound definitely comes packed with empowerment, swagger and an attitude that can be summed up by the middle finger.
The Los Angeles blue-haired rocker is not holding back any punches, with her latest song being a cover of Lower The Atlantis's 'Had Enough'; albeit turned up past 13 (yes that's a Spinal Tap reference) and this song being listed on her forthcoming album (due out soon), things are certainly going well for the 21-year old.
GMA spoke to Diamante about her rock history, her love for Lower Than Atlantis, the revival of 80's rock music and 2018 plans. Check out her lyric video for 'Had Enough' at the bottom of this interview.
"I think that [playing Pat Benetar at family gatherings] exposure to 80's rock as a kid definitely had a lasting impression on me"
Hi Diamante, how did you get involved in music? When growing up who did you aspire to?
"As a kid I was always very inspired by female artists like P!nk, Avril Lavigne, Hayley Williams, Kelly Clarkson, etc. and have been writing songs in a journal and singing in my room ever since I can remember. I always resonated with women who had some type of grit vocally, and I think singing along to these artists every day for years played a part in crafting my own vocal tone."
You just released your latest single and lyric video 'Had Enough', what has the reception been like? Did you approach Lower Than Atlantis for this?
"Yes! I was a huge fan of the song the moment I heard it because I was taken aback in the best way possible by how honest the lyrics were, that level of honesty is always something I strive for in my own music. I think especially in today’s social climate, it’s both important and powerful to be able to tell the world ‘I’ve had enough, I’m pissed off, and it’s time for change.’
How would you describe your sound, it sounds like there's elements of Hard Rock and Punk Rock and involved?
"I like to describe it as 80’s style rock with a modern-day alternative edge heading for a collision course with rock n’ roll swagger!"
Do you receive any negative commentary for being a female rocker? Do you feel that the stigma towards female rock/metal musicians is still present?
"I have, but not as much recently. I think times are changing for the better, especially with all the kick-ass women in rock right now standing their ground and the powerful movements taking place. I have faith that people will come to realize someone’s gender is not a representation of their musical abilities."
Tell us about your upcoming album, where do you get your inspiration from, how long has the process taken from blueprint to recording?
"The album definitely has an 80’s influence, and the songs themselves are an insight and deeper look into who I am and what I feel on a continuous basis. I chose to be vulnerable with this music because I’ve learned embracing vulnerability is the strongest thing someone can do. My producer, Howard Benson, was instrumental in pushing me to be more fearless lyrically."
What do your parents think of your music? Surely they dig rock music as much as you do?
"I am extremely lucky because my parents have always been supportive of my musical aspirations since I was just thirteen. I would not be where I am today without them so I am immensely grateful. Also funny enough, my family on my mom’s side would always play Pat Benatar at family gatherings, and I think that exposure to 80's rock as a kid definitely had a lasting impression on me."
Would you agree there is a revival of 80's hard rock? With yourself and The Pretty Reckless, being two examples?
"Definitely! I think in a way everything comes back around. Even in pop music I’ve been noticing an 80’s comeback with the synth sound. I’m excited about it! Music has been missing that raw energy lately."
What plans do you have for 2018 alongside the album launch? Will there be a nationwide tour, or maybe an international tour?
"My debut full-length album will be out this year! So I can only say that a lot of touring will be happening to support the release. Tour date announcements will be happening in the near future as well!"
Are there any greetings you wish to send out?
"Just want to say thank you to everyone who has been coming to the shows and downloading the music! I can’t wait for the album to be out, I know you will love it as much as I do!"
"People always consider doom to be slow, whereas in my eyes, doom is something extremely potent."
Skandal, the Doom 'n' Roll band originated from Greece but relocated to the UK. This duo are not well known and are simmering under the radar, GMA went to investigate and interrogate George about the band's origins, the tour they're currently embarking on and what life was like growing up on a Greek island as a metalhead.
Skandal originates from Greece, can you tell us about how Skandal came to be in the UK?
"Tradition and ambition. Although one will find our doom elements are deeply rooted in Greek traditional music, it sounds way different than the distorted electric / metallic trademark UK sound. I never wanted to impose such influences on the Greek audience in high frequency, nor did I ever expect acceptance / success playing Doom n' Roll over there. On the other hand, the Kingdom's tradition in all that's hard & heavy is unparalleled. It only made sense to move here, in order to plant the seeds on fertile ground for that sort of activity. We reckon we can do it well, and I guess time will tell. Hence, tradition and ambition."
What was it like growing up as a rock / metal fan in Greece?
"Growing up on an island, let alone a Greek one, made heavy music less accessible. All we had was a couple magazines dedicated to heavy metal and rock, a few record stores which would supply us with all the classic releases, and occasionally, a radio show. On the rare occasion a band would visit Crete for a show though, everyone would show up and turn the event into a unique experience. However, I wouldn't say I'm a representative example of the average metalhead in Greece. Far from it. The guys in the mainland had it easier hahaha. To conclude, growing up with limited options in regards to music outlets made things less complicated/disorienting, and at the same time, it made me appreciate and re-discover the records I could get my hands on, with every repetition."
You're about to head out on a a tour across the UK and Iceland, will this be your first shows in Iceland? Who will support you on tour?
"Yes, indeed, only one week left. We get to visit most of these places for the first time, and share the stage with a bunch of fantastic bands. In fact we get to share the stage with some bands for more than one night (Lord Of Worms, Tales of Autumn, Jacdo, King Juss, Slor, Strange Bru). We don't know what to expect from most bands and cities, which keeps us all on our toes. Iceland is not one of these places though, as Reykjavik was the place the band took the stage for the first time ever. Lots of things have changed since then, and we cannot wait to return and show the locals what Skandal sounds like now. "
Can you explain to us what the genre 'Doom N Roll' entails, assuming it's the slower version of rock n roll?
"See, that's what's bugging me; people always consider doom to be slow, whereas in my eyes, doom is something extremely potent. I wouldn't tie doom down to a tempo range as that would be unfair to the rest of the facets of death. People also tend to forget about the lyrical content of their music. People keep trying and strive to find a formula for doom and fill the void Black Sabbath left behind. Tuning down and playing slower simply doesn't qualify as doom if a relevant message is not conveyed. The truth is Doom will find both the people who seek it, and those who shy away from it. With Doom N Roll we bring Doom to their doorstep. The key word here is energy. We're still defining the sound, so for now let's just say that it's a campaign to convert all of Doom's potency into explosive and impactful sonic waves, be it fast, be it slow, and along with the lyrics, deconstruct death before understanding it."
Is it a two-man line-up? Could you imagine yourselves supporting the likes of Royal Blood of whom have a similar setup?
"We've been working as a duo for a couple of years now as we couldn't just wait for the right person to come along before the kick off. The right person might never come, so why put our ideas on hold? We've been working with session guitarists for our shows so our setup isn't exactly similar to Royal Blood's. Wouldn't mind to test our music on their fan-base. I reckon they'd like it. Hopefully, we'll come across someone who is adequate as a personality for the guitarist's position, and we'll get to do it with a full line-up."
What plans do you have for 2018?
"Hah, we've got so many plans they overflowed all the way to early 2019. Our priority is to record our debut full length. We're taking a week off after this tour, and then we'll regroup for some hardcore and meticulous jamming and songwriting. When the record's ready, the rest of the master-plan will unfold."
Finally do you have any greetings you wish to send out?
"Hope to see as many of your followers as possible to our shows and have a great time with them on and off stage. Thank you and your colleagues Rhys, for spreading the word about the tour. We wish you all an intense remainder of 2017, and an eventful 2018. Cheers."
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