INTERVIEW: Get to Know UK Alt-Rock Duo, The Diamond Lights
The Diamond Lights' work is never done, and that's perfectly okay with them. From working on their debut album, Twin City for the better part of seven years before it was finally ready for the world to hear, to their recently released Rome EP, which features a few different versions of their single, "Rome," the UK alternative rock duo are constantly hard at work writing and reinventing themselves. With plans already in the works for North American tour dates and their second album coming soon, it's safe to say that The Diamond Lights are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Until they release more new music, listeners can get to know the band and watch their cinematic music video for "Rome" below!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about The Diamond Lights for those who might be hearing you for the first time?
We are a two piece band made up of Chris Hornby on guitar and vocals and myself, Glenn Fryatt on drums and backing vocals. We didn't set out to be a two piece but when we couldn't find a bass player that fit so Chris got a three way splitter pedal, two guitar amps and a bass amp and who needed the bass player?! We always had a good live following and our shows were pretty intense, loud and full of the quite of power and energy that was missing from music when we started. With two only people in the group there's nowhere to hide musically and it really does become a sum of all the parts playing as one musical entity. If that doesn't sound too pretentious!
You guys recently released your debut album, Twin City - now that it has been out for a while and you’ve had some time to reflect on it, what are some of your favorite things about the album?
The 'Twin City' album was actually released almost exactly a year ago. It took us nearly seven years from the start of recording to the actual release so that definitely gave us plenty of time to reflect on it! It turned into a real labour of love for us but we're really proud of how all our efforts culminated in a pretty diverse record that somehow also managed to be coherent. Taking so long to get an album recorded, mixed and mastered is not something that I would recommend but I found it interesting how there are songs written in different times and with very different processes but all sound like us and work together as a set of songs.
Were there any messages you wanted to convey or stories you wanted to tell on Twin City?
There are a number of messages and stories behind the songs on 'Twin City.' I don't really like telling people what those stories are as I hope that when people listen to them they can interpret the stories in the songs in their own way so they mean something to them that isn't necessarily what we intended. I enjoy the way in which that once your song is out there, the listener can mould the story or message behind the song in any way that means something to them.
It being your debut album, what goals did you have in mind for Twin City?
We didn't really have any highfalutin grand goals in mind for the release. Purely and simply we wanted people to hear our music! Once it was out there everything else was a bonus. We're just glad that the music seems to connect with a lot of people and the positive feedback has blown us away quite honestly.
How were you able to challenge yourselves and grow with the writing and recording of the album?
When you take seven years to record an album that becomes a challenge in itself! I moved to the US drumming on other musical projects, Chris had a family and moved away from London so we both grew in different ways away from the music while we were still very focussed on getting the record finished. That is where Chris came up with title for the album. I was living in New York while Chris was in York. It felt like we were in cities twinned by name but otherwise a million miles apart.
You also recently released a music video for “Rome” from the album. Can you tell us a little bit about this track?
'Rome' was one of the tracks that we wrote that actually took years and many different versions and rewrites to finally get to where it is. A lot of our songs took years to finally finish. We would work on the song, hammering away at it for a while, leave it and then come back to it. 'Rome' was one of those song ideas that we knew had the makings of great song and we never gave up on it. The message behind 'Rome' song is to do with the expectations people have of you as well those that are forced upon yourself in everyday life. Just because we've released 'Rome' as a single doesn't mean we're finished with working on it yet though!
The video is pretty special too, from the filming location to the unexpected appearance of the fox. What was the inspiration for the video?
The video was directed by Will Hutchinson who is a Portsmouth UK based photographer and film maker who came up with the concept. I'll let Will tell you his thinking behind the video: “Somewhere in amongst the rubble hides the answer that the seeker is looking for, a clue left behind by the 1st survivors. The burned out bunker might just hold the key he seeks, there are signs, marks of the clan. But the enemy is always watching and time is running out for the seeker. No foxes were hurt during the making of this film.”
Speaking to Will recently he told me that the appearance of the fox was completely unplanned and was one of those happy accidents. Even if it did terrify him, filming in an abandoned Naval establishment, turning a corner and then being confronted by a fox that was not going anywhere soon.
With Twin City out now, do you have any plans to hit the road or play some shows soon?
We are just putting together our plans for our debut North American tour. We were hoping for a late 2018 but it is now looking as if it will be moved to early 2019 when it looks as if a second album will be out. This is already recorded and is a lot rawer than 'Twin City.' Plus it is already recorded. A lot quicker than the first!
Do you have any other big plans or goals for 2018?
I am very busy in LA drumming for Chief White Lightning, Happy Hollows and The Saint James Society but in terms of The Diamond Lights I think we would both like to be able to hit the road again sooner than later.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you too, it's been fun, now buy our music!