Chicago thrashers, Diamond Plate, unleashed their latest album, “Pulse,” this week thanks to the good people at Earache Records! As I’ve said many times before and surely in the future, if you want a band writing real thrash metal, look no further than Diamond Plate. From watching their blistering performances back in Atlanta, to falling in love with their material, I instantly became a lifelong fan of these guys over the past few years! With “Pulse” comes a new vocalist, a raw new approach to their albums sound, more face melting solos, and it’s just AWESOME!
Recently I got to speak with Konrad and James about the new record, the vocalist changes, the future of the band and more! Check out the interview below and be sure to check them out on their upcoming tour in support of Death Angel! You won’t be disappointed!
Metal Mark- How’s it going guys? Congrats on “Pulse,” because the album is just killer! With the two year span between records, the new vocalist, was there anyone more excited than you guys to finally get it out there?
Konrad- Pretty stoked man. It’s been a long, long time coming for us (laughs). It’s pretty much the past two years of our lives, both personally and musically, all into one album, so it really means a lot to us as well. It’s the best material we’ve written so far, so we really hope the fans dig it as much as we do.
MM- “Pulse” is the “sophomore” release for you guys, did you feel any pressure not to fall into the “sophomore slump” that so many bands seem to fall into these days?
James- Not at all. We knew what we were doing this time around(laughs). We knew what we wanted and are stoked with how it all came out for sure.
Konrad- Yea I agree. This album came together a lot more naturally than anything we’ve ever done before in the past. Like he said, we knew what we wanted, we knew how to get it done, and we put all our effort into getting it right, so the only pressure was for us not to fuck up while recording (laughs).
MM- “Pulse” really captures this live sound of the band so well. Was this what you wanted all along, or did it just happen to come out that way in the studio?
James- When we recorded “Generation Why?” we had all the modern stuff in the studio like the click track and everything, and we felt that it kind of lost the energy of each song, especially when we play them live. Everyone always says you guys are so great live, but for whatever reason, it didn’t come across the right way on that record in our minds looking back now. It didn’t translate the right way for us and the fans.
Konrad- Yea this time around we just wanted to record it just like we were playing live ya know. Forget about making it sound absolutely perfect and polished, let’s bring our live energy and finally get it on record and I think we really did that. So what you are hearing is just us thrashing in the studio like we do live. No click tracks, no nothing, just us and what we were feeling at that very moment. It not only captures our live sound, but it captures the personality of each member better as well in my opinion. People have seemed to relate to it more, and that’s exactly what we were going for on this one.
MM- Was it easier for you guys recording like this than the past? Is it something you’ll continue to do on future records?
Konrad- It was definitely harder for me (laughs).
James- Yea way harder for you (laughs). It’s weird, you just have to go into it and do it. I don’t really know if it made it harder or not, but it definitely makes it sound more real. Obviously we had to be more prepared going into the studio, but that was our plan anyway, so it was just a matter of getting in the right mindset and getting it done when it was time to record.
Konrad- It’s good because you get that raw, live sound we talked about, but at the same time, you’re paying money to record, so you had to be prepared and ready to get it done. There was no stops or breaks in playing, it was alright go now and you had to hit everything perfectly. So for me, hitting the solos or riffs perfectly was a challenge, but that’s why I play this type of music in the first place. It definitely took some time to get used to, but the end result is exactly what we wanted.
MM- “Pulse” introduces Matt Ares to the fans as the new bass player and vocalist. What was it about him that made him the perfect choice for the future of the band?
Konrad- His vocal range more than anything, and the fact that he’s just like us. He wakes up and music is the only thing on his mind, and that’s exactly how we are. We live it, we breathe it, and he feels the same way, so it was an easy choice.
James- Not only is his vocal range insane, but his bass player is incredible as well. For the first time we were able to write whatever we wanted and didn’t have to worry if he could work with it or not. Whatever we came up with, his vocals and bass playing could match it, and it really gave us a freedom with songwriting that we’ve never really had before.
Konrad- Yea we could write whatever the fuck we wanted and didn’t have to worry if he could match it or add to it. That’s what we’ve wanted from the beginning, so he’s finally given us that opportunity to really branch out and write stuff that we may or may not have been able to in the past. Just like us, he loves a good challenge, so it’s been a blast to have him with us.
MM- The first track you released to the fans was “Walking Backwards” and it came out to a great response from fans. Was that always the first track you wanted people to hear or was it a random choice?
Konrad- Being the album opener, we felt it was just right to release that first. The journey on the record starts with “Walking Backwards,” and goes until the last track, so it was a good introduction to the record as a whole. We truly believe this is an album you should listen to in it’s entirety as well, so if people dig it than the rest of the record should come naturally to their ears.
MM- It’s hard nowadays to find a record that you can listen to in it’s entirety without skipping a song, but “Pulse” is one that you can. There’s no skipping songs on this one!
James- Thanks man, we hope you’re not the only one who thinks that! (laughs)
Konrad- Definitely thank you for that. A LOT of hard work went into it, so it’s good to hear that people are giving the full thing a listen. That’s how it’s supposed to be and how I remember it growing up.
MM- I know it’s always a difficult question, but for fans that haven’t heard it yet, do you have any personal favorite tracks on the album?
Konrad- For me, it goes back to what we were just talking about. The record as a whole just means so much to us that it would be hard to pick just one song ya know. Each song has a special place for us and each helps define “Pulse” for the album it is. I don’t want to mention one song, and have the fans missing out on the others. Never leave them astray! (laughs).
MM- Obviously the fans are not only happy about a new record, but a new record always means new tour dates too. What’s the latest you can say?
Konrad- In October/November we will be hitting the States on a MASSIVE lineup that’s really a dream come true for us. The whole bill is amazing, and it’s an honor to be a part of. It’ll be announced soon, and after that, who knows. We want to tour as much as possible like always ya know. We live for this.
MM- How much of the new stuff can we expect to hear?
Konrad- Probably more than you would expect. We connect a lot more with these songs, and plus with Matt in the band now, it just seems right to push the new material harder than ever. Obviously we won’t forget about the fan favorites, but we are so proud of “Pulse” and what it means for the band, so we will definitely focus on this material more than ever.
MM- Hell yes, I’m stoked for that! I don’t know if you’ve even thought about this, but next year marks the ten year anniversary of the beginning of Diamond Plate. Do you have any special plans?
Konrad- Holy shit really? (laughs). I guess, technically, it would be ten years in 2014, but it was basically just us playing Metallica covers in our basement(laughs).
James- I think I was in 7th grade ten years ago (laughs).
Konrad- Nothing has really changed except we do it at my house now and we have our own material(laughs). Nothing special is planned, because we never thought about it until now, but who knows. We could bust out a Metallica cover or something to bring back the basement days (laughs).
MM- Hell yes! Since we spoke last time in Atlanta, you guys have been touring your asses off and putting this new record together. With touring, song writing, lineup changes, what has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the past few years?
Konrad- Don’t limit yourself and always do what you feel is right. That’s kind of our motto now. That’s what you hear on the new record. We push ourselves to new limits, and recorded it the way it felt right ya know. There were moments where a riff or a solo or something didn’t feel right, and we immediately got rid of it. We really have learned a lot in the past few years, and it’s been awesome. I think you can really hear it on the new record as well. It’s been fun, but yea, they don’t teach you this shit in high school (laughs). We’ve learned our lessons, and are more than ready for whatever is coming next!
MM- That’s great to hear! I’ve leave this last part open to you guys. Any final words to your fans out there?
Konrad- Obviously a big thank you to our fans out there. I know it’s been a while between records, but “Pulse” is definitely here and ready for your ears. Enjoy the record as a whole and we’ll see you in the pit on the road very soon!
James- Yea thank you for everything. As we said before, we wake up and all we think about is music, so to be able to do it for a career because of you guys is incredible. Pick up “Pulse” whenever you can and spread the word, because this is Diamond Plate at it’s best.
Pick Up “Pulse ” Right Now!