On Wednesday, 6th December, I had the chance to fulfil a childhood dream of mine. I got to see one of the greatest metal bands on Earth play live. Diamond Head, the founders of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, the guys who inspired Lars Ulrich and Metallica and Dave Mustaine and Megadeth. I attended their show at the 02 Academy in Islington, London, and before the show had the chance to interview their singer Ras. Below is the interview:
1. What inspired the name of the band, and what were your influences, are they the same now?
“Brian, came up with the name of the band, I believe he had an album poster on his wall in his childhood home, that said Diamond Head and he thought that was a pretty cool name, and so that ended up as the band’s name. As for influences, well, it varies really, Zeppelin, Sabbath, are two obvious ones, for me more personally, Freddie Mercury, Soundgarden, Chris Cornell was an amazing vocalist, and I absolutely love what he did on Jesus Christ Superstar.”
2. You’ve got a new album out, it’s been out for about a year now, could you talk us through the writing and recording process?
“I know that Brian was somewhat uncertain about recording a new album after the last one before this one, due to the fact that there were a lot of different issues that might impede such a process. After I joined and we went out on tour in 2014, I sat down with Brian and said I’d really love to do a record, so he handed me a CD with about 40 riffs on them, that I worked through, with a bit of producer’s hat on. I narrowed it down to the songs that I thought were the best ones, and I said to Brian that we should record it with all the guys present, like they did back in the day. I wanted to make a record that stayed true to the heritage of the band, but was also progress from that. We paid for all the recording and then we signed with Dissonance, who’ve been great in promoting the record.”
3. What are your favourite songs to play live?
“I’ve got to say The Prince, because of the amount of raw energy there is from the crowd that feedback to us. It’s brilliant. I also love playing some of the songs from the new record, such as Shout at The Devil, which is killer to sing live.”
4. You joined the band in 2014, and Diamond Head obviously has a lot of history behind it, was there any pressure on you?
“Yes and no. There was pressure that I put on myself to keep the band’s heritage and legacy intact, and to ensure that we delivered the goods, for the fans. But other than that no.”
5. What plans have you got for the future?
“We’re going to be touring a bit in the new year, and after the positive response to the last album we’ve decided to record another album. I can’t reveal much about it just yet, but we hope to have it out next year. One song on it that I’m really liking is called Belly Of The Beast.”