Planet Mosh conducted an interview with guitarist Brian Tatler of NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) legends DIAMOND HEAD before the band's June 27 concert in Belfast. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On DIAMOND HEAD's plans to record a new studio album:
"We started in January, writing, and we're gonna start recording next Sunday, the 5th of July. I'm not sure how long it's gonna take — probably about two months, something like that, on and off. So we've been looking at mixing it in September. And so it should be ready after that, but then, of course, you've gotta get it out. We're not sure how we're gonna release it. And artwork… and there's all these little… mastering… details that can slow you down."
On the songwriting process for DIAMOND HEAD's new CD:
"I'll tell you what we've kind of done this time. Definitely with [former DIAMOND HEAD singer] Nick [Tart], we adapted the DIAMOND HEAD sound a little bit to complement Nick. Because, you know, the singer's gotta sound good; it's no good if he's not comfortable with the songs. So, when [Danish singer] Rasmus [Bom Andersen] joined, he went over all the material and very respectfully learned the parts how they were written: the phrasing, the timing, the tuning… everything as close as possible. Then, when we started to talk about doing a record, he said we should do it sort of like the old style, where you are all in the room together, you write it in the room, you're not sending files. You know, people can do albums with Pro Tools. We did our last album like that, [by] sending the files. The drums were done in America… So we were not in the same room. And this time we wanted to do it like that. So we've been working on the tracks in the rehearsal room around by where we live, in the Midlands, and it sounds so much better for it. It was the old way we used to do it, and we kind of got a brief that, ideally, it should sound like DIAMOND HEAD; I mean, it's pretty obvious, really. But it's very easy to follow trends and think, 'This one's a bit modern,' and 'We're trying to do this,' and, 'We're trying to do that.' But, I think, ultimately, I try to make a record that sounds like DIAMOND HEAD and doesn't sound like anybody else. It makes perfect sense to me."
On whether he thinks METALLICA would be around today if it weren't for DIAMOND HEAD:
"I've had this conversation before, and I always think that they'd still have done it, but they'd just sound different. It wasn't only DIAMOND HEAD [that influenced them]. They also liked MOTÖRHEAD, they liked IRON MAIDEN, they liked SAXON, they liked… a lot of bands… TYGERS OF PAN TANG, for example. I mean, we were just lucky that they liked us, they liked the way we arrange, they liked that first album, 'Lightning To The Nations'. And Lars [Ulrich] has always said they got the arrangement ideas from DIAMOND HEAD — the longer songs; not just quick… 'Cause MOTÖRHEAD did, kind of, quick songs, didn't they?! Powerful and fast, and I think they liked that. But they also liked the expanse to make a song six or seven or eight minutes long. 'Am I Evil?' is nearly eight minutes long, isn't it?!"
On whether some people mistakenly think that DIAMOND HEAD covered METALLICA's "Am I Evil?" and not the other way around:
"We've heard that. I've heard people say it. And they have to be put right, they have to be educated. But, you know, METALLICA have sold millions and millions of copies of 'Am I Evil?' whereas we haven't, so their version is much more well known than ours. In the same way that Patti Smith's version of 'Because The Night' is more famous than Bruce Springsteen's version, isn't it?!"