Diamond Lane have been quite busy since we last and first spoke with them three years ago. Since then the band has done nothing but kick back, relax, and of course keep busy, playing shows, touring, writing and recording material for newer releases. All of this being a repeating cycle leading down to their latest and newest album "Must Be Hell". Frontman vocalist Brandon Baumann discusses this album and their line of activity since we last spoke a few years back up until this point in time!
1. It's been 3 years since we last and first spoke, so what has the band been up to between then and now?
Brandon: Oh you know, just kicking back and relaxing... ha! Except actually, the total and complete opposite. These past few years have definitely seen us as busy as ever --- multiple half-national tours, seeing a whole variety of new places for DL, a few West Coast runs, a handful of awesome festival gigs --- being live and out there with the real rockers, meeting the real ones, is what it’s all about. We’ve also spent the past bit really buckling down and really putting each of our respective roles under the microscope. This is the first time ever that we have 2 albums worth of awesome material recorded and ready to go, and haven’t just blurted it out. We are taking our time figuring out how to best get all this ripping music that we’re super proud of out there, so we started by releasing the first look into the new horizon just a few days ago, and look forward to deliver some more before too long.
2. You have written and recorded a new album called "Must Be Hell" where your latest track "Blood Red Beauty" comes from, which of the two would you like to address first?
Brandon: Usually when we finish recording an album, we implement an immediate game plan to get the music out in the most effective way as soon as humanly possible. With “Must Be Hell”, in all reality we wrapped that album in the first part of 2016 and spent an intimate amount of time really shaping and honing the material to ensure proper live execution. We took on the task of challenging ourselves to bring the best material to life and I know we’ve got some fantastic tunes and motivated performances captured. I know people are going to dig it, I just refuse to watch it die on the vine without the right game plan.
3. Why did you think that "Blood Red Beauty", was the right choice for giving everyone a glimpse into the new material off "Must Be Hell"?
Brandon: “Blood Red Beauty” is the opening track of the album and it perfectly sets the stage for the sonic journey that follows. It’s a good ole fashioned whoopin' right out of the gate. Additionally, while it sets the initial tone, that song definitely has a life of its own in relation to the other material.
4. How would you say that "Must Be Hell", differs, compares, and is equal to your past releases?
Brandon: It’s different. It’s always different than what came before and that’s the way it should be. We’re human --- we grow, we evolve, we get better, more refined, more prolific. We go through shit. Ups, downs. Life happens and the universe does not care about our feelings. The quest is always to keep fucking digging and going for it. Make a game plan, then execute. Albums are snapshots of moments in time captured into audio for all time. If we do our job right and keep chasing, then our best work is still miles ahead of us. And that feels good, because this batch of tunes has a full dose of anti-suck. Nothing short of badass and we’re pumped on it.
5. Where did the title for this album "Must Be Hell" come from, does it mean what it says in reference to Hell?
Brandon: It’s a phrase I scribbled down in my notebook after blurting it out in conversation a couple of years ago – nothing to do with hell physically, more metaphorical. Empathy. I always kinda kept coming back to it and thought it to be a cool title somewhere along the way. One late night session I was working on this really beautifully powerful tune with our producer Rev. Tom Chandler, and when you’re fried -- you’re fried, but always keep the tape rolling, right? So we’re toying around, going back and forth, middle of the damn night, and it struck me like a bolt of lightning and the words and melodies flew out of my mouth. I didn’t have to think about it and instantly right there I knew we had a powerful chorus for a song that had a really different life to it. Because I could feel it. Something special. Title track and album title out of the ether, done and done.
6. Can you disclose how the album's artwork will look for "Must Be Hell?
Brandon: I can let you know when we figure it out! Honestly, we’ve toyed around with a couple of ideas, but I can assure you it will be something simple, but representative. No fire and brimstone. The music certainly speaks for itself.
7. When can we expect to see "Must Be Hell" see the light of day as far as release?
Brandon: Before the year is up? Hopefully. Maybe. Hell, I might release the damn thing with my Saturday breakfast. Anything can happen in this day and age, and there’s an endless stream of ways to do it, but all importantly, this body of work belongs together and those who truly know, will be validated soon enough.
8. Will you be releasing any more tracks off this album and or have them made into singles if not videos?
Brandon: Last year we released a bonus track from the album sessions, and now BRB is the first official track. We will be releasing a select few cuts over the little bit here, and certainly will be making as many videos as we can to accompany. Having that extra visual enhancement is really crucial these days. And they are a lot of fun to make. It’s a win/win.
9. Does Diamond Lane have a record label to call home or do they prefer the good old DIY approach to music releasing?
Brandon: We do not have a record label to call home, but are certainly open to discussions. The right discussions. Since the jump, DL has always been a DIY machine because there’s no sense waiting with your hand out for someone to come along. The only way to get things done is to just quit talking about it and get it done. We’ve had nary a helping hand, but if a situation came to light where we all wanted the same things, and wanted to work together for the win --- to get top quality music to as many ears as possible --- then the sky is truly the limit. Until that situation arises, the pursuit of greater things continues.
10. What does 2017 have in store for you guys of what we have left of it?
Brandon: Writing. Exploring other sides of the business. It’s an interesting time in 2017, seeing how people consume content and what really drives the soundtrack of their lives. I like to write and record as much as possible. Being prolific is key, and you have to be selective and ultra supportive, yet critical of one’s own work. It passes through a hundred personal litmus tests before anyone ever hears something official. There’s still gas left in the tank, it’s just important to be driving in the right direction before that gaslight comes on. No one likes walking back down the same damn road time and time again.
11. Would you like to say or want to add on anything else we did not get to discuss?
Brandon: Thanks to you for taking the time to have a chat and helping to spread the gospel of Diamond Lane! It takes an army indeed! Let’s make sure to link up again down the line, but before another 3 years. And cheers to all the readers, if you’re on Instagram, let’s link up! That’s definitely where we’re most active on the intergalactic social interwebs @DiamondLane.