I’ve been hearing a lot about Diamond for the past few months, and I think you should hear about them, too. Featuring members of Trapped Under Ice and Down To Nothing, Baltimore-based Diamond are paying homage to the bands they grew up on with a refreshing alt-rock debut that will fit perfectly into your summer playlists. Check out our interview with guitarist Sam Trapkin, and prepare to see a lot more of this band this year:
1. Tell us about Diamond and how this project came about.
Diamond is an alternative rock band based in sunny Baltimore, Maryland, and we’ve been a band for about two years now. Basically we were all good friends before and just played in different bands—some of us played in hardcore and punk bands, some played in indie bands—and we just thought we should take our friendships to the next level and start a band. We all grew up with bands like Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Weezer, and Queens of the Stone Age and felt like there weren’t any newer bands playing that style of music, so we just wanted to take that and do our own thing.
2. What do you guys have going on this summer that fans should be looking out for?
Well, we just released a video for our song “The Feeling.” If you’re into mini-horses and mannequins and dogs in tutus, you should probably check it out. We also just put up pre-orders for the vinyl of our record Don’t Lose Your Cool, so there’s that, too. As far as the rest of the summer goes, we’re going to be making some books and some more videos and some more songs!
3. What was your first introduction to animal rights or peta2?
peta2 was actually on a long-ass tour that I did a few years ago, and I ended up hanging out with them all the time! Usually in a situation like that where you have some organization tagging along on a tour or running around with a clipboard or something you’re like, “Oh, great,” but it was the complete opposite! I mean I guess that wasn’t my true introduction to peta2 or animal rights, but that was my first lasting impression. They were the coolest.
4. I’ve found that a lot of people I’m connected to discovered animal rights in some capacity through their local music scenes. Seeing as how you guys have some hardcore roots, do you feel that punk and hardcore are particularly progressive-minded genres? Do you think that kind of “against the grain” mentality exists in today’s scenes, or is it a thing of the past?
I think anyone involved in the punk/hardcore scene is attracted to it in the first place because they feel alienated from the mainstream, whether that’s how they look, how they think, or how they act. That doesn’t necessarily make you a progressive thinker, but I do think those that find refuge in punk/hardcore are usually more socially conscious or aware. I suppose you don’t see as many bands taking strong stands on social or political issues, but I don’t think it’s a thing of the past at all. The “against the grain” mentality is always going to be there, whether people are going on stage and talking about it or not. If they were so good at going with the grain, then they probably wouldn’t go to some stinky hardcore punk-rock show in some warehouse and smell like a butthole after they left.
5. With so many ways that people can help animals—from buying cruelty-free products to volunteering at a local animal shelter—what advice would you give someone who’s looking to become more involved with animal rights?
Well, I’m pretty sure if someone’s reading this, they already know something or other about peta2 and the kind of resources they possess. peta2 is really good at finding ways people can become immediately and easily involved. And that’s not to say you can’t find ways on your own locally, whether that’s volunteering or helping educate yourself or others.
6. What band are you obsessed with right now that everyone needs to know about?
I’m going to recommend a band called “Hostage Calm.” They’re an absolutely great band from Connecticut who are actually very involved on a social/political level. I feel like maybe they’ve done something with peta2 before, but I could be tripping (Editor’s note: You’re not! They have, and we ♥ them.). I would still recommend them either way. What a band. They’re like ’80s Brit pop-influenced rock, I guess you could say.