Rotherham based Alt rockers Diamond Velocity have been known to the describe their sound as a “giant volcanic cloud of blackberry candyfloss filled with razor blades!” that sounds pretty bloody fantastic to me so we just had to check them out.
The bands debut album Without Spells, is a hard hitting combination of big drums, melodic guitars and the unique soaring voice of Sylwia, it’s a compelling listen.
The band have played some pretty high profile gigs this year and their cover of classic jazz song I Put A Spell On You is featured on a movie soundtrack, so they are definitely going places and ones to watch out for, so we took this opportunity to grab an interview with them.
Please introduce yourself to our readers?
Sylwia: We are Diamond Velocity. James Allen on lead guitar, Alex Short on drums, Sylwia Drwal on vocals .
Where did the name Diamond Velocity come from?
James: We struggled with the band name for a while since Guns n Roses was already taken :p
Sylwia: Even though Diamond Velocity has no obvious grammatically correct meaning we wanted to find the way to describe a blinding reflection of light filled with particles after an explosion in a cave made purely out of diamonds.
How did you get started?
Sylwia: Me and James met through mutual friends a while ago, we quickly realised we share love for rock n roll and decided to write songs that will reflect that. We knew Alex was an excellent drummer as we were both studying music at the same college so we invited him on board, it was a good choice :p
What have you got going on at the moment?
Sylwia: At the moment we are working on our second album. Our debut release came out just two months ago but with our new bassist Luke Wade on board we have tonnes of new ideas.
Alex: We have few good shows coming up at The Leadmill in Sheffield and Rotherham’s biggest music festival, Rotherham Show, which is always amazing.
Favourite music and why?
James: Within the band our influences are very diverse, from old school rock through blues, metal, folk. Some our favorite artists are: Slash, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Bjork, 30 Seconds to Mars, Queen and The Darkness.
Favourite book and why?
Alex: “Lord of the Rings” has to be up there!
Sylwia: I am reading ‘The Book Of Shadows’ which is interesting to say the least…
Favourite film and why?
Sylwia: We never agree on liking the same movie, haha.
James: Good Horror movie is always a great choice…it has to be good though, not many of those out there, haha.
Sylwia: I have to say Dark Knight Rises was amazing.
Alex: Lord of the rings, again 🙂
Best experience in the business so far ?
James: The best experience recently was walking into local bar and hearing our song blasting through the speakers.
Sylwia: Signing someone’s chest with a permanent marker was pretty good too 🙂 Worst experience? Probably being booked to play a “Festival” which turned out to be a children’s fare… our look and lyrics did not fit in at all haha!
Why should Soundscape readers care?
Sylwia: Haha! Is this a rhetorical question? :p They should care because we make good music which translates into vibrant. slightly crazy live performances.
Tell our readers an interesting fact about the band?
James: We like burritos, we had so many breakfast burritos in one week at our local restaurant that Sylwia ended up with a stomach ulcer!
What’s the best and worst things about touring?
Alex: Starting from the best is travelling, hanging out, playing to a new crowd, just being a band.
Sylwia: The worst? Carrying the gear, someone seems to get injured every time, haha.
Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?
James: Nothing that we are aware of …
What’s your writing and recording process?
Sylwia: We usually start working on ideas separately then me and James meet to join the riffs and lyrics, sometimes each one of us will have an idea for melody and structure.
James: We always write the song in acoustic version first. We then bring the raw version of the song to the practice room for Alex to add his suggestions and transform the acoustic version into rock.
Sylwia: When entering the studio we like the songs to be still raw and finalise writing process while recording.
What inspires you?
Sylwia: Music full stop, seeing bands like Black Sabbath releasing amazing new albums, watching legends like Steve Vai and Slash perform live, but often we inspire each other. Coming from different musical backgrounds we share the music we grew up on. It had a huge impact on how our sound developed recently.
Best thing about playing in Wales?
James: EVERYTHING, WALES IS AWESOME!!
Who are your role models/idols?
Sylwia: For me it has to be Kate Bush, her whole persona, stage movement combined with experimental vocal techniques and the craft of her song writing, I just love her. If I could be someone I’d be her, I love Slash too but that’s mainly because he is hot!
James: I wouldn’t say I have one idol. If I had to narrow it down to few it would be Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Steve Vai. All for different reasons, Toni Iommi has to be up there too.
Alex: Jared Leto. He achieved so much. He is a musician, a model, an actor. Who would not want to be him?
In your opinion whats the hardest thing about the current business?
Sylwia: It’s very expensive, making a demo/album is a big investment. And without a good demo people just don’t care…
James: building a fan base is a big task too.
What are Diamond Velocity’s future plans?
Sylwia: On the 5th Of September we are meeting with Big Sky records to discuss signing a publishing contract before we enter the studio to record new material. We have a big and very theatrical unplugged show coming up in the end of October which should be one of best gigs yet, with our drummer moving to London very soon we will be playing more London based shows…
And in long run we want to get our music to us many people as possible.
Favourite Batman actor?
James: Without a doubt, Heath Ledger for obvious reasons.
Sylwia: Christian Bale is better looking though haha!