It’s absolutely inevitable and anyone knowing me or even talking to me (about rock) for a few minutes knows this, that during pretty much any music or tattoo conversation (explanation to follow) I somehow find a way to slip Toronto band Diemonds into the chatter. For those that don’t already know, it’s pronounced “Die-monds”. I have no idea why, and frankly it really, really pisses me off when someone tries to say “Dee-monds”. Do these same people pronounce Bon Jovi‘s song “I’d Dee For You”? I think not, but ranting is not what I’m here to do today. There’s a reason that Diemonds find their way into my music conversations and that’s basically because they and their music totally rock, like (flips head to the side in best valley girl impression) totally! I try to introduce as many people as I can to this awesome Toronto band. I’ve even talked with Ron Keel, yes the same guy who fronts his namesake band, Keel, the guy who gave us “The Right To Rock”, about Toronto’s Diemonds. And their band logo appears in my tattoo, another great way to slip them into conversations when folks request to photograph my arm (happens more than you’d think). Simply put I love this band and I’ve been banging the Diemonds drum for years. I’m not alone in this and it’s great to see that things have really started to happen for Diemonds. They’ve toured Canada, the US and India, played the M3 Festival pre-party, Heavy Montreal Festival, Rocklahoma Festival, KISS Kruise IV and opened for just about every major band that’s stopped in Toronto. They’ve been featured in big newspapers, magazines and hugely important media websites (Decibel Geek). Recently, Diemonds have announced that they have been signed to eOne Music of Canada, with their third full-length album, Never Wanna Die, due to hit store (Amazon/eBay/iTunes) shelves on August 14, 2015. Here’s a live video I shot in December for “Get The Fuck Outta Here” (also seen below) when they set stage for Sebastian Bach in Toronto.
Friday May 8, 2015 saw my hometown heroes (everyone should have a hometown band to champion…I have a few actually) performing a gig for Canadian Music Week (CMW), which also saw bars exhibiting extended liquor serving hours :). I was, of course, on hand, I’ve missed only a couple of Diemonds shows over the past couple of years (damn working for a living), at The Hideout on Queen St. Toronto for their midnight set time. Arriving after spending the earlier portion of the evening at The Toronto Blue Jays baseball game, we had just enough time to grab a frosty and catch The Standstills opening the event. I couldn’t place it, but I’ve seen these Standstills guys (well, guy and girl two person band) somewhere before. Decent they were and I shall watch out for them again, but it was Diemonds that I was awaiting. As the band arranged gear on the small (well, certainly gonna be tight for five of them) stage, vocalist Priya Panda (She Demons) noticed me, nodding as she watched her bandmates from side stage. Cool! Recently, during the Diemonds announcement of the label signing and record release I noticed that bassist Tommy Cee was no longer listed as a member of the band, instead Adam Zlotnik filled the void. Apparently, so I was told, Tommy Cee decided to move on to a more career-style of income feeling the pressures of life beginning to mount up. Good luck sir, you will certainly be missed by this fan (no offence to the new guy of course).
The moment was at hand, so excited was I (why do I feel a little like a 13-year-old boy with an erection right now? Well, Priya is on stage :)) as C.C. Diemond (guitar), Aiden Tranquada (drums), Daniel Dekay (guitar), Adam Zlotnik (bass) and the lovely Priya Panda (vocals) flooded the stage. Ripping immediately out of the gates was the adrenaline charger of “Meet Your Maker” leading the pack. Holy crap was it loud in here! Maybe it’s the low ceilings in The Hideout or the cavernous design of the wall decor but Diemonds were absolutely louder than hell already tonight. Cool! Priya was also quite clear in the mix tonight, something that sometimes is a little weaker as she gets drowned out by the wailing guitar work of C.C. Diemond and Daniel Dekay, but a lot of that is probably due to my usually being stage front where the mix is not at its optimum. Diemonds continued to pummel the “reasonably full” crowd with selections from the forthcoming Never Wanna Die album including, “Hell Is Full”, “Forever Untamed”, “Ain’t That Kinda Girl”, “Over It”, “Better Off Dead” and the title track, “Never Wanna Die”. The only inclusion (although I’d heard “Never Wanna Die” and “Meet Ur Maker” previously in live sets) that I really knew from the stellar Bad Pack record was “Get The Fuck Outta Here”. I was sure to secure myself a copy of the setlist from the stage on completion of the way too short set, happy as a pig in shit after seeing my beloved Diemonds. Time for more frosty’s and chatter with friends, although I’m not sure exactly how we could even hear each other. Diemonds were so very, awesomely loud tonight! My ears may actually be bleeding! Cool! As a little time passed, the inevitable tattoo discussions and a few photos popped up (my tattoo is a little unique apparently, but to me it’s just a testament to the music I love). There’s Daniel Dekay over there! I’ve not met him in person previously, but the guy checking out my tattoo artist’s work excitedly called him over to point out the Diemonds logo nestled between Scorpions and Warlock/Doro. Dekay let out a whoop, excitedly exclaiming “this guy has my band name on his arm!” Cool! Next Diemonds set I know of is opening for Lita Ford in August, God please let there be another one before that!
Never Wanna Die out August 14, 2015…buy it, that’s an order! (also buy The Bad Pack…links below)
PHOTO GALLERY by BILL CAIRNS (and his trusty little point and shoot camera)