turned out to be a phenomenal year for Diamond
Head, and especially a very exciting time for
the fans as the tours with Tesla and Thin Lizzy
seemed to pop up out of nowhere. How did these
tours come about, and what have been the highlights
of the last twelve months for you?
We were in the right place at the right time,
and of course able to say yes. You have to be
on the radar to get gigs like this and we have
been working hard for a number of years now to
get to this posistion. The highlight was the Thin
Lizzy tour - it was a great opportunity for Diamond
Head and we all enjoyed it. It has been Ab's [guitarist
Andy Abberley's] ambition to play Hammersmith
Apollo and we did that so that's one off the list!
how does this compare with 1982/83 for you?
1982 was my favourite year. Diamond Head seemed
to be getting somewhere after six years of building.
We had Borrowed Time out and in the charts, we
did Reading Festival. It was a great time, so
the comparison is that this is much harder - no
record company support, no agency, no tour bus,
no roadies... touring and getting gigs 2007 style
is all about do it yourself.
February you're off to Japan. What are you most
looking forward to about the trip?
Seeing what it's like in Japan. I have never been
there, and I'm looking forward to meeting some
new people and spreading the word.
reviews of What's In Your Head (great artwork
by the way!) have been very encouraging. How did
that album come together?
Nick and I started writing songs back in March
2005 and continued until we went into the studio
September 2006. We had about thirteen days when
we could use Dave 'Shirt' Nicholls as he was on
tour with Stone Sour, and then we had November
and December to finish writing the last few songs
before Shirt came back at the end of January to
record and mix the rest of the album. It took
about 19 days to record and five days to mix,
not including Karl's drums. He recorded the drums
himself in San Francisco and sent them over on
guitars and effects etc did you use to record
the What's In Your Head album?
I use my two Gibson Les Paul Standards, a PRS,
and a Taylor acoustic. I used a Whammy pedal and
some of the effects in the Pod Pro. Most of the
sounds are a combination of different amps - ENGL,
Marshall, Mesa Boogie & Pod.
been playing This Planet And Me, Skin On Skin,
I Feel No Pain, and Killing Me in your set. Why
We did rehearse all the songs from the album but
these sounded the best. We also liked Victim and
Pray For Me but the other four were the stongest.
plans to include others from this album?
may add more as time goes on, but not yet as we
still want to add some different old songs like
Makin' Music and Sweet And Innocent.
Head albums have always shown progression - Canterbury
was a massive departure from Borrowed Time, your
1993 album Death & Progress was contemporary
with the time, as are All Will Be Revealed and
What's In Your Head - they all retain characteristic
Diamond Head trademarks without sounding dated.
How far are you influenced by current bands when
I try not to be influenced by current bands but
little bits do creep into the writing process,
and sometimes you need a point of reference when
you're trying a new song out. It's a bit like...so
that others can get a handle on it. It's interesting
that I can take a snippet of an idea from another
band and once the song is finished no one can
spot where the original idea came from.
did you feel when you realised that the entire
first vinyl pressing of Canterbury had a glitch
I dont know, that was 25 years ago. Depressed,
I suppose. I know it didn't help us get into the
charts... and I got sick of people telling me
their copy of Canterbury jumped, like there was
something I could do about it!
magazine reviews and articles are restricted to
a set number of words and they use up so many
of them talking about Sean Harris and the past,
rather than the present or the future, how does
that make you feel?
Any publicity is good publicity so I don't mind.
The main thing is that people have accepted Nick
in the role as lead singer. Lots of bands have
replaced their lead singer like Iron Maiden, AC/DC,
Van Halen, Deep Purple, Genesis, Black Sabbath,
Uriah Heep etc.Sometimes it has to be done. We
can only do our best with what we have. The future
how about all the comparisons to Metallica/Megadeth
eating into those fixed number of words?
It's great to be associated with such huge bands
and we have gained a lot of fans through them.
debut album Lightning To The Nations was recently
voted the 3rd best album for riffs in Burrrn!
magazine just behind Sabbath's Master Of Reality
and Slayer's Reign In Blood - and ahead of Iron
Maiden, Deep Purple, Motorhead and Led Zeppelin.
How do you feel about that and what sort of feedback
have you had about it?
Not much feedback yet, but obviously I am very
flattered to be nominated amongst such wonderful
albums. 3rd in the world is pretty cool for an
album that was a do-it-yourself job with only
2000 pressings. Riffs 'R Us!
toured with AC/DC, Megadeth etc, and more recently
Thin Lizzy, which bands would you still like to
go on tour with?
AC/DC any day! That was my favourite, and Megadeth
was brilliant too - they were so nice to Diamond
Head. As to touring in the future, I'm not fussy,
I'll support anyone!
us some of your funniest Spinal Tap moments.
We have had a few where we cannot find the stage
from the dressing room. I remember once we played
a gig up north in some cinema type place and there
were loads of plant pots round the front of the
stage so one of us said "You will have to
move these" to which the theatre manager
replied "It was good enough for Roy Castle"....
And one time the intro tape came on while we were
still getting ready and we all panicked and quickly
pulled on our trousers and ran onstage and played
an awful gig. We would sleep in the back of the
van sometimes when we could not find a B+B, and
after one cold night Duncan was stuck to the steel
floor - his sweat had frozen him to the floor
of the van!
with many bands who are experiencing a renaissance,
this time around you've got Myspace, YouTube etc.
How do you feel about the way some of the control
is taken out of what turns up online, e.g. cellphone
footage on YouTube before you've even got home
from the gig?
I don't mind. It's important not to do a bad gig
though, because it will end up on YouTube. Hopefully
people will get sick of the poor quality ones
and the good stuff will remain. Without the Internet
a lot of bands would struggle to get heard. It's
been our fan club and contact point since 1999.
due to MySpace and the renewed interest in 'classic'
rock bands, do you find that your audiences are
including more Diamond Head virgins (that's fans
who've never been to a DH gig before, of course!).
If so, what's the reaction from them? Usually
great! We have met a lot
of first-timers, and any band needs that - we
cannot rely just on the old faithful! I even met
people on the Thin Lizzy tour who said to me "I
have never heard of you before but you were brilliant!"
So after thirty years there are still plenty of
people who have never even heard of us, let alone
seen us or bought the albums. It makes you think...!
of the music business, who are your heroes? Please
suggest up to five heroes, living or dead, and
tell us why.
Richard Branson - because I admire his balls and
the way he uses his energy to make things happen.
Peter Sellers - for all the funny moments he has
created on screen.
Charlie Chaplin - again, for all the funny moments
he has created on screen.
My brother Dave - for getting me started on the
guitar and never losing faith in me.
Steven Spielberg - visionary director.
After the Japan trip, what
else is coming up for Diamond Head in 2008?
We are playing Dock'em
2008 festival in Holland and we have some
more UK dates, and possibly Ireland.
And finally... are you evil?
Yes I'm afraid so. Keep rockin baby! Give it the