Metal Nexus recently conducted an interview with vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen and guitarist Brian Tatler of NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) legends DIAMOND HEAD. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether DIAMOND HEAD‘s older fanbase has welcome Andersen with open arms:
Rasmus: “Absolutely. I think you can never win over everyone. I understand and respect the memory of the original lineup, the original band, what they listened to when they were kids and teenagers growing up, etcetera, that’s completely fine. So, you can never really win everyone over, but in general, I’d say 99 percent of fans that have come up have been very positive and appreciative and said ‘Thank you so much.’ And ‘You’ve really rocked these songs and you remind me of [original vocalist] Sean [Harris].’ That’s a huge compliment and I take that with open arms. I do find, especially when we did this last release, we did see a younger audience showing up, which is good to see. It’s becoming a mixture of fans, both old and new.”
On the status of DIAMOND HEAD‘s next studio album, which is tentatively due later this year:
Brian: “We’ve still got another song to go and a few tweaks, so it’s not quite ready yet.”
On whether DIAMOND HEAD has landed on an album title for their next LP:
Brian: “Yeah, we’ve got a title and it’s from a song. It’s taken from one of the song titles, but we don’t want to release it just yet. We want to wait to make a big deal of it. I’ve been keeping quiet on that one.”
On whether DIAMOND HEAD‘s next studio album will follow in the path of their 2016 self-titled LP by sticking to the band’s roots, specifically their classic 1980 “Lightning To The Nations” debut:
Brian: “There’s probably a little bit of progression. I think it sounds better sonically. We’ve spent a bit more time on it, but, we have this brief it should sound like DIAMOND HEAD and we try and filter out things that don’t and focus on the style and sound that happened many moons ago. We appreciate fans still like that and I wouldn’t want to move too far away from it. I do have a style, so we may as well make the most of that. It seems to work. We made the mistake of experimenting and moving away from that initial album [‘Lightning To The Nations’] that everyone seems to still like. In hindsight, we probably should have stuck with it, really. It took a few years and a bit of experience to appreciate what we had. In turn, what you lose, what you can lose, if it would have been successful straight off, we may have stuck to a style, a formula, like bands some do, but we didn’t. I think we were constantly looking for the magic formula and not even appreciating we probably found it, but we kind of left it behind. It was a strange situation. We were a very young band. We were signed at 21 and stuff. That first album, we were only 19 when we made ‘Lightning To The Nations’, so there’s a naiveite. We didn’t know everything.”
On what Thrasville Management, the company led by MEGADETH‘s Dave Mustaine and his son Justis, along with CTK Management founder Danny Nozell, brings to the table for DIAMOND HEAD:
Brian: “Obviously, the professionalism and the contacts. We’ve still not had a proper face-to-face meeting with them yet because DIAMOND HEAD is an English band; we’re over in the U.K. We’ve been recording and touring ever since, but we’ve set up a meeting while we’re over here and we hope to meet up on Sunday, I believe, so that would be nice. I’ve known Dave for a long time now. Our paths first crossed in 1991. We went to see MEGADETH at Cambridge Corn Exchange and spoke backstage. Dave graciously agreed to play on the 1993 album ‘Death And Progress’ and we toured. We did a huge European tour with MEGADETH in 2005, so we’ve stayed in touch a few times over the decades. Then, Dave got in touch in December and asked about management. We haven’t even had a manager for ten, fifteen years, so we did it all in-house. We never really had professional management back in the day. It was always a bit amateurish, a bit ‘learning on the job,’ so it’s nice to be working with professional people who know what they’re doing and they’ve done it before.”
On having members of METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX cover “Am I Evil?” during the 2010 “Big 4” concerts:
Brian: “It was very, very flattering. I was honored to have a DIAMOND HEAD song that I co-wrote, ‘Am I Evil?’, covered. I thought to myself, ‘Of all the songs in the world you could pick, they picked ‘Am I Evil’?’ So, that is a huge compliment about how much they like that song and that’s the one they could all agree on that they should cover. There must have been other songs suggested. Maybe a JUDAS PRIEST song, a BLACK SABBATH, so for them all to settle on ‘Am I Evil?’ is a huge compliment. It’s our biggest song and is the one that always goes down the best. I love it. I still think it’s a great song, but to see all those bands come out. The first one was in Sofia in Bulgaria and it was the ‘net, then I got to play it with them when DIAMOND HEAD opening for the ‘Big Four’ at Sonisphere [festival] France, so two huge festivals. I was invited up to play to play ‘Am I Evil?’ and ‘Helpless’, also.”
DIAMOND HEAD‘s latest, self-titled album was released in June 2016 via Dissonance Productions. The effort was the band’s first to feature Andersen and its release ended an eight-year silence for the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal icons.