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| 3 October 2012 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

We caught up with Perth’s Diamond Eye this week while they are recording their debut studio album with producer Bob Kulick in The City Of Angels.

Diamond Eye are: Will Kelly – vocals and rhythm guitars, Greg Fawcett – lead guitar and vocals, Chase Cameron – bass guitar, Danny Torre – drums


Danny Torre and Greg Fawcett loading into the studio in Los Angeles
Hey guys – thanks for taking time out from the studio to talk to 100% ROCK MAGAZINE.  You’re in L.A. at the moment recording your debut album with none other than Bob Kulick producing. How is it going so far?

Greg: It’s going really well. We’ve finished drum tracks and the first round of rhythm guitars and started on Bass today. From what I’ve heard so far, this is going to be an amazing album.

How many tracks are you aiming to lay down for the album?

Will: We’re actually working on more than we need for this album. We’re not sure exactly how we’re going to play it as far as how many tracks are put on the album, along with bonus tracks etc, but we do have options, which is a good position for us to be in.

Any extras, like a cover or two for b-sides?

Chase: No covers on this occasion, maybe it’s something we’ll consider in the future, but we’re pretty pumped about the material we have written for this album.

Can you share any titles with us at this stage?

Greg: There are some of our older tracks that we haven’t recorded previously that have got through, along with a lot of new material written specifically for this record. But we’re keeping pretty quiet about content at the moment, all will be revealed in good time [laughs]

What are you planning on calling the album?

Will: We’ve got a couple of ideas in mind, but we really want to get through this process a bit further before we start giving that too much serious thought. Theatre of the Lie is a possibility though.

You must be like kids in a candy store with a whole bunch of studio gear to play with – have your individual sounds evolved in your time there?

Greg: It has certainly been great with the range of gear available to us, and the sound variations of everything. For me personally, I used 2 x 2 amp head combinations and 3 guitars for base rhythm guitars and the tones were mind blowing. I may consider an amp switch at some point in the near future. It’s early days with Bass, so we’ll see what happens with Chase, but from what I heard today, it’s a big, punchy bass tone he’s got too!

Will Kelly in the studio
For the tech heads reading, what sort of kit are you using?

Danny: I used a Gretsch 125th anniversary kit, the last of the shells made by a company called Jasper. I had a 12’, 14’, 16’ tom setup with 2 Sabian crash cymbals. One a Vault, the other a HHX, I also had a Sabian china and ride. I used 3 different snares, depending on the sound we were going for. They consisted of a Dunnet iron snare, Artisan chrome over nickel snare, that Scott Travis from Judas Priest really digs and a Ludwig 74 Superphonic. All DW hardware including DW 9000 pedals. Greg said the sound is like rolling thunder, I have to agree with him.

How is Kulick to work with – I assume he has plenty of stories of his time working with Lou Reed, Meatloaf, Kiss, WASP and even Michael Bolton?

Greg: Bob is great to work with, and so is co-producer Brett Chassen. They’re both awesome guys, funny as hell and really know what they’re doing. They got a lot of stories to tell, but the innocent and guilty must be protected [laughs]

How hands-on are they as producers – getting down n’ dirty with the songs themselves, or focussing purely on your sound and the performances?

Chase: We’re very fortunate to have two producers for this album who specialise in different areas. Bob basically looks after the guitars and bass, while Brett looks after drums and vocals. They work really well together and cover all bases.

Both Bob and Brett will make suggestions, as do all of us, and we go through each idea or point and determine if it improves the song. It’s a pretty hands-on environment for all of us.

Is he aiming to capture the DIAMOND EYE live sound, or to set a new bar for you in terms of a studio sound?

Danny: We’re definitely setting a new bar and going for a high quality studio sound. There’s a lot more thought and time that goes into every frequency, note and strike in the studio and we want to capture Diamond Eye at our very best.

While we’re definitely a live band, this project is about making the best studio album possible.    

Have you been soaking up the history of Los Angeles and the Sunset Strip while you’re there?

Will: Most of our time is spent in the studio, but we’re managing to get out a bit and soak up everything that is LA, including Hollywood and of course the strip. It’s an amazing place.

Has it been all work or are you getting out to see some live music while you can?

Chase: We’ve managed to see a couple of bands since we have been here. Greg and I caught Steel Panther at the Hollywood House of Blues a couple of weeks ago and we all saw Accept and Kreator last week at the Avalon. It was really cool because they were both club shows and the atmosphere and sound was awesome. I’m sure we’ll see a few more bands as they come up too.

Chase Cameron at the studio desk
How have the locals taken to a bunch of long haired Aussie (and Kiwi!) rockers with big accents?

Greg: It’s pretty funny. As we’re living and working out in Van Nuys, which is in “The Valley” it’s not an overly tourist type area. So we do get a lot of people tell us how cool our accents are. But in Hollywood and those sorts of places, I imagine there’s Aussies around pretty regularly. It’s always a good conversation starter with a different accent though.

When is the album likely to be released?

Greg: We are looking at an Australian release in early 2013, but we will determine that and global release dates in the near future. We will talk to some people before we make any decisions on dates and locations, but for now, our focus is to get the tracking done.

Fast forward 12 months – where do you see DIAMOND EYE?

Will: Ideally we want to be touring and promoting the album internationally and preparing for our follow up record.

If at that point you return to Los Angeles, where’s the first place you’ll head for?

Greg: That’s a tough one, as we’re all into different things. For me, probably The Rainbow, it’s a pretty cool place to hangout.

Have you been doing any groundwork to get back to The States for a tour?

Will: Not as yet, our time and energy is going completely into the recording process. If the album is not given our everything and allowed to be the very best it can be, there is no point in touring. That being said, we will certainly talk to some people while we’re here though.

What has DIAMOND EYE got lined up for the rest of 2012?

Greg: We’re home in November and have a couple of festival shows lined up being Blood Rock Fest on November 17 and Scorcherfest on December 16. I understand we’re also appearing on Telethon in early November also.

We will also be finalising mixing and mastering of the album and looking at filmclips etc, so we will be very busy in anticipation of the 2013 release.

If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording of any album in history – what would it be, and why?

Greg: To have been a part of Queen’s “A Night At The Opera” would have been cool. Just to witness the creation of Bohemian Rhapsody. Nothing will ever come close to it as far as being so epic and unique.

Danny: At the mixing sessions of Metallica’s and Justice for All album and tell them to turn the bass up!

Will: Writing “Beat It” on Michael Jackson’s Thriller and enjoying the royalties.

Chase: Iron Maiden, Live After Death, after having kicked Steve Harris off stage and playing the recorded shows!

Finally guys – what for you is the Meaning Of Life?

Greg: You’re here for a good time, not a long time.

Danny: zzzzzzzzzz…

Will: Learning to live, learning to love and learning to love living.

Chase: To be happy and live every moment to the fullest.

Thanks for your time, good luck with the rest of the recording and we look forward to seeing you when you get back!

Greg: Thanks, we look forward to seeing you and all of our our friends when we return to Perth, and we can’t wait for you to hear the album!


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Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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