When I think of Denmark I think of cold beers and hygge. Not metalcore and aggression. But perhaps I’m still living in a clouded dream. DIAMOND DRIVE might be the new New. Answers by: Troels Pedersen (lead-singer). Anders Ekdahl ©2013
I gotta say that in my head your band name doesn’t really match the style of metal you play. Why the choice of band name?
-I was not a part of the band when the decision of the name was made, but I’ve been told that it represents the contrast in our music – beauty meets energy – and you might think it’s gay, but you must remember, that the expression of Diamond Drive has changed a lot since 2006 – at that time the band was considered a hard rock-band and had fairly little metal elements to its sound. I like the name cause it’s easy to articulate in English, which is generally a problem for the Danish people, haha.
What is the metalcore scene like in Denmark? Is there such a scene?
-Well, personally I don’t consider Diamond Drive as a metalcore band. We’ve been labeled all kinds of different genres, such as modern thrash and melodic death. I like to think of it as melodic groove metal, but you know.. It’s a matter of opinion. Anyways, I do believe there’s room for metalcore bands in Denmark, but the metal scene is more or less divided into subgenres – new wave vs. oldschool, melodic vs. black metal, etc – and basically there’s a lot of audience segregation within danish metal music. The conception of one metal scene and one metal-community belongs to the past – and in the end it’s the majority who dominates the metal scene, which I believe is the more conservative audience. We receive a lot of great feedback from outside of Denmark and it seems that the metal scene is basically more open to change abroad. The fact that we have put ourselves in between different genres – harmony and aggression, metal and rock – is both a hindrance and an advantage when attempting to make our way in the modern metal industry.
I don’t really get the whole Volbeat hype. Why is that band being hailed by everybody and his grandmother?
-I don’t believe Volbeat is being hailed entirely by the “metal-community”. On the one hand they’ve managed to reach the oldschool generation that grew up with Johnny Cash, Elvis and Metallica, and on the other hand appeal to the younger rock-audience through their commercialized approach to metal music – and in order to achieve such a successful career, reaching a wide audience is absolutely significant. It’s unusual for a metal band to make it as far as Volbeat, but their music has changed radically throughout the years and has become very commercialized and easy to absorb, and to many people, who don’t share our love for metal music, it’s a matter of finally being able to relate to the metal-genre. It’s for the same reason that metal-heads won’t accept commercialized music in their definition of metal, cause it’s a profound part of our identity as metal-heads to stand in stark contrast to the “popular culture”. Plus.. you know.. Volbeat is also a pokemon, so there’s a lot of kids playing around with their CD’s, wondering whether it can beat Pikachu or not.
How much do the Danish media look for the next Volbeat? How much has their success taken attention away from your music?
-It still amazes me when I find out, that Volbeat is headlining Wacken or that they’ve sold nearly a million copies of their latest album, because the hype is primarily increasing outside of Denmark. Maybe it’s lack of publicity in Denmark, maybe it’s me not following their career, but I don’t experience much attention on Volbeat from the Danish media. Needless to say their success has taken no attention away from upcoming bands in Denmark, actually it may have influenced the international media to keep an eye on the Danish metal scene and made room for metal in the Danish music culture.
How pleased are you with your latest recorded work? What kind of expectations do you have on it?
-I’m very pleased with the final result. We’ve spent a long time writing this album and we’ve put a lot of energy creating the result that we envisioned, and pushing it into the market is such a relief, cause it’s been a difficult process to us. To see the transition of each song from being a draft on the computer to become a part of a record is amazing and it takes a lot of hard work to reach the point, where everything seems to be finished. I would lie if I told you, that I had no expectations whatsoever for the release of the album, but I’ve tried to push it down, cause we are only just started and there’s a long road ahead of us. However we do hope that it will be well received by the media and those already following us, but it’s also a promotional strategy to get our name out there and releasing an album increases our chances of that. We don’t care about revenue or fame, but we love playing our music live and it’s easier to gather an audience if people know our name and music.
Is there an image to being in DIAMOND DRIVE? What is image to you?
-That’s a good question. Every band has its signature and identity, but I guess it’s hard to explain it when you are a part of the group. We’ve always been told that we are very professional in our work and I believe we do things in our own way, but to make an accurate description of our image is impossible for me. We like to think of Kalle, our bass-player, as the image of Diamond Drive, cause he’s such a good-looing guy and it’s easy to hide the rest of our ugly faces behind the flying motion of his hair during a stage performance. But it is important to make a signature and image for the band in order to stand out and make people recognize your music and performance.
How important is the whole aesthetic, from art work to band photos to backdrops and whatnot?
-To us it’s quite important. I mean.. we are artists and the visuals are just as important as the sound when creating multimedia. Aesthetic might be the wrong word, but we are definitely consistent in our creation of visual material. We had Mircea Eftemie, who have made artwork for Soilwork, Strapping young lad and Threat Signal, creating the artwork for “Temporality” and he perfectly converted our vision into the album cover, which ever since has been our preferred visual expression.
What kind of topics do you deal with in your lyrics? How political are you guys?
-Our lyrics deal with topics within a range of philosophy, politics, sociology and psychology – basically everything of human concern. “Temporality” deals with the topic of our creation of the world, the systems that lies within it, the way we organize our surroundings and the internal impact that we have on each other. Humans are fascinating and I could write thousands of records on the topic of how we act, behave and organize our way out of any obstruction ahead of us – and it’s not the fact that we are capable of doing those things, it’s the meaningless inhumane actions that are really interesting to me. We consistently avoid the topic of politics when it comes to ideology, cause it’s of no artistic interest to us. Instead we’re dealing with the topic of organizing people into cultures and societies and the relation between citizens and politicians, which today is just a rhetorical battle of who is most convincing, cause we all know there’s no action associated with the statements that we make.
What is Denmark like to be a band in? How much support is there for the arts in Denmark?
-Like anything else it’s a matter of economically value, so there’s not much political support for metal music, but I mean… We can apply for financial support from different private and political entities, like for our album we received financial support from our local municipality for the recording and mastering of the album. And I believe the same thing applies for other kinds of art, but it’s expensive to be Danish so it’s difficult to make any money from it. Anyways, most venues have great fascilities and we have a lot of great associations that take really good care of us, so the circumstances are pretty good.
What would the ideal future hold?
-A lot of touring and a lot of great shared experiences with each other and the audience. This is the only payment we can expect from making music and it’s the only reason why we do it. The ideal future would hold nothing but what we have got going on now, except that we hope to get more abroad, playing festivals and meeting people from other cultures. That’s our mission!