Due to some scheduling snafus I was unable to catch Diamond Plate’s set when they played South By So What Music Festival here in Grand Prairie, TX two weeks ago with fellow tour mates Revocation, 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross, and of course, the mighty Death Angel. I was pretty bummed, but getting a chance to speak with Konrad Kupiec (guitars) and Matt Ares (bass/vocals) afterwards made it all better. Besides, I know they’ll be back. They have to come back. I owe them some barbecue!! We talked about killer new record Pulse (out now!), and what Matt’s brought to the band. Check out the little chat we had, screaming into the recorder to hear ourselves over 3IOB kickin’ asses down below us. It was fun:
Amps: so tell me…how has this run with Death Angel, absolute legends of thrash metal been?
Konrad: Words can’t express it, you know what I mean? We’re six shows in right now and it’s getting better and better. From a playing standpoint with us, we’re growing, and every band is really connecting with each other. It’s been awesome!
Konrad: I don’t know what the hell we’re doing on this tour, but…
Amps: Oh, I know why you’re there. Your playing speaks for itself. Now Matt, you sing on this record, your first with the band. That aside, what about this one is different from the earlier stuff? Because I noticed a little more of a groove/funk thing going on in places. What can you guys tell me about that?
Konrad: I think the groove that you’re hearing it’s just the way we approached the songs. On that first record, those are songs we’ve had since we were kids, just putting riffs together. These songs on the other hand, they were all written in the same room together. And instead of just putting riffs together, it was putting parts and grooves into place. Like, “Alright, I feel fuckin’ pissed off right now, so let me write something about it”, and that’s why that particular song has that feel to it. It’s just a different approach, I suppose. And Jim (Nicademus) our drummer had a role in writing the riffs as well. A lot of the songs start out with drum patterns, then guitars going on top of that, whereas before it was the other way around. With us, the drums are the fuckin’ foundation, and we build from that. I think that’s where people pick up on the groovier aspects.
Amps: So, you said that you guys all wrote together. Matt did you have a hand in some writing?
Matt: Most of the material was already there between Jim and Konrad. I just came in and filled in cracks here or there. I mostly contributed lyrics, like half of them. But we all collaborate on those, too.
Konrad: When we write lyrics, we all sit and collaborate, so we know what the fuck we wanna say, so that way onstage, we say it as a band. There’s no, “Oh, well I don’t really give a shit about the song”. It means something to all of us.
Amps: Matt, what does it mean to you to be in a band with these guys now?
Matt: It means the world to me, man. This has been my dream, to play in a heavy metal band since before high school. And it’s been a long time comin’. I worked my ass off in local bands for years before this. It was serendipity. They needed a bass player, and I needed an outlet, so we fit. It works very well together, I think.
Amps: It does! Because you’re on this massive tour with a veteran band like Death Angel, is there anything you’ve learned, or taken away that you can apply to your future stage shows and tours?
Konrad: I would say that obviously, their show is amazing, but what I’ve gotten most from them is the way that they treat us and the rest of the tour package. They’re the realest motherfuckers I’ve ever toured with and they’ll come out and say hey. I mean, who the fuck am I? Who the fuck are we for them to be interested in wanting to talk to us. It’s a humbling thing to experience. And it inspires me, as we grow, to always remember to treat others the way we’ve been treated. It’s only six shows in, but they’ve made a pretty big impression on us. Plus they rip it up onstage, and that motivates us to rip it up even more.
Amps: When this run of SIX MILLION kickass bands on one bill is over, what’s next?
Konrad: (Laughs) we’re gonna keep touring. There’s nothing really locked in yet. We’re hoping that by the end of this tour we’ll have another one lined up, so we can just keep going. We’re down to play anywhere with anyone. This is the only thing we have and the only thing that we love.
Amps: Is there anything you want to say to the Diamond Plate fans out there?
Konrad: Thank you. Without you there would be no Diamond Plate. The fans make this happen, and we are eternally grateful.
Matt: Thanks for being so open-minded and bearing with us. We’ve been through a lot of change and stress, and you guys make it all so worth it. Thank you very much for helping us to put on a good show.
I love Diamond Plate, let me just say that now. I thought they were a cool band before, but after hanging out with them long after the recorder was turned off, I can say they are awesome, awesome guys, and one of the coolest, and brightest young bands out there today with a BIG future ahead of them.
I picked up a CD for them to sign for Mini-Amps like I always try to do, and they even tracked down Jim in some remote part of the stadium just to get him to sign it, too. In fact, Konrad wasn’t letting me have it UNTIL all three of them signed it, so that should tell you what kind of guys they are. If you’re looking for a badass trio who just plugs in and rips shit up, then you absolutely MUST pick up Pulse from Diamond Plate. I sure as hell can’t wait till they come back to Dallas, either. Hurry up, boys…your barbecue’s getting cold!