Friday, May 20, 2011

Band Spotlight: Diamond Plate

Haven't heard of Diamond Plate? Take note now, fellow thrashers, because this is a band that could jump straight to the forefront of the New Wave of Thrash Metal.

The band are from Chicago, Illinois and are signed to Earache Records (home of Evile, Bonded By Blood, Municipal Waste, and Gamma Bomb). I chatted with lead guitarist Konrad Kupiec by phone the other day.

The Metalman: How did you guys get started in thrash metal?

Konrad Kupiec: To us itwas just kind of a natural thing, you know, we grew up listening to bands like Metallica and Testament and Pantera and all that and it was just a natural thing. It was just us kind of wearing our influences on our sleeves, so to speak. When we started we were just 15 year-old kids living in the suburbs of Chicago, not really knowing there was this whole scene about to erupt all over the U.S. of new thrash bands. We just kind of released our stuff and realized that there was already so many other bands already doing it. It was cool to become part of a scene without really knowing about it.

The Metalman: Off the top of my head I can't really think of any thrash bands from Chicago. How did you guys end up getting noticed in a town with almost no thrash scene?

K.K.: That's another thing that caught us by surprise. You know, discovering that there were so many other bands doing it all over the U.S., but that in Chicago there was really no one doing it. I guess it just gave us more motivation and put some fire under us to really start a scene out here.

The Metalman: You guys have got an E.P. called Relativity. However, I believe that you have sold out of the physical copies of that E.P., right?

K.K.: Yeah. The E.P. was released in mid-2009 and I think it sold out maybe a year ago or so.

The Metalman: I've been looking on websites like and iTunes and I noticed that the Relativity E.P. is available for purchase there.

K.K: Yeah, you can still get it through all the digital outlets and I'm sure it's somewhere on torrents and shit so you can definitely get it for free.

The Metalman: You guys get the money from the digital sales, right?

K.K.: Yeah. iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, all that stuff we definitely get money for still.

The Metalman: So you guys are signed to Earache Records now and you've got your new album coming out in August. Am I correct about that?

K.K: Yep, I don't think there's a set release date yet for which day in August but it'll definitely be in August. Probably within the first or second week.

The Metalman: I saw your Earache label mates Evile are also releasing an album in August. That's gotta be cool, right?

K.K: Yeah, there's comes out August 29th so our's should be a good 2 weeks before that, at least.

The Metalman: So what's the title of your debut album going to be?

K.K: The title is Generation Why?. It's a little play on words.

The Metalman: Awesome title! Are you guys still recording the record or is it finished?

K.K: The actual recording of the record has been done since February/March and by the end of April we were pretty much done with mixing and mastering it. We've just been working on artwork and all that. Apparently the record is in the production phase now. Were just waiting on Earache to release all the info to the world. So the record's been done. It's just a waiting game now.

The Metalman: Can you tell us who produced the album?

K.K: It was produced by Neil Kernon. He's worked with everyone from Cannibal Corpse to Nevermore.   He's just an absolute genius when it comes to producing metal and records period.

The Metalman: Are you guys going to have a tour to support the new record when it comes out?

K.K: Yeah, that's something that we've been working on over the past 2 weeks. We'll definitely be going out on a full U.S. tour in August/September and then we've already started planning for some stuff in the spring. I can't say anything about that yet but will definitely be touring our asses off as soon as the record comes out.

The Metalman: Planning on touring Europe any time soon or are you just sticking to the States for right now?

K.K: Just the U.S. for right now. I know Earache kind of wants to break us into the U.S. right now and then as soon as we've got some buzz going we'll bring it over to Europe and pretty much everywhere else. That's the plan.

The Metalman: Do you get to see any of the other big name acts on Earache? Are you hoping to go on tour with them?

K.K: Yeah, hopefully we'll be seeing them a lot on the road. We're good friends with Bonded By Blood.  I've met Evile a few times when they've come through Chicago. They are all really cool guys. Definitely looking forward to meeting them more and spending some time with them. Hopefully we'll tour together.

The Metalman: You mind if I ask a few guitar-related questions seeing as your Diamond Plate's guitar player?

K.K:  No, of course, man. Go for it.

The Metalman: What kind of guitars are you playing these days?

K.K: Right now my main axe is the ESP. ESP guitars are definitely my favorite. On the album I played a whole variety of guitars to get different tones. Everything from my new Gibson ES-355, which totally, totally rules, to Fender guitars for some nice clean tones. As far as live, ESP is the way to go.

The Metalman: You got anybody endorsing you at this point?

K.K: Not yet. Hopefully once we start touring and getting the name out there someone will pick us up.

The Metalman: Got any favorite amps to speak of?

K.K: Engle all the way. It's just the perfect amp for metal, I think.

The Metalman: Any favorite new bands that push you to be even better?

K.K: I think as far as The New Wave of Thrash goes my 2 personal favorites at the moment are Havok and Revocation. I been listening to them a lot lately. Them releasing really good albums has kind of been like motivation for us to kind of blow them away, in a non-competitve kind of way, of course.

The Metalman: Any non-metal bands that inspire you?

K.K.: As far as guitar playing goes, I'm really inspired by a lot of the jazz musicians. Not even guitar players. Guys like John Coltrane or Thelonious Monk are just huge influences on me, just as far as musicianship and everything. Were all huge fans of bands like Pink Floyd, Alice in Chains, and Faith No More, which aren't necessarily metal but they are still huge influences on all of us.

The Metalman: I've got one more question for you and then I'll let you go.

K.K.: No problem, dude.

The Metalman: I know you guys have talked about adding a second guitar player. Have you found one yet?

K.K: We just announced a few weeks ago that a good friend of ours, Mario (Cianci), is going to be joining us full time. Up until this point we've always been a three piece. After a lot of self-evaluation and thinking about what we could improve on we all agreed that adding a second guitar player would just kind of enhance our live sound. We reached out to Mario who lives in Florida and he flew out here and auditioned and he was just the perfect guy for it. He's actually been in the band since late last year but we didn't officially announce until a few weeks ago.

The Metalman: So are you going to play lead guitar?

K.K: Yeah, predominantly him rhythm and me lead, but, I'm sure that there will be some nice twin solos on the second album and live.

The Metalman: I think that's about all I have for you.

K.K.: Awesome man. Thanks for the interview

The Metalman: Have a good day.

K.K: Later man.

Keep checking back in with Metal Up Your Thrash for Diamond Plate updates. As soon as the tour is announced we will post the dates, here.

You can purchase the Relativity E.P. here:

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