A talk with
BRANDON BAUMANN (Lead Vocals)
(Questionnaire by Sloof)
Gaining 85 out of 100 with the review of their third album ‘Terrorizer’ needs a sequel, so the decision was quickly made to have a chat with this American band. We want to know a little more about The making of and of course we want to know what the future will bring, so let’s get connected with Los Angeles, California, to have a chat with one of the members of Diamond Lane!
Q: First of all, introduce us to the band, who is responsible for what and how did it all start?
A: Boom! Well, right out of the gates you’re talking to Brandon, I’m the lead vocalist, and I have to say it’s a pleasure to be here. The band started in the early 2000s when myself and Jarret Reis (guitar) met when we were just teenagers in high school. We bonded over a kinship of hard rock and metal music that few people in our school embraced the way we did. We knew we were two peas in a pod, so to speak. From there, for the better part of that decade we were writing, recording, playing and overall improving our abilities and stock value to be contenders in the rock n roll game. We relocated to Los Angeles in 2009 and through that period we linked up with all the current members of the band Ray Zhang on bass, Frankie Lindia on guitar, and finally last year with Dave Vandigitty, and now the band is complete. We’re firing on all cylinders and we’re super excited about attacking the road and opportunities that lay ahead.
Q: The name of the band is Diamond Lane. That needs a little explanation, what is exactly meant by Diamond Lane, I guess it’s more than just ‘an avenue with diamonds’. What is the deeper meaning?
A: In California, the “diamond lane” is the “express lane” so when we were in the early stages of figuring out what to call ourselves, the idea of no stop signs, hitting the gas and just going for it, seemed appropriate. Plus, Diamond Lane sounds pretty damn cool to me!
Q: Was it hard to find the right members for the band, was it a struggle to become a stable line up?
A: Absolutely without a doubt finding the key members is a quintessential component of your ultimate success. We’ve been through a lot of trial and error and we’ve realized that you are only as strong as your weakest link. The line up we have now is THE line up. We’ve never been stronger and we’re only getting better. Throughout the journey, you meet people who appear to have good intentions and a great work ethic but the results always speak for themselves, and while it’s been very difficult, it’s been very easy to quickly figure out what it is we’re looking for. Thankfully now, that nightmare is over. We can move forward living the dream.
Q: Did some of the members play in other bands before. If so, please mention the most important ones…
A: Never. It’s always been about Diamond Lane and Diamond Lane only.
Q: The band was formed in 2001; what was the initial idea, what was the goal when you started Diamond Lane? Is there any goal or path that you want to reach or follow?
A: Jarret and I started the band because we love heavy metal and hard rock music. We love playing it. We love writing it. And we LOVE the power of the inspiration that comes with loving the art form. We just wanted to kick ass and have fun, and it didn’t hurt with picking up the ladies either. So now, with a whole mess of years under our belts we’re grown significantly as artists but we are still reaching for the same thing, which is to make quality music that stands the test of time. To entertain people and be a sound track to a great night is what it’s all about.
Q: I was really surprised that Diamond Lane is still unsigned. That’s almost unbelievable, and perhaps that’s why I wrote in my review that I have the idea that the band is deliberately rejecting all possible offers. Perhaps you decide that ‘what you do by yourself, is probably better’, or is it just a matter of ‘holding all strings’ might bring the best result? Correct me if I’m wrong!
A: I think it’s pretty unbelievable, too. We’ve definitely entertained some offers in years prior, but you’ve got to know when the right situation comes. We haven’t seen that yet. However, we’re at a perfect point in our inception that teaming with the right label or company would be a complete game changer that could take Diamond Lane to that next level. We’re ready and willing and very eager for that opportunity because I know that we have something great and potent to offer and to contribute to the music community. The line up is locked and loaded, the material is coming at an unprecedented rate. We’ve already begun pre-production and sinking our teeth in to the new record. So having been a hard working, DIY band through and through -- no management, no label, no booking -- I have a vast appreciation and great respect for all the work that goes into keeping yourself afloat and having a presence in a music world with limitless options. We’re going to take this all the way.
Q: When I look at the pictures, you all have the looks and exposure, so I guess it’s only a matter of time before Diamond Lane will dwell the world and party all day and play all night. Is that why people play or start a band? A kind of escape of the daily grind?
A: Wow, that would be absolutely amazing. I appreciate that you see the dedication and hard work that the band brings to the table. Music is each one of our passions, much more than the drinking beer and turning our amps up to “11.” We love what we do and any opportunity to write & play music is a gift. Taking Diamond Lane across the world, playing the shows, making THAT the day to day in life is the goal. Unfortunately, you gotta do what you gotta do to take care of your responsibilities. I truly believe that we are absolutely on the right path and it is only a matter of time. I think from both sides of the stage, escapism is definitely a part of it. Us being in a fortunate position to provide a little escape from the fans’ day to day grind, that’s the magic right there.
Q: What can you tell us about the music of Diamond Lane. How would you describe the songs and third album?
A: The songs on “Terrorizer” are a cohesive batch and they definitely have classic and heavy metal elements all the while still maintaining a fresh modern perspective told from the POV of music lovers and fans. The performances are absolutely killer. In our music we try to incorporate things that move us in the music that we listen to and stay true to the reasons why we like classic rock and metal so much. It’s our life blood. We’re just telling our version of the tale.
Q: Did the band evolve through the years, is this album the logical next step in the career of the band, compared with the previous 2 albums?
A: Well there will always be evolution and growth because you’re always, or at least should be, on the quest to be better and improve. We never want to get into the habit of repeating ourselves and without a doubt this is the panicle representation of Diamond Lane, currently.
Q: What are the reactions of fans and press so far? Is it beyond expectations?
A: I don’t think there were any expectations, and that was the beautiful part. We didn’t have any goals or particular focus just reacting to what felt good when we created it. In that, the response has been overwhelmingly positive across the board. A lot of the same themes weave throughout the responses and reactions in the short time it’s been released.
Q: What are the plans for the next coming weeks and months? Will you promote ‘Terrorizer’ as much as possible live on a stage, or is it hard to get gigs?
A: We’re going to promote ‘Terrorizer’ on as many stages as we can. We’re absolutely always looking of the right situation to get involved with, because I know we’d slay on the largest stages with the biggest band out there. We’re ready to seize that opportunity; although bridging that particular gap has it’s challenges without having representation.
Q: Title of the third album is ‘Terrorizer’, is it the common name for the songs on the album, perhaps the collective noun for all topics that are handled in the songs individually?
A: I think you hit it on the head! ‘Terrorizer’ absolutely sums up the theme vibe and subject matter of the songs. We all have terrorizers in our life and they come in many shapes and forms.
Q: Is Diamond Lane a band that is focusing on Europe, or do you believe that the musical style is more U.S. orientated?
A: I think that Diamond Lane music style is for any one that LOVES hard rock and heavy metal, straight up! I would love to take our music to Europe. Given the opportunity we would graciously accept the challenge to deliver the goods! I know it’s coming.
Q: What are your personal ideas and expectations if we mention Belgium and Holland. Are there any things that pop up in your head when you hear about these places/countries?
A: I’ve heard great things… it will be a great treat to learn the lay of the land out that way!
Q: The album was presented at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. How did it turn out?
A: The show was a great success. It was awesome to finally release the music we were working on for so long and take that next step in to the new era of Diamond Lane.
Q: Do you still have shows in the U.S. for a +21 audience, or is it easier to go to a rock show nowadays?
A: It’s a mix of both. Most clubs have age restrictions, but a lot of the bigger venues are all ages or +18. There is something so exciting about looking out and seeing the next generation of little rockers. You have those that got to see Led Zeppelin and the original The Who line up in the crowd with their children and grand children. Rock n Roll will NEVER die. To see a 5 year old throw you the horns, it’s a total trip. You can’t help it but throw it right back. Start em young and teach em right! Metallica … Disposable Pop Bullshit. All day every day.
Q: We know much more about the band, perhaps you want to mention something more or a special story, here is your spot!
A: I just want to say thanks Patrick for helping to give Diamond Lane a voice in Europe! It’s with great sincerity when I say that I tremendously look forward to when we finally get to perform our music overseas with you. Until then, it’s all about keeping it to the grindstone, soaking up every minute, under-promising and over delivering. One thousand Cheers my friend…keep those beers on ice, Diamond Lane is coming.