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Diamond nights.

FOR THOSE OF YOU who missed out on the late-'70s and early-'80s FM rock smorgasbord of hot licks, tasty riffs, and synth-heavy hooks, New York's newest buzz on the street, Diamond Nights, may be the closest your ears and ass are gonna get. With two EPs and a full length just hitting record store shelves, it appears these sly rift rockers are just getting started. Just don't expect spandex or smoke machines--Diamond Nights are more about the song than they are about creating a spectacle. I recently had the chance to pick frontman Morgan's brain one night over the phone, where he explained to me why Diamond Nights do what they do.

Diamond Nights dips into the '70s and '80s pool of rock for inspiration. I've read articles comparing you to everyone from .38 Special to Billy Idol. Which I hear none of, but then I've got my own ideas.

What do ya hear?

Maybe a little Bob Welch, Robert Palmer, and of course a whole lotta Thin Lizzy.

That's amazing ... Bob Welch, yeah--I love "Sentimental Lady," it's one of my favorite Fleetwood Mae songs. I don't get the Billy Idol reference, but Robert Palmer's "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" is one of my all time favorite songs. And it's no mystery with Thin Lizzy. He's one of the great geniuses [Phil Lynott] of rock and roll, and as a band they're so overlooked. When we started listening to Thin Lizzy, we had a sense that this music was ours. And it wasn't until we started making music inspired by those guys that we realized all the people who love Thin Lizzy were saying the same thing. Most people think "The Boys Are Back in Town" is some southern rock song.

Your songs project a good-time free-wheelin' attitude, which might account for these Darkness comparisons.

It's weird that people think there's only room for one band who's interested in making music that has to do with having a good time and a sense of humor To me, rock has always been about chasing girls, getting drunk, and taking drugs. And I don't think there's anybody who would refute the fact that it's a big part. I feel like reviving those elements is really important; it's as important as The Ramones setting out to revive that simple adolescent attitude in rock. And I was pumped when the Darkness came around. Tim, our drummer, was in Malta and picked up some British magazine and he was reading about them. He was bummed because he wanted us to be the first on the block with the kind of music we were making.

So you guys have been around as long as The Darkness?

Definitely, and we had a sense that people would be interested in what we were doing. You tam on the radio and everybody loves a classic rock station and those golden oldies. It's because every one of those songs stood the test of time. It's not a shot in the dark, like much of today's contemporary radio.

You guys take a less flashy approach than bands like The Darkness or even Urge Overkill did with your live performances. Are people expecting platform shoes and pyrotechnics?

People are expecting something to happen, because the music goes with something. And I'm perfectly happy to give in to it.

The Darkness do a great job; they have a certain show biz sophistication that we don't particularly have. We can ham it up, but it certainly isn't at that level. We don't dress up, we wear our street clothes.

After listening to the new CD, Popsicle, I get the impression that not only are you heavily influenced by the sound of classic rock, but by the general open-mindedness of that period of music as well. Most of today's mainstream and underground rock bands stick with one style and are afraid to take a chance and change things up. It didn't used to be so strange for a hard rock band to bust into some weird ballad or reggae-tinged pop tune.

I'm glad you said that, because that kind of consistency is not just about stylistic consistency. Having a dynamic range to a record is one of the great things missing in a lot of contemporary albums. It doesn't mean that people aren't capable of doing it, though.

What are some bands that you feel are on the same page as you guys?

Cheeseburger. They're our buddies and we have lots of admiration for all of them.

What's on the horizon?

We're heading on a month-long European tour with the Swedish rock band Mondo Daio--it's exciting because they're very well known in Europe. Who knows; maybe the fans will all turn out 'cause they're hot Swedish dudes. We just made it through a big period of all bands having to have hot dudes in them. It's cool to see that maybe the next wave of bands will be just really ugly dudes with really awesome music.
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Author:Kutner, Rick
Publication:Thrasher
Article Type:Interview
Date:May 1, 2006
Words:833
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