An Interview with
The L.A. Based Hard Rocker that took place on May 30th 2015.
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: Hi Diamante, it’s Glenn from Metalliville.
Diamante: Hi, how are you?
Glenn: I’m good. How’s you’re weather right now? Is it pretty good?
Diamante: It’s actually very nice out today.
Glenn: Awesome. That’s great. What did your education background consist of with regards to music?
Diamante: I grew up doing musical theatre at a very young age. I was about nine years old. I did some vocal classes off and on. I did ‘The School Of Rock’ when I was 14 which is what led me to fall in love with Rock music. Besides that, that’s about as far as my musical education goes.
Glenn: You moved from Boston to L.A., how was that for you personally?
Diamante: It’s funny because for me personally, when my family and I moved out to Los Angeles, I was the only person who did not want to move whatsoever (laughs). I was very reluctant to it because I loved Boston. But while I was in L.A. after two weeks of being here I loved it and I have done ever since (laughs). It was definitely a change but the weather is much better. The people here, I feel are more open-minded but there are parts of Boston that I do miss a lot.
Glenn: What do you most miss about being in Boston?
Diamante: I miss the history. The history of Boston. I feel the people in Boston are a little deeper and not as shallow. It’s not run by the industry so there are other interests there as well. I haven’t been back in a couple of years. I would really like to go back.
Glenn: To see how it has changed since you were last there no doubt?
Glenn: That’s understandable completely. How does your music come together? How do you construct your songs?
Diamante: The music that I’ve written, every song has had a slightly different process. I’ve worked with different Producers so that’s always different with each one. Sometimes they ask me to write lyrics with no music – just write. A higher sample of lyrics and then we build the music to the lyrics. Sometimes we do the music first and then the lyrics. Sometimes I have time to write lyrics but with this last E.P. (Dirty Blonde) specifically, it was more in the moment and I would just show up to the studio, get the music down and write lyrics right here, right now which is fun (We laugh). It was very spontaneous and fast paced. I really liked it.
Glenn: It’s never a certain setting. It could be anywhere basically as well. You work in different types of settings no doubt?
Glenn: How do you keep in shape because you have got a great physique and a great figure?
Diamante: Thank you.
Glenn: Do you have a certain diet and exercise program that you stick to?
Diamante: Not really. It’s not that consistent. I love to run. I love cardio, so I do try to, not every single morning but when I can because it makes you feel incredible for the rest of the day. I eat predominantly healthy. I love specials and fruits. I enjoy eating healthy so it is not difficult for me. I’m not a proper vegetarian because I do eat fish. But that’s about as much that I do have. It depends. If I am tour you can’t really be picky but if I am home I try to eat healthy fish and I diet as much as I can.
Glenn: I’ve been watching one or two of the interviews that you have done and you talk about your influence being Pat Benatar and Joan Jett. How did you actually discover these artists?
Diamante: I discovered these artists mainly when I discovered Rock music in general. That was when I did ‘The School Of Rock’ when I was 14. They had me cover songs from Led Zeppelin, Blondie, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones and I just love the classics and I love the 70’s and the 80’s. When I was doing Blondie it turned me onto everyone else like Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett and Patti Smith.
Glenn: Yeah! You’ve really got your own style going down there. Do you have your own wardrobe and pick it all or do you have someone that designs it all and says what will work for various videos or photo-shoots etc?
Diamante: I don’t have a stylist. It’s mostly what I like in the moment. I’m very picky and stubborn with what I like (laughs). I will go out and find things that I like. I love thrift store shopping and going to flea markets. I don’t necessarily need designer clothes. I just like what I feel will look the best on me and just work around that (laughs). You know what, it’s been an evolution throughout the years but that’s been part of the branding process.
Glenn: What were your thoughts when you first realised you were going to make it as you are doing right now?
Diamante: Well I’m still independent but I am signed or educationalised to Universal and that was really cool and having the flashboard to be on Vevo and all these things. Everything has been surreal, especially this part year because the first couple of years were moving pretty slow but this year has really picked up and been really exciting!
Glenn: Would you say it’s empowering being a role model for women and have things happened for you as a result of that because you are on that pedestal as such as like a Rock Goddess or a Front-Person for Rock ‘N’ Roll?
Diamante: Yes definitely. I understand myself that I can’t be perfect so there’s no pleasing everyone because it’s impossible to please everybody. But I do feel my music does empower young women and I speak about being fearless, being who you are and being true. Basically, not afraid of yourself or anyone or anything anybody might think. I do it in a way that’s very in your face (laughs). I get a lot of messages saying, “Oh this is awesome. You’ve taught me how to be like this” or “You’ve showed me this, you’re an inspiration and thank you!”. That’s really what I love, hearing from fans or from anyone that listens to my music.
Glenn: Yeah and you’ve given people a lot of confidence to go out there and be themselves. No doubt!
Diamante: Yeah definitely!
Glenn: I’ve been watching some of your videos and you’ve got lyric videos and you’ve got standard promotional videos that we used to see on MTV or similar shows back in the day. Where did that idea come from to have lyric videos?
Diamante: I’m a very big lyric person. Personally, I love when I’m listening to music; I am more drawn to lyrics than to the melody or the music. I feel that I want my lyrics to be heard because I write them and I figured, ‘Yeah I’ll put in the song as an audio – it’s fine but I really want people to understand what the song is about so that’s why I do the lyric videos with video-visual simulation at the same time (laughs).
Glenn: It’s really effective. It makes you realise that there’s more to an artist than someone on stage or someone in a video. You look at the lyrics and think, ‘I wonder where that idea came from? What affected her to write that?’. I mean, you are only at a young age still and you put a lot into it and that’s really impressive about you as well.
Diamante: Thank you so much! This is what I wanted to do since I was 6 singing in my room everyday. I knew I had to sing and make music and coming out to L.A. is really when it started happening.
Glenn: No doubt. What do you like about making videos overall?
Diamante: Not the preparation because that’s stressful and it’s not fun (laughs). The actual day of shooting and filming is really fun because you’re there - you’re in the moment. It reminds me a little bit of a musical too. There’s some acting involved as well. The hair and make-up. It’s exciting for me. I love shooting music videos.
Glenn: Does it kind of put you back in time as acting as ‘Sandy’ in Grease and things like that?
Diamante: Yes definitely. It reminds me of that completely because you have to mentally go to a certain zone when the camera starts rolling.
Glenn: What were your favourite parts when you played Sandy in that you really took to heart and it became part of you and meant the most to you?
Diamante: I loved the solo songs like ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ and I loved belting it to the audience when I was ten years old (laughs). My favourite part is really just channelling a completely different person that is not you. When she goes through her transformation and she puts on the black leather leotard and she becomes this bad-ass. That was so fun for me to play just being only ten.
Glenn: Wow that’s awesome!
Diamante: I loved it!
Glenn: And it’s took you to where you are now – step by step which is great.
Diamante: Exactly (laughs).
Glenn: When I was watching your lyric video for ‘Bite Your Kiss’ and you talked about someone sh*tt*ng in the punch bowl. Did you ever find out who sh*t in the punch bowl?
Diamante: No I never found out what happened! (laughs)
Glenn: There must be a story about that (I laugh).
Diamante: (Laughs) I was with and my Producer were in the studio and a curator and the song was done initially – we had put on all the lead vocals and we decided we wanted to add in a party background shot which would look so good with people talking. So during the take, I said the craziest thing (laughs) at the very end of the song, I just screamed out, “Somebody sh*t in the punch bowl!”. They thought it was that funny so they decided to keep it in the track.
Glenn: Yeah it’s a great bit and when that comes in it’s like, “What?!?!” (I laugh). It’s almost like wacky British toilet comedy. It’s brilliant (Diamante laughs). Not that whole video is not brilliant but it just nails it on the head for that video. It’s hilarious. (I laugh)
Diamante: Thank you.
Glenn: Your writing comes across very personal but what would you say are the most autobiographical songs are that you have written are and why do they mean the most to you?
Diamante: There was a song on the last album I just put out called ‘Burns’ which I wrote two years ago. That one hit very close to home. I write all my songs based off of personal experience. This one, I really for the first time showed how vulnerable I can be which is a different side because usually in my music it’s strong and fearless, I don’t care and everything’s awesome type of person - nothing can hurt me.
This song really did just show my wounds and let everything out. It was nice to do that. Then one I do love is of course, ‘Bite Your Kiss’ because it was really like a coming of age song. It really showcased what’s next to come. This is a route that I’m going in musically and it felt honest too so I loved it.
Glenn: It’s funny you mentioned ‘Burns’ because my next question was going to be, what influenced ‘Burns’?
Diamante: It’s a talker as you know that talks about real heartbreak but a great song came out of it so I’m glad.
Glenn: Your songs and your style on video, it’s very ‘in-your-face, I don’t care’ as such and when they meet the real person, does that surprise them in any way of how you are as person in real life?
Diamante: Oh Yeah! Definitely! The style of music that walks me to where I lead is not who I am completely. It’s just… it’s a part of me. For sure, I can be that way if I want. I can be strong here, I don’t care and on top of the world. But that is maybe, a force of who I am of the person overall. It’s where it leads me to. I am very down to earth and very relaxed. I’m not this crazy party girl all the time. You won’t meet me and I’m doing something insanely wild every moment of the day. (Laughs).
Glenn: No doubt but you’ve got to do certain things in certain ways to sell your music and your songs to people because if it was just like flat and nothing happening much it would just be another artist out there. So you are making like a visual artistic statement and both musically and lyrically as well.
Diamante: Yes you have to be captivating in some way.
Glenn: When you first started getting into music, what would you say the first show that you ever went to see was that really captivated you and made you decided that you wanted to do this from a professional point of view?
Diamante: When I was 15, I went with a friend to a Judas Priest/Black Label Society and Thin Lizzy show. Just seeing the energy they had onstage and seeing the effect they had on this huge crowd made me realise that not only did I want to be on that stage for a living but I wanted to make the same type of music that was capturing all of these people. I think music is magical and especially live music and putting on a great live show. That concert is really what made me say, “This is what I want to do”.
Glenn: I guess concerts of your own, bit-by-bit, have you at times thought, ‘I’ve done a show! – Was it as good as that first show that I went to see?'
Diamante: Oh yeah! I’m my own worst critic. Every single time I get off the stage I ask people, “Did I suck?”, “Was that awful”, “Was that absolutely terrible?” and they go, “No, no – that was great! What are you talking about?” I’m not bionic woman so there are shows that are not as great as others but then there’s shows that are completely killer. I strive to just make every show that people want to go to and not have any show ever be the not so great show.
Glenn: Yeah you have good nights, bad days, bad nights and good days just like anybody else.
Glenn: Talking of good nights you have coming up, how did you manage to get the Whitesnake dates because that’s pretty incredible?
Diamante: Yeah I’m still in shock. It’s very surreal. I’m really not going to believe that it’s happening until I’m there at the venue. But it’s great – it’s Whitesnake and they’re one of my favourite 80’s bands and like I said I love the 80’s and I love the classics. This is going to be a couple of dates that starts June 2nd and we’re going to be playing Santa Rosa, (Las) Vegas which I’m very excited for, Beverly Hills, Colorado, Texas – it’s very exciting.
Glenn: So what parts of that are you looking forward to? Is it the places or just being out there as such?
Diamante: I have to say, it is the places because I love to travel. I think it’s thrilling to be in a new city every day. It gets exhausting but you make so many memories than just staying home and being in the same place every day. I’m also looking forward to the experience of meeting new people, meeting the band’s I’ll be touring with, getting to know them – that’s the best part I think.
Glenn: How long do you get on stage? Is it about 30 minutes or a bit longer?
Diamante: Well the last tour I did was a 30 minute set. The next ones are going to be 45 to an hour. Something like that.
Glenn: That’s good.
Glenn: You are going to have enough time to turn the Whitesnake fans onto your stuff as well which is brilliant really if they are not already big fans of yours which they ought to be really. You have set the bar quite a bit to a high standard.
Diamante: Thank you!
Glenn: It is amazing really. When you are doing a show, what would you say are the toughest parts of doing that show? Are certain things harder than others and how do you get over that?
Diamante: I think one of the toughest parts is maintaining an earn. That’s why I like doing cardio and working out because when I get up on stage I give 110%. I’m running around and doing crazy head things and hair-flipping and jumping. It’s in training and by the end of the set and still be able to sing properly while doing all these crazy things. That’s really the pacing. It’s really one of the most difficult parts.
Glenn: So what is your key to keeping your voice in good order?
Diamante: Lots of water. A lot, lot, lot of water. Especially on tour I drink probably a gallon (laughs). I try not to talk throughout the day so I can preserve my voice. I have cough drops, a lot of tea. Any hot liquid really – honey, lemon, ginger. I have a tea called Coat Throat which works really well. Just the simple things. Not drinking soda. It’s not that difficult but it really does make an entire difference.
Glenn: Yes it strengthens your voice and things like that. I just read Dee Snider’s book and his vocal teacher said to him no dairy products, no drinking alcohol, no smoking, no this, no that and he was so hardcore about it he did it so I guess you’ll be exactly the same. You are putting yourself through it so to speak?
Diamante: Yeah. I mean, you’ve got to do what you have to do.
Glenn: What shows that you have done so far since your career began have meant the most to you and why?
Diamante: Probably the last tour I did because it was my first tour ever and it really made me realise this is what tour life is like. This is what playing for crowds who don’t who are right now is like. This is basically just showing me the next years are going to be if this is just really what I love and I loved every second of it. So those shows… and I was able to open up for a band that I grew up listening to so it really meant a lot.
Glenn: Are you starting to put guitar into your shows as well as being a frontess or whatever you want to call it? How long have you been playing guitar and what do you find easy about guitar and certain parts of it harder as well?
Diamante: I have been off and on since I was 13 on guitar. Sometimes I am completely on it and I tell myself, ‘I’m ready to go onstage and bring the electric guitar out’ and just jam out. Sometimes I don’t pick up the guitar because I hate practising and I don’t have the patience but I really need to get back on it. It’s so hard for me to be sitting on a couch for hours practising because I get restless and I need to do something else
Glenn: Do you find certain things on the guitar like certain chord shapes harder than others as well?
Diamante: Oh Yeah! The ones where you have to stretch your fingers on the entire fret-board.
Glenn: Are you like, “Why has this song got an F chord in it? It’s just too hard to play!”?
Diamante: Ahhh. Every song I like had the F chord!
Glenn: (I laugh) I know exactly how you feel. It’s like they’ve put them in on purpose to make them hard to play for people.
Diamante: Yeah! (Laughs).
Glenn: I know it’s not the case but it feels like that sometimes when you’re going through the songbooks and it’s like, ‘Not that chord again! No!’ Not good. (We both laugh). It’s crazy stuff. When can we expect to see you in the UK and Europe in general because I think you’d go down so, so well over here.
Diamante: I hope as soon as possible. I’ve wanted to go to the UK in the longest time and now that I’m doing this US Tour I really hope that by next year I will be there in the UK doing shows. That would be insane because certain people have told me, “You need to come to the UK. The rock scene’s here. They are gonna love you. You need to come here”. I go, “I know, I know”.
Glenn: Would you say there are certain parts of the UK that you’ve seen on TV or you’ve read about or heard on radio and thought, ‘Oh I must play there’, and if so, what places would you like to play in the UK?
Diamante: It’s cliché but I’d love to play London. I’ve always watched this TV Show called ‘Skins’ so it’s basically centred around there. That’s as far as I know about the UK as of now. Just by that TV show.
Glenn: Well I’m 100% or should I say 110% positive that you will really cut it over here.
Diamante: It sounds like a dream. I would love to go.
Glenn: When you get back home from a tour what do you like to do most?
Diamante: I love the simple things. I love seeing my friends. Going to the same places that we go to every night and just falling back into the old lifestyle. I love my bed. I love sleeping in an actual bed – it’s great. I love eating real food, going to restaurants. What I did after this last tour was, because I really didn’t get to party on tour or have fun on tour because she did it very much like a business and I was very serious the entire time.
I came back here and I went out every school night for two straight weeks. Then after that, I told myself, ‘Okay, you need to sleep now because you have two tours coming up now and you haven’t rested at all’. So sleep has been pretty important.
Glenn: Do you have various hobbies and interests when you are not involved in music?
Diamante: The things that I love. I love exercising, even running and hiking. I love the outdoors. I love being outside. I love writing short stories and poems. That’s always been a hobby of mine. I like going places. I like going to the beach. Sight-seeing or the beach. I like shopping now. I didn’t when I was younger but I like it now. (I laugh).
Glenn: What would you say the coolest parts of L.A. and Hollywood are and why do you like those places most?
Diamante: I live in the centre of Hollywood, like right where the Boulevard is. A lot of people don’t like it and actually hate it because it’s run with tourists and people shoving flyers in your face and you can’t even walk in the street. I love it because it’s the centre of everything. You step outside your door and anything can happen. This is really what I love. All my friends are here and we always go out to the same places - like rock places are fun. Besides Hollywood I also love Venice Beach.
Glenn: Yeah that’s nice.
Diamante: It’s just so nice and it’s not as touristy as Santa Monica. It’s more local vibe. All the valley is there too. I grew up in Studio City and lived there for a little bit but it gets boring because it’s too hot so I came to the dirty, grimy streets of Hollywood.
Glenn: I love Hollywood and L.A. and that. The characters are just beyond belief sometimes.
Diamante: Exactly yeah!
Glenn: That’s just walking down or you get on the bus and it’s ‘What the hell is going on here?'
Diamante: (laughs) It’s exciting.
Glenn: It is. It’s just an experience all the time. You never get sick of it. It’s just mind-blowing. It’s like you go to another town and it’s like ‘What’s happening? Nothing here! You know what I mean? It’s Hollywood and Hollywood is just incredible.
What would you say has happened to you over the time that you’d say is unbelievable because you’ve done so much in such a short space of time? What really blows your mind?
Diamante: Being named one of the hottest chicks in Hard Rock by Revolver and just having all this incredible support by Revolver Magazine all at once. Then being asked to go on to join this tour – the Rock Chick Hard Rock Tour. Coming back here and being told you’re going to be going on Tour with Whitesnake and then with Hinder – all at once! It’s overwhelming but it realises to me that the last four years were completely worth it.
Glenn: Awesome! And what would you say you are proud of in your career so far?
Diamante: Well first off I am proud of still being here (laughs). It’s brutal and there are many times where I wanted to throw in the towel and say, “I’m done with the music industry – it’s awful. I love music but it’s not worth it!”. I’m glad I stuck around and kept doing it. Getting ‘Bite Your Kiss’ and ‘Burns’ on the ‘Billboard Hot Singles Sales Charts’, like No. 5 and No. 3 – that was crazy. Then ‘Bite Your Kiss’ to go on radio, to go on media-base – that was insane too. Thing that build up you know?
Diamante: Those are little marks that keep growing up. That’s what I’m most proud of.
Glenn: I mean, just to hear yourself on radio must be absolutely mind-blowing for you?
Diamante: Yes. It’s a crazy experience!
Glenn: The first time must have been something special.
Diamante: Mmm Hmm.
Glenn: Yeah. No doubt. If you had a chance, what artist would you like collaborate with in the future and what would you like to collaborate on?
Diamante: If I had a chance I would love to collaborate with Joan Jett because she is my idol and I believe she is the most iconic females of Rock ‘N’ Roll just because of the way she boldly dominated by the Rock Industry in the way that females weren’t really supposed to you know?
Diamante: I’d love to work with The Foo Fighters because I really like them. It’s so hard. There so many people! (we laugh).
Glenn: I think we’ve put you on the spot with that one haven’t we?
Diamante: (Laughs) It’s all good.
Glenn: What’s next for you after the Tour with Whitesnake (and Hinder)?
Diamante: Well that’ll take me up to about mid-July. Then after July, it’s straight to the studio, make new music. This time really, the fall at least – that will be really cool. It’s either touring or studio.
Glenn: Do you write much while you’re on tour?
Diamante: No but I really should do that. Everyone who plays with me on stage, they have their little diaries and they’re writing every day and I wasn’t doing that – I should do that.
Glenn: I suppose sometimes you see and hear things going down. Do you ever thing back and go, “I could have got that down and I’ve missed it now”. But I guess it’s a lesson for next time?
Diamante: Yeah. All those hours just sitting in the van doing nothing. I could have put them to use.
Glenn: It’s all a learning curve though. What other things would you like to discuss that we’ve not touched on?
Diamante: Social Medias because people know and can see up and coming tour dates or new music or new videos or anything like that.
Glenn: Yeah. It’s done so much for your career and will do in the future. Just the fact that when we were kids there was nothing like that. You had to look in a magazine and hope your artist was going to play or watch ‘Top Of The Pops’ or something. But it makes it so much easier how artists have got it now. I bet a lot wish they had got that 20 or 30 years ago?
Glenn: It’s on a plate as such but there’s more competition so it can make it still as hard. For you to have got through all that and doing ‘School Of Rock’, I guess that’s made things a bit easier to get contacts and get known that way around.
Diamante: Yeah. It has its place in time. It’s definitely easier to connect and there’s a wider outlook but at the same time now that it’s all online, everything is about numbers and how many subscribers you have, how many fans you have, followers you have. Whereas back in the day it was more, “Did you put on a great show?” “You did? Okay great!”. (We laugh)
Glenn: I mean, theses you don’t get a chance to get to your third album on these big labels because artists from way back, your Elton John’s or your Rod Stewarts, they wouldn’t have made it now because they were on their second or third album before they hit it big in their careers. These days, if your first single doesn’t do anything, you’re off the label.
Diamante: Right! Yes!
Glenn: So you’ve done absolutely amazing to get to the status that you are at right now. It’s incredible!
Diamante: Thank you! It’s definitely a different time.
Glenn: In one interview you were saying you’d got ten years to achieve everything so where do you see yourself in ten years time?
Diamante: I would have this life plan that in the next ten years I hope to have done a ‘Headlining World Tour’, selling out arenas – it’s ambitious but it’s my goal. I love being on tour and just play everywhere. Then make incredible records and go and sell millions and millions of records although that doesn’t really happen anymore. But that’s the ultimate goal musically and then involve myself in some different charities and create my own organisation. Then after I’ve accomplished everything I’ve wanted to accomplish, I choose to reside the rest of my days in the Caribbean in a hut. (Laughs) That will be my life plan.
Glenn: Got ya. That’s awesome. Can you tell me much about your forthcoming songs for your next album that you are going to go into the studio with?
Diamante: I can’t say exactly much because I haven’t written any yet but I do have an idea that I do want to go more authentic Rock ‘n’ Roll – still of that 80’s vibe but lyrically I’ve gone past the ‘let’s party’ phase or ‘just be crazy’ thing. That E.P. will always be there but really want to write about things that are just beyond partying and beyond being as controversial as possible. Still controversial but just lyrics with more meaning.
Glenn: Basically as an artist you want to evolve and be relevant and not be like a passé has-been sort of thing that some people of the Rock genre fall into and people pass them by. But you don’t want to do that. You want to be constantly evolving and be like a female David Bowie of the Female Rock World, so to speak if that makes any sense?
Diamante: Yeah, yeah! Definitely! More than anything I want to be respected as a Rock Artist. So that means more lyrically. I have to evolve musically. I have to evolve!
Glenn: Yeah. That’s great! That’s brilliant. I am going to let you get off but best of luck with these dates with Whitesnake and we really, really hope to see you as soon as possible over in the UK very, very soon.
Diamante: Yes! Thank you so much for having me.
Glenn: Oh no problem.
Diamante: I’ll let you know whenever we play in the UK.
Glenn: That’s cool. You take care Diamante. It’s been lovely talking to you. Take care.
Diamante: Okay thank you very much. Have a good one!
Glenn: You too! See you later.
A big thank you to Adam Mehl, Diamante's Manager for setting up the Interview as well as extremely valuable Input from OZZFestAmy.
All Images have been used by sole permission of Adam Mehl.