Diamond Head Guitarist Reveals Spinal Tap Moments
Get Ready To Roll! recently conducted an interview with DIAMOND HEAD guitarist Brian Tatler. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Get Ready To Roll!: 2007 turned out to be a phenomenal year for DIAMOND HEAD, and especially a very exciting time for the fans as the tours with TESLA and THIN LIZZY seemed to pop up out of nowhere. How did these tours come about, and what have been the highlights of the last twelve months for you?
Tatler: We were in the right place at the right time, and of course able to say yes. You have to be on the radar to get gigs like this and we have been working hard for a number of years now to get to this posistion. The highlight was the THIN LIZZY tour — it was a great opportunity for DIAMOND HEAD and we all enjoyed it. It has been Ab's [guitarist Andy Abberley's] ambition to play Hammersmith Apollo and we did that so that's one off the list!
Get Ready To Roll!: The reviews of "What's In Your Head" have been very encouraging. How did that album come together?
Tatler: Nick and I started writing songs back in March 2005 and continued until we went into the studio September 2006. We had about thirteen days when we could use Dave "Shirt" Nicholls as he was on tour with STONE SOUR, and then we had November and December to finish writing the last few songs before Shirt came back at the end of January to record and mix the rest of the album. It took about 19 days to record and five days to mix, not including Karl's drums. He recorded the drums himself in San Francisco and sent them over on DVDs.
Get Ready To Roll!: DIAMOND HEAD albums have always shown progression — "Canterbury" was a massive departure from "Borrowed Time", your 1993 album "Death & Progress" was contemporary with the time, as are "All Will Be Revealed" and "What's In Your Head" — they all retain characteristic DIAMOND HEAD trademarks without sounding dated. How far are you influenced by current bands when you write?
Tatler: I try not to be influenced by current bands but little bits do creep into the writing process, and sometimes you need a point of reference when you're trying a new song out. It's a bit like...so that others can get a handle on it. It's interesting that I can take a snippet of an idea from another band and once the song is finished no one can spot where the original idea came from.
Get Ready To Roll!: Tell us some of your funniest "Spinal Tap" moments.
Tatler: We have had a few where we cannot find the stage from the dressing room. I remember once we played a gig up north in some cinema type place and there were loads of plant pots round the front of the stage so one of us said "You will have to move these," to which the theatre manager replied, "It was good enough for Roy Castle".... And one time the intro tape came on while we were still getting ready and we all panicked and quickly pulled on our trousers and ran onstage and played an awful gig. We would sleep in the back of the van sometimes when we could not find a B+B, and after one cold night Duncan was stuck to the steel floor — his sweat had frozen him to the floor of the van!
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