BLACK DIAMONDS – The Glam Hotel
Even if there are no concerts nowadays, the music world doesn’t stop! Musicians are more active than ever and new works keep coming out. We had a nice chat with Manu Peng from Black Diamonds, whom I thank for the time they dedicated to us. Thanks also to Eddy Freiberger of Metalapolis Records for giving us this opportunity, enjoy reading and I hope you like it :) – Ah if you still don’t know who they are here is our review of NO TELL HOTEL.
Hey there, first of all, thanks for the invitation! Actually we’re doing fantastic because our album release in mid-March worked much better than expected – despite the virus situation. Or maybe BECAUSE of the virus situation, people are waiting so eagerly for live concerts and new songs like never before.
” No Tell Hotel ” fourth studio album, the previous work, dates back to 2017 ” once upon a time “. Want to tell us what happened meanwhile?
Oh, a hell of a lot has happened since the release of “Once Upon A Time”! In 2017 we were on a European tour with HEAT, in 2018 on a Germany tour with Crystal Ball and in 2019 we had the privilege of performing at Rock The Ring (CH) festival along with many other great gigs. 2020 was all about songwriting. The fact that live concerts were no longer possible due to the virus situation was more of a blessing for us, we could fully focus on the new album and the video shoots.
In the line up there is a new face. Chris johnson replaces Andreas ‘Dee’ Rohner, will you tell us how this change happens? What particularly impressed you of this new guitarist musically and did you already knew him?
Exactly, Chris Johnson has been our new guitarist since the beginning of 2020. Dee has left the band for personal reasons at the end of 2019, pretty much at the beginning of the songwriting phase. My wife knew him from one of her previous band projects in which they were playing together. The same evening that Dee resigned, she recommended him to us and only a week later Chris came to our rehearsal room for a first jam session! We knew that he would suit us personally as soon as he walked through the door. Of course it had to match musically as well – and it did! Chris had already recorded a demo solo for ‘Reaching For The Stars’ that day. He totally understood the song and the genre, the solo was so damn good that we hardly had to edit it for the album. He is a jackpot and we are absolutely happy with him.
“Saturday” track n.5 and the second video that you have released from the new work. Very funny a kind of “cartoon”, can you explain this choice?
The Saturday video was supposed to be a simple lyric video. Andi came up with the idea to portray the four band members as cartoon characters to spice up the lyric video. We discussed the idea and because we almost rolled on the floor laughing, other ideas for animations came up very quickly. Andi put those ideas into practice painstakingly … I think he’s now a Gold Member at Adobe. ;-) Anyway, I think this video is the best proof that we take our music much more serious than ourselves.
Lonesome Road tells the story of how we grew up. The video was actually shot on the exact particular road on which we played as children and learned to drive as young people. So it was obvious to us that we wanted to share some childhood memories with our fans. This is truly a piece of ourselves.
“The Island” has an intro like a noise of the waves that crash on the beach, but the whole song has this “holiday” style, caraibic sounds … Desire to disconnect from everything – does this is the main theme of the lyrics or there is something more?
Hehe, yes, The Island is a track with a mischievous twist in the lyrics. At first glance, you probably only hear island atmosphere and somehow associate that with a vacation in the Bahamas. But when you focus on the lyrics it becomes clear that there is more to it than just piña colada under palm trees.The song is about the situation when someone speaks to you, but you are absolutely not interested in what they have to say. And that someone just doesn’t stop talking and with each sentence you care less … At some point you mentally pack your things and fly to the island. Your mind takes a vacation while your poor body has to endure the conversation.
Another unexpectable song is “outlaw”, strange but beautiful at the same time. In “western” style, can you tell us what’s behind this song? How did you come out with a song with this style?
In Outlaw we used a lot of cliché elements from italian western movies from the 60’s and 70’s and combined them with hard rock. The original song idea came from Andi, but it was so shitty that no one else in the band liked it. This is definitely the song that evolved the most from the original idea. Overall, we worked on this song for over a year! Today it is one of my personal favorites because I think the scenery is very beautiful. The variety within the song is also great: there are horses, tap dancing, a bar fight, drum solo, guitar solo and even a fiddle. Cotton Eye Joe would be jealous, haha. It turned out to be a very fun hard rock western track that is incredibly fun to play as well.
On october 23rd 2020 you have signed with the record company metalapolis records. Will you tell us how happened this deal? How did you meet each other?
Tom from Metalapolis was tour manager on the Crystal Ball Tour 2018 and we met him and Eddy there. One evening Tom called us to his “office” (if you can put it that way – we were still on tour). We feared that we had done something wrong or that Crystal Ball would be somehow dissatisfied with us. But instead of the feared lecture, we were, to our surprise, offered a record deal with Metalapolis! The administrative work dragged on for another year, but for us the Crystal Ball tour was actually the beginning of the (sensational!) collaboration with Metalapolis.
Exactly! That was part of our concept for the Album Release Night on YouTube. We wanted to toast the new album together with our fans and convey a feeling of togetherness. Some of the audience mixed one (or more) of these drinks at home. So we were united not only visually but also through the drinks. Community spirit, you know …
Free bonus song. All “no tell hotel” pre-orders have the bonus track, can you explain this choice?
Yes, if you bought the album in advance or in the first week after the release, there was a bonus song as a “thank you”. The idea came when we were more and more convinced that live shows would not be possible at the time of release. Usually you sell most records during shows, so we tried to motivate fans to buy the album despite the situation. And it worked. In fact, we had such good sales in the first few weeks that the album even entered the Swiss album charts on the 3rd place and stayed there for 3 weeks! We couldn’t be happier and thank everyone who honors our work by buying our music.
You have planned an online event on youtube for the album release; according to the current situation that does not allow any concert. How did you get the idea of this live event? Will there be something special for your fans?
Actually we wanted to have a release party with a live concert. However, COVID-19 thwarted us and we had to look for alternatives. We didn’t want to do a conventional streaming concert like many other bands do because we didn’t like it. In our opinion, a concert loses too much of its energy this way. Instead we wanted to offer something that no one has done before , A CD release night in the style of a classic Saturday night entertainment show. :) We also wanted to involve our fans: In addition to the drinks, they could propose challenges that we had to fullfil over the course of the evening. When we mastered one, they had to buy the album for it. That was the deal. ;-) Despite some technical problems, we had a lot of fun that evening. I also think it brought us closer together with our fans.
Thanking you for your availability and we hope to see you soon here in italy, i let you close this interview at your pleasure. If you would like to say something to your fans and to those who still do not know you here it is your chance
We are really looking forward to finally playing live again and hopefully to visit Italy soon! We have only played one show in Milano so far and it’s already four years ago, but I still remember it very well, the Italian fans are crazy, haha.
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