Guitarist Brian Tatler of NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) legends DIAMOND HEAD spoke to Michael Francisco of Metal Temple about theprogress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to last year’s “The Coffin Train” album. “I have been writing [the entire time] while I’ve been in lockdown,” he said (hear audio below). “We haven’t been able to get together. Our last gig was March the 8th. So all I’ve done is write. I just thought, ‘Now is the perfect opportunity. We’ll never get this again, to just focus completely on new material. No gigs coming up; nothing on the horizon.’ So I thought, ‘Right, I’m gonna write the next album.’
“We haven’t been able to get together to try the songs out in rehearsal at all, but I think I’ve come up with some really good material,” he added. “And I’m still working on it now. I do a little bit each day and try to move it forward. I think it’s gonna be great.”
Two months ago, Tatler told MetalAsylum.net about the musical direction of the new DIAMOND HEAD material: “We’ve done the same thing — it’s ‘stick to the brief.’ We’re trying to make a DIAMOND HEAD album and not go too far in any weird direction. We always use that brief as a way of just keeping it together and not offending anybody.”
Added singer Rasmus Bom Andersen: “We’re not trying to go out on any tangents; we’re just trying to make sure that we echo what is the core part of DIAMOND HEAD and the DIAMOND HEAD sound. Although we are trying to push things a little bit more. It’s 2020, so we’re trying to move things along a little bit without pushing it too much.”
Continued Brian: “The last album was very well received, so we think, okay, well, we can go slightly further. But also, I wanna do an even more powerful album than ‘The Coffin Train’. I’ve got it in mind the sort of record we should make. So I think it’s in hand.”
Asked if fans should expect to see a new DIAMOND HEAD album in 2021, Rasmus said: “We’ll see what the story is gonna be with lockdown. We don’t know when we can get together and actually function as a band again in a writing scenario. So we have to wait and see what happens. But we’re doing all the legwork that we can to get most of the pre-production on the go before we start to work together and we can go outside again and it’s not a nuclear holocaust and all that.”
“The Coffin Train” was recorded at Vigo Studios in Walsall, Circle Studios in Birmingham and Raw Sound Studio in London, and is the second DIAMOND HEAD album to feature Rasmus Bom Andersen, who joined the band in 2014.
Formed in 1976 under the riff-rolling leadership of Tatler, DIAMOND HEAD would quickly establish themselves as a vanguard of the exploding New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene. With their genre-defining debut album “Lightning To The Nations”, DIAMOND HEAD has influenced and opened gates for many metal bands.
Tatler has repeatedly expressed his gratitude over the years to METALLICA, who have covered four DIAMOND HEAD songs and kept the band in the spotlight.
He said in a 2011 interview: “Without METALLICA, we wouldn’t be going now. We split in 1985 when everything dried up, and we wouldn’t have reformed without them. They’re like DIAMOND HEAD‘s support system — they breathed new life into the band by namechecking us hundreds of times and covering our songs.”
The publishing royalties generated from METALLICA‘s versions of DIAMOND HEAD tracks like “Am I Evil” have kept Tatler afloat. “I don’t know what I would have done without that,” he said. “We never made money in the early days. I was on the dole after we finished — I had nothing left and I was living at home with my parents. I probably wouldn’t have my own house now.”