Diamond Plate : Interview with Konrad Kupiec

Diamond Plate live at Scruffy Murphys by CackBlabbathChicago metallers Diamond Plate were one of our favourite “new” bands at Hammerfest this year. CackBlabbath spoke to guitarist Konrad Kupiec to find out more about the band and their first visit to the UK.

An easy one to start with, describe Diamond Plate in three words…

Energetic, catchy and of course, metal

You guys finally made it across to the UK then, how has the trip been?

The whole experience of being in the UK was amazing. We played our biggest shows yet, met a ton of killer UK fans, and visited a lot of cool places in a country that we’ve never been to before.

Diamond Plate live at Scruffy Murphys by CackBlabbathFor a band who have played some pretty big shows back home, how does it feel playing to audiences over here who  are not familiar with your music?

It’s more exciting than anything. To be able to spread our music and live show past our home country is an incredible feeling. It’s the whole reason that we play music in the first place.

What has it been like opening up for legends like Anthrax?

We’ve been living the dream for sure, haha. Anthrax has been a huge influence on all of us from the beginning. ‘Among the Living’ is definitely at the top of all of our ‘metal album’ lists. Getting the chance to directly support our idols is amazing, and to be able to do so in a country we’ve never played before is even more amazing.

What was the highlight of the trip ?

The first Anthrax show we did in Oxford at the 02 Academy was one of the best shows we’ve ever played. The crowd was absolutely incredible throughout our whole set, and we got called back for an encore which blew us away.

The other highlight was being able to legally drink beer every night, which is a privilege we don’t have back home in the states because of our age, haha.

Diamond Plate live at Scruffy Murphys by CackBlabbathAs a relatively unknown band (over in Europe anyway), were you nervous about opening the main stage at Hammerfest?

We don’t usually get nervous about shows anymore. There’s just this certain rush of adrenaline that we get, and there was definitely plenty of adrenaline flowing before we hit the main stage at Hammerfest, haha. I think the crowd was fantastic, and we felt right at home even though everyone in the crowd had no idea who we were at the beginning of the set.

It looks like you made a load of new friends at that show, what did you think of the reception you got?

The UK and it’s fans have been incredible to us. We never expected such a great reception right away. Fans in the UK seem to really get our music and our sound, and we’re all extremely grateful for that.

Metal of all genres is growing in popularity at the moment, do you think this is a reaction to all the reality TV manufactured bands?

I definitely think the rise of the underground is a result of the mainstream being filled with terrible bands. As a new and emerging band, this is exciting because the ceiling of being a ‘metal’ band is lifted higher because more and more people are looking at the underground for better music. The line between underground and mainstream barely exists, because everyone has an equal chance of getting heard. We plan to grow as songwriters and perfect our live show so that our music can reach as many people as possible.

You guys recently put out your debut album through Earache records, what are the main benefits to an up-and-coming band like Diamond Plate of being signed to a label who understands the “metal” market?

We all have an insane amount of respect for Earache. Their past roster of Carcass, Morbid Angel, Sleep, Napalm Death, and so many other bands have always been a huge influence on our sound. Working with the same label that released and helped push so many classic albums is an amazing experience, and Earache definitely knows how to get metal music out to the masses. We’re honored to be a part of their history.

Diamond Plate live at Scruffy Murphys by CackBlabbathIn the era of the internet, do band’s still need record labels in the same way that they once did?

A band doesn’t need to rely on a record label for distribution as much anymore, but bands will always need record  labels for help with promotion, press, tour support, industry connections, etc. The perception people have of a ‘signed’ band versus an ‘unsigned’ band is a huge deal as well. Bands don’t need labels in the way they once did, but they definitely still need them.

You finished your UK trip with some dates with Savage Messiah, I caught the gig in Birmingham, looked like a  lot of fun?

Haha Birmingham was a pretty dead show, but we always bring the same amount of energy whether we’re playing to 5 or 500 or 5,000 people. It was definitely a pretty fun band rehearsal.

Finally, what’s coming up for Diamond Plate? You guys are perfect for the summer festivals over here, any plans to come back in the near future?

We’re planning on returning to the UK as soon as possible. We would love to get on many festivals for the summer, and we’re going to work extremely hard to make that happen. Our UK fans rule, and we can’t wait to play for them again!