D I A M O N D S
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D I A M O N D S

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Post-punk

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"First Look: D I A M O N D S – We Will Always Be Alone"

First Look: D I A M O N D S – We Will Always Be Alone
JAMMERZINE on December 14, 2018 at 12:05 pm

D I A M O N D S was founded in the summer of 2015 by singer, songwriter, and stage performer Joseph Gárate. The band’s brand of passionate, existential pop draws comparisons to the likes of The Smiths and The Cure as well as the layered psychosis of genre-benders like Radiohead and NIN. Gárate’s paranoid meditations on violence, drug abuse, and the pangs of true love are steeped in an idiosyncratic writing style inspired partially by the nauseous vanilla of a formative youth spent in the faceless valleys of suburban Los Angeles -worlds away from the glamour and promise of nearby Hollywood. Gárate’s unrelenting commitment to songcraft, as well as his dynamic and vulnerable performance style, has been admired by his peers and fans alike.

After a debut performance at 2015’s Echo Park Rising in Los Angeles, Gárate secured an enviable live band comprised of Anders La Source, and Andrew Narvaez, and Dominick Costabile. By the end of the year, the quartet had caught the attention of producer, engineer, and Cautionary Tail Records founder Norm Block. After numerous performances throughout their home city in 2016 (including an opening spot for Warpaint’s Jennylee and an appearance at Make Music Pasadena), D I A M O N D S recorded a single with Block at his Happy Ending Studios in the Spring.

Cautionary Tail released the single “My White Diamond” late in the year and Marvel effects wiz Tommy Souza directed a video for “My White Diamond” the following Spring. Gárate began recording new material in the Fall of ’17 and this year experimented with the idea of D I A M O N D S as a solo-live act and toured the states for the first time. Two new singles, two music videos, and a debut EP from the project are slated for release in Winter 2018/2019.

SOURCE: Official Bio - Jammerzine.com


"EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: PASSION AND PARANOIA ON D I A M O N D S’ DEBUT “MY WHITE DIAMOND”"

A passionate explosion of energy opens Los Angeles-based D I A M O N D S’ debut single, “My White Diamond” as frontman Joseph Gárate surrenders himself. “You’re a fire, and your smoke, well it’s burning me,” he exclaims dramatically in the song’s entrance. It’s amazing how our thoughts and emotions can consume us – how another person can indirectly take over our lives. Call it love, call it obsession, call it passion – there exists, for all of us, this ‘force’ can eat a person from within, totally taking over the mind and body. “My White Diamond” explores the peculiarity of such a force, examining its impact from the first-person perspective.

come on out, come out my darling
come on out, come out for me
there’s a storm of love that’s brewing around you
and there’s music under your feet
I am only a worm

Listen: “My White Diamond” – D I A M O N D S

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “My White Diamond,” D I A M O N D S’ first-ever release. A quartet comprised of singer, songwriter, and stage performer Joseph Gárate, drummer Anders La Source, bassist Andrew Narvaez, and guitarist Dominick Costabile, D I A M O N D S formed in late 2015 around a shared interest of “passionate, existential pop.” Indeed, “My White Diamond” is as much a love song as it is an ode to the lover’s pain and vulnerability. When we love, we hurt. Gárate attacks this subject head-on, fully engulfing himself in the sort of blinding passion that allows you to elevate another to sacred levels whilst throwing yourself aside.

come on out, come out my sweetheart
come on out, come out for me
I would pluck you from the vine to have you
I’ll have you in my arms when I sleep
I am only a germ

If you come up short, I would open my lungs
If you come up short, I would cut out my tongue
If you come up short, I have two lungs
If you come up short, it’s in the back of my tongue
If you can’t get straight, I would open my veins
I feel no pain

Emotion spills out of Gárate’s lungs, pouring over his words like boiling water from a cauldron. He projects so sincerely and authentically from dark depths of the soul. To give so much of oneself is as beautiful as it is horrifying: “If you come up short, I would open my lungs / If you come up short, I would cut out my tongue,” sings the D I A M O N D S bandleader in an almost sinister, foreboding manner. His lyricism is reminiscent of The Doors’ Jim Morrison: Beautifully poetic, hauntingly pure, and unfathomably dark.

run
run to the ocean
run to the beach
you are majestic in the night, my white diamond
majestic in the night for me
but i am still just a worm

D I A M O N D S © 2016

“This song is at its core about something beautiful, but to simply listen to someone describe something beautiful isn’t interesting,” explains Gárate. “What drove me to write these words is the anxiety and paranoia inspired by the subject matter. That’s what feels interesting. That’s what feels real.” Spine-tingling chills invoked from D I A M O N D S’ performance will leave one thinking about the impact of their own emotions, and their susceptibility to those feelings, long after this song is over.

It’s hard for most acts to make an impact right from the start, but D I A M O N D S’ single immediately hits home. A solid debut should make the listener pause, both from a musical and a lyrical perspective. “My White Diamond” encourages deeper listening, begging to be heard on repeat as you decipher the layers of Gárate’s evocative expression and introspection. Enjoy Atwood Magazine’s premiere of “My White Diamond,” and discover more about D I A M O N D S and their debut via our exclusive interview below! For a newcomer with one song to their name, there’s a lot to love about D I A M O N D S.

MEET D I A M O N D S
ATWOOD MAGAZINE: THE ENERGY BUILDS FAST IN THE INTRO. WHY EXPLODE INTO THE SONG LIKE THAT?

Joseph Gárate: This song has a very matter-of-fact quality to it that we couldn’t ignore or play down when we were putting it together. The feelings that are expressed emotionally and musically require us to fire on all cylinders, so… we just do. Sometimes a song will just present itself to you in a very clear way. With this one we needed to put out this noise and this energy right from the start because it felt right. It would have been disingenuous to pace it out so as to build to some sort of expressive crescendo. The song does have an emotional arch but it’s subtle and requires a certain amount of energy, even at the very beginning.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN, TO YOU, TO BE “JUST A WORM”?

Gárate: Even though it may sound self-effacing, sometimes you feel like nothing is more important than who or what you’re singing about and you’re humbled by it. You feel like it may be too precious in your hands. Somehow you understand the gravity and the beauty of what you’re dealing with but you don’t have the foggiest idea what to do when faced with it. It puts you in your place. You feel like something small, like a worm.

Sometimes you feel like nothing is more important than who or what you’re singing about.

THE IMAGE OF A “WHITE DIAMOND” TRADITIONALLY REPRESENTS PURITY AND MATRIMONY. HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU SKEW THAT IMAGE IN THIS SONG?

Gárate: I don’t know that I do skew it… it’s funny… I’m glad you’re asking this question because I never really thought about it representing those things explicitly… it was just an image that came to me in a strange way, in a way that a lot the imagery I’ll use does. It just felt right… it came into my body… into my gut… and it seemed to say more to me when I uttered it than many more words would have. Purity and matrimony isn’t far off. The song isn’t about getting married or anything quite like that, but I do feel like it deals with some of the same feelings one might feel when they take such a step. There’s a kind of surrender to this thing that is changing you… and even if your neurosis is always close by… it’s a positive feeling… it feels important.

THERE'S A POETICISM BENEATH THESE LYRICS THAT GOES WELL BEYOND THE SONG. IS THIS TYPICAL FOR YOUR SONGWRITING?

Gárate: Yeah I guess so. I don’t want to be poetic. I would never think to write words like these down and present them apart from the music I’ve attached them to, but I guess they come out a certain way. Sometimes what comes out is … odd… but the words tend to come from being in the moment and being in this dream state that I’ll gravitate towards when I’m writing. Sometimes I’ll go back and edit myself if I feel like the words are just “too much” or that they don’t really land, but that doesn’t happen often.

WHY CHOOSE TO RELEASE THIS SONG FIRST? WHAT IS ITS SIGNIFICANCE TO THE BAND?

Gárate: The song is special in that it’s a true collaboration between myself, Anders La Source, and Andrew Narváez. They put the music together and I loved it. This freed me up to bring something to it in a different way, I didn’t build it from the ground up, as I most often do with our material. Perhaps that’s why there’s an odd freedom in the words and in the singing. I hate to say this because it is the first thing we’re putting out, but it’s slightly more upbeat than much of what we do – but its “poppy-ness” felt right to us. I love bands like The Smiths and The Cure so it felt natural, as a chronically melancholic person and lyricist, to help make a song that was danceable and in major key. Our producer Norm also loved it. So, here it is! It felt natural, as a chronically melancholic person and lyricist, to help make a song that was danceable and in major key.

A SONG USING “DIAMOND,” AND THE BAND NAME “D I A M O N D S.” WHY? WHAT'S THE RELATION?

Gárate: The song and the lyric came first. We had written the song and had been kicking it around before we had officially put this band together and given it a name. I had a running list of names that I was considering including “My White Diamonds” or “My Diamonds.” I guess I was sort of continuing the thought from the song… I liked the idea of diamonds. I like how it felt when I said it or thought of it. I liked the idea of the music being cold, shiny, or shimmery. Then I had to consider that it was easy to write, to say, and to remember – unlike my name, which we were simply using at one point. It felt simple and still evocative of several different things without being too specific… which was fine with me. Naming a band is a terrible process. There isn’t any real connection beyond that, it’s all sort of abstract and unrelated. I guess the word “diamonds” just does something to me when I say it – when my head is in a certain place – which is why I chose it for the lyric as well as the name of the band.

WHY THE SPACES IN-BETWEEN LETTERS? OTHER THAN AESTHETICS, HOW DOES THIS SET YOU APART?

Gárate: I like how when you come across it in print… You have to stop for a moment. You have to take an extra beat to figure out what is being spelled out. I think I/we are attracted to things that are kind of off or unusual. Naming a band “diamonds” isn’t all that unusual, but displaying the letters in such a way messes with it a little bit. It gives the name I kind of bigness, an epic sort of feeling which feels appropriate for whatever reason. It almost looks cinematic to me. I feel like a lot of people are using the spaces now, and I kind of understand why. It looks beautiful. It feels modern and yet vague enough so as not to be too specific. Even though I know I’m not the first person to do it, when I started it didn’t feel cliche … oh well! I know these are all aesthetic reasons… If there’s any relation to the music or the brand of the band I would have to say – even though I’m not sure I like saying it – that there is a weight and a gravity to the music we make. Our music is big and expressive a lot of the time. I write about heavier things because that’s whats on my mind… the band brings the songs to life in an incredibly expressive way that has a wide range of dynamics. I don’t think the music ever really sounds disaffected or blasé. It’s not that I’m avoiding those feelings. That’s just not our natural state. So the way the name looks kind of epic feels natural. There is a weight and a gravity to the music we make.

THERE'S A DEEP, INTERNAL NEED IN YOUR VOICE - ONE OF YEARNING, OF EMPHATIC EMOTION. THINKING BACK TO YOUR RECORDING SESSION, WHAT DROVE YOU FORWARD WHEN MAKING THIS SONG? WHAT WAS YOUR LIGHT?

Gárate: I think what you’re referring to drives much of my performing. A lot of what sparks the writing is anger, or fear, or anxiety. This song is at its core about something beautiful, but to simply listen to someone describe something beautiful isn’t interesting. What drove me to write these words is the anxiety and paranoia inspired by the subject matter. That’s what feels interesting. That’s what feels real. I like that aesthetic contrast, too. Life is complicated and violent after all. I think this performance style is just an extension of who I am and a result of just living in this world and seeing things the way I see them. The music is also an inspiration. I’m connected to the music. The guys play it beautifully and passionately. It complements and reinforces the images that come to mind when I’m singing and, conversely, the music sounds even better to me when I lay my own meaning on top of it. It’s cyclical in a weird, expressive way. - Atwood Magazine


"Meet Joseph Gárate of D I A M O N D S in Highland Park"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Gárate.

Joseph, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The only thing that ever interested me growing up and as an adolescent was music and acting, but I went to a private high school that really seemed more about sports and science. This, along with the prevalence of highly conservative evangelical Christianity in my education and home life (which I knew I wanted little to do with), sparked my slow decline into the chronic state of isolation I always have to rescue myself from. When I graduated high school, I was depressed and had zero ambition. I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do.

Nobody told me I should start a band, play shows, figure out how to make a record, move away, make a plan for myself, and do all the things the people I grew up admiring did. So with no real ideas beyond my musical ambitions (that I didn’t even have the courage to utter aloud), I did the college thing. A few teachers took an interest in me because I sang pretty well and because I’ve always loved to act I found myself in an opera program at my university. I really did love it, but like most things in my life, it just happened to be something someone else thought I should do and something friends were doing so since I was pretty good at it, I kept it up.

I found a teacher who was a real mentor and life coach to me… she really saw something in me besides my voice and abilities on stage, and while she convinced me I was too talented NOT to pursue a career in classical singing (I continued to study with her through to the end of a graduate degree), she also knew there was a lot more for me to do. She encouraged my composing and songwriting and came to a bunch of my shows at bars (which I’m not sure she liked very much). In a round-about way, she sorta gave me the “permission” and courage to do what I really wanted to do. What a strange thing to say… but I guess it’s true.

The last bit of grad school and the time shortly after finishing was a turbulent and really transformative time for me. I quit a band I had played with for a long time (which basically made me lose all of my friends, or at least that’s how it felt at the time). I decided to give everything to my own solo music, which was hugely liberating but cripplingly scary. I got sober. I met the person I’m in love with. We had a baby. In the span of (something like) two or three I years pieced together this strange new adult life.

I still do work a lot in classical music, I really do enjoy it .. but it isn’t what keeps me up at night. I don’t dream about singing Mozart beautifully (which is something lots of people do dream about- and rightly so!) or about what roles I want to learn. I go to bed at night thinking about how I can arrange a song I’ve just written for a band, or what songs I want to put on an EP, or where I want to tour next year. Those are the kinds of creative and professional ideas I’m consumed by that make it possible for me to get VERY little sleep.

I’m insanely lucky to have the opportunity to teach a lot, sing a lot, write a lot, and play a lot. In the last year and a half, I wrote and arranged music for a web series, a film, and a production at CSUN. I toured parts of the country with D I A M O N D S that I’d never been, and I sang at Carnegie Hall. I met bands and producers from all over the states, some of whom I have plans to collaborate with and play with again.

Next year, I have three D I A M O N D S tours in the works, and I’m preparing a role for a film to be shot in Bulgaria and Greece in the Spring. There’s also LOTS of music and a video ready to be released, tons of shows to play, a live band to put together, and a lot of great artists to work with. I’m TRYING to remind myself that I don’t HAVE to be the same person who spent hours, days, years in my room, biting my nails, listening to The Smiths.

I’ve been able to create a life that’s beginning to resemble the one I didn’t think I deserved. A life I was always too unhappy to visualize but knew I would die if I couldn’t get or at least try for. I still listen to The Smiths. That was actually always really useful.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, not really… I know very well that a lot of things have come naturally to me, that I’ve been extremely fortunate. Lots of people have had to overcome MUCH more than me … but I’d be lying if I said that it’s been easy. My challenges have been largely personal and self-imposed.

A few years ago, I had to deal with my alcoholism once and for all, otherwise, I was going to die. Any drug addict or alcoholic in recovery will tell you that when you’re in your illness, you basically ruin your life… quickly or slowly. In my case the disease was aggressive, and I had to put an end to it.

I’ve spent the majority of my life depressed and have to medicate most of the time to function normally. Even with a beautiful family, I feel loneliness nearly every day… which doesn’t somehow end when you become a parent. I have a four-year-old boy and, even as someone who has had little success in this department, I’ve endeavored to teach him to advocate for himself, to participate socially, to speak his mind, and to share his feelings without worry or shame. If you’re lucky, you’re able to compartmentalize, to parent with your brain and not with what feels natural to you.

The loneliness I’ve felt ever since I was a young child is probably just a natural state of my being. Sure, it was probably exacerbated by certain things that occurred in my childhood, but as early as I can remember it’s been a constant in my life, it’s always somewhere around the corner.

Sometimes I’m able to keep a real friend or two for a good stretch… but generally, people drift in and out of my life, sometimes without ever really saying goodbye, and I’m sure that deep down… even though it hurts me on a conscious level, I probably like it that way. I guess I feel compelled to talk about this stuff because… I know that artists (and anyone really striving to accomplish anything meaningful in modern life) deal with these matters daily.

It’s hard to get out of your own way. I think that most of the time we JUST need to decide what we want, decide we deserve it, admit when we need help, seek the help, and ACCEPT the help. Whenever people wanna talk to me, whether it’s about drinking or anything… I’m always really excited for the opportunity to lend an ear and give whatever I can.

Not only do I think it’s important, but it also makes me feel better. I hope someone reads this and hits me up. Helping other people saves your life -that’s NOT a cliché. I wish I could do it more often. I’ll try.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with D I A M O N D S – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as an artist and what sets you apart from others.
D I A M O N D S is the primary brand and vehicle through which I write and compose music. It’s a solo act and a band (since I do sometimes love to play with other musicians). I make records, play shows, write music for film and the stage, plan and curate events, and (especially with the latter) try my best to effect SOME positive change locally -as naive as that may sound.

Something I’m proud of is the variety, eclecticism, and stylistic range D I A M O N D S is capable of. I can only make honest music, and part of being honest is to allow for different things to make its way in… I know this lacks a certain savvy in our playlist/hashtag/micro-genre culture, but I guess I don’t know what else to do.

I’m not ashamed to make really bummed out music. Not only is it real for me but I think it can make some people feel less alone. Don’t get me wrong, I adore pop music.

Great pop music can be immersive, accessible, memorable, and real all at once… and I strive to do that sometimes, but when something comes out of me that is unabashedly sad and not all that poppy, I need to remind myself to accept it. Sad music saved my life. I dream of being an artist like that for someone else.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles feels like home to me now… finally. It never used to (even though I was born and raised here). It’s beautiful. I hate cold weather and rain, which I know is strange given my disposition. I love seasons and diversity in our climate on a CONSCIOUS level because we need it and climate change is killing us all pretty quickly now … but on a purely childish and emotional level I can only ever deal with sunshine -so this city is perfect for me.

We have everything here — everything culturally that you can imagine. There is however much to be suspicious of. Gentrification and housing costs have sadly made huge portions of the city impenetrable for lots of people I know. Socially and emotionally, there’s a kind of a malaise here that so many suffer from. If you don’t have a plan for yourself and act quickly, you become hypnotized. The grass will grow over you. It’s sort of ironic given the glamour, sunshine, and proximity to the beach… it’s gross, romantic, sad, and beautiful all at once. - VoyageLA


"Popdose Video Premiere: Diamonds, “My White Diamond”"

As an LA transplant myself, I like any song that tackles the subject matter of real life in the Valley (where I happen to live). Natives know it’s a short drive to Hollywood, but day-to-day drudgery is far removed from the glitz and glamour. For many, it becomes a taunting tease, especially when so many move there to absorb the infamous culture and lifestyle.

Enter Diamonds, a band that exemplifies that sense of ennui. Tired of the exploitative LA promises, they instead focus on the darker aspects of SoCal culture: the drugs, violence, and oppressive situations that are all-too apparent.

Don’t worry, though. Their sound is reminiscent of the Smiths and the Arctic Monkeys, but never veers too far off the pop course. Melodies are at least a bit upbeat and highly infectious, perfect for soundtracking all kinds of moods.

Check out the video below for “My White Diamond,” premiering here on Popdose! - Popdose


"D I A M O N D S – My White Diamond Single Review"

D I A M O N D S – My White Diamond Single Review

Great Release!
I always get excited about new music. When I heard about the new band D I A M O N D S, who are being compared to The Smiths I was excited. I recently got the chance to check out their single My White Diamond. So is it worth a listen? Read on for my thoughts.

D I A M O N D S – My White Diamond Single Review
The song, which has an extremely upbeat bop your head along feel to it, opens with drums that immediately explode into a fun rock sound. Aside from The Smiths, lead singer Joseph Gárate reminded me a bit of Brandon Flowers from The Killers and Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria. While those are two completely different bands- and the sound here is quite idfferent- Gárate’s voice definitely had elements of both.

I also enjoyed the lyrics in the song, especially when Gárate sang, “If you come up short, I would cut out my lungs and if you come up short I would cut out my tongue… I feel no pain.”

Overall, My White Diamond is an interesting song that I definitely enjoyed. I can’t wait to hear more from D I A M O N D and I encourage you to check them out! - Real Mr. Housewife


"Notes From Left of the Dial: The Cover Letter and more"

Much like their namesake, Los Angeles band DIAMONDS create reflective narratives and hard-edged reality with little effort. Wading through a swamp of wiry ’80s rock and roughed-up pop, the band keeps their steps aligned and synchronized. For every movement made by one member, a correlative action happens from another instrument-it’s a fascinating and clever way to expand upon a familiar musical aesthetic. There’s an authentic emotional core that gives their work a gravity otherwise missing from most of their contemporaries. But regardless of the sounds they draw upon to achieve their specific aesthetic, the band never loses its identity among the debris of its influences.

On “My White Diamond,” they weave a hypnotizing rock bravado that’s as gloomy as it is spectral. There’s a vivid post-punk swagger that runs parallel with a measured tonality, keeping the track grounded while giving it room to stretch and grow. Tracing its lineage back to the trenches of suburban Los Angeles, the song possesses a dark and harrowing vitality-the kind that bands like Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party expel with every step they take. Basking in both the love and hurt inherent to relationships, the band reveals that pain and joy aren’t quite the polar opposites we’ve always assumed them to be. They position “My White Diamond” as both love song and warning, a desolate and beautiful thing that feels absolutely relevant. - Chattanooga Today


Discography

My White Diamond - December 2016 
We Will Always Be Alone - December 2018 

Photos

Bio

D I A M O N D S was founded in the summer of 2015 by singer, songwriter, and stage performer Joseph Gárate. The band’s brand of passionate, existential pop draws comparisons to the likes of The Smiths and The Cure as well as the layered psychosis of genre-benders like Radiohead and NIN. Gárate’s paranoid meditations on violence, drug abuse, and the pangs of true love are steeped in an idiosyncratic writing style inspired partially by the nauseous vanilla of a formative youth spent in the faceless valleys of suburban Los Angeles -worlds away from the glamour and promise of nearby Hollywood. Gárate's unrelenting commitment to song craft as well as his dynamic and vulnerable performance style has been admired by his peers and fans alike. After a debut performance at 2015’s Echo Park Rising in Los Angeles, Gárate secured an enviable live band comprised of Anders La Source, and Andrew Narvaez, and Dominick Costabile. By the end of the year the quartet had caught the attention of producer, engineer, and Cautionary Tail Records founder Norm Block. After numerous performances throughout their home city in 2016 (including an opening spot for Warpaint's Jennylee and an appearance at Make Music Pasadena), D I A M O N D S recorded a single with Block at his Happy Ending Studios in the Spring. Cautionary Tail released the single “My White Diamond” late in the year and Marvel effects wiz Tommy Souza directed a video for "My White Diamond" the following Spring. Gárate began recording new material in the Fall of '17 and in 2018 experimented with the idea of D I A M O N D S as a solo-live act and toured the states for the first time. In December of '18, Gárate released the single "We Will Always Be Alone" and it's accompanying video (directed by Kimberly Rice) and followed it up with a West Coast tour in January of 2019. After a stop at SXSW and the follow-up single "Cry" in Spring 2019, Gárate toured D I A M O N D S as a solo act once again throughout the East Coast and Midwest in the Summer and in the Winter of '19 added Mario De La Cruz (Bloom), Rhyan Riesgo (Todavia), and Charlie Morales (Vinyl Williams) to the live iteration of the band. While plans for a Southwest tour were unfortunately shelved in the Spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, two more singles and an EP are planned for release before the end of the year. D I A M O N D S' tour dates will be rescheduled for the Summer and Fall. 

Band Members