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Let's Get To Know Diamond Field


Diamond Field has produced remixes for Bunny X and Roxi Drive. Now, with the vinyl release of his debut album, it is his turn to shine bright like a…well, you know. Let's get to know the man behind the keytar and evocative sounds, Andy Diamond.


KJ

Where were you born & bred?


DF

I was born and grew up in Rotorua, New Zealand. Rotorua is known as a tourist destination with its boiling mud pools, geysers, and strong Māori culture. In my early 20s, I relocated to Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. I now live in Brooklyn, New York, and left New Zealand in 2012.



KJ

I lived in Australia for four years, and while there, I hopped over to Christchurch, New Zealand, for a weekend. I always try to imagine how life was growing up for others outside of America. What pop culture moments do you remember the most from an early age?


DF

Because of New Zealand's geographic location, we got a fairly equal mix of American and English culture. Add to this Australia and the Pacific islands. So we had quite a broad outlook. But like most countries, it was American pop culture that shaped us, with England following closely behind. So we'd have TV shows like the Muppets, Sesame Street, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Knight Rider from the US alongside The Goodies, Monty Python, and Coronation Street from the UK. Add into the mix New Zealand shows like Spot On, After School, Shazam, and Radio With Pictures (both music shows); we had quite a good spread.


At the time, local music and TV was seen as inferior to imported product – a problem that was more of a mindset than actual reality. Over time that's changed, but back then, the majority of music we heard on the radio was from the US or the UK, and Australia. My earliest pop culture moments were listening to ABBA records and the associated mania that went with it and seeing Star Wars for the first time (about 18 months after it originally came out). New Zealand used to be late off the block in getting movies and TV shows, and we had to wait months for a lot of the big movies to come our way. Now it's the reverse; since New Zealand is the first country on the international dateline, anything new gets released there first, from movies to the latest iPhone.


KJ

Did you have a favourite toy or game?


DF

Oh yeah - of course, I collected Star Wars figures and then later on Lego. Some epic scenarios were carried out with all that! I particularly liked the Imperial stuff - Stormtroopers and Tie Fighters always looked cooler than the Rebels! With Lego, when I was a kid, it was quite expensive and not easy to get hold of. A friend of mine had the Space Lego sets that I coveted, and I managed to get a couple of those sets (which I still have). I was the OCD type who kept all the boxes and packaging! My son was able to get into all that stuff, too, which was fun – a good excuse to get back into it!


We always had lots of board games growing up - Monopoly, Clue, etc. We still play that stuff now, especially during the lockdown! I was into video games the first time around – Space Invaders, Galaxian, Galaga. They're my type of games. I don't have much time for modern gaming, but I do like the odd excursion playing Urban Terror, which is a clunky first-person shooter based on the old Quake engine.


KJ

What was the first physical album you remember buying with your own money? Vinyl or cassette?


DF

Definitely cassette for me. We had a radiogram that played records, but it was not hi-fi. My parents had switched over to tapes after we got a portable cassette player, so that was my format. I specifically remember my first real purchase. I had received a record store voucher for doing some art for the school magazine or something. I knew exactly what I wanted to get and the two tapes I bought were Simple Minds "New Gold Dream" and the debut A Flock of Seagulls album. I thrashed these tapes over and over, really getting into all the sounds and songs. Still two of my favorite albums today.


KJ

What (or whom) was the catalyst to inspire you to be a musician? What was your instrument of choice then and now?


DF

I took piano lessons as a kid but quit to get into BMX racing. I was always an avid music listener but was also inspired to play and create, so at around age 15, I decided I'd like to learn bass guitar. Seemed like bass was a cool instrument and a less crowded field as everyone wanted to be a lead guitarist! I was lucky to borrow an old bass from a good friend of mine to learn on, and not long after that was mentored by a fantastic musician and bass player Phil Fuemana, who threw me in the deep end, helping me learn songs, technique, and putting me on stage with bands.


Phil was the older brother of Pauly (OMC) and why I'm doing what I'm doing