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 today. Sadly he passed away a while back, but the Diamond Field album is dedicated to him. Aside from that, I'd play along over and over to John Taylor's basslines on Duran Duran's "Rio" album and then got my hands on synthesizers and went down that rabbit hole.


KJ

How did Diamond Field come to be? Is this your first vinyl release? I can only imagine how exciting that must feel!


DF

Diamond Field started in 2013, firstly doing remixes for other artists in an '80s style. I wanted to firmly establish a project to fulfill my vision of '80s inspired music, so Diamond Field was born. I'd discovered artists like Miami Nights around 2010, so I felt like there might be a like-minded scene I could tap into. Prior to that, I was mainly playing bass in conventional bands, but I felt like it was the right time to do my own thing. I had dabbled with producing dance music but didn't really connect with that scene enough to make it work.


The debut Diamond Field single' Neon Summer' with Nina Yasmineh (aka Nina Luna) came out in 2014. At that time, instrumental synthwave was popular, but it was important for me to use vocals for the complete song experience, with the idea of having a different vocalist for each song. I then proceeded to release more singles over the next several years, while at the same time writing songs that would eventually become the album. The album took some time to finish because of all the other projects I had going on. Eventually, I reserved myself to the fact that the album would be done in its own time, and that would be the right time.


In mid-2021, the album finally dropped, and I felt making it self-titled was a good way to go – "hello here it is!" The vinyl version has just been released. Vinyl takes a very long time to make these days, so there was a lot of patience involved! It's not my first time being on a vinyl release, but it is the first time I've released my own album that way, and it does indeed feel great! We also pressed CDs and cassettes, but somehow vinyl seems to really legitimize things. Maybe it's the long-winded process involved to get it made that adds to that feeling!

KJ

Aside from having children or having a super supportive partner, what would you say is your second greatest accomplishment in life thus far? What are you most grateful for?


DF

I've very grateful that I've had great opportunities to work with and meet some fantastic people and be part of others' musical journeys. I've had great times and made a lot of friends through the music industry, playing music, and through other creative avenues. So to have had the fortune to be a part of all that is a privilege which is certainly not lost on me, as we see people struggling around the world on a daily basis.


KJ

What is one thing no one knows about you and would be surprising? You know, like a secret past life as a Thunder From Down Under dancer or as a snake charmer or something?


DF

Ha, well, nothing too exotic! The one thing that's always a good talking point is that I would enter coloring competitions as a kid. I must have entered close to 20 over the course of a few years, and I would usually end up winning them. I won bikes, trips, a slot car set, a train set, albums, movie tickets - you name it. I had a kind of method on how to make my stuff winning material, and it seemed to work! It was the ultimate way of getting things that my parents couldn't shell out for.


KJ

What is on your artistic bucket list?


DF

I think as an artist, you never really stop. There are always them buckets to fill! I'm always creating through music, graphic design, and photography, so I try to do my best and keep learning with each of those. As far as the cold hard goals go, I'd like to get more prominent

song placements in film and TV, produce some major artists and play larger live shows. One thing that I'll definitely be able to cross off the list are Diamond Field live shows that I have been preparing for (with singer Jenny Bates on vocals).


KJ

Is there anything you would love to unburden yourself of here or a special message to the world?


DF

I want to say thanks to everyone who is into Diamond Field. I make the music because I love it and figure a few others might too, and we should all get together and party!



Thank you, Andy. We look forward to hearing more from you.

Consider this my official RSVP to party with you in an ideal world.



https://diamondfieldmusic.com/


https://sofakingvinyl.com/album/diamond-field-24-bit


https://twitter.com/diamond_field


https://diamondfield.bandcamp.com/


https://www.instagram.com/diamond_field




Closing shout-outs:


1. Make sure you order your vinyl that also recently became available in New Zealand stores.

2. The beat on the street is that a mystery person is currently working on a cover of a Diamond Field bop for release later this year. Stay tuned :)


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