Our latest set of XXQs comes to us from a band that puts on the kind of live performance PEV can certainly get behind – Chicago’s own (by way of Detroit) The Diemakers (Dominic and Sharon Harris, Jay Harnish) says “We won’t just be playing exact arrangements of our recordings at our shows —the songs live and breathe on stage. Dom’s gonna wail on guitar, Jay is going to hit you with a gigantic wall of fuzz bass groove, and Sharon will get you moving with her punk rock, cool drum beats.” These Diemakers first brought us their unique brand of gritty, soulful, energetic rock n’ roll on their debut collection, Assault All Your Senses…but we’re here to talk about their latest record, Detroit Recordings.
They told us “We basically recorded live with all three of us in the same room facing each other laying down complete takes to 2-inch tape—the old-fashioned method of making analog recordings…We feel the album does an excellent job of representing our influences, yet retains that original gritty sound that is The Diemakers. You can expect to hear Garage Rock bite, sixties psychedelia, bluesy soaring guitar, and cool pounding rhythms. While the title of the EP reflects the fact that we recorded in Detroit, Detroit means more to us than just a location. Dominic was born and raised in Detroit and the sounds of the city are in his DNA…We hope the title brings some attention to one of the greatest Rock and Roll cities in the world.” The trio will be busy on the road supporting Detroit Recordings, so click to http://thediemakers.com to stay up to date on their tour schedule and sample some tunes. There’s still much to learn, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQs below.
XXQs: The Diemakers
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound?
The Diemakers (TD): Real Rock and Roll. Gritty, soulful, energetic music.
PEV: Calling Chicago your home, what kind of music were you all into growing up?
TD: We have some common influences; everyone in the band of course digs The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Dominic has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and his favorites include Link Wray, Clapton, T-Rex, Television, Blues, Motown, and even jazz like Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman. Jay is a big fan of David Bowie and has been influenced by grunge bands, such as Nirvana and Alice in Chains, and one of his favorite bands right now is Secret Machines. Jay grew up to his Mom playing Motown and even disco, and his Dad was big on classic rock. Sharon is influenced by Band of Skulls, The Ramones, Joy Division, Garbage, Social Distortion, and enjoyed industrial music, such as NIN, back in the day.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Diemakers show?
TD: A tight, energetic band playing real rock and roll. We won’t just be playing exact arrangements of our recordings—the songs live and breathe on stage. Dom’s gonna wail on guitar, Jay is going to hit you with a gigantic wall of fuzz bass groove, and Sharon will get you moving with her punk rock, cool drum beats.
PEV: How has playing in The Diemakers been different from working with other artists or projects in the past?
TD: Simply put, it is just more fun. The three of us have real chemistry that comes from all of us sharing the same passion for the songs and being friends. Dominic and Sharon will be celebrating their 10-year wedding anniversary this summer.
PEV: What is the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
TD: The trials and tribulations of life. Inspiration can come from a good movie, book, or listening to my favorite artists. I get my best song ideas talking to and interacting with the people all around me.
TD: Many years ago, Dominic invited Jay, who played a little guitar at the time, to join a band he was in called Orson’s Well and taught Jay to play bass. A couple years ago while they were in search of a drummer, Sharon volunteered and Dominic taught her how to play drums.
PEV: Tell us about your latest release, Detroit Recordings. What can fans expect from this work? What is the story behind the title?
TD: Detroit Recordings was recorded like our first record at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit by Jim Diamond. We basically recorded live with all three of us in the same room facing each other laying down complete takes to 2-inch tape—the old-fashioned method of making analog recordings. The tracks were recorded live with only a couple overdubs for sweetening here and there. We feel the album does an excellent job of representing our influences, yet retains that original gritty sound that is The Diemakers. You can expect to hear Garage Rock bite, sixties psychedelia, bluesy soaring guitar, and cool pounding rhythms. While the title of the EP reflects the fact that we recorded in Detroit, Detroit means more to us than just a location. Dominic was born and raised in Detroit and the sounds of the city are in his DNA. The band loves Motown and for this album spent some time listening to Iggy and The Stooges, The Amboy Dukes, and The MC5. We hope the title brings some attention to one of the greatest Rock and Roll cities in the world.
PEV: What is the feeling you get after an album like this is complete and you can sit back and listen to it in full?
TD: Inspiration. We are proud of how the recording turned out, and are inspired to get working on the next album that will build on the foundation of Detroit Recordings. We feel that Detroit Recordings is an excellent progression from our first record, Assault All Your Senses.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown?
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
Sharon Harris: I spend my free time with our kids. Dominic and I have two kids, Keith and Holly. And Keith’s middle name is Richard, after a certain cool guitar player.
Dominic Harris: I am a big fan of watching NHL hockey and I help coach my son’s ice hockey team.
Jay Harnish: I enjoy road trips and like to watch and support my friends’ bands and other local artists. I also have driven across country just to watch the United State’s National Soccer team play.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?
TD: Present – If we were dreaming out loud, it would have to be David Bowie and it would be cool if he brought along Earl Slick. Bowie’s new album (The Next Day) is fantastic, and the albums he produced for Iggy Pop are huge influences. David Bowie and The Diemakers would be crazy good.
For Past Artist – If we could go back in time and do anything we want, I think The Diemakers and John Lennon would be incredible. He was the pinnacle of real rock and roll.
PEV: So, what is next for The Diemakers?
TD: The Diemakers are going to play some live shows in Chicago and some other cities across the Midwest like Grand Rapids, MI and Detroit. We are writing new material and are planning on heading back to Ghetto Recorders soon to record a full-length album.