Due to the huge number of bands playing at Bloodstock this year, and the fact that our two roving reporters will actually want to watch some of them, we’re doing a little round of pre-festival interviews this year. We’re focussing on the bands playing the Jagermeister and Hobgoblin New Blood Stages so they get a chance to convince you to go and watch them. Remember, these guys and gals are the future of our musical world!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Calgary, AB, Canada
How did you meet?
Carl (guitarist), Stephan (drummer), Simon (vocalist) and I (Darren Young, guitarist) went to High School together. The band didn’t start until later, although Carl, Stephan, and I did play together in the school Jazz Band. Simon approached me between classes in University and asked if I wanted to start a band, and I knew that I wanted Carl and Stephan involved. At first Carl and I were trading bass responsibilities, but I recruited my friend Erik from music school (we were both studying double bass at University of Calgary) to free up Carl and I to do more guitar work.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
We started in 2008 – 7 years now!
Where does the name of the band come from?
I played in a few bands when I was younger that I thought had great names but they never took off. So I decided to pick a hard-to-pronounce name with a bizarre power metal sound to it. People tell us we should change it literally all the time, but I think it’s funny. The word itself can be used to describe the tuning of a perfect fourth, which made sense when we were a four-piece. Now we’re a quintet and it makes even less sense. I love that.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
We are tremendously varied in our influences. I’m a classical guitarist brought up on punk rock, 60s pop, and hip-hop. Simon has a real love for electronica, Erik is a true metalhead with some definite affection for Hall & Oates, Carl jumps freely from jazz to R&B to country, and Stephan will croon some James Taylor right before he hits you with some D’Angelo. Together, I think some of the bands that we all agree on would be The Mars Volta, Rush, Yes, Tool, Weezer, and Sloan.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We create lush soundscapes, with dense harmonies and punchy, syncopated rhythms – a little bit prog, a little bit pop, and a little bit metal. A lot of our music is based on classical forms and structures; you might even call it “chamber rock”. Every member of the band is exceptional at their instrument, but we try to present it in a subtle way. Simon’s voice is particularly unique, and although the Geddy comparisons fly constantly I doubt you would ever truly mistake one for the other. We consider ourselves to be in a new wave of prog – retaining the classic sound but still pushing the genre forward by experimenting with newer forms and textures.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Although we have been together for over 7 years, we have only played around 50 shows. This has largely to do with the fact that I lived in Toronto for 2 of those years and that Stephan currently lives in Berlin. We don’t always get the chance to play together, but nonetheless we are an incredibly tight band live because we know each other so well. Our performances are precise, dynamic, and express a range of passion that extends far beyond the simple “angry heavy music” trope. You can expect from us layers upon layers of sound that do not stop until we leave the stage.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We were informed by our tour manager Felicity Hall in late 2014 already that we had been offered a spot at Bloodstock in 2015.. This was not long after our first UK tour, so we were blown away to have been selected to play at such an amazing festival.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We have a new album due out September 11 called Sunshine. We’ll be playing some of the heavier cuts off of that album as well as some selections from our last 2 EPs Cobalt 60 Blue and Monument. Our goal is to get the crowd locked into a groove with us and have all the people gathered around the New Blood stage headbanging in mixed meters.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
We already know we aren’t clashing with them because they’re playing on Saturday – OPETH!! We may have to paint the letters on our chests.
What are you working on at the moment?
Mainly we are preparing for this UK tour, but also prepping the release of Sunshine. The album was a long time in the making, so we are making sure that it gets the attention it deserves release-wise. I’m optimistic that we will start putting together the next album soon, though.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
It was with my other band Jung People, but I once jumped off the roof of a venue and fractured my heel. It was the first night of a tour and I had to do the rest of the shows sitting on stools. Even worse, I was totally sober. So in case you thought it was maybe a stupid thing of me to do, I assure you it was much stupider than that. At any rate, Diatessaron are typically not wont to do crazy things on tour – you’re probably most likely to find us causing late-night singalongs and searching for the nearest ice cream place.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Release as much music as you can, be as creative as you can be, and do not settle for anything less than the best version of your artistic vision.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
- Headliner: Rush
- Direct Support: Coheed & Cambria
- Unworthy Superfans: Diatessaron
Diatessaron play the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on the Friday.