Archive for the ‘Fabulous Diamonds’ Category

Interview: Fabulous Diamonds

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Fabulous Diamonds last record, Commercial Music, is (to put it simply) brilliant. In the lead up to their journey to Perth to play Slanted and Enchanted, Jack Midalia caught up with Jarrod Zlatic for a chat…

Have your feelings for the record changed at all compared to when it came out?
No, I mean I was pretty happy with it when it came out. My main dissatisfaction was with some of the songs which I really don’t like. But I think the recording, the production by Mikey is really good, and I’m happy with my arrangements and everything. I haven’t actually really listened to it in a while. I might give it a listen in another five months time,… I’m happy with it, in short. Nothing’s really changed. I’m continuingly satisfied with the production.

I wanted to ask you about the production, because I was reading an interview where you were talking about the production and you were talking about how it was partly going along with what Mikey was doing, because it put you out of your comfort zone. That stood out to me because given how important I think the production is to your band, I’d assumed that it was the sort of thing that you went in with a big master plan of how things were going to sound.
For starters, I might have some ideas but it’s hard to explain what you want and then get someone to record it. I mean, that’s all dependent on what they’re able to do anyway, so when you record you always have to abandon some degree of control. And that’s fine. Initially, with some of the recording I was a bit “do I like this sound” and was then like “oh, it sounds good, I’ll go with it”.

There’s that, but it can go either way. Even though you give up some control, I might not be calling the shots but I made all the mixing decisions and the arrangements… I guess you kind of work collaboratively because they’re kind of like the technician.

Commercial Music is obviously a much more “polished” record compared to your previous records. How have you found adapting that to a live setting?
They’re two completely different things. They’re kind of unrelated to each other actually. Those songs, when we recorded them part of the thing about recording them was as much to do an album as it was to finally lay them down just because we don’t really play many songs off the album. So we didn’t really have to have any considerations about how we arranged it. It’s a chance to provide a definitive recording of them and then we move on. We don’t really have those concerns as such.

How often do you guys play live?
Oh, never. Apart from when we went to Europe this year, we did one show in Adelaide, we did one show for a friend’s album launch, we’re doing this show [Slanted and Enchanted] and we have one show booked, it’s our only headlining show, in December or late November in Melbourne. We don’t really do much too often.

I was reading something you said about the fact that you guys haven’t released many records considering you’ve been together for quite a while, and you were framing it as a craftsmanship thing in that a lot of bands just churn stuff out.
Yeah, it’s kinda like craftsmanship, but it’s also things like getting time together, we’re lazy, agreement. In some ways it would have been better to be more proactive. Especially given how fickle everything is and how everybody is, if you leave it that long between records you kind of get left by the wayside in a lot of respects.

How did your European tour go?
Yeah, really good. It’s really easy there. People look after you. We actually had some people come down to the shows, you get paid well, you get fed really well, people put you up half the time in really nice accommodation… it’s breezy.

I’m always interested in the role of ambition in bands. And by that, I don’t mean in a “we’re going to take over the world” sense, but more in terms of drive and…
Yeah, we’re a low-ambition band, unfortunately.

But in terms of having an overall plan it’s just kind of take things as they come?
Yeah, there’s definitely no Maoist Five Year Plan. We’ve been doing this for a long time, so the drive becomes different and changes over time. We were a lot more driven when we first started and now we’re involved with different things so there’s more of a backburner kinda thing going on… or like it’s a slow roast.

I think ambition is really important. I see other people’s bands going out and achieving things and it’s all down to your personal drive and ambition, which we’ve had in the past. But it’s a different type of drive and different type of ambition now.

What have your previous shows in Perth been like?
To be honest with you, Melbourne can be a struggle, Sydney is a wasteland for us, we don’t really bother going up there, nobody gives a shit there. We’ve always had promoters that have brought us out to Perth and looked after us, and we’ve always played with interesting bands and there have been people to come down to the show that care about us. I really like coming to Perth.