Local street rock 'n' roll unit Diemonds are shining these days, preparing to unleash their debut EP, In The Rough, Saturday (October 18) at the Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen West). Powerhouse lead vocalist Priya Panda takes a few moments to talk about the wonders of Warlock, her KISS persona and getting high on hot sauce.
Shout At The Devil versus Appetite For Destruction: who wins?
That's seriously putting me on the spot, but I'm going to go with Appetite. It's harder, it speaks about L.A. in this way that really sets the bar...also Slash beats Mick Mars. Plus, Shout isn't my favourite Mötley album. Too Fast For Love is the shit.
Do you get comparisons to metal queen Lita Ford?
Sometimes, but she played guitar and I don't, really. But she's badass; I love her album Stiletto. And she dated Nikki Sixx. But I see more of myself in Doro Pesch (of German metal legends Warlock). I saw her live, and she's like 46 but looks 24, and there were only 30 people there but who cares? It was awesome.
Diemonds have been together for two and half years. Why'd it take so long to put out your debut?
Money. We're completely self-financed, self-produced, no label backing, no manager, no booking agent - it's just us. So it took a while to save up to do it and to find the right people to record with. Mark's [Schaper, engineer] really cool; he can play any Ratt song on command.
Robin Black once said he brought strippers into the studio to create a "vibe." What were Diemond's recording sessions like?
Our album was definitely fuelled by alcohol and a lot of Turkish pizza. It also might have been snowing at some point. No strippers, though. There was a lot of fucking hot sauce, which is probably my favourite high.
You know how KISS had magical personas (i.e., Catman, Demon, Starchild, Space Ace). What would your KISS character be?
I think I would be a kitten.
That's kind of already taken.
Okay, then I'll be the Ferocious Tiger, or maybe the Lioness. And my power would be in my hair.
How do you handle rowdy dudes in the audience?
They're usually just telling me to take my clothes off and stuff, but I have no problem pouring a beer on anybody's head. I've done it before and I'll do it again.
Panda talks about the Diemonds sound
Panda discuses her lyrical style