The Diamond Center

The Diamond Center - January 2012

The Diamond Center Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: October 21, 2011
Posting Date: January 23, 2012
Artist Hometown: Richmond, VA
Links: DiamondCenterMusic.com, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

J & J
Pony
California
3 QUESTIONS
ONE: How did you get started?
Kyle Harris: Well, Brandi and I met when we were both living in Athens, Georgia. We were just playing in different bands, and I ended up joining her band that she was already in…and that fizzled, and then shortly thereafter we just got together.
Brandi Price: I played bass in that band, and Kyle is originally a bass player, and so we were kind of being the side person, the bass person, for so long, and we both were like, “Well, I have all of these songs,” and he had just gotten into wanting to play around with recording stuff, and so I was like, “I want to play guitar in this band!” and he was like, “No, I want to play guitar in this band!” and so we were just like, “Fine, we’ll both play guitar in this band!” For a while in Athens, it was just us two, playing guitars.
Kyle: I think it was January of ’07, and by March we recorded a full-length album with a group of friends and then moved…played as a duo mostly, but we played a couple shows with some friends. We did a short little tour, and some things…
Brandi: And, you know, Athens is such a great scene with so many musicians, so it’s like we have all of these friends…We had a guy who wanted to do real recording, well, it was home recording, but still, you know…and we had some friends who were like, “Let’s do this!” and we went on a couple little weekend tour type things, and then we moved to Texas…
Kyle: Just a few months after that. We moved to Lubbock.
MB: Why did you move?
Brandi: I’m originally from Texas, and I moved to Georgia, and then both of us just needed a new scene, and new environment a little bit, and all of my family was in Texas, and my little brother and my sister. I went to undergrad there, and my sister and my brother were there, and then someone offered me a job there, so I was like, “Let’s go!”
Kyle: Yeah, something different. I had toured through there, but I had never lived anywhere other than Georgia in my whole life. So, we moved there and started playing as a duo again—
Brandi: And then we convinced my little sister, who played drums in high school, so we were like, “Think you remember those skills? All right!” I remember one day, we were driving, and I called her and said “If I buy you a tom, will you play in the band?” and she was like, “Yeah!” and so she played for a long time, and that kind of transfers into the standing-up drumming, she had a tom, and that was it. And then we advanced, and we had a snare and a tom. It was great. We had a sort of tribal-type thing and it really formed our—
Kyle: Between that and the landscape of Lubbock, which was so different from what I was used to in Georgia, it really took it out there into space and—
Brandi: And then from there we met some people who were playing music and it turned into this big thing, like a family band, and then Tim joined, so Tim and my sister played drums, so we had two drummers, and our friend Daniel, who now lives in Denton, played bass with us, and our friend Allen Brown, and it turned from just a two-piece or three-piece into this family band.
Kyle: Yeah. We did a couple tours like that, and then we were again ready for change. We’re fairly…not nomadic, but we definitely are ramblers, and we have to change something. So, Brandi was applying at graduate schools, and she got into BCU at Richmond, so we decided to relocate. It was great, Tim decided he needed a change, too, so he went out to Richmond too. We started playing pretty heavy pretty quick and then we found a bass player, and played for a while. That’s when we met Lindsay.
Brandi: I got asked to play in this other band, like a girl band, like poppy, surf type music, and Lindsay was playing in that band, keys, and it was a lot like a summer fling. We were hot and heavy for a summer, and then it all kind of fizzled out, but that’s when I first met Lindsay. I was like, “Lindsay, come play with us!” and she was like, “Yeah! Let’s do this!” and so she’s been with us for over a year now.
Lindsay Phillips: A year now, yeah. It was the summer when we started…the end of the summer.
TWO: Being from Richmond, have you been to the Village Café? What’s your opinion on it?
Brandi: Yes! It’s kind of a mainstay. It’s been there forever, it’s right around campus, it’s always open.
Kyle: Yeah, it’s been there for a really long time, I think, and is a staple for BCU students and whoever. Fantastic milkshakes.
MB: I heard the milkshakes and the onion rings…
Tim Falen: Yeah! And the spaghetti is really good, too!
Brandi: Yeah, they have spaghetti. It’s like a catch-all, if you’re hungry for anything…
Kyle: It’s really good. There’s a ton of good food in Richmond, actually, but yeah, Village is a staple for sure.
Brandi: And on the weekends, or really any night of the week, because it’s kind of beside or between this really dancey hip hop club and then there’s a rock club and the campus, so you can see crazy things happening around that corner, all the time.
THREE: What cities are the most responsive to you on tour? Which had the worst response?
Kyle: Well, we have to exclude Lubbock, because we have ties there. Lubbock is always…we’re usually hurting the next day after Lubbock. On our last tour we did Lubbock and then drove to Austin, and that was a really sad, sad drive, because we were in such bad shape, because that’s just what you do in Lubbock, you just party and go to shows and have fun. Lubbock is always fantastic. You know, we have great shows in New York, we have great shows in different places, but…there’s one little town outside of Chicago, which if we ever go near there, we always hit. It’s called DeKalb, Illinois, and it’s this tiny little town, but the place is an all-ages place, they have vegan food, they take care of the bands, and they’re always so excited to have music come through there, and for us it always made sense coming from Chicago and then usually going south, it’s like two hours west of Chicago. It’s called the House Café, and the guy there, Matthew, is just a sweetheart. And so, it’s like in some ways, you look at your schedule and you’re like, “Oh man, look at these little tiny towns…” but those end up being some of the coolest. There’s this one place, Lafayette, NC—
Brandi: That was the scariest place that we’ve played.
Kyle: Yeah, but it was—
Tim: Oh, Fayetteville? Or Fayettenam, as the locals call it.
Kyle: Fayetteville, right!
Brandi: We played at this place called The Rock Shop.
Kyle: The Rock Shop, right. It was this place…you show up and there’s Limp Bizkit playing on the PA, everybody’s…whatever, and we definitely stuck out like a sore thumb, but oddly enough it turned out to be a great show and we ended up selling as bunch of merch. I think it was just not what they were used to…I think they have cover bands a lot, you know…
Tim: Some dudes came up to me and shook my hand and were like, “Thank you for not playing metal!”
Kyle: Small towns are always interesting, and you end up staying in the craziest places, and you meet these—
Brandi: Although that one we were like…let’s just drive tonight. But it was still fun.
Kyle: Athens is always good. We lived there for a while, so that’s always a good one. Again, we’re always hurting in the morning.
Brandi: I don’t remember bad towns, it’s just weird ones. We had some weird experiences in Bloomington, Indiana.
Kyle: That last time we went there was pretty strange.
Brandi: It’s just that things align, like not that it’s always weird or bad, but certain things align, and it just makes for like…same thing with great shows. You play in these tiny towns and the kids show up and it’s fun, it’s the same with weird shows, it’s not like it’s always like that, but it’s like things align and it’s like “Oh!”
- Interview by Michael Briggs/Transcription by Dale Jones