My new(ish) band Diamondwolf launched our Kickstarter campaign this month. I started the band in 2012 after re-connecting with Glen Cooper, a friend from way back in the day. The first time I heard him sing in 2000 I knew he was special. Although we were both solo artists at the time, we took note of each other and stayed in touch. Glen has a voice that smolders, and sparks fire when you least expect it. He’s also an accomplished songwriter. When we sing together I feel part of something greater than just the two of us, something wild and mysterious. Images of nature abound in our songs, I think because we both understand how the natural world evokes powerful metaphors for the human experience. We also write about poison, shootings, arson, and car crashes.
The formation of Diamondwolf grew out of a period of deep reflection. After my indie-rock band The Volcano Diary finished up our record in 2011 I began working on a new crop of songs that didn’t feel right for TVD’s musical vision. TVD’s songs all came out of specific incidents in my personal life, moments that made me stop and question everything I thought I knew about romantic love. My TVD partner, Gus Palaskas, is a skilled guitarist and sublime singer whose musicianship is integral to the band’s sound. Gus understood exactly what to do with the songs and made them ten times better. We were extremely lucky to have our fledgling record produced by the legendary Steve Fisk. Our record was a great collaboration (and I’m looking forward to the next one). But as time wore on I began to feel itchy, restrained, claustrophobic in my own songs.
I was working on a different kind of songwriting, one that dealt with life-and-death themes in a universal way. I wanted to be less specific and more universal, to say something true about the human condition. I wanted to write about the intersection of sex, death, love, and spirituality. How the people closest to us form the matrix of our spiritual practice, and how loving them makes us return to this moment, again and again. How our mortality is beautiful, and sacred. Once I figured out my new songwriting mandate I asked Glen to join me. The 10 songs we wrote for our record are the best I’ve ever worked on.
The core of the band is two voices and two acoustic guitars. Vox and guitar is the most honest day’s work you can do in the music business, but it’s also like walking around naked all the time. Although there are a few other background instruments on the record (Glen played all the bass and I played all the drums, and there are a few other fantastic guest musicians) you can basically see right into us, which means we have to pay careful attention to every detail of our music. The responsibility can be daunting (and sometimes we fall short). But we’re up for it. Every time we’re about to step onstage, we look at each other with a big, cheesy “YOLO” grin. I think that’s called synergy.
Our first full-length CD is called “Your Time Has Come”, which is what you say to a suitor who has been waiting patiently in the wings, or a criminal who is about to face judgement. But it’s also how Glen and I feel about you, the listener, all our myriad friends and fans who have encouraged us from the very beginning, and who have let us know that you believe in us. Thank you for waiting, now here it is: https://www.kickstarter.com/