Bandleader/singer/keyboard player Stiven Giraldo – Diamond Chazer
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Cátia Cunha at Against PR for setting up the interview
Thanks to Fighter Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Promo pictures taken by: Diego Gutierrez Vivas (IG: Dragondesign)
From Colombia South America comes the young and hungry heavy metal act Diamond Chazer. The band has been active since 2017 and have prior to this compilation album released two singled and one EP. The EP, the two singles, as well as three new songs are featured on the compilation album titled CHASING DIAMONDS. I was some what curious about the band since it’s not every day a band from South America comes my way. I was thankful to have the opportunity to talk to bandleader/singer/keyboard player Stiven Giraldo about the bands past, present and why they prefer to release cassette-tapes and what the current the covid 19 situation is in Colombia. We also spoke about the work on the new album he revealed they had started already so we check on what the band is doing in the near future. Read on to see what he had to say…..
Hi and thanks for taking the time making the interview, I hope you’re doing fine and are healthy, how is the current situation regarding the covid 19 pandemic in Colombia?
Hey!! Thank YOU for taking us into account… Well it is the same shit as the rest of the world, people dying everyday, media lying about the casualties, no concerts-no life, limited number of people at bars and so on…
Diamond Chazer was founded back in 2017 by you Stiven, how come you wanted to form a band and was it easy to find members to the band?
Well, I’ve always wanted to lead a heavy metal band and I’ve been trying it out with some previous bands but I was never successful in it because I couldn’t find committed members. And the gang that are part of the diamond now used to be the most committed member of my previous groups (Hunter and Deimos) so have been playing together long time ago.
I read that the bands goal was to evoke the 80’s metal sound, taking influences from hard rock, AOR, NWBHM, French heavy metal and speed metal, is that correct and which bands influenced you to get into the music scene?
That’s right! One of our main goals was to evoke that classic sound that we love and of course, creating kind of a mix between our favorite types of rock ‘n’ roll. There are too many bands to remember that have influenced us but I’ll try to mention the ones that I can recall now haha: Diamond Head, Tokyo Blade, Sanctus, Dio, Sortilege, Blaspheme, Voodoo Child, High Power, Gotham City, Proud, Madison, Titan Force, Exciter and hundreds more!!
Does the members have any bands or artists in common that have inspired them?
Every band mentioned above, we are constantly sharing new music as well.
What did fans and critics think of the 2018 year single “Stranger Things” and the EP CHAINED IN TOKYO?
They were a blast!! Our single had very nice critics from our city and the globe in general, the same as our EP. The impact was so huge that we could headline a couple gigs in our city and another couple in other cities.
Who came up with the band name Diamond Chazer, does the name mean anything special to the band?
In fact, the name means a lot. I came up with name because diamonds are consider something like “valuable” or important, so, having this into consideration, I consider myself as a diamond chaser since I’m always trying to do my best and get anything I want, and music is all that we are fighting for, we are chasing music, we are chasing dreams, we are chasing freedom, we are chasing diamonds.
The EP was released on cassette, how come you chose that format?
It was mainly because our label in those days wanted it. As we are fans of old school formats, we were glad and thankful to have the opportunity to release it on that legenday format!
A little later on a CD version followed in a limited edition of 300 copies, are all CD’s sold out?
Most of them, actually finding a copy of that CD is super rare.
Last year you released “Diamond Chazer” and “Poltergeist” on cassette in 50 ex, why print so few copies?
Because it was kind of a gift for the people who were really into the band, sorta super limited piece of collection and it was also because finding “virgin” tapes nowadays is helluva mission here in our country.
“Chained In Tokyo” has been selected to be featured on a compilation CD by Brazilian label Metal Relics where more than 20 bands from different countries is featured. How did Diamond Chazer end up on that compilation?
It was mainly because our brother from Brazil Pedro Zupo got in touch with us since he really likes our band. We like LIVING METAL as well! HAILS BRO!!
The album named HAIL THE WORLD METAL was released in April and is limited to 1000 copies, were you happy when you got the question to be a part of the compilation?
We were more than happy, it is an honour to share a humble track with so many incredible NWOTHM bands…
How much touring and performing have you done since the start of the band, have you done any touring outside Colombia?
We have played about 6 gigs, but we still haven’t done any tour since it is difficult for a new-coming colombian band to get a promoter… and we haven’t played overseas YET!!
New album CHASING DIAMONDS
Is it correct that the new album CHASING DIAMONDS is a compilation that features everything you released with the band?
YES IT IS! It also includes two new songs and a cover!
You also included three songs especially written for the album, which ones?
We recorded a couple of songs called “Zero to Hero” and “The Whip”. We also included a cover of the mythic Gotham City called “Swords and chains”.
What I can see you also featured a cover song by the band Gotham City, what band is that?
Gotham City has been a huge influence to us ‘cause they somehow can combine beautiful melodies with raw sound and production with a very epic sounding atmosphere. I also love the aggressive vocals (sometimes) with their epic riffing (something I use as a reference while singing or writing material for Diamond Chazer)
Who writes the music and lyrics to the band and what are the lyrics about?
So far, I’ve written all of the music and lyrics but the rest of the guys write some arrangements for their own instruments, and of course, the guitarist write their own solos. Most of the lyrics are about rock and roll lifestyle, freedom, esoterism & spatial stuff.
Who did the cover art work to the new album?
The cover was done by a personal friend of mine called Lu Agudelo (@subhuman_illustrations). GO FOLLOW HER!
Through the years do you think the bands music have developed or changed in any way? If so in what way?
We used to play rawer TBH, we have been working into adding more melody and arrangements to our music even though we want to keep certain crudeness in our music of course.
How would you like to describe what kind of music the band plays?
If I could label it, undoubtedly it would be called HEAVY ROCK!
Have you read any reviews in media regarding CHASING DIAMONDS?
Yes, we have. There are a lot of mixed opinions about out job. The positive ones have made a lot of impact on us and we feel honored because they have been a lot. We also thank to the negative ones because they can give us a chance to grow up musically and realize about our flaws. Any comment is welcome to us.
Zero to Hero (Official Lyric-Video)
There’s a lyric video to the song “Zero To Hero” but are there any plans on shooting a proper video to any of the songs?
We thought about it at first, but since we have some other priorities (preparing our debut album) it seems to be a discarded idea so far.
Booking and management
It’s the Ecuadorian label Nuclear Nightmare that releases the cassette and the Spanish label Fighter Records that releases it on CD and on the digital market, why are there two different labels involved?
We received both proposals practically at the same time, so we decided to talk we both labels if it was any problem on that and there was none. I’m the kind of guy who likes to collect different formats of the same release and I know I’m not the only one haha…
Is the album available on Spotify or Itunes?
Yes, the single “Stranger Things”, the EP “Chained in Tokyo” and the compilation “Chasing Diamonds” are available on Spotify.
Are you happy with the work Fighter Records have put into the album so far?
More than happy; we feel lucky, proud and honored to work with such amazing label. They have made a huge effort in the promotion and the cd pressing is more than beautiful! It is really a fantastic piece of collection; we are very thankful with Dave and his team.
Are there any advantages to work with two different labels?
As I mentioned before… the more formats, the better 😉
Is the album going to be released on your bandcamp site?
We hope so, we are on it!
Do you currently work with any booking agency?
Not so far.
Now and then
How come the band doesn’t have a website? Isn’t that important to have nowadays?
Well, it is important because we are living on virtual reality right now, but we are OK only with the social media pages.
You’re active on bandcamp, instagram, youtube etc which is your favorite format to use on social media?
All of them have their own advantages but, I would choose bandcamp since it is a mix of all of them for a band to move its material.
The band got about 1200 likes on its Facebook site, do you think that amount is going to increase with the release of CHASING DIAMONDS?
It has been increasing every day due to this release, THANK YOU ALL DIAMOND CHASERS!
Have the current pandemic affected the band?
Sure, we had to cancel 2 gigs and the had to stop rehearsing a lot of time… We are just starting to rehearse again.
Is it prohibited to perform live in Colombia at the moment? In Sweden we have a maximum of 50 people gather at the same time.
There have been a couple of unofficial gigs with limited access, but it is forbidden so far… A SHIT!
The info sheet say that you’re in the process of writing material to a new album, how long have you come?
We are doing some arrangements and working hard on it. YOU’LL SEE THE DIAMOND SHINING BRIGHTER!
The same info sheet also say that your next album is going to be the best NWBHM album ever made, do you think you’re going to manage to achieve that?
HAHA, of course that’s impossible, there are a lot of young talented bands out there, but as long as we are happy with the result it is the best NWOTHM ever for us because we are already working so hard and putting so much effort on it.
When do you think the next Diamond Chazer album is going to be out in stores?
We hope it will be ready on November or December 2021 if the next year won’t surprise us the way this year did.
What would you like to say to the ones who haven’t heard the music of Diamond Chazer yet?
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOUR WAITING FOR?!! ADD THE DIAMOND TO YOUR PLAYLIST! YOU WON’T REGRET!
Could you give them three reasons why they should buy CHASING DIAMONDS?
You’ll find honest music played by very passionate guys. You’ll feel the power of HEAVY ROCK through your veins and… You’ll find a lotta anthems to help you though your routine!
Well, our time is up and that was all I had for now, do you have any words of wisdom to share with readers and fans?
Keep on supporting the underground thorugh these difficult and weird times… your purchase really help to keep true music alive. Stay safe, buy music, and PLAY IT ON TEN!
Thanks a lot for making the interview, stay healthy and safe!
THANK YOU GUYS! YOU FUCKING RULE