What a year it has been! So much has been happening for Diamond Head following the release of our last record in April 2016 so here’s a recap of 2017 so far.
We spent the start of the year writing and preparing material for our next album before the touring season commenced. 2017 has been a great year of touring for the band with two long tours across the pond along with many shorter trips around the UK and Europe.
The first North American tour commenced in May in Columbus and ended 10 gigs later at Rocklahoma. Rocklohoma was to be the highlight of the tour and we were really looking forward to performing at this great festival, however tornado alley had different plans. Due to red flag weather warning we were unable to play our slot as the stages were all closed down under the darkest skies we had ever seen. We hope that we will have an opportunity to return to Rocklahoma and take revenge on the weather by bringing the lightning without a red flag festival shut down!
While Brian, Abbs, Ras and Dean returned home to the UK, Karl stayed behind in the US to to plan the next lot of touring and road action before joining the rest of the band in June to start demoing and fine tuning arrangements for the new material. Also in June we headed over to Norway to perform at Tons of Rock, before visiting another Scandinavian country in July for Magic Metal Festival in Denmark. From there it was Dynamo in the Netherlands before rocking the main stage at Germany’s epic Bang Your Head Festival. The massive crowd at the BYH main stage enthusiastically sang a happy birthday salute to Ras, who had turned a year older the day before.
At the end of July Diamond Head played our first UK show of the year by closing the Sunday at the brand new Amplified festival. The following day we entered Circle Studios in Birmingham to start recording the next album. The recording schedule had allowed for 3 days of drum recording but Karl, being the machine that he is, smashed the whole album tracking in just two days. This gave us extra time to work on other parts of the album that needed the big room sound at Circle studios.
Next on the tour schedule was a quick trip to Spain on August 12 where we performed at Leyendas Del Rock festival in Madrid. A week later the band were strapped in on a Virgin Atlantic flight to Las Vegas, Nevada to commence our 21 date tour through the US and Canada. We kicked off with a massive performance on The Joint main stage at Psycho Las Vegas. The city of sin is crazy enough as it is, but we added some kick ass metal for a dangerous cocktail of metal madness and an unforgettable start to the tour.
With Karl behind the wheel the Diamond Head tour van next headed to the Canadian border with a brief stop for a show in Salt Lake City. Crossing successfully into Canada, and with the jet lag finally subsiding, Vancouver’s The Rickshaw Theatre was the first performance of this part of the tour and kicked off in an epic way with a fantastic crowd and amazing venue. The next gig was at the Stanch in the V Lounge after a drive and ferry ride across the breathtaking Canadian landscape. Although the drives on the tour were extremely long - averaging 8 hours every day - the views of this great country were one of our favourite aspects of the tour.
We then played12 shows over 13 full days of driving, meeting old and new fans and making new friends until we arrived in Montreal. The Wings Of Metal festival was the perfect finale for our first proper Canadian tour and was definitely the best crowd of the tour. The final leg was a drive back into the US to perform at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, New York, before returning to the UK for a well earned rest. We hope to return to our fans in North America again during our 2018 new album promotional tour.
Back in the UK Brian, Dean, Abbs and Ras returned to our friends at Vigo studio to continue recording the next Diamond Head record. Over two sessions of three recording days each in September and October we completed the main body of guitars, bass and additional tonal experiments with the 4, 6 and 7 string axes and now the album is sounding huge.
For the last months of the year we will be returning to the studio for the guitar solos and Ras’ vocals in between our remaining touring dates in Ireland and the UK, wrapping up 2017 with the great festivals, Hard Rock Hell NWOBHM at the O2 Academy Sheffield on December 2nd and Blast From The Past Festival in Belgium on December 9th.
For updates on the new record and all that happens at Diamond Head HQ and on the road, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, our website or subscribe to our mailing list.
All of us in the band thank you for an amazing 2017 and we look forward to rocking out with you during an even more incredible 2018.
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