Diamond Messages on Stereotypes, Snoop & Sex
Jason Craig of Diamond Messages agrees with the hippie way of life; smoking weed is a massive part of his creative process, and he reckons the government are out to get us, but he’s yet to meet a hippie he actually likes. ‘I have never had a good conversation with a hippy; it always leads to some hair brained attempt to convince me that the earth is actually a spaceship. Wearing burlap sacks and never cutting your hair are not reasonable ways to stick it to the man.’ Originally from the states, he left America behind, believing it to be a backward country, too conservative and constraining for the likes of him and his smoking hot wife, Katelyn. They now live in Brighton, UK and are in the process of recording a new EP. Thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, I had a chat with him about breaking free from the chillwave stereotype, Snoop
Dogg Lion, and sex…
RB: You’ve had a crazy amount of love on the Hype Machine. Did you know you had created something special in Liquid Summer?’
Jason: It’s weird because I had no idea that the EP was going to get the response that it did. I was in a weird place creatively when I made the EP, I had been producing house music for years and then I started to get into hip hop production and then I found that I was really in to producing psychedelic indie music. With all those elements in my mind I did the best I could to create something unique. I made that track during the summer of 2010 and it kind of sums up the sedated feelings I was having.
RB: Your music is pretty damn chilled and summery. Is this indicative of your musical tastes? If there’s no blue sky around, how do you get happy?
Jason: How do we get happy when skies are grey? That would be the vaporizer…
Our music has been pinned as a lot of things that surprise me, the most surprising is dub-step. I don’t even understand how someone can associate us with the likes of Skream or Benga. But I can assure you that we never set out to create chill, summery music. I don’t really know what I would classify our music as, but chillwave seems a bit gross to me. And I wouldn’t really say the kind of music we make speaks for our taste directly, Katelyn is a big fan of artists like Mount Kimbie and James Blake, I think my favorite bands at the moment are Electrelane, Black Tambourine, Hot Cross and The Supremes.
RB: Ha! Gross chillwave! Why do you think this genre has become such a dirty word?
Jason: I cant really say why chillwave has gotten such a bad rep and I can’t speak for everyone but to me the fans of the genre seem very desperate to cling to a new genre or movement in music and it’s hardly anything new. If you listen to Washed Out its very clear he was inspired by Carly Simon which is not an artist I find myself drawing inspiration from in the least.
RB: Is it hard tough recording with your wife, or are you going to make me insanely jealous and say you have the perfect relationship and never argue?! She’s hot by the way, nice work.
Jason: Haha well sorry to disappoint but I really do have the perfect relationship. Me and Katelyn went to high school together and while we never knew each other then we later met and ironically we had everything in common. When I started dating her one of the most attractive things about her was her way with music, she’s a pianist and she has a whole catalogue of beautiful pieces she wrote around 2006 I believe. I’m really fond of classical music from Chopin to more modern artists like Dustin O’Holloran and I wanted to incorporate a heavy piano influence into my music and who better than the woman I married?
RB: You’re in the process of recording a new EP – what can we expect from it?
Jason: Spontaneous Rhythm is putting out our newest musical endeavor in a few months. I wanted to make something that helped us break free from the stereotype of chillwave, the EP will be a more winter inspired collage of sound, very psychedelic and pop influenced. I want this EP to set us apart from all the previous conceptions that we’re some kind of Neon Indian, Washed Out type band because we don’t recognize ourselves that way at all. As for our creative process I can’t give you a definite answer because it’s always so different but usually it involves copious amounts of weed and surfing the internet for samples that we like. Glenn Brigmann, the lead singer, of Triptides, has been a heavy influence on the new EP and is actually helping me record the second half of it in a few weeks. They’re easily one of my favourite bands at the moment and it’s nice that I get to make music with them on occasion.
RB: So, I saw the Snoop Dogg Mash up on your Facebook wall. Haha. You’re not too happy about it? What do you think about his (cough) name change to Snoop Lion?
Jason: That’s really a thing? Someone told me that recently and I really thought they were just fucking with me? I can’t really say I agree with his decision but hey, he’s fucking Snoop Dogg so he can do whatever he wants right? As for the mash-up, or should I say mash-ups, I guess I can’t hate on people who like my music and feel the need to remix it but since 2010 I have seen our music turn into fertile ground for amateur producers to throw whatever pop song they can think of on top of it. Everything from Eminem to Shania Twain, it’s been interesting.
RB: I’m quite cheeky and tend to talk about sex a lot. If you don’t mind my asking, what kind of music do you like you like to have to sex to?
Jason: I dont find it taboo at all haha. We don’t really listen to music when we have sex but the few times we have it’s been classical, Chopin, Bach, Mozart etc. Very basic classical but still amazing to fuck to. Makes it very dramatic hahaha.