- Posted on Feb 28th 2011 2:30PM by Theo Bark
Gino DePinto, AOL
At what point did you make the decision to make music for a living?
Pretty much when I finished art school. I was interning at an artist-run center in Toronto at the time and making friends there, making music on my own, starting to play more shows in the city and kind of really fell into it, I suppose.
Was there an exact moment when you decided to fully commit to being a musician?
To pinpoint it, it was probably when I got fired from being a dishwasher because I needed time off to make a music video. They wouldn't give it to me, and I had the option to make the video or continue scrubbing egg yolks off peoples plates, and the choice was pretty simple at that point, kind of like a "now or never" sort of thing, and since then, that's all I've been doing.
So how did you go from [the more traditional guitar-based indie band] the D'Urbervilles to your current Diamond Rings project?
I got really sick. Our band had come off doing a tour, and I got diagnosed with Crohn's disease and wound up in the hospital for several months. I couldn't really do much other than take naps and mess around my dad's guitar. I had it in the hospital with me, kind of playing chords that sounded nice and started putting words to them, mostly just something to do. When I got better and got out of there, I had a bunch of songs -- not the entire record, but the start of something that was different than anything I'd ever done before. They're just folk songs, really. I wanted to make them bigger and make them poppier, so I started playing around with electronic composition in Garage Band on my roommate's laptop, and that's where most of the songs really started to take shape.
When did you come up with the name Diamond Rings?
I'd had the name actually for quite a while. I keep a running bank of potential band names, something fun for me to do when I'm on the road or hanging out with friends. I've got a few, if you know anyone that's looking. My rates are reasonable. Probably like $25 to $30, whatever. I'll give you a name.
So with Diamond Rings, which would you consider to be your signature song, or the song that you must enjoy playing?
My signature song? Well, they're all signature songs, technically. I signed off on the whole album, so I gotta stand behind the whole thing. But as far as personal favorites -- it kind of changes. I wanted cover a range of styles and emotions, mostly as an experiment. I've never made music this way before in my entire life, so, it was kind of like, "Let's have a song that sounds like Usher, and now let's have a song that sounds like Phil Collins, and maybe this part of the song will sound like Salt-N-Pepa, or something," you know? Your mom buys you, like, a chemistry set or some s--- for your birthday, and you go and mess around and make little explosions and mess up the house and then, hopefully, something good comes out of it.
How does coming from Toronto influence you?
I actually grew up in the suburbs, in a place called Oshawa, which is about an hour east of the city. I feel like I probably would have had a drastically different experience growing up had I lived downtown, where I'm living now. I wouldn't trade my own childhood for anything, though, to be quite honest. It gave me a perspective on the city that was radically different than growing up right inside. A lot of people that I know that grew up in the city are totally messed up. I just lived in the suburbs and played sports. Pretty regular. Now that I do live there, I feel like I actually moved with a purpose. I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be an artist and that was where I needed to go to make that happen for myself. That's where the action is really, right? In Canada. Yeah.
Catch Diamond Rings' SXSW Sets on Tuesday, March 15 at Spill (212 E. Sixth St.) 12AM, and Thursday, March 17 at Beauty Bar Backyard (617 E 7th St.) 10:30PM.
Download Diamond Rings Songs | Buy Diamond Rings Albums
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