Diamond Youth are releasing a new EP Shake, and it rules. PropertyOfZack had the pleasure to speak with Sam Trapkin a few weeks ago for a new interview. We spoke with Sam about the EP process, why Diamond Youth aren’t releasing a full-length yet, touring, and more. Check it all out below!
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Diamond Youth released the Orange EP a year ago. This new Shake EP comes out just about a year later. You guys spent a lot of the year on the road last year in different sort of runs. It looks like Orange got a good chance to be heard by a lot of people. Are you happy with how that EP went? In terms of the year worth of exposure?
Yeah. I mean we’ve never really felt like we belonged to one community more than another. It’s always kind of been – we’ve just kind of done what we felt was right and made the music that we wanted. In terms of who we end up in front of and who likes it or who doesn’t, we don’t have any control over that and all we can definitely know is that we like making music together and we like playing for people. In terms of this year, I think it went great. It’s cool to actually build from having this idea a couple of years ago that was an abstract, distant reality to actually doing it. So I can’t complain.
That’s a good point. We did an interview right when that first EP came out. You guys were doing a few shows with Four Year Strong too, maybe, I can’t remember. It was a while ago though. It was when the band was starting. It was a side project of sorts, and there was no real plan. But now it seems like Diamond Youth is sort of the musical number one for all of you guys. Would you say that’s the case?
I mean, I’ve always had trouble with calling it a side project. The reason people say that is because when we started Diamond, a couple of us were in other bands. I mean, for me, I’ve always been in bands. That wasn’t my first band and this isn’t my last band. That’s just what I do, I’m a musician – I fuckin’ make bands and play in them. For me, the way that people prioritize that in their own heads is kind of up to them. It’s always just been bands that I do, and I’ve been doing that since I was sixteen. For me it’s always been the number one priority. People like to say that, but I mean since we started it’s been absolutely my number one priority. And I can say that for everybody, so –
I think that’s kind of a hard thing for general music fans to understand sometimes, regardless of whether you’re in a band that people like or you start a new band just as a side project. But you come from a mentality where it’s like, “I’m always in bands, I’ll always be in bands, I’m sure there will be many more bands after this one.” And whatever you’re currently working on – that’s your band, it’s not a side thing. You want to make it the best that you can.
Yeah I understand that you sort of enter people’s consciousness and their life as a member of a certain band, I mean I totally get it. But I think if you know – like people that know me knew me before I was in a band and they know that they knew me outside of the band or identify me as part of the band. That’s what it kind of ends up being is they associate you with that. Like, “What are you doing? You have a band. What is this?” Which is bullshit, you know?
Shake is the new EP. It didn’t seem like anyone knew you guys recorded, I’m not sure if you even announced it. When did you guys write and record those songs?
To be honest, we recorded it in September. The thing is, we’re not big like self-promoters. Which is kind of to our deficit. We’re not the kind of people that are – like I feel weird being like, “Check us out in the studio! Check out our new song! Check out our new record! Buy our new record! Buy tickets!” It’s kind of gross, you know? So in that sense, since we’re a very independent band and we’re on a very independent label, I think some of those things maybe get lost in the mix. Which is fine with us. But yeah, we recorded in September. Our initial goal was to have this come out last summer. We pretty much had it done for summer. Like we had written all of the songs. We basically were writing as soon as Orange came out and pretty much had everything done in about six months. But just the way that everything unfolded, it was the same way with Orange, where people don’t really want to get too involved at the end of the year because people go away on vacation and holiday stuff. So here we are in fuckin’ January going to February now.
So a few songs have been released – another one came out today [January 21st]. This is what? This is the third EP I guess? Or fourth?
Yeah I guess you could say third. We had a demo that we did before Don’t Lose Your Cool. Which was also on a 7” so however you would like to classify that.
So yeah, to most fans, this is your third release and it’s coming out on Topshelf Records again. You guys do have a tour coming up with I Am The Avalanche as well as some other stuff. You guys just don’t seem like a typical band to a lot of people, I guess. 1: It seems like Diamond Youth is a full time thing, for people who might have thought it was a side project, but 2: You guys just haven’t released a record. Is there a reason why you guys haven’t decided to do a record and have decided to do EPs at this point in the band’s career?
I’ve always been like a weirdo on the fence with that. Because – I think the really weird thing is that if you look at it objectively, like if you were an alien and you came to earth and you talked to somebody about what music was and why they released it and when they released it, it wouldn’t make sense. The full-length wouldn’t even make sense. Because people, first of all, don’t listen to the whole thing. Second of all, they take so long to make and to put out. Not to mention, when a full-length comes out and even if it’s the best thing in the world, people listen to it and then two weeks later they’re done with it and will never talk about it again. Even if you make a big deal about it, people move right along.