Stepping into the Spotlight with Diamond Youth

, Staff

Every week we like to spotlight a rising bands from outside of New England. Today, we get to know Baltimore’s Diamond Youth, who are signed to Boston-based indie label Top Shelf Records. You can catch the band in Boston when they perform at the Middle East Upstairs on Saturday, September 22. Learn more about the band, below.

Band Name: Diamond Youth

Band Members
Sam Trapkin: Guitar (Baltimore, MD)
Justin Gilman: Vocals, Guitar (Baltimore, MD)
Brendan Yates: Drums (Baltimore, MD)
Ian Pearson: Bass (Baltimore, MD)

Don’t Lose Your Cool (2011)
DMND (2010)


How did you form/start?

Well, I was working for Under Armour a few years ago and Deon Sanders did this crazy speech at “Armour Day”. I got so fired up. So we all started talking about it and just decided that it needed to happen immediately.

Finish the sentence, someone would like your band if they like…

… ice cream, rock music, gyrating their hips.

What song of yours should people listen to first and why?

Maybe “The Feeling”. It’s a real roller coaster.

Walk us through your songwriting process.

It almost always starts with a melody, either as a voice note or something we demo really quick. Since we live kind of far from each other, we kind of just pass it around forever until it feels done. Sometimes we video chat. 2-way, 3-way, whatever feels right. We never practice.

Tell us a little bit about your latest album.

Well we just got done recording it actually. We recorded it with Brian McTernan in Baltimore and did six songs. It’s pretty cool. It’s called Orange. We haven’t announced that yet but whatever!

What has your most memorable moment as a band been?

We did a video for that song “The Feeling”. It involved a lot of costumes, cats, mini horses, mannequins. Pretty normal stuff. But definitely comes to mind.

What has been the hardest part of building your name onto the national level?

Maybe the fact that our band was just called “Diamond” for the first two years, and there’s like ten rappers named Diamond. And unless you were looking for wedding rings, searching for “Diamond Band” didn’t get you very far.

Who are the best bands from your hometown that we might not know about?

There’s a band called Beach House. Maybe you’ve heard of them. But I’ve really been enjoying their new record recently!

What band would you most like to open for?

Foo Fighters maybe. Or Queens Of The Stone Age. How cool would that be?

Who is your all-time favorite Boston band?

Aren’t Pixies from Boston? Am I making that up? Also there’s this band called Bad Rabbits we’ve played with a few times. They’re just great. Brendan would also like me to include The Lemonheads, who I did not know were from Boston.

What are your thoughts on playing Boston?

It’s been a while so we’re pretty excited. My impression of Boston is that parking is the worst and there’s lots of Dunkin Donuts. But it’s really pretty.

What can people expect from your live show and why should our readers catch your next stop in Boston?

Well we’re going to be performing some original rock n’ roll songs. We wouldn’t ask your readers to do anything they don’t want to. But if they like rock music that doesn’t suck then maybe they should come. We’d love to meet them.

*All questions answered by Sam Trapkin.

Diamond Youth will perform a matinee show at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge on Saturday, September 22. Tickets for the all-ages show, which will also feature Misser, Young Statues, Rescuer and Alan Day, are available in advance and at the door for $10.

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