We’ve got the scoop on an up-and-coming band, just starting out in New York and making their way west for their tour in August. Diet sounds a little like Empire! Empire!, a bit like Brand New, yet their music is 100 percent un-fooled-around-with by computers, auto-tuners or anything not pure, raw instrument action.
In case you didn’t know, these guys are just fresh out of high school; two are in college; one is still attending. In the midst of his busy schedule, Chris Taranto, who plays lead guitar and sings harmony, took the time to talk with us last Saturday night. and he told us some pretty silly stuff about their recording process and how they will do anything not to sound mainstream.
Q&A with Diet
Green Day inspired me to start playing music. I remember in the 7th grade, I was playing Madden on GameCube and listening to them. That must have been the first time I heard American Idiot, and I knew I just had to learned how to play guitar. So, my dad bought me one, and I just started beating on strings until it started to sound annoying. Then he bought me lessons, and I’ve basically been playing ever since. He took me to see Green Day, too, which was really awesome.
But I listen, mostly, to ’90s bands. Today’s bands kind of suck, aside from the Black Keys, Brand New, Citizen. Tommy and Fernando follow stuff by Run for Cover Records. But the post-hardcore stuff is kind of lame. I’m more into soft grunge.
There’s also Bad Brains, from the 1980s… Sound Garden, STP, Smashing Pumpkins… and Cage the Elephant is kind of new. They’re really great. I’ve got to say I hate KISS, though. Ugh.
So, I noticed some of your songs are more like stories–as they progress and the tone can kind of change completely, over the course of three minutes or so… What do you think kind of separates your music from other new bands in the industry?
Well, we do some shredding, but we try to progress as much as possible.
I wish I could play just straight down strums and get away with it, ’cause sometimes when bands do it, it sounds cool. But I really just need to feel my way through the guitar.
You know, everything we do is real. We’re not like other bands playing music today. Sometimes drums are processed, there are synths, and their vocals are auto-tuned, but we just like to play live, all together. We believe in giving a true, passionate performance when we play. We take a lot of pride when we rehearse for gigs and we hope that comes across to the audience.
How do you guys come up with songs, by the way? Do you follow the lead of one of your members or just kind of jam out and create songs together?
Sometimes we just jam out; other times Fernando will come to us with an idea. He’ll write it and figure out the guitar part, too; then we’ll follow his lead and just play until we finish the song.
You just came back from the studio, right? How did that go?
Yeah, we were in the studio today… one cool thing about it is I have this organ, and I’ve been teaching myself to play it since September. We actually incorporated it into one of our songs, the one with sort of a rain dance, and I held a key down for, like, the entire song. So that was pretty cool.
Our lives are pretty boring… we’re not rock stars. The shows are crazy, but we as people are pretty chill.
I go to Hunter College; Fernando is in high school; George goes to college in Philly… Tommy may be the only one who has fun.
But I basically balance my time between school, work, my music and my girlfriend. But I have an hour and a half commute to school, so I usually play Pokemon on the DS for the entire ride. It’s really relaxing and makes the trip go by faster.
Wow, you sound pretty busy. Do you feel you’re being rewarded for your efforts at all?
It can be frustrating, but it really shows what you care about. You just keep going because you love what you do.
And that’s about all she wrote, folks!
Stay tuned for updates on Diet and we’ll be sure to post the official tour dates once they’re announced.
For now, check out some of their music online and follow them on Facebook, if you like.
Published on Headbang ‘n Buttonmash.com